Games development is the fastest growing entertainment industry in the world. Our MSc gives you the highly specialised set of skills needed to stay at the forefront of this demanding and constantly evolving field. Created with involvement from industry professionals, the course programme focuses on the technical aspects of game development and the underlying fundamentals of computer science. We cover a range of core concepts, including C++ programming, physics simulation, concurrency, advanced graphics, artificial intelligence, and game engine architecture. You will have use of our dedicated games development lab, equipped with the latest console development kits and top-spec PCs, plus access to the HIVE — our multi-million pound virtual environment lab, which provides access to emerging and new technologies for computer interaction, data collection and visualisation.
The course begins in September each year and lasts twelve months. There are two trimesters of taught modules, followed by an individual dissertation project during the third trimester. There is an option to take an extra trimester – either immediately before or after the dissertation – gaining industrial experience through a module based in SEED, our software development unit working with commercial clients. This is unique to Hull.
The Department of Computer Science creates an excellent experience for students, with a supportive student community. We have an international reputation for our research activities, with a strong record of industrial and public grant funding. We are also affiliated with Microsoft’s DreamSpark programme, which allows you to access the latest Microsoft operating systems and development software for home use. Once registered with the department, you can download the software free of charge.
There is the option to take an Industrial Experience variant, with the opportunity to extend the period of study by a trimester, to gain experience of working alongside commercial software developers within a commercial software development facility on site (SEED), promoting real-world applications of the advanced concepts met in the course.
The MSC is designed to support students with various levels of computing and programming practice experience. However, this programme is particularly suited to those with significant experience of writing code. The modules in the first trimester include a range of materials designed to allow a smooth transition to postgraduate study, regardless of your background. As a route into research, the programme supports the development of postgraduate technical skills, alongside critical research, analysis and planning activities. In lectures you’ll benefit from a range of techniques, from interpreting complex ideas through interactive discussions, to live programming or other problem-solving demonstrations.
• C++ Programming and Design • Real Time Graphics • Game Development Architecture • Simulation and Concurrency • Advanced Rendering and Artificial Intelligence for Games • Development Project Optional modules • Computer Science Software Development Practice – pass/fail module • Dissertation (There is the option of taking this module either in trimester 3 or trimester 4, depending on whether you take the Industrial Experience module.) • The Industrial Experience optional 60-credit single trimester module allows students to gain significant commercial experience.
Teaching and learning
We place a strong emphasis on practical laboratory sessions. This will significantly develop your core computer science skills, and enhance your employability through exposure to commercial projects. As teamwork plays a key role in commercial software development and has great value as an employable skill, group work is used in a number of modules.
Practical coursework is the main form of assessment, and you will design, build and test software solutions to a variety of problems. This is complemented by written coursework. The largest assessment is the dissertation of up to 20,000 words, which is based on the work done in the third trimester.
The MSc programme supports career development in a number of ways. These include a mix of modules focused on professional skills and a project involving group work, CV development and personal reflection. We have strong links with many of the UK's top game studios, including Electronics Arts, Sony and Microsoft, many of which recruit straight from our labs. We also have a range of inspirational extra-curricular activities including the Three Thing Game, Imagine Cup Worldwide Software Development Challenge, Really Useful Seminars and Global Game Jam. They are designed to boost your CV and employability, and taking part costs very little.