University of Chester

Programme Specification
Games Development BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2014 - 2015

Bachelor of Science (Single Honours)

Games Development

Games Development

University of Chester

University of Chester

Thornton Science Park

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

3 years full-time

7 Years

Annual - September

I600

I600

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Science & Engineering Computer Science

Computing

None

Computer Science Undergraduate Board

Thursday 1st May 2014

  • To promote the academic, vocational and personal development of students;
  • To encourage a critically and theoretically informed and reflective approach to academic study;
  • To foster learning and research related to the academic, personal and vocational concerns of its students and staff;
  • To facilitate access to higher education and lifelong learning by flexibility in admissions procedures, and learning and teaching styles;
  • To develop skills and knowledge appropriate to preparation for postgraduate study or further research, and to a range of vocations and careers, particularly in the area of Games Development;
  • To provide effective, structured learning opportunities for undergraduate study in Games Development which promote the development of knowledge and understanding, research skills, skills of analysis and interpretation, skills of coherent argument, skills of communication and presentation;
  • To increase self-awareness and insight into both professional and ethical issues relevant to the discipline of Games Development.


Knowledge and Understanding

  • The critical application of appropriate methodology to a range of sources, problems and issues within Games Development and Computer Science;
  • The investigation and interpretation of scientific terminology; key subjects in Games Development: design and implementation. Computer Sciences: programming skills. Interactive Digital Media: media creation. WWW;
  • The understanding of legal and ethical issues relating to the industry.


Thinking or Cognitive Skills

  • Solving problems and communicating solutions in a professional and rigorous fashion;
  • Making connections between subjects taught in separate modules;
  • Evaluation of methodologies within the discipline;
  • Critically evaluate arguments, concepts and data to make judgements;
  • Planning and conducting a research project;
  • Synthesis and integration of information from a variety of sources.


Practical Skills

  • Ability to use library resources in order to identify and retrieve source material, compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations;
  • Ability to identify different programming languages and techniques and to use at least one of them to construct a programming-based project;
  • Ability to use information technology (IT) and computer skills for data capture, to identify and retrieve material and support research and presentations;
  • Ability to use computer hardware and software to design, develop and distribute games in a professional manner across a range of devices and platforms.


Key Skills
The programme provides full coverage of the key skills outlined in the proposal from the Key Skills Advisory Group at University of Chester. These are derived from the QCA list of categories (and the specified level related outcomes).
  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving


Transferable Professional Skills

Professionalism is central to the educational aims of this programme. Although the programme itself is not directly linked to graduate memberships of professional bodies, the programme is delivered using best professional practice and current techniques.

The structure and content of the programme has been determined from a variety of sources.

  • University of Chester Undergraduate Ordinances
  • Academic Quality Support Services policies and documentation
  • Subject Benchmarking statements for Computing and to a lesser extent General Business and Management
  • Market pressures
  • Industry need
  • Availability of staff and resources

Thematic Structure

In the context of this programme specification, a theme is taken to mean an individual subject area, potentially taught at all three levels depending on the programme. This aligns with the concept elaborated in the Computing Subject Benchmark statement.

This programme requires students to study six themes at Level 4. The number of themes reduces throughout the course as the student follows a more specialised path.

Games Theory and Implementation

This theme is core and must be studied at levels 4 and 5. Principles of effective game engineering are considered in relation to current and developing technologies. The design of a range of game genres is introduced, together with a detailed examination of ethical and legal issues. At Levels 5 and 6 the focus is placed on more formal methods of design and design documentation. This theme is further supported at Levels 5 and 6 with modules related to project management and software engineering.

Games Modelling

This theme is core and must be studied at levels 4 and 5. This theme is a straightforward one, and links closely to the Games Theory and Implementation thread above. Students will use new technologies to build and animate games for a range of platforms and devices. At Level 4, emphasis is placed on the creation of 3D assets. At Levels 5 and 6, these skills are enhanced further to allow students to use industry-standard 3D development tools in the creation of levels, characters and artefacts.
The use of principles from physics and mathematics principles is also required to control movement within games.

Programming

Programming games is a core component of this thread and ensures generic programming skills acquired in other modules can be adapted and utilised.

Programming reflects on various approaches to software development. Traditional programmers develop applications, but games programming professionals in general will require understanding of the software design process and may need to use scripting to implement sections of a project. This theme is core to the programme at all levels, and at Level 6, additional modules can be studied as options that allow students to further develop their programming skill.

Interactive Digital Media Techniques

This theme ensures that students have a comprehensive knowledge of the development of games assets and the industry-standard tools for their creation.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CO4010 4 Introduction to User Experience 20 Comp
CO4033 4 Design for Digital Environments 20 Comp
CO4034 4 Introduction to Content Creation and Animation 20 Comp
CO4035 4 Introduction to Games Theory and Implementation 20 Comp
CO4036 4 Collaborative Games Development 20 Comp
CO4125 4 Introduction to Programming for Games Development 20 Comp
CO5011 5 Digital Audio 20 Optional
CO5012 5 Video & Multimedia Authoring 20 Optional
CO5016 5 Digital Entertainment Engineering 20 Comp
CO5019 5 Experiential Learning (Computing) 20 Optional
CO5034 5 Characterisation and AI for Interactive Environments 20 Comp
CO5035 5 Further Games Theory and Implementation 20 Comp
CO5125 5 Further Programming for Games Development 20 Comp
WB5101 5 Enhancing your Employability through Work Based Learning 20 Optional
CO6001 6 Managing a Computer Based Organisation 20 Optional
CO6009 6 Dissertation 40 Comp
CO6014 6 Online Portfolio Development 20 Optional
CO6015 6 Computer Games Programming 20 Comp
CO6025 6 Advanced Programming 20 Optional
CO6026 6 Intelligent Technologies 20 Optional
CO6034 6 Further 3D Modelling Techniques 20 Optional
CO6035 6 Advanced Games Theory and Implementation 20 Optional

Students graduate with BSc Honours on completion of Level 6 having obtained 360 credits (120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6). Students may obtain an exit award of Diploma ofHigher Educationon completion of Level 5 having obtained 240 credits (120 at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5).
Student may obtain an exit award of Certificate of Higher Education on completion of Level 4 having obtained 120 credits.

The admissions data provided below was correct at the time of creating this programme specification (August 2014). Please refer to the prospectus pages on the corporate website www.chester.ac.uk for the most recent data. 

  • A minimum of 240 UCAS points, of which 200 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A Levels (12 or 6 unit awards), including a grade C in one subject. The remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or from Level 3 Key Skills certification
  • BTEC National Diploma/Certificate: merit profile
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 30 points
  • European Baccalaureate: a minimum of 70%
  • QAA approved Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits

Please note: A BTEC National Award or the Welsh Baccalaureate (core) will be recognised in our tariff offer.

Applicants with a combination of lower qualifications and professional experience are considered individually on their own merits for Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning.

‘Subject benchmark statements provide a means for the academic community to describe the nature and characteristics of programmes in a specific subject’
[QAA, 2007] [QAA, 2007] clearly distinguishes between graduates in general Computer Science and graduates with a particular specialism. However, it places a responsibility on programme designers to meet the following criteria:

  • the course is designed as a coherent whole with theory, practical skills and applications integrated in a harmonious manner; it should be up to date in terms of developments in computing and current thinking on curriculum development and delivery; it should take appropriate account of issues such as the employability of its graduates and the needs of employers
  • it has clear and achievable aims, objectives and intended learning outcomes which match its title and the programme specification
  • courses are imaginatively designed to meet as effectively as possible the needs of the full range of intended students in terms of course length/duration, modes of attendance including part-time possibilities, location, structure and sequence, and optional elements
  • on each pathway every student will have exposure to those key topics and practices most relevant to its central objectives and title; the design of this should be informed by considerations articulated below
  • the course shows progression with later parts complementing, extending or building upon earlier ones
  • the programme presents coherent underpinning theory appropriate to the aims of the course, and this is further developed and used throughout the course. This should be such as to enable graduating students to adapt to future developments in the field. Overall, the course should reflect the rapid rate of change in the field and ensure that coverage is given to a selection of emerging topics so that students are aware of likely future developments in the subject together with their potential impact
  • courses need to be designed to possess themes that ensure students are equipped to contribute to the development of major components of computer systems in a manner that ensures they are fit for the purpose for which they were intended. The latter implies an understanding of the mechanisms that will ensure quality in both process and product and this will often mean a comprehension of how systems should be designed for use by humans
  • in those parts of the curriculum that relate to an engineering approach to the subject, the concepts of requirement, specification, design, implementation, evolution and maintenance are pervasive and an appropriate engineering ethos is present
  • in those parts of the curriculum that have a mathematical, scientific, psychological, aesthetic, systems, management or organisational orientation, there is appropriate underpinning which ensures that students acquire well-founded insight into the range of possible approaches
  • in practical coursework there is an opportunity for students to gain experience of working both in groups and as an individual
  • in relevant parts of the course students are encouraged to reflect, evaluate, select, justify, communicate and be innovative in their problem solving
  • there is provision for the development of a range of personal and transferable skills generic to all graduates
  • there is a major activity allowing students to demonstrate ability in applying practical and analytical skills (as they are present in the course as a whole). This will often take the form of a project carried out in the final year but individual institutions are free to use alternative arrangements where that would best fit their particular course structure or content
  • where appropriate in terms of meeting the overall objectives of a course, such activity as industrial placements are seen as a valued part of a course and are properly integrated in terms of preparation of students before this activity, debriefing and building on the experience afterwards, and assessment
  • the assessment strategy associated with the course is clearly documented and will allow the institution to show that graduating students meet the criteria set in this subject benchmark statement.
This programme has been designed specifically to meet the above criteria. Also, in line with the current benchmark statement the course matches the typical outcomes for a programme in a computing related discipline, namely that students should be able to:
  • demonstrate a sound understanding of the main areas of the body of knowledge within their programme of study, with an ability to exercise critical judgement across a range of issues
  • critically analyse and apply a range of concepts, principles and practice of the subject in an appropriate manner in the context of loosely defined scenarios, showing effective judgement in the selection and use of tools and techniques
  • produce work involving problem identification, the analysis, the design and the development of a system, with accompanying documentation. The work will show problem solving and evaluation skills, draw upon supporting evidence and demonstrate a good understanding of the need for quality
  • demonstrate transferable skills with an ability to show organised work as an individual and as a team member and with minimum guidance
  • apply appropriate practices within a professional, legal and ethical framework and identify mechanisms for continuing professional development and lifelong learning
  • explain a wide range of applications based upon the body of knowledge.
Reference QAA (2007) “Computing benchmark statement” QAA for Higher Education

Level 4: Learning is predominantly tutor-designed and guided, and students are offered opportunities for individual initiative within this framework, which provides groundwork in subject-specific and transferable study skills and encouragement to communicate accurately.

Level 5: Learning remains largely tutor-guided and students are encouraged to work in collaboration with tutors and fellow students. There is opportunity for consolidation and development of appropriate study skills and for experiencing a range of appropriate methods for tasks in hand.

Level 6: Students develop a greater responsibility for their own learning, both independent and collaborative. There is a consolidation of appropriate study skills and their application to independent enquiry in the form of a major individual research development project.

Methods

Lectures, seminars, supervised practical workshops, IT based learning, guided reading and resource-based learning, dissertation support programme, work-based/experiential learning, oral presentations, essays, reflection and group work.



In order to achieve an appropriate mix of assessment of knowledge, understanding and skills, a blend of assessment methods is required:
  1. Knowledge and understanding
    Unseen examination, appraisal of literature and systems, projects, presentations.
  2. Thinking or cognitive skills
    Unseen examination, coursework exercises, projects/dissertation, presentations, group work.
  3. Practical skills
    Coursework exercises, project work.
  4. Transferable/key skills
    Reports, presentations, reflection through work based learning support and group presentation.

Subject to the overall pattern of assessment conforming to this strategy, each module is assessed by the most appropriate types of assessment, suitably weighted. Assessment and reassessment methods are detailed in the module outlines.

There are clear assessment criteria and a marking scheme for every assessment. Marking schemes identify levels of performance against specific learning outcomes. They indicate how the final mark will be derived, and are designed to facilitate second marking and constructive feedback to students from the tutor.

Level 4: Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of basic terminology and key ideas within the disciplines of the programme;
  • Evaluate and interpret underlying concepts and principles within the Games Development subject area
  • Demonstrate basic skills appropriate to the disciplines of the programme, including the exercise of an open and questioning approach to familiar and new material;
  • Express ideas with clarity, accuracy and appropriate reference to sources.
Level 5: Students will be able to:
  • Recognise, analyse and relate appropriately to one another more complex ideas and concepts within the disciplines of the programme;
  • Demonstrate further skills required in the programme, including use of and development of complex systems;
  • Apply appropriate techniques to the design, specification and/or development of systems;
  • Demonstrate an ability to audit their own skills and understand their development as a learner.
  • Work effectively in a collaborative environment, and be able to effectively communicate information and arguments.
Level 6: Graduating students will be able to:
  • Analyse and synthesise complex ideas in the disciplines of the programme; and evaluate them appropriately;
  • Apply independent enquiry and a wide range of skills appropriate to the disciplines of the programme;
  • Formulate a coherent design and implementation strategy, derived from a range of reading and/or practice, and comment critically upon such strategy;
  • Undertake project work in such a way that it is planned, implemented and interpreted with due regard for evidence, appropriate modes of enquiry and the communication of its outcomes.
A graduate of this programme will be able to solve problems and communicate solutions across a broad range of areas within games, multimedia, digital media and computing, and will be able to evaluate and analyse alternatives from a number of theoretical models. On completion of their study a graduate will be well placed to enter a range of careers, typically:
  • Games Programmer
  • Technical Artist
  • Games Tester
  • 3D Modeller
  • Level Designer
  • Software Engineer
  • Games Environment Artist
  • Project Manager
  • User Interface Designer

The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression. 

The programme is delivered in English and provided the student has attained the defined standard there are no other cultural issues.

As a technology-oriented degree, there is a high likelihood that the majority of disabilities can be addressed using appropriate specialist hardware and software; individual applicants will be invited to discuss their individual needs with the programme leader and the applicant will be advised as to the provision that can be made for them, prior to accepting a place.

At Level 5 students must choose between CO5019 or WB5101 and ONE from CO5011 or CO5012.

At Level 6 students must choose 3 modules from CO6001, CO6014, CO6026, CO6034, CO6035 and CO6015, which MUST include at least ONE from CO6034 or CO6035 when selecting their options.

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