Why study Computer Games Development with Foundation Year at Liverpool John Moores University?
- 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
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.
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 School of Computer Science and Mathematics 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.
This research-informed and practice-driven course is taught by a team of lecturers who have rich industry background and are research active. All teaching staff have doctoral degrees in their respective areas of expertise and they have professional collaborations with Games industry.
Staff in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics actively participates 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.
"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."
Fees and funding
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students
The fees quoted above cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:
- Library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
- Access to programme-appropriate software
- Library and student IT support
- Free on-campus wifi via eduroam
Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:
- accommodation and living expenditure
- books (should you wish to have your own copies)
- printing, photocopying and stationery
- PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
- mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
- field trips (travel and activity costs)
- placements (travel expenses and living costs)
- student visas (international students only)
- study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
- academic conferences (travel costs)
- professional-body membership
- graduation (gown hire etc)
There are many ways to fund study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist funding pages.
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.
Careers, Employability and Enterprise Service
We are committed to ensuring all of our students experience a transformation in their employability skills and mindset and their career trajectory. A wide range of opportunities and support is available to you, within and beyond your course.
Every undergraduate curriculum includes Future Focus, an e-learning resource and workshop designed to help you to develop personal insight into your talents, passion and purpose. It will enable you to become more proactive, adaptable and resilient in your awareness and approach to career possibilities. You’ll be encouraged to engage with personal and professional development opportunities.
A suite of learning experiences, services and opportunities is available to final year students to help ensure you leave with a great onward plan and the means to make it a reality.
Our Centre for Entrepreneurship can help you to grow your enterprise skills and to research, plan and start your own business. You also have access to Careers Zone 24/7, LJMU’s state-of-the-art suite of online tools and resources; opportunities for flexible, paid and part-time work through Unitemps, themed webinars; an annual programme of employer events; funded extracurricular internships and one-to-one advice to accelerate your job search, CV and interview technique.
Applicant key information
Course review and revalidation.
This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.
Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.
What you will study on this degree
Please see guidance on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.
Further guidance on modules
Modules are designated core or option in accordance with professional body requirements, as applicable, and LJMU’s Academic Framework Regulations.
Whilst you are required to study core modules, optional modules are also included to provide you with an element of choice within the programme. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to meeting minimum student numbers.
Where changes to modules are necessary these will be communicated as appropriate.
Please see the programme specification document for further details on this course:Programme specification document (PDF)
Algorithms and Computing
This module aims to provide an introduction to technical computing and the application of computers in the implementation of simple algorithms.
Foundation Mathematics for Engineering and Technology 1
This module aims to provide you with the mathematical knowledge, understanding and skills which are required to use mathematics as an analytical tool in engineering and technology subjects.
This module will introduce you to the software development process in order to be able to use a range of computer programming environment and their applications. You will also be able to develop problem solving skills in computing and wider engineering or technology areas.
Personal, Academic and Skills Development
This year long module supports you in developing the academic and practical skills needed to become an effective and independent learner. It includes regular contact with personal tutors, encouraging a smooth transition into the Higher Education environment.
Information Systems Development
This module enables you to identify the importance of information and how information can be transformed into developing logical designs in order to develop a working database. This database will manipulate data to produce meaningful information for the end user. You will participate in student-focused learning activities based on a combination of formal lectures and practical, experiential learning in laboratories, with supporting tutorials and seminars designed to reinforce and increase your learning experience.
This module provides you with the concepts, methods, techniques and experience to design, develop and manage digital multimedia productions. Lectures will concentrate on the necessary theory of these topics while hands-on practical sessions and workshops will develop the capabilities to design, create, produce and deliver media rich experiences.
The emphasis of this module will be on the underlying computing challenges of large-scale applications of the kind regularly featured in the general media. The intention is to demystify these applications and spark your interest in the underlying computing challenges and solutions. Lectures on contemporary applied computing topics will be complemented with lab sessions encouraging you to research information and develop high-level solutions to related problems.
Introduction to Programming
In this module you are delivered programming and problem solving skills with no prior assumptions of programming experience. Given the importance of programming to computer science, this module will encourage you to study more specialised software development topics. You will gain an understanding of how software is developed and become familiar with a range of computer programming paradigms.
This module provides you with a basic knowledge in relation to the computing platform (hardware, operating systems, networks) upon which applications are developed and hosted. You will need this as support knowledge for subsequent modules at Level 5 and 6.
This module provides you with an opportunity to consider your future role as a computing professional. The tutorials and workshops will be used to develop strategies that you can use, providing opportunities for you to understand the field of Computing in a more effective way. You will develop your understanding of professionalism in computing, of working in the computing industry, and of the ethical frameworks and codes of conduct for the computing industry.
The module develops your ability to model data in various differing scenarios. You are initially required to manipulate and present data in spreadsheet based applications. Then, you are required to solve problems using a data modelling methodology (e.g. entity relationship models/normalisation), ultimately leading towards the construction of database based applications.
Fundamentals of Games Programming
In this module, you will develop your high-level programming skills using the industry standard languages for computer games development. You will be introduced to the fundamental concepts of data type creation, utilisation and specification, programmatic computation, logic and how to control application flow. Practical experience with a high-level language and its associated ecosystem will lead to the development of problem solving and decomposition skills in order to solve real-world development problems using the processes of the software development lifecycle.
Maths and Graphics
This module teaches you the fundamentals of computer graphics, specifically 2D, and its underlying mathematical principles. You will recap a number of elementary mathematics concepts before being introduced to how complex concepts can solve computer graphics problems. The module teaches you the practical aspects of computer graphics through a series of programming workshop using modern graphics API.
Introduction to Web Development
Increasingly, much of the world's software is being run in a web browser. Software offered over the Web provides many sought-after benefits in software deployment: ease of implementation, universality and ubiquity of access, and availability of server-side data and services. This module seeks to endow you with the necessary knowledge and underpinning technologies to develop for the World Wide Web. You will learn techniques and technologies to develop web applications, hosted on a web application server, using a server-side programming language to dynamically generate standards compliant mark-up, driven from a data source. You will use design principles which abstract content from aesthetic and utilises client-side dynamism to enhance the user's experience, using industry standard toolsets and web-focused API.
The module has two main purposes. First, you will be equipped with adequate research skills and experience of working on subject-related research topics, to lead into your final year project. Second, this module works to enhance your professionalism, including teamworking, which boosts employability and your awareness of what is expected in an employment scenario.
This module builds on your fundamental knowledge of Computer Networks and Data Communications, and develops more in depth knowledge of related concepts which will be underpinned by practical Lab work.
Data Structures and Algorithms for Games
This module is a technical, skills-focused module. You will be introduced to Data Structures as Abstract Data Types and cover the fundamentals of discrete mathematics which provide the foundations for data structure design and implementation. You will gain exposure of how to create your own implementation in games industry standard languages and their standard libraries. Each structure will be covered from a game programming perspective, demonstrating real-world usage within game engines and game applications. It will require previous experience in programming, building on existing programming-based skills such as problem/functional decomposition and the use of an IDE to develop and test programs.
3D Computer Graphics
This module builds on your knowledge of 2D graphics and furthers your knowledge in 3D computer graphics, from the underlying mathematical principles to your application in the development of 3D computer games. The module uses a modern GPU-driven graphics API to demonstrate how complex 3D scenes can be constructed using a wide range of 3D graphical techniques. You will be taught about the programmable pipeline, including shader implementations of lighting and texture calculations.
Digital Games Content Production
In this module, you will learn about the associated techniques and tools for creating 3D models for 3D animation and games. This incorporates the digital content creation pipeline for games, rendering and lighting, to generate static and animated content that can be utilised inside a modern games' engine for representation of scene geometry and game avatars. You will cover the various tools and techniques that are used to build assets for games from conception to realisation. You will be exposed to both Digital Content Creation Tools and in-engine editing tools in order to understand the workflow for creating real-time content.
Software Engineering for Games
In this module, you will build upon your foundational programming skills by introducing – in both a practical and theoretical manner – some of the fundamental ideas of software engineering, enabling you to develop and communicate designs for small scale games software systems. As a group, you will apply the Agile Development methodology and its associated design techniques using Object-Oriented principles to produce solutions for games development scenarios using Object-Oriented Programming. You will gain experience of Software Engineering techniques for the design, development and testing of game software and understand the impact of these techniques on the architecture of modern games application, using industry-led tools and techniques.
This module presents you with the opportunity to complete a substantial project in a chosen area relevant to your programme. The scope of what is an appropriate artefact varies between programmes and you will discuss this with your programme teams. This module will enable you to use rigorous development or scientific methods to produce an artefact, resulting in an oral and written report.
Advanced 3D Games Development
This module will cover the software engineering principles used to implement a full-scale game engine in order to build complex, large-scale 3D games (commonly termed Triple-A games in the games industry). You will focus on the core modules of a modern engine, as well as its gameplay framework, alongside the game play foundations of the games which are built on top of the engine.
Advanced Topics in Games Development
This module covers the two major sub-disciplines of advanced topics in games development which are used to convert real-time rendered 3D graphics into game applications – Artificial Intelligence and Rigid Body Dynamics (Game Physics). The module will begin with an overview of the underpinning theories of both fields and will focus on how specific algorithms and technologies in each field are applied to dynamically control both characters and the environment of a game application. You will learn how to model AI in a game environment using discretisation techniques and how to model physics in a game engine environment using Numerical Solver-based techniques.
Mixed Reality Technologies
This module will focus on the novel input and output technologies that enables blended experience between the physical reality and virtual reality. It will also cover design of virtual worlds and the development of mixed reality applications, as well as the proposal of mixed reality solutions for a specific application. You will be working collaboratively during lab sessions to develop MR solutions.
Advanced Games Graphics Techniques
This module builds on your knowledge of the principles of 3D graphics and furthers your understanding of advanced computer graphics processes. The module uses a modern GPU-driven graphics API to demonstrate how complex 3D scenes can be constructed from complex geometry and rendered in real-time with special effects. You will focus on state of the art approaches to real-time rendering and how graphics programmers are targeting the goal of photorealistic rendering in real-time.
User Experience Design
The aim of this module is to enhance your technical knowledge of systems development with an appreciation of the social-technical aspects of design. It covers the evolving area of User Experience (UX) design. This involves you using UX methods to design and prototype an interactive system and then validate your design against user requirements using UX evaluation techniques.
This module broadens a Software Engineer's horizon to include system and software development for embedded systems, with consideration of the Internet of Things. You are required to have considerable high-level programming knowledge by Level 6. This will be expanded to consider working with lower-level architectural concerns and development software for "baremetal" systems.
Teaching and work-related learning
Excellent facilities and learning resources
We adopt an active blended learning approach, meaning you will experience a combination of face-to-face and online learning during your time at LJMU. This enables you to experience a rich and diverse learning experience and engage fully with your studies. Our approach ensures that you can easily access support from your personal tutor, either by meeting them on-campus or via a video call to suit your needs.
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, online activities 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.
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.
This research-informed and practice-driven course is taught by a team of lecturers who have rich industry background and are research active. All teaching staff have doctoral degrees in their respective areas of expertise and they have professional collaborations with Games industry. Staff in the Department of Computer Science and Mathematics actively participates 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 varies depending on the modules you choose, but will usually include a combination of exams and coursework.
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.
What you can expect from your School
This programme is delivered in the Byrom Street complex of LJMU’s City Campus. Here you’ll find high quality lecture theatres, meeting and seminar rooms plus social spaces and a large café. The Avril Robarts Library, open 24/7 during semester, is just minutes away on Tithebarn Street.
Please choose your qualifications below to view requirements
Minimum points required from qualifications: 88
GCSE and equivalents
Prior to starting the programme applicants must have obtained Grade C or Grade 4 or above in English Language and Mathematics GCSE or an approved alternative qualification below:
- 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
- Northern Ireland Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Wales Essential Skills Level 2 in Communication or Application of Number
- Minimum number of A Levels required: 1
- Is general studies acceptable? Yes
- Average A Level offer: CCD
- Are AS level awards acceptable? Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Maximum AS Level points accepted: 20
88 UCAS tariff points from relevant subjects. Please contact the Faculty for further information.
- National Certificate (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Certificate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma (RQF): Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- National Diploma subjects / grades required: DD if studied on its own or to the total of 88 UCAS points when combined with other qualifications
- National Extended Diploma (RQF): Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- National 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: 88 UCAS tariff points from Access to HE Diploma
- International Baccalaureate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Additional information: 88 UCAS tariff points from IB
- Welsh Baccalaureate: Acceptable only when combined with other qualifications
- Irish Leaving Certificate: Acceptable on its own and combined with other qualifications
- Grades / subjects required: 88 UCAS points from a minimum of 5 subjects
No interview required (UCAS application form only)IELTS
6.0 (minimum of 5.5 in each component) or equivalent English language proficiency test.International entry requirements
Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check.Can this course be deferred?
YesIs a DBS check required?
The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because 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. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.
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