Computer Games Development

2017 entry

MComp (Hons) Computer Games Development

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £12,660 per annum
Full-time industrial placement year fee: £1007 per annum*

*Subject to yearly increases

Course type

MComp (Hons)

UCAS info

UCAS code: C468

Institute code: L51

Study mode

Four years full time or five years with one year spent on industrial placement

 This course is available in Clearing 2017

Call our hotline on 0808 5 564 565 to ask about vacancies on courses starting in September.

Minimum UCAS points required: 96

About your course

Completing the MComp (Hons) Computer Games Development at Liverpool John Moores University will enable you to graduate with a Masters-level qualification. Plus you will have advanced level skills and experience that will boost your career prospects in the challenging and exciting computer games industry.

  • Dedicated Gaming lab with VR-Ready Workstations, PlayStation Development Kit, Xbox Development Kit , VR (Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Playstation VR, Gear VR) Development Kit, Microsoft HoloLens, and Motion Capture System

  • Incorporating industry standard curriculum - PlayStation First and Unreal Academic Partner into teaching

  • Academic society (LJMU IGDA Academic Chapter) and annual student events such as LJMU Game Showcase and LJMU Game Jam.

  • Opportunity to undertake a year's paid industrial placement thanks to our links with over 450 local, national and international organisations, including SCEE, Lucid Games, Atomicom, Damibu, Setgo Games, Fish in a Bottle, TribePlay in China

  • Regular visits by game industry professionals who offer career and technical advice

  • Exciting career opportunities with games development companies like Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Rockstar North, Electronic Arts, Jagex, Lucid Games, TT-Games, TT-Fusion, PlayDemand, V-Time and more

Our dedicated Games Technology Lab is equipped with Development Kits for major console and handheld systems along with Sony PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles and PlayStation Vita.

LJMU game course definitely opened the door of game industry for me. Since graduated, I have worked on a few AAA titles in industry respected game studios. Now I run my own game studio to make next-gen PlayStation and VR game. For me, this course has helped me realised my dream.

Frank Li, graduate now working at Surgical Scalpel Studio as Founder/ Chief Technology Officer

Work-related learning

Translating your academic studies into essential professional experience

The Department of Computer Science has strong links with many local, national and international games development companies including SCEE, Atomicom, Lucid Games, Damibu, Setgo Games, Eutechnyx, and Jagex to name but a few.

We work closely with these companies to ensure that the course material is up-to-date, and our graduates are able to meet the demands expected by the industry.

Our strong links also mean that you will have plenty of options when you come to choose your third year work placement. We have placed students in game development companies locally, nationally and internationally, including Chengdu in China.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will work with you on setting targets for yourself as part of your personal development plan, and provide one-to-one support on course-related or other matters.

If you decide to undertake a year’s work placement, this support will continue as a supervisor will stay in close contact and visit you at your workplace.

Course details

Computer games development is a very technically demanding process. The games industry sits at the pinnacle of cutting edge software engineering and the highly dynamic digital creative industries.

Computer games development is a very technically demanding process. The games industry sits at the pinnacle of cutting edge software engineering and the highly dynamic digital creative industries.

As part of this degree, you will study a range of state-of-the-art topics relevant to the games industry, including:

  • C/C++ computer programming languages
  • Applied mathematics for game physics and computer graphics
  • Shader-based 3D graphics programming using industry standard APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) such as OpenGL and DirectX
  • Multi-platform (PC and consoles) gameplay programming, including techniques such as game content pipelining, multi-threading, artificial intelligence, memory management and optimisation
  • Game design, level design, game production and digital game content production.
  • Research and development of innovative and state-of-the-art game development technologies
  • Computer graphics
  • Mathematical abilities
  • Computer programming
  • Console and PC hardware architecture

Facilities

During your studies, you will have direct access to experts in the field as well as state-of-the-art facilities. Our dedicated Games Technology Lab is equipped with Development Kits for major console and handheld systems along with Sony PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles as well as PlayStation Vita.All are supported by industry standard software plus excellent technical support. This means you will get plenty of hands-on experience and the best chance to build up a portfolio of your work to show to prospective employers.
In addition, you will have access to around 300 high-specification PCs in the Department of Computer Science's other computing laboratories.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 4

  • Computer Programming
  • Computer Systems
  • Game Design
  • Applied Mathematics for Computer Graphics
  • Web Development
  • Professional Development
  • Data Modelling

Level 5

  • Data Structures and Algorithms
  • Computer Graphics Programming
  • Game Asset Creation
  • Software Engineering
  • Game Physics and AI Techniques for Games
  • Research Skills
  • Professional Issues

Sandwich degree:

  • Year-long work placement

Level 6
  • Game Engine
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Rendering Techniques
  • Level Design and Production
  • Plus a large individual project

Level 7

  • Research Methods
  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Techniques for Games
  • Application of games for non-entertainment domain
  • Console Game Programming
  • Plus a masters' level project

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course.

Programme specification document (PDF)

Teaching and learning

Excellent facilities and learning resources

You will begin the course with a 5-day induction and then spend between 15 to18 hours per week in the classroom. Independent study is a fundamental element of the course and accounts for about 70% or 35 hours of your weekly study time.

Teaching is mostly delivered via lectures with more informal computer lab sessions and small-group tutorials to reinforce ideas discussed in the class and to give you a chance to develop ideas with staff and other students.

In addition to formal lectures and workshop sessions, there are also regular seminars delivered by external speakers and visiting lecturers.

Your lecturers

Expert tuition and support

The course is delivered by an experienced team of staff, including a Professor in Computer Entertainment, who has experience working in the computer entertainment industry for over 20 years and a former game developer at Codemasters.

Academic staff in the Department of Computer Science actively participate in research to further the development of state-of-the-art computing technologies. They publish their work regularly in books, journals and international conferences.

Research within the Department is recognised internationally in the area of Networked Systems and Security, Computer Entertainment and Neural Networks.

The Department attracts additional funding from the UK and European Union research councils and public and private sector bodies, such as the BBC.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams, a personal independent project and a Masters level final year dissertation.

This is an extensive piece of research work in an applications domain relevant to your academic or professional interests. It is intended to provide you with an opportunity to undertake a major investigation and produce a major dissertation on the outcome of the work.

Assessment of the project will be based on this dissertation and presentations of the work.

The work carried out during the project is expected to have a strong research component and will, in many cases, be appropriate in forming the basis of further academic research, such as a PhD programme.

Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via our virtual learning environment, face-to-face or as written comments.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding available from LJMU as well as government grants and loans and targeted support for students with children/dependants or disabilities.

Different funding arrangements will apply if you are from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or other countries in the EU. If you normally live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you will still be eligible for loans for tuition fees as well as grants and/or bursaries plus loans for living costs. It's just that the amounts available may be different to those stated here as these apply to applicants who live in England.

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, and if successful you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course worth between £1,000 and £10,000. This money does not need to be repaid and it's up to you to decide what you want to spend it on.

LJMU bursary

LJMU bursaries are means-tested, which means your household income must be below a certain level in order for you to qualify for this funding.

The money you receive does not have to be repaid and is intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student. You will receive a bursary for each year of your course providing you still meet the eligibility criteria.

Tuition fees

In line with most universities, LJMU charges an annual tuition fee of £9,250 for most of our degrees.

If you opt to complete a foundation year as part of your degree, your first year tuition fee will be £7,700.

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront when you enrol.

Instead you can take out a tuition fee loan, which doesn't have to be repaid until after you leave LJMU and start earning over the threshold. Currently the threshold is £21,000 for students resident in England.

As long as you have not been to University before and meet the residency rules both full and part-time students are eligible to apply for tuition fee loans.

For more information on tuition fee loans, go to: www.gov.uk/student-finance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at LJMU. Our programmes have no hidden costs and your tuition fee covers all expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • Safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • Uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placement students (if applicable)
  • UK field trips
  • Educational visits
  • Student exchanges
  • Criminal Records Bureau checks
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership
  • Governing body awards

Living costs

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible students can also choose to take out a maintenance loan for each year of your course to help you meet the costs of being a student.

The money will have to be paid back but only after you leave LJMU and starting earning over the income threshold, currently £21,000 for those resident in England.

Part-time students are not eligible to take out these loans.

For more information on student loans, go to:www.gov.uk/student-finance

Image of lab

Paying back your student loans

Any loans you take out while studying will be added together into one loan account. This means that when you start paying back your student loans, you will only make one affordable monthly payment. This monthly repayment will be the same regardless of how many loans you have taken out. That’s because your repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you borrowed from the Student Loans Company.

The current threshold for students normally resident in England is £21,000. Once your income goes over this threshold your employer will start taking repayments from your salary just like tax and national insurance. If your income falls below £21,000 your repayments will stop.

Career prospects

There are many career openings for Computer Games Development graduates in:

  • games development
  • software engineering
  • multimedia authoring
  • interactive media/TV development

In addition, this course will prepare you for a graduate jobs in the wider general computing sectors, such as a computer programmer, software engineer and research and development roles.

Thanks to LJMU's industry-recognised teaching and research excellence in this area, our students are highly sought after by employers both in the UK and overseas and many secure employment before they graduate.

The transferable skills developed on this course are also highly valued in many other fields of employment, including teaching.

New for 2017 – CareerSmart programme

All students in their first year of study will have an opportunity to engage with the CareerSmart programme as an integral part of a core module of study. Once you have completed this, a wide range of other career-related provision and services will be available to support your development throughout your studies.

The new CareerSmart e-learning tool will introduce you to the steps involved in making informed choices about your career. It will enable you to consider your strengths and development areas, your career motivators, the options available to you and the necessary steps to take to achieve your career goals.

International Scholarships

Studying at LJMU offers international students excellent value for money and the opportunity to secure an internationally-respected qualification plus outstanding career prospects.

Each year, LJMU offers a range of prestigious international scholarships. Further details of the scholarships offered to applicants wishing to study at the University from September 2017 onwards will be available on this page in the coming months.

For the most up-to-date information about studying at Liverpool John Moores University, and the International Scholarship programme, please visit the International pages.

International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes

LJMU offers international students the option of completing International Foundation Year and International Year One programmes at the University’s International Study Centre. These courses are managed and taught by Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international  students. For more details on the International Study Centre, go to www.ljmuisc.com/

English language qualifications

All international applicants must have an internationally recognised English language qualification, such as IELTS (International English Language Testing Service). Your English language qualification must have been certified within the last two years for verification purposes. LJMU will accept other UKVI-recognised English language tests providing you attain the appropriate level.

This table summarises the minimum scores required by LJMU.

Please note: your specific course requirements may differ.

For course-specific English Language requirements, click the Entry Requirements tab above.

To find out what qualifications are applicable in your country please visit the international pages.

Type of Programme IELTS Pearson
International Foundation Programme 4.5 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
Undergraduate degrees 6.0 50-57 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)
MPharm 7.0 Not accepted

English language support to improve IELTS

If your English language level does not meet the required entry requirements for your course you may still be offered a place on the condition that you successfully complete an English for Undergraduate Study course at LJMU’s International Study Centre.

Please contact the International Study Centre and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers (www.ljmuisc.com/) or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fees

International students are liable to pay a minimum of 50% of their tuition fees when they complete their enrolment at the University. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of your enrolment date.

Living Costs

When you apply for your visa or entry clearance, you will need to provide evidence of having enough money to support yourself for the duration of your programme and to pay for all of your living expenses. The good news is that the cost of living in Liverpool is one of the lowest in England, which means your money will go even further, allowing you to enjoy your student experience to the full.

In addition to academic fees, you must budget for living costs such as accommodation, food, clothing, books, local travel and entertainment. The UKVI requires that students studying outside London must have £9,135 to pay for their living costs (or £1,015 per month).

LJMU’s undergraduate courses run over an academic calendar of nine months so you will need to show that you have at least £9,135. If your course lasts 6 months you will need to demonstrate you have £6,090.

Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)

Before you can apply for permission to enter or remain in the UK under Tier 4 you will require a valid Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies or CAS. LJMU will only assign a CAS once you have satisfied the conditions of any offer made to you and you satisfy the University’s obligations as a Tier 4 Sponsor. For more details, visit the international students section.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme Certificate (ATAS)

If you have applied to study an Enhanced Undergraduate Degree (such as an MEng) course at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate.

You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website: www.fco.gov.uk/en/about-us/what-we-do/services-we-deliver/atas/who-atas/

Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team (int-admissions@ljmu.ac.uk)for guidance.

Your visa application

As soon as you have received an offer of a place at LJMU you should contact the Entry Clearance Office at the British Embassy, British High Commission or Consular Office in your own country to check whether you need a visa for entry into Britain. You are advised to do this as soon as you can as the visa application process can take a long time.

Please Note: To obtain an Entry Visa you should go to the British Embassy or High Commission in your own country, and present the following documents:

  • Passport
  • A valid LJMU Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS)
  • Evidence of financial support for the programme
  • Two recent photographs of yourself (passport-size)
  • All relevant educational diplomas and certificates (as stated in your CAS)
  • A declaration of your intent to return home on completion of your course of study

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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