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Computer Games Technology (MSc)


Course Description

MSc Computer Games Technology is designed for graduates of computing-related degrees who want to develop their career in the games industry by further specialising their existing undergraduate education or who wish to update their skills after time in industry as a computing professional, and for those with equivalent experience.

This computer games development course is delivered in the evenings for part-time students and has a mix of day-time and evening lectures for full-time students

In particular, the project component gives students an opportunity to carry out an extended piece of work under the supervision of one of our specialist academic and research staff, at the cutting edge of games technology, in an industrial or academic context.

The course aims to develop:

* strong technical skills suitable for professional programming roles in the game industry;
* specialist knowledge in computer graphics, AI, physics and audio;
* the ability to design and build game engines from scratch in industry standard languages, including C++;
* experience of the planning, management and execution of a major games technology project;
* knowledge of the games development process, including the pitch, design, and use of a game engine to build a demo.

Developed by Games Industry Experts

The course has been designed in conjunction with games industry experts. An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) provides guidance to the course to ensure students learn the right skills to enable them to work in the games industry. Current IAB members include:

Rahul Dey, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Blair Trusler, Rockstar Games
Nicolas Chemin, Codemasters
Rupert Ward, Stick Sports
Mike Barwise, Marmalade
Alexander Dudok de Wit, Unit 9
Shahed Aziz, Green Hippo.

Getting hands-on industry experience is key to our students' career developments. Lectures are developed and delivered by industry experts. Through our strong links with games companies, students find internships and placements as part of their courses. We source opportunities, help students with applications and support them while they are on internships and placements. Companies that have offered these opportunities to City students in the past include Sony, EA, Criterion, Jagex, Playfish, Eutechynyx, Beefjack, Ideaworks, Playpen, and Green Hippo.

The project component gives students an opportunity to carry out an extended piece of work at the cutting edge of games technology under the supervision of one of our specialist academic and research staff.

This course is accredited by TIGA, a non-profit UK trade association representing the UK’s games industry. It is also accredited by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) for partial fulfilment of the academic requirement for Chartered IT Professional (CITP) status.

See the website http://www.city.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/computer-games-technology

Course Content

In particular, the project component of the Computer Games Technology MSc gives students an opportunity to carry out an extended piece of work under the supervision of one of our specialist academic and research staff, at the cutting edge of games technology.

Course Structure

At the end of the course, students are equipped with advanced knowledge and skills in a range of topics in games technology in preparation for a career in computer games development.

8 Core Module(s):
- Games development process
Develop a game design, pitch, and prototype using Unity and C#
Use industry standard software engineering practice (Agile) in games development
Follow the stages of games development in creating a prototype
Study principles of game design and apply them in practice.

- Computer game architectures
Develop a game engine from first principles using C# and MonoGame
Create and deploy a cross-platform game using the game engine
Understand the principles of network gaming in the context of game engines
Optimise game engines by understanding the specialist nature of games hardware.

- Computer graphics
Develop a graphics demonstration using C++, OpenGL and GLSL, the OpenGL Shading LanguageApply mathematical concepts such as vectors and matrices underlying computer graphics
Apply mathematical concepts such as vectors and matrices underlying computer graphics
Appreciate the real-time graphics pipeline and how shaders can be used to achieve graphical effects by taking advantage of the graphics processing unit
Apply algorithms for practical graphical tasks in games.

- Game Physics and Artificial Intelligence
Develop an application in C++ using the Bullet 3D physics engine combined with artificial intelligence techniques
Appreciate how physics and artificial intelligence can enhance the gaming experience
Apply the mathematical concepts underlying game physics
Implement artificial intelligence technologies in a gaming context.

- Digital Signal Processing and Audio Programming
Develop audio software using the FMOD audio rendering engine
Explain the mathematical and physical concepts underlying games audio
Appreciate how audio can enhance the gaming experience
Use advanced music informatics techniques in a games setting.

- Programming in C++
Design and create classes and programs in C++ that are correct, robust and capable of being understood, reused and modified by others
Apply various object oriented features, including inheritance, multiple inheritance and genericity, to enhance software quality
Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the core features of C++ and their application to programming problems
Analyse substantial well-written C++ programs and adapt them to new requirements.

- Systems Specification
Apply the principles and concepts involved in object-oriented analysis and design and build models using the constructs of the Unified Modelling Language (UML)
Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the changing nature of software intensive systems and the range of new methods, tools and techniques available to develop these systems
Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the challenges of requirements elicitation
Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the fundamentals of software quality assurance techniques.

- Research, Methods and Professional Issues
Understand important principles in performing research-based projects
Develop a games related project proposal to be used for the final individual project
Learn evaluation, testing, and statistical techniques to analyse project outcomes.

Read the full Computer Games Technology programme specification - http://www.city.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/178676/PSCGTH-MSc-Computer-Games-Technology.pdf

Teaching and Assessment

The Computer Games Technology course is available full time (12 months; evening and daytime study) and part time (up to 28 months; evening and daytime study).

Computer games programming students successfully completing eight modules and the dissertation will be awarded 180 credits and a masters level qualification. Alternatively, students who do not complete the dissertation but have successfully completed eight modules will be awarded 120 credits and a postgraduate diploma. Successful completion of four modules (60 credits) will lead to the award of a postgraduate certificate.

Each module is assessed through a combination of coursework and examination. The timetables below are for guidance only and are subject to change.

Placements

Internships offer an exceptional opportunity to make you stand out in a competitive job market place. We have extensive experience in helping students to secure placement employment in the IT and video games industry.

Career Prospects

Graduates are equipped with advanced knowledge and skills in a range of topics in games technology in preparation for a career in computer games development.

Professional roles include:

- 3D Graphics Programmer
Specialist 3D graphics programmers often work on custom graphics engines that will be used across multiple games.

- Audio Programmer
Audio programmers specialise in the generation, mixing and playback audio content, often having to work at a low-level with the audio hardware.

- Physics Programmer
Physics programmers require a strong background in maths to write the software to simulate physical forces in real-time in a game.

- Artificial Intelligence Programmer
Game AI is a combination of 'real' AI as studied in universities and 'clever tricks' that make a game appear intelligent.

- Simulation and Game Engine Programmer
Specialist programmers in simulation must develop complex systems of interacting components.

- User Interface Programmer
User interface programmers must implement GUI systems and input control systems that are appropriate for a game world.

- Tools and Utility Programmer
An important specialisation for programmers is to develop the programs that can be used by artists and designers to generate game data.

- Scripting Languages Programmer
Some programmers specialise in developing scripting languages for use in game engines to support the scripting of game events.

- Networking Specialist
The need for networking and server programming specialists is growing as the popularity of online gaming increases.

- Porting Programmer
Programmers who specialise in porting games to new platforms require intimate knowledge of the target platform to get the most of it.

This course will enable you to...
After successful completion of the Computer Games Technology MSc course candidates may consider a PhD degree, towards an academic/ research career.

Visit the Computer Games Technology (MSc) page on the City, University of London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Caroline Aubry

Why did you choose to study at City University London?
I moved to London a while ago and decided to undertake a BA(Hons) in Games Design. At that time, I didn’t know I’d enjoy the programming aspect a lot more than the rest of the game development process. Upon graduating I chose to pursue a career as a game developer. Throughout my career, I realised that it would be beneficial and of a great support to hold an academic degree in programming. I wanted to satisfy my desire to learn from a more technical perspective, effectively providing me with the means to continue exploring the areas that interest me the most within the game industry.

For these reasons, I started looking into different Masters degrees around London where I could keep my commitments with my full-time employment at a game company. City University London is a well-known establishment, with a wide selection of degrees, a good location in the heart of the City and considerate timetables. I chose City mainly because I was impressed by the content of the Computer Game Technology Masters degree as well as the success of past students.

What do you enjoy most about your course?
I enjoy that the MSc Computer Games Technology course is both demanding and fulfilling. The dynamic nature of the lectures, with both theoretical and practical sessions being taught has helped my understanding of a wide range of topics that the game industry today requires. I find the timetable very considerable for part-time students, and lecturers are always responding to questions on and off campus. Additionally, there is a good dynamic within the student core, where everybody is happy to share their knowledge and help each other.

What has been the highlight of your course so far?
Interactions within the lectures have been a particular personal highlight. For example, in the Game Computer Graphics course, we were able to showcase our end of module coursework while students could vote for their favourites. As it is a game development course, I found it enjoyable to encounter gamification within the teaching environment.

What do you plan to do after you graduate?
I am currently contracted as a developer for a game company that I value, where I am able to learn new skills and improve upon my existing. I would love to continue working on quality games, with experienced people, where passion is key.

(Student Profile)

Orkun Bektas

Orkun Bektas is a developer at a world-leading computer games company.

He studied Computer Games Technology at City University London. Now he's one of the developers behind the most successful driving franchise in gaming history.

Orkun helped to produce the fifth version of the game for release on the Xbox and PlayStation platforms. It generated $800m of sales on its first day. In the UK, it was the fastest-selling game of all time.

On his decision to study at City:
"I decided to do a postgraduate qualification in Computer Games Technology because video games has been my passion and I wanted to pursue a career in the field. I thought getting an MSc degree from a highly regarded university such as City would teach me the skills required in the career path I wanted to take."

Orkun believes that his City degree has been "helpful for both getting the job and providing me with the skills to be an asset to the company."

On the highlights of the course:
"Some of my assignments were challenging and involved intense thinking and extensive designing. After I completed the course, Dr Chris Child and Dr Greg Slabaugh invited me to be part of Cancer Research UK's Gamejam. Trying to complete the production of a game in less than 72 hours with complete strangers taught me a lot and was one of the highlights of my time at City."

"I believe it has also helped me develop my skills as a programmer. The portfolio I created during the course has been especially helpful in taking my career further."


(Scholarship)

City University London, School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering Studentships - 6 Awards

The School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering at City University London is offering 6 full-time, three-year doctoral studentships, in the fields of Engineering and Computer Science, for 2016/17 entry. Applications are invited from exceptional UK, EU and international graduates wishing to pursue cutting-edge research in any of the School's key research areas.The School is investing in academic excellence following its success in the recent REF 2014 which highlighted the world class quality of its research.What is Offered
A doctoral studentship will provide:
- An annual bursary (£16,000 in 2015/16)
- A full tuition fee waiver for UK and EU students. Applications are welcome from overseas applicants but the applicant must make appropriate arrangements to cover the the difference between the overseas and UK tuition feeApplications are welcome from individuals wishing to pursue research in any of the areas listed below. You are encourged to discuss your application in advance with a potential supervisor in the School. Please follow the links to find out more:- Computer Science - Adaptive Computing Systems; Human‐Computer Interaction Design; Software Reliability; Machine Learning; Geographic Information Science.
- Civil Engineering - Civil Engineering; Civil Engineering Structures; Fluid-Structure Interaction.
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering - Biomedical Engineering; Systems and Control; Photonics and Instrumentation.
- Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering - Fluid Dynamics; Turbulence and Flow Control; Multi-Scale Flow Technologies; Fluid-Structure Interaction.Further Information:
Email: [email protected]
Visit: http://www.city.ac.uk/citygraduateschool

Value of Scholarship(s)

£16,000

Eligibility

- Applicants must hold at least a 2.1 honours degree or merit level Masters degree in a relevant subject (or international equivalent)
- Applicants whose first language is not English must have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS or a recognised equivalent
- Applicants must not be currently registered as a doctoral student at City University London or any other academic institution

Application Procedure

Applications must consist of:
- a research degree application form
- 3 page research proposal
- proof of academic qualifications
- proof of English language proficiency (if you do not speak English as your first language) and
- two confidential references (one of which must be an academic reference).

The above documents should be compiled into a single document and submitted to by the 26th May 2016.

Further Information

http://https://www.city.ac.uk/city-graduate-school/fees-and-funding/university-doctoral-studentships



Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold a lower second class honours degree, the equivalent from an international institution or an equivalent professional qualification. Prior degrees should be in a numerate subject with a substantial computing content. Previous academic and commercial experience is also considered.

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