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Computer Game Applications Development

Computer programmes are the backbone of the games industry. Whether it's creating games and interactive experiences, scripting game mechanics or programming tools, you can be confident you will graduate with an excellent grounding in the computer games industry and beyond.

Next Start Date: September

Degree type: BSc (Hons)

UCAS Code: G450 BSc/CGAD

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


Why choose this course?  

  • This world-leading course will develop your skills in game programming, artificial intelligence for games, network programming, and interface design. 
  • Students will become adept in the use of industry standard game engines and technologies. 
  • The course allows for customization, letting students develop a specialisation, such as artificial intelligence, while building a broad foundation in game application development. 
  • Students graduate with the confidence and skills required to work in one of the most demanding industries in the world, and give them a distinct advantage over other computing graduates intending to pursue a career in the games industry.
  • There are open plan areas available to facilitate team work and encourage students from all game development disciplines to engage and collaborate with one another. 
  • The course is kept up-to-date as the games industry changes and technology advances, ensuring our graduates are well equipped for employment within the creative industries sector.

This course provides its graduates with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to create computer games and interactive experiences, using contemporary game engines, scripting languages, and programming tools. The course provides an excellent grounding in computer programming, required by the computer games industry and beyond, offering graduates a qualification suitable for employment in the multi-billion pound, global computer game industry.  It also prepares students to work in the fields of mobile and online application development.

Throughout the course, students will have the opportunity to work closely with local and global games industries, as well as working closely with other games related courses, including art, media and audio.

As part of the course, students will use the latest games technology as part of their studies. Abertay University is home to the largest laboratory of Sony PlayStation® consoles in Europe, with 30 PlayStation® Vita development kits permanently installed alongside PlayStation®3 and PlayStation®4 development kits.


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What you study

What you study 

During Year 1, students are introduced to the fundamentals of computer game programming, media, and architecture, and the mathematics appropriate for game application development. Throughout the year, students learn the practices and attitudes for academic success.

Year 2 focuses on the specific technical skills necessary for game development.

In Year 3, students participate in a professional project with students from other courses in the school. You will have the opportunity to work in a multi-disciplinary game development team in response to an external client brief. Students have previously worked with Sony, The Chinese Room, Futurlab, Team 17, Microsoft, Outplay, Disney, and many more.

Year 4 (Honours) gives you the opportunity to undertake a significant and sustained individual development project.

Throughout the course you will be exposed to topics such as Graphics programming, AI, mobile development, maths, console game development, networking, game engines, C++ and other appropriate programming languages. 

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

How you learn and are assessed 

You will 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.

During the course, you will be required to actively participate in group work, discussions, seminars, and private study.

Examination techniques

There is a mixed assessment strategy used on the course.  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. 

Entry routes

Minimum Entrance Requirements

Higher AABB; A Level BBC; Irish Highers H2H2H3H3; BTEC Extended Diploma DDM; International Baccalaureate 30 Points
Essential subjects: Mathematics at National 5 C or GCSE C/4
SWAP - our Coming from College pages list approved SWAP courses 

Advanced Higher: AAB (to include Maths and Computing)
A Level: AAB (to include Maths and Computing)
BTEC Extended Diploma: D*D*D* Creative Media Production (Games Development) and AS Levels in Maths at B
HNC - our Coming from College pages list approved HNC courses

Not sure if you are 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 know that some people have faced extra challenges before applying to university and that 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 3 Scottish Highers (grades A-C) and have:

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

We encourage you to submit an application.

International Applicants
You must provide certified proof of your English language level (minimum requirements are listed here).  Our British Council accredited International English Foundation Course can help you reach that level or, if you would like further develop your academic English, Intensive English for Academic Purposes can help you achieve your full potential.

EU applicants:  Entry requirements can be found on our Europe pages.  Overseas (non-EU) applicants:  We're currently developing your country pages, so please email us details of your entry requirements.

Alternative Entrance Requirements
Please email us if you have other qualifications/experience not listed here.

Fees and scholarships

Fee Category Tuition Fees
Scholarships & Bursaries
Scottish and other EU students

Current fees

Other forms of support
English, Welsh and Northern Irish

Current fees

Bursaries & Scholarships
Overseas (non EU) students

Current fees

Overseas Scholarships

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

Accelerated Degree

Students who wish to undertake the accelerated degree will 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   Non-accelerated Route  Accelerated Route
 Year 1  Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 1  Term 1
   Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 2  Term 2
   Term 3 (May-Aug)     
 Year 2  Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 3  Term 3
   Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 4  Term 4
   Term 3 (May-Aug)      Term 5
 Year 3  Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 5  Term 6
   Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 6  Term 7
   Term 3 (May-Aug)     Term 8
 (Honours degree completed)
 Year 4  Term 1 (Sept-Dec) Term 7  
   Term 2 (Jan-May) Term 8
(Honours degree completed) 
   Term 3 (May-Aug)    

Further info

Career prospects

As the computer games and associated industries mature, the roles of a developer is becoming well-defined. There is a worldwide demand for game programmers and a requirement for first-rate computer programmers with knowledge of developing applications using middleware such as game engines. On graduating, you will possess a games-orientated programming degree which is directly relevant to the needs of industry. The course was created in response to industry requirements and is Skillset accredited. The University works closely with leading game developers such as Electronic Arts, Sony Computers Entertainment Europe, Codemasters and Denki, making graduates from the course 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, and Microsoft, to programming the latest mobile devices. While pursuing their studies, some students have created their own start-up companies.

Industry links

Abertay University 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 course.  Students will hear from industry speakers and receive mentorship from industry professionals as part of their group project wok. 

Want to know more?
Student Recruitment Office
T:  +44 (0) 1382 308080
F:  +44 (0) 1382 308081


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