Computer Games Development with Foundation Year

2018 entry

BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development with Foundation Year

Course fees

Tuition fee type Cost (per annum)
Full time home/EU tuition fee: £9,250 per annum*
Full time international tuition fee: £10,050 Foundation year*
Full-time industrial placement year fee: £1,850 per annum*
International industrial placement year fee: £3,300 per annum*

*The Department for Education (DFE) have recently announced that they intend to freeze tuition fees for the 2018/19 year. This is still subject to parliamentary approval. Once confirmed we will update our web pages accordingly.

Course type

BSc (Hons)

UCAS info

Points required: 88

UCAS code: 2X31

Institute code: L51

Study mode

Four year full time degree course (first year foundation course)

About your course

The BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University is the ideal course if you are interested in this subject but lack the necessary qualifications to study it at degree level.

  • 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, Hello Games, PlayDemand, V-Time and more

 

Within a year of graduating the first title I worked on, 'Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs', was released on 5 platforms around the world.

Andrew Simpson, graduate now working as a programmer at Lucid Games Ltd

My study time at LJMU has proved to be a rewarding experience fully supported by the academic learning facilitators who encouraged the innovation and motivation required for the highly competitive games industry.

Kyle Kirkham, graduate now employed as a Dialogue Developer at Trinity Expert Systems

Work-related learning

Translating your academic studies into essential professional experience.

A 12-month paid work placement after Level 5 gives you the ideal opportunity to put into practice all you have learnt at the University and gain new skills as well.

The placement will give you a taste of what it’s really like to work in the industry and a head start when you come to negotiate your way around the graduate job market.

Support and guidance

Dedicated personal tutor plus study skills support.

This is a supportive and friendly academic School. Should you choose to undertake a year’s work placement, this support will continue as a supervisor will stay in close contact and visit you two or three times at your workplace.

Course details

On this course you will have direct access to experts in the field as well as state-of-the-art facilities at the University.

About the Foundation Year

The Foundation Year is ideal if you have the ability to study for a degree but don't have the qualifications to enter directly onto the Computer Games Development honours degree programme. Once you pass the Foundation Year you will progress directly onto the first year of the honours degree. If you are a full-time UK student, you will qualify for student financial support for the full duration of your course (subject to eligibility criteria).

About the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Development degree

Computer games development is a very technically demanding process and developers are required to possess a wide range of technical skills including computer programming, computer graphics and mathematics.

In addition, they are also expected to have strong knowledge of gaming console and PC hardware architecture. This course will prepare you to be a computer game developer ready to work and succeed in this challenging and exciting industry.The topics typically covered in this course include:

  • C/C++ computer programming languages
  • Applied mathematics for game physics and computer graphics
  • Shader-based 3D graphics programming using industry standard API such as OpenGL and DirectX
  • Multi-platforms (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

Our Games Technology Lab with its Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles, and industry standard software, together with excellent technical support, mean that you will get plenty of hands-on experience and extensive opportunities to build up a portfolio to show and impress prospective employers.

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. These employers work with us to ensure that the course is current and up-to-date, and that graduates are able to meet the demands of the games industry for skilled developers.

Our strong links also mean that you will have plenty of options when you come to choose your work placement. Students have worked in game development companies in many cities, from Liverpool to Kontich in Belgium as well as Cheng-Du in China.

What you will study on this degree

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

Level 3

  • Mathematics
  • Foundation Physics
  • Algorithms, Programming and Computing
  • Engineering and Technology Practice

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

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 to 18 hours per week in the classroom. Independent study is a fundamental element of the course and accounts for around 70% of your weekly study time.

Teaching is mostly via lectures with more informal lab sessions and small-group tutorials to reinforce ideas discussed in the lectures 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 an academic member of staff who had developed games for Codemasters. 

Staff in the School of Computing and Mathematical Sciences actively participate in research to further the development of state-of-the-art computing technologies. Research within the School is recognised internationally in the area of Networked Systems and Security, Computer Entertainment, and Neural Networks with funding from EPSRC, BBC and the European Union.

Assessment and feedback

Assessment varies depending on the modules you choose.

You will be assessed by a combination of coursework and exams plus an independent final year project which contributes substantially to your final mark. Your tutors will give prompt and constructive feedback via Canvas (our virtual learning environment), face-to-face or in writing. This will help you to identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to put in more work.

Entry requirements

Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements

Minimum points required from qualifications

88

GCSE and equivalents

  • Applicants must have obtained grade 4 or grade C or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or • Key Skills Level 2 in English/ Maths • NVQ Level 2 Functional skills in Maths and English Writing and or Reading • Skills for Life Level 2 in Numeracy/English • Higher Diploma in Maths/ English • Functional skills level 2 in Maths/ English "

A Levels

  • Minimum number of A Levels required: 1
  • Is general studies acceptable? Yes
  • Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Average A Level offer: CCD
  • Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20

BTEC qualifications

  • BTEC certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • 90 credit diploma: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma (QCF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
  • Diploma subjects / grades required: DD if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma (QCF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Extended diploma subjects / grades required: MMM if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications

Access to Higher Education Diploma

  • Access to Higher Education Diploma acceptability: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Further information: Access programme must have been taken be in a relevant subject area, you require 88 UCAS points including a minimum of 15 Distinctions and 9 Merits required

International Baccalaureate

  • International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Additional information: 24 IB Diploma Points

Welsh awards

  • Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications

Irish awards

  • Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
  • Grades / subjects required: 88 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
Will I be interviewed?

No interview required (UCAS application form only)

IELTS

6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component)

Can this course be deferred?

Yes

Is a DBS check required?

No

Is RPL accepted on this programme?

Yes

International requirements

Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Finance and fees

Find out more about the student funding that you may be eligible for from either LJMU or the government. This section will give you information about grants and loans as well as targeted support for students with children, adult dependants or those with a disability.

Please note that the amount of money you will receive as a student is dependent on where in the UK you normally live (i.e. England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland).

LJMU scholarships

LJMU's scholarships are open to all new full-time Home and EU undergraduates that are liable to pay tuition fees. These awards are not income assessed, they are based on excellence. If successful, you will be awarded a scholarship for each year of your course subject to satisfactory progress. Scholarships are worth between £1,000 and £10,000 per year. The money you receive doesn’t have to be paid back.

LJMU bursary

The LJMU bursary is automatically paid to eligible students – you do not need to apply for it. The annual bursary is £500, which works out at £1,500 over a three year degree.

LJMU bursaries are means-tested and you don’t have to pay them back; they are intended to help you meet some of the costs associated with being a student.

Tuition fees

In 2018 LJMU will charge Home and EU students a tuition fee of £9,250* for the majority of its full time undergraduate programmes and £6,935* per year for part time courses. You will be charged a fee for each year of your course. The University reserves the right to increase fees up to the maximum permitted by law or government policy in the second and subsequent years of your course. Generally, these fee increases are linked to RPIX inflation (Retail Price Index excluding mortgage interest payments).

*Subject to parliamentary approval.

The important thing to remember is that you don't have to pay your tuition fees upfront - subject to meeting eligibility criteria, you can take out a tuition fee loan for each year of your course.

You can also take out a maintenance or living cost loan for each year of your course to cover your living expenses, such as rent and food.

You don’t start repaying your student loans until after you’ve left university and start earning at least £21,000.** Please note that the Department for Education who govern student support for students from England have recently announced it intends to increase this threshold to £25,000. This remains subject to parliamentary approval and we will update our website once further information is confirmed.

For more information on eligibility and tuition fee loans, go to: 

www.gov.uk/studentfinance

LJMU is committed to ensuring that students understand the full cost of studying at the University. Your tuition fee will cover or contribute to, as appropriate, expenses associated with your core modules, including:

  • safety equipment, such as lab coats and goggles
  • uniforms for nurses, paramedics and other professional placements
  • UK field trips and other educational visits
  • student exchanges
  • DBS checks (Disclosure and Barring Service – formerly CRB)
  • Professional sector regulatory body membership

** Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Living expenses (maintenance) loan

In addition to your tuition fees, eligible full-time undergraduate students can also apply for a maintenance loan to cover your living costs. If you’re eligible, you can take out a loan for each year of your course.

The amount you’ll receive will depend on where in the UK you normally live and your household income. This money will be paid into your bank or building society account in three instalments and it’s up to you to budget for your living costs.

The government has stated that it intends to introduce a pro rata maintenance loan for part time students from England from the 2018/19 academic year.

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

Image of lab

Paying back your student loans

You only start repaying your student loans the April after you have graduated or left university and start earning £21,000* or above. Repayments are based on a percentage of your salary not how much you have borrowed from the Student Loans Company. Repayments are currently set at 9% of any income over the threshold (which is currently set at £21,000).* Please note that the Department for Education who govern student support for students from England have recently announced it intends to increase this threshold to £25,000.  This remains subject to parliamentary approval and we will update our website once further information is released.

*Repayment threshold for students normally resident in England and Wales.

Career prospects

There are many career openings for Computer Games Technology graduates in computer games development, software engineering, multimedia authoring, and interactive TV development.

There are many career openings for Computer Games Technology graduates in computer games development, software engineering, multimedia authoring, and interactive TV development.

Many of our graduates have gone on to work for games development companies like Sony Liverpool, Lucid Games, Bizarre Creations, TT-Games, TT-Fusion, Juice Games, Electronic Arts, Eurocom, Spiral House and many more.

"The placement year allowed me to gain invaluable experience and after completing the course I had a number of job offers from respected games developers in the UK."

Alex Dixon, Computer Games Development graduate, now employed as a programmer at Curve Digital.

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.

Foundation year fees

If you are studying on a foundation year of a degree programme you will be charged a reduced fee for your 1st year only. This means you will only pay £10,050 tuition fees for the first (foundation) year of your course.

After your first year, your annual tuition fees will increase to the standard tuition fee charged for our undergraduate courses (£13,250/£14,000).

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.

LJMU offers scholarships for international students. The provision and range of these scholarships can change from year to year so it is important that you always check the website for the most up-to-date information. The University also accepts a range of external funding, should you be awarded a scholarship or sponsorship from elsewhere.

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, although specific course requirements may differ depending on the programme you want to study.

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 or email: international@ljmu.ac.uk for more details.

Tuition fee deposits

International students are liable to pay a minimum deposit of 50% of their tuition fees before their CAS can be issued. The outstanding balance must be paid in full within 4 months of the given 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. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that students studying outside London must have £1,015 per month for a maximum of nine months to cover their living costs.

We estimate that a single student living in LJMU-approved accommodation is likely to need an average of £5,000 to cover just their rent for a full academic year.

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 for guidance. It is important to note that, if required, an ATAS certificate must be obtained before your Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies can be released to you.

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.

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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For general enquiries, call us today on: 0151 231 5090

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Engineering and Technology
T: 0151 231 2777
E: fetadmissions@ljmu.ac.uk