Computer Game Applications Development
BSc (Hons)

Study our world-leading Computer Game Applications Development degree and learn how to create games and script game mechanics.

Course detail

Start Date



4 years (full-time) or 3 years (accelerated)

Degree Classification

BSc (Hons)



Why Study Abertay's BSc (Hons) in Computer Game Applications Development?

Create games and interactive experiences or script game mechanics and programming tools by choosing a world-leading degree that arms you with the skills you need for a fast-paced and exciting career in the multi-billion pound computer games industry.

Widely recognised as the place to gain a games qualification, this degree will develop your skills in games programming, artificial intelligence for games, network programming, and interface design, making sure you’re adept in the use of industry standard game engines and technologies.

The programme boasts the best teaching in the area (a blend of industry and academic experience) and is designed to evolve as the games industry changes and technology advances. This ensures you’re well equipped for employment within the creative industries sector.

You’ll graduate with the confidence and skills required to work in one of the most demanding industries in the world, giving you a distinct advantage over other computing graduates intending to pursue a career in the games industry.

Throughout the programme, you’ll be given the opportunity to work closely with local and global games industries, as well as collaborating with other games related courses, including art, media and audio.

Your Journey Starts Here

Computer programmers are the backbone of the games industry. This programme will develop the skills you require to become a highly sought-after games programmer in an exciting and burgeoning sector. 


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Entry Requirements

Please note: All applicants must have a pass in Maths - National 5 grade B or GCSE grade B/3 or equivalent. National 5 Lifeskill Maths not accepted in lieu of Maths.

Please visit our Entry from College pages for suitable College courses.

Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Higher AABB
A-Level BBC
Irish Highers H2H2H3H3
International Baccalaureate 30 Points
BTEC Extended Diploma DDM Creative Media Production, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Engineering, IT, Art & Design
SWAP Access AAB Access to Physical Sciences, Access to Engineering
Qualification Type Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
Advanced Higher AAB Maths and Computing
A-Level AAB Maths and Computing
BTec Extended Diploma D*D*D* Creative Media Production (Games Development) and AS Levels in Maths at B
HNC - Our Entry from College pages list approved HNC courses
Qualification Grade Requirements Essential Subjects
HND - Our Entry from College pages list approved HND courses

Not sure if you're eligible for entry?

If you have the potential and motivation to study at university, regardless of your background or personal circumstances, we welcome your application.

We understand some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university, which is why is why we consider the background in which your academic grades have been achieved when making an offer.

If you expect to receive passes in three Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have either ...

  • been in care
  • participated in a targeted aspiration-raising programme such as LIFT OFF, LEAPS, FOCUS West, or Aspire North
  • no family background of going to university
  • attended a school or lived in an area where not many people go to university

... we encourage you to submit an application.

Information for International Applicants

Please provide certified proof of your English language level. Our accredited International English Foundation Course can help. To further enhance your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your potential.

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English Language Requirements

Explore English language requirements for entry to Abertay University.

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English Language Courses

Discover the range of English language courses on offer at Abertay University.

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Visa Information

Learn more about visa requirements for studying at Abertay University.

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About Your Modules

The module information shown here describes the modules our students are taking this year. The modules do change over time to keep our programmes up-to-date and relevant. This means the exact modules you take could be different. If you receive an offer to study with us, you will receive a Programme Information document that sets out exactly which modules you can expect to take as part of your Abertay University degree programme.

Please note: As well as Key Modules outlined below, you may also be required to choose Elective Modules. 

Key Modules (2017/18)

Computer Hardware Architecture and Operating Systems (CMP101)

An introduction to the core ideas of computer architecture for students studying the subject of computing, building a mental model of the functioning of a typical computer system that can be used to reason about system (hardware/software) behaviour.

Programming with C++ (CMP104)

An understanding of software development through learning to design and implement applications in C++. This module covers the fundamentals of classes and objects, including key features such as class descriptions, constructors, methods and field, together with method implementation through assignment, selection and iterative control structures.

Mathematics for Application Development 1 (MAT102)

Provides students with the elementary algebraic and geometric skills to enhance their understanding of concepts used in computer graphics programming. Module content includes: transportation of formulae; coordinate geometry; vectors; matrix transformations; kinematics.

Software Design (CMP102)

This module complements the programming modules that students take at Level 7 by introducing, in a practical rather than theoretical way, some of the fundamental ideas of software engineering, enabling students to develop and communicate designs for small and large scale software systems.

Programming For Games (CMP502)

An introduction to the techniques for developing games and real-time graphics applications with a modern API so you can design, develop and critically evaluate games and 3D graphics applications. Module content includes: graphics application development; graphics concepts; buffers; lighting and shading methods; texturing techniques; render to texture; tesselator and geometry shader.

Data Structures and Algorithms 1 (CMP201)

An introduction to the standard data structures and algorithms that form the core of algorithmic thought in computer science that familiarises students with the idea of reasoning about the behaviour and performance of a computer programme.

Mathematics for Application Development 2 (MAT202)

Provides students with the necessary mathematical tools for programming 3-D object characterisations in computer graphics. Module content includes: viewing transformations; lines and planes; matrix transformations; projection matrices; ray tracing; Newtonian concepts; center of gravity.

Graphics Programming (CMP203)

An introduction to the principles of 3D graphics programming, as part of which students develop real-time 3D graphics applications. Module content includes: the graphics pipeline; graphical primitives; coordinate systems; geometry ordering; lighting; applying 2D image data to 3D objects; model processing; data storage.

Data Structures and Algorithms 2 (CMP202)

An introduction to some of the practical performance concerns in the selection and implementation of algorithms, using a range of case studies drawn from typical real-world applications.

Game Programming and System Architectures (CMP208)

Enables students to integrate various components (3D graphics, physics, audio) and to develop a 3D game application that makes effective use of modern computer/console systems. Module content includes: games hardware - introduction to consoles; user interfaces; audio engines; physics engines; character animation; putting it all together; cross referencing memory and CPU architecture.

Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping (DES301)

Students work together as individual subject specialists on an interactive media project as part of a multi-disciplinary team. Students will communicate with clients and relevant stakeholders, take part in pitching concepts and deliver presentations, contribute to the iterative design and development of the concept, research and test technical pipelines and create project documentation and planning materials.

Graphics Programming with Shaders (CMP301)

A critical understanding of the computer graphics programmable pipeline and various graphics techniques. Students develop and evaluate techniques to manipulate 3D graphics in real time. Module content includes: graphics programming; the creation and use of shaders within the context of the programmable pipeline; development of applications and shaders with topics such as lighting, vertex manipulation, post processing and tessellation.

Network Systems for Game Development (CMP303)

A critical understanding of the principles of computer networks as they are applied to the development of various types of networked computer games. Students will develop and evaluate the techniques used to implement networked computer games with a particular emphasis on real-time fast action games.

Professional Project: Development and Delivery (DES302)

Working within a multidisciplinary team, students will develop an interactive media prototype based on the planning and initial prototyping of concepts conducted within the module DES301 Professional Project: Planning and Prototyping. The emphasis is on the development and delivery of a final digital prototype in response to an initial creative brief, taking into account both stakeholder and user feedback.

Artificial Intelligence (CMP304)

An introduction to some of the many Artificial Intelligence techniques which are currently, or could in the near future, be used to enhance the development of intelligent systems applied to various application domains. Module content includes: 'traditional' AI; academic AI techniques; applications of AI; machine learning; mining; analysis of emergence of intelligent agents on the internet.

Gameplay Mechanics Development (CMP302)

A critical understanding of the principles of formalising, implementing, testing and iterating on functional games mechanics applied in the context of a game engine. Provides students with the ability to move from a designed mechanic to creating a finalised implementation. Also covers creating statistics from mechanics and play to aid in the iterative design and balance process.

Honours Project Scoping and Proposal (CMP401)

Students are provided with the opportunity to propose and plan a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of their programme to develop and exercise research skills and to encourage self-managed learning, planning and professional competence.

Applied Game Technologies (CMP404)

This module enables students to examine the use of existing technologies currently used in computer games development and seek out opportunities for innovation within this field. Module contents include: human computer interface; visualisation; platform; innovation.

Honours Project Execution (CMP402)

Students are provided with the opportunity to undertake the practical and development work for a major, in-depth individual project in an aspect of their programme. During term 1 proof of concept development will be undertaken to support the specification of a well-researched project proposal document. During term 2 the main development work for the project will be undertaken and completed.

Honours Project Dissertation (2) (CMP403)

Students are provided with the opportunity to present a major, in-depth individual project in the form of a dissertation in an aspect of their programme. The dissertation involves presenting the work in a structured and coherent manner which allows for critical and insightful review and evaluation.

Tools Programming (CMP405)

Provides a critical understanding of the principles, practices and techniques in tool development. Students will develop and evaluate software tools with particular emphasis on tools addressing the needs of the game industry.

How the Course Works


Learning and Assessment 

A mixed assessment strategy is used on the programme. Most modules are assessed through coursework, which may include project work and student-led presentations. Some modules use a mixture of coursework and formal examination.

You’ll spend around 12-15 hours per week in lectures, tutorials and laboratories. Lectures are used to present key concepts, theories and techniques. Tutorials and laboratory-based activities increase your understanding of the subject and allow you to develop your competence and confidence in technological and theoretical work.

Throughout your degree, you’ll be required to actively participate in group work, discussions, seminars, and private study.

The course also allows for customisation, which lets you develop a specialisation, such as artificial intelligence, while building a broad foundation in game applications development.

For more information on the course content, please download the Programme Information - BSc (Honours) in Computer Game Applications Development.


Playstation First Accreditation

Creative SKILLset Accreditation

Accelerated Degree

If you’re keen to undertake the accelerated degree, you’ll complete the first two years of the degree programme alongside those students following the non-accelerated route.

Acceleration starts in May at the end of second year. The table below illustrates the difference between the two routes.

Academic Year Term Accelerated Route Non-Accelerated Route
Year 1 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 1 Term 1
Year 1 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 2 Term 2
Year 1 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -
Year 2 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 3 Term 3
Year 2 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 4 Term 4
Year 2 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 5 -
Year 3 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 6 Term 5
Year 3 Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 7 Term 6
Year 3 Term 3 (May-Aug) Term 8 (Honours degree completed) -
Year 4 Term 1 (Sept-Dec) - Term 7
Year 4 Term 2 (Jan-May) - Term 8 (Honours degree completed)
Year 4 Term 3 (May-Aug) - -

Dare Academy

Every year, we run the prestigious Dare Academy project, where teams of students are given a unique month-long summer hot-housing experience with games industry mentors to build and polish an industry-standard game.

We then showcase the games at EGX, the UK's biggest games event, and the top three teams are flown out to visit international games partners and to be profiled.

This is a unique offer for Abertay games students and it ensures you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re applying from overseas or from outside Scotland, we have scholarships available to make your studies more affordable.

Find Out More

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We're the number one university throughout Europe for computer games


We launched the world's first computer games degree over 20 years ago


Industry accreditation from Creative Skillset - the quality mark for excellence

Programme Fees for 2019

Scottish & EU students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

English, Welsh & Northern Irish Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 

International Students


Fees shown are payable annually and may be subject to increase each year.

Please see our Undergraduate Fees and Funding page for further details. 


Rest of UK Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

International Abertay Scholarship - £2,300 per year for four years

This scholarship is intended to support students from international countries (outside of the EU) to study at Abertay. Scholarship is paid directly into your bank account in two instalments each year to support you with living and travel costs. No application necessary.

In addition, we offer a range of corporate/philanthropic scholarships shown below, which are available to all students to support your studies with us. 

The Lothian Family

A £5,000 award for undergraduate students with financial or social difficulties which may prevent them from studying at Abertay.

The Robert Reid Bursary

Two £500 awards for students who have overcome challenges to attend university.

Ninja Kiwi

The Ninja Kiwi Scholarship is a one-year scholarship of £1,500 and is open to students who are entering Year 4 of Games courses.


As the computer games industry continues to grow, so too does the demand for first-rate game programmers and computer programmers with knowledge of developing applications using middleware such as game engines.

Upon graduation, you’ll possess a games-orientated programming degree, which is directly relevant to the needs of industry. The programme was created in response to industry requirements and is Skillset and PlayStation first accredited.


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Choose Your Path

We work with leading game developers such as Electronic Arts, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, 4J Studios, and Denki, making graduates from the degree highly employable within these industries.

Graduates have found employment as games programmers in a wide variety of different areas, such as creating console games for …

  • Sony PlayStation®
  • Nintendo
  • Microsoft

… as well as programming the latest mobile devices.

While pursuing their studies, some students have even created their own startup companies.


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Industry Links

Abertay has strong links with a wide range of companies including Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, FuturLab and Tag Games.

Industry engagement is an essential part of the degree. You’ll hear from industry speakers and receive mentorship from industry professionals as part of your group project work – this is as close as it gets to working for a games company. 

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Meet Steven Taarland

Meet Steven Taarland, a Computer Game Applications Development graduate from Abertay, who has gone on to work as a Junior Programmer at Tag Games. 

Find out mpre

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Abertay Games Showcase

Check out a selection of exciting and fascinating games created by students on our world-leading games courses ...

Be Inspired

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Unistats collates comparable information in areas students have identified as important in making decisions about what and where to study. The core information it contains is called the Unistats dataset (formerly the Key Information Set (KIS)).

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A games company made up entirely of Abertay graduates

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