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BSc (Hons) Games Programming

Put your creative and technical talents to work and be a game-changer in the industry.
Available at
London, Leamington Spa*, Liverpool, Glasgow
Fees
BSc (Hons) Games Programming
Domestic Fees
Select Campus
London

£9,000 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home fee students.

Glasgow

£7,500 per year

Partial funding is available for eligible home fee applicants who are resident in Scotland via the Students Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS)

Liverpool

£9,000 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home fee students.

Leamington Spa*

£9,000 per year

The annual tuition fee is fully funded via Student Finance England for eligible home fee students.

BSc (Hons) Games Programming
International Fees
Select Campus
London

EU students £9,000* per year (self-funded)

Non-EU students £13,000 per year (self-funded)

(*Student visa required)

Glasgow

EU students £7,500* per year (self-funded)

Non-EU students £11,500 per year (self-funded)

(*Student visa required)

Liverpool

EU students £9,000* per year (self-funded)

Non-EU students £13,000 per year (self-funded)

(*Student visa required)

Leamington Spa*

EU students £9,000* per year (self-funded)

Non-EU students £13,000 per year (self-funded)

(*Student visa required)

Duration(s)
2 years full-time
BSc (Hons) Games Programming
Course Durations
2 years full-time
Start Date(s)
September
BSc (Hons) Games Programming
Start Dates
London
  • September

Leamington Spa*
  • September

Liverpool
  • September

Glasgow
  • September

Entry Requirements
BSc (Hons) Games Programming
Domestic Entry Requirements
Domestic students must meet one of the following criteria:
Degree entry Offers will be made to applicants who are expected to meet, or exceed the entry requirements below, in addition to supplying a personal statement:
72 UCAS points
GCSE level A* - C in English AND Mathematics 9 - 4 (or equivalent). For students studying in Scotland this is equivalent to National 5, C grade
Personal statement
Non-standard entry routes SAE Institute will accept non-standard entry applications, which do not meet the 72 UCAS points or equivalent, and/or maths/English at level 2 or equivalent as required:
Portfolio of related work - This could include recordings, films, sketch books, a blog or any suitable medium that gives you the best opportunity to show us your creative potential.
Successful pass mark achieved via the SAE UK Maths test
Academic Essay
Further Domestic Entry Information
For more information, please look at our Domestic Entry page
Domestic Entry Requirements
BSc (Hons) Games Programming
International Entry Requirements
English language requirements Students whose first language is not English will need a qualification that demonstrates competence in English, equivalent to UK GCSE (Level 2) grade 4 (c) or above. Equivalent qualifications can be accepted, where these qualifications have been verified by ENIC and are adopted widely within the UK Higher Education sector, including:
IELTS (UKVI or Academic) (minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0)
www.ielts.org
Pearson Test of English (minimum 51 in all subscores)
www.pearsonpte.com
Cambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) (minimum grade C)
www.cambridgeenglish.org
Cambridge English: Level 1 Certificate in ESOL International (B2 First) – minimum grade C
TOEFL (IBT or IBT Home Edition online) 72 overall with the following component scores:
  • Listening – 17
  • Writing – 17
  • Speaking – 20
  • Reading – 18
www.ets.org/toefl
LanguageCert ESOL examinations:
  • International ESOL C1 Expert – pass in all four components
  • International ESOL SELT B2 (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking) – minimum 33 in all components
  • ESOL Integrated Skills in English II – pass in all components
www.languagecert.org
• IELTS Indicator* (online) – minimum 5.5 in all components and an overall score of 6.0
*Accepted on exceptional basis for the applicants whose local test centres are affected by closures due to Covid-19
IELTS
Further International Entry Information
For more information, please look at our International Entry page
International Entry Requirements

*Under Validation


YOUR CAREER IN GAMES BEGINS NOW

Develop advanced skills in industry-standard software packages Unreal Engine 4, Unity3D, Autodesk 3D Studio Max and Maya
Practical, immersive training Practical skills are vital. Our learning approach is a blend of vocational and academic from day one.
Cross discipline collaboration Work across film, audio, and animation projects at SAE.
Expand your career Graduate with a portfolio, work experience, employability and entrepreneurial skills and a network of fellow creatives.

Games Development Skills

Gameplay programming Game engine programming Game design C++ and C# programming language Tools development

Course Structure

BSc (Hons) Games Programming is broken up into three distinct stages, each designed to develop different skills.
Trimester 1
You will begin your learning journey by developing fundamental knowledge and skills in Game Programming and Game Development that will provide the foundations for future modules.
The first module provides fundamental knowledge and skills and you will be introduced to object-oriented programming (OOP) and common algorithms used for games, while practising practical applications. Core mathematics and other programming fundamentals are also explored, such as logic operations, algorithms, and basic vector mathematics.

Topics include:

  • Programming Basics
  • Structured Programming
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Introduction to Algorithms
  • Boolean Algebra, Numeral Systems
  • Vector Arithmetic
  • Version Control
This module complements the Programming Basics by giving you an overview of the concepts and practice of games design. You will research elements of game design and learn to create your own game designs; learn about game mechanics and game mechanisms; and explore the functionality and operation of game engines.
The implementation and tweaking of game mechanics and mechanisms in common game engines are applied to a game project.

Topics include:

  • Game Design Fundamentals

  • Game Engine Basics

  • Game Mechanics

  • Game Mechanisms

Trimester 2
The second teaching period explores structured game development and game dynamics as you are introduced to artificial intelligence algorithms that enrich the game world, and develop robust programming techniques.
In ‘Structured Game Development’ you will further develop your technical programming skills, learning to distinguish and implement different software architectures. You will learn about code optimisation and implement it to develop your own game projects. Copyright and intellectual property in the creative industries will also be discussed.

Topics include:

  • Design Patterns
  • Data Structures
  • Software-Architecture (Entity Component System)
  • Copyright Basics
  • Game Production Basics
  • Optimisation (Profiling)
Game Dynamics introduces you to the concepts of procedural content development and artificial intelligence (AI). With a basis in statistics and heuristics, you will learn to develop generative and procedural content for a game world, and to develop basic AI systems and implement them through non-playable characters (NPCs) within a game project. You will also develop your academic writing skills.

Topics include:

  • Statistics
  • Heuristics
  • AI Basics, e.g.
    • Pathfinding
    • Behaviour Trees
    • Finite State Machines
    • Needs Based
  • Composition Algorithms, e.g.
    • Maze
    • Dungeon
    • Landscape
Trimester 3
Trimester 3 introduces you to a professional working environment where you will undertake a number of prescribed project briefs using a project based ‘creative studio’ approach.
Game programmers, in collaboration with game designers, are critical to meeting the technical needs of the game project. In this studio module, you will learn how to design a level and then develop all the necessary systems and tools for a functional immersive dynamic world such as shaders and special effects, level lighting, tools extending the current functionality of a game engine, and producing dynamic content through the use of advanced procedural content algorithms.

Topics you may draw upon in Creative Studio 1 include:

  • Level Design
  • Computer Graphics
  • Shader Programming
  • Lighting
  • Animation Programming (IK, FK)
  • PCG Advanced (L System, Generative Algorithms) Tools Development
  • Persistent Data
Trimester 4
In this trimester, you will develop an understanding of professional workflows for environment creation and real-time games programming.
Creative studio 2 introduces network fundamentals and examines operations for multiplayer games. You will be introduced to the mobile development process while optimising and improving the performance of the project.

A key aim of the module is to identify a target market and develop a product that can be distributed to a paying audience. Collaboration opportunities may also exist with students from other programmes, including Game Art & Animation.

Topics you may draw upon in Creative Studio 2 include:

  • Network Programming
  • Server-Client Communication
  • Lag Compensation
  • Back-End Development
  • Mobile Development
  • Performance Optimizations
  • Multithreading
  • Performance Analysis
  • Business Planning
  • Marketing
Trimester 5
The aim of these modules is to enable students to identify their area of professional interest and develop a deep and sound knowledge in this field.
Research is key to the successful outcome of any creative project, and as part of creative studio 3 you’ll learn qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their application for both artistic and scientific research. You’ll advance your knowledge, planning and implementation of research-based inquiry to address specific questions, while deepening your understanding of the creative media industries and your potential role as a creative media practitioner. The culmination of Creative Studio 3 will be your major project proposal.

Topics you may draw upon in Creative Studio 3 include:

  • Machine Learning
  • AI Advanced (GOAP, Utility AI)
  • ECS
  • Compute Shaders
  • VR/AR Development
  • Physics
  • Research Methodologies and their Application in the Creative Media Industries
  • Scientific Research and Practice
  • Contemporary Issues Surrounding Research
  • Developing a Research Question / Hypothesis
  • Gathering, Analysis, Interpretation and Presentation of Data
  • Literature Review and Critical Analysis of Existing Research
  • Research Ethics
Trimester 6
This final module enables students pursuing the Games Programming award to demonstrate their skills in a large scale, advanced level project.
During your final trimester you will work to the completion of your final Major Project, which will have been designed, scoped and approved through the preceding term. This project gives you the opportunity to focus and advance your knowledge and skills in your chosen specialism within your field, and serves as the culmination of your learning journey with SAE. Previously, students have used their Major Project as a springboard into industry, creating award winning projects, establishing their own businesses or making connections with industry professionals that have led to employment.
UCAS Course Codes
BA (Hons) Games Programming G620
University of Hertfordshire
Level 6 This program was developed and is delivered and assessed by SAE Institute, awarded by and quality assured by University of Hertfordshire.

Career Outcomes

What jobs will this course lead to?

  • Game Designer
  • Game Economy Designer
  • Level Designer
  • Simulation Specialists
  • Analysts
  • Community Managers
  • Systems Designer
  • User Experience Designer
  • Graphics Programmer
  • Games Writer

Student Spotlight

HENRY TRIBBLE
GAMES PROGRAMMING STUDENT'S DEVELOPER INTERNSHIP AND ASSASSIN GAME
Read more
KAMIL KUZMA
GAMES PROGRAMMING STUDENT ON USING AI TO MAKE GAMES
Read more

Course FAQs

We will use a wide range of tools and software including Unity Engine (2D and 3D), Direct X / Open GL, Blender, C# programming language, Photoshop, Illustrator and Visual Studio.

Yes, you will learn how to design and develop Multiplayer Games using network programming, client-server communication and file I/O.

Yes, we are excited to teach our students the latest technologies such as AI to create an effective immersive experience for the player.

View all FAQs

YOUR DREAM CAREER BEGINS NOW

With our industry connections, specialised teachers and personalised education in world-class facilities, you can unleash your creative future with confidence.
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