University of Chester

Programme Specification
Games Development BSc (Hons) (Single Honours)
2016 - 2017

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 / 5 years part-time

7 Years

Annual - September

I600

I600

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Science & Engineering Computer Science

The Subject Benchmarking Group that applies to this degree programme is: Computing (2016), published by the QAA.

For direct access to the subject benchmarks, please click here.

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.

Key knowledge areas are a firm grasp of Games Development and a systematic knowledge of the core areas as identified in section 27 (subject benchmark for Computing); in addition, students will have an understanding of the ways their skills are applied in today’s games industry.

FHEQ Level 4: This level will examine the foundations that underpin this subject, including introductions to programming; design theory; asset creation and user interfaces. Students get the opportunity to apply this understanding through group project work.

  • CO4005 (communication, presentation, data analysis and research skills)
  • CO4010 (user interfaces and user experience)
  • CO4035 (games and design theory)
  • CO4036 (collaborative project work)
  • CO4134 (asset creation, use of 3D packages, creative skills)
  • CO4625 (programming)

FHEQ Level 5: Continues the themes from level 4 and extends the theoretical knowledge of students. New skillsets are introduced (e.g. audio, AI, multi-player), and the extension of collaborative work to not only increase the understanding of the application of this knowledge to projects, but go on to include a larger emphasis on the skills necessary to be effective in the workplace.

  • CO5011 (digital audio)
  • CO5016 & CO5019/WB5101 (collaborative project work, team skills, project management)
  • CO5034 (character modelling and animation, game AI)
  • CO5035 (multi-player, Unity)
  • CO5625 (further programming)

FHEQ Level 6: At this level, students obtain an in-depth knowledge of Games Development skills, with the ability to specialise in specific areas relevant to the industry.

  • CO6001 (project and organization management)
  • CO6014 (portfolio development)
  • CO6015 & CO6025 (applied and advanced programming)
  • CO6026 (AI, neural networks)
  • CO6034 (advanced 3D modelling)
  • CO6035 (advanced games theory)

In the dissertation module (CO6009), students will apply the taught knowledge learned in previous years to complete an implementation based project related to gaming showing competency in and understanding of the research, design, development and evaluation of that project.

Thinking and cognitive skills are expected to develop across the three years of study, with progression from an emphasis on clear description and understanding, to demonstration of analytical and critical skills by the end of the studies. The ability to reason scientifically, to synthesise information and data from various sources, to analyse, evaluate and interpret theories.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Find, read and understand software-specific texts, including primary sources, and reference them using an appropriate referencing format (all modules)
  • Making connections between subjects taught in separate modules (all modules)
  • Interpret basic and big data sets (CO4005)
  • Be able to write reports in a standard format (CO4005, CO4035 & CO4134)
  • Analyse data using appropriate level tests of relationship, association, and difference (CO4005)
  • Problem-solving (CO4036 & CO4625)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Research and analysis of new areas of knowledge (CO5011, CO5034 & CO5035)
  • Further problem solving (all modules)
  • Planning a software project (CO5016)
  • The ability to synthesise knowledge across a range of modules and applying these in a work-based context (CO5019/WB5101)
  • Inter-personal problem solving (CO5016 & CO5019)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Solving problems and communicating solutions in a professional and rigorous fashion (CO6009 & CO6034)
  • Advanced problem solving with programming languages (CO6015 & CO6025)
  • Applied reasoning and analysis (CO6026 & CO6035)
  • Planning and conducting projects (CO6001 & CO6009)
  • Evaluation of methodologies within the discipline (CO6009)
  • To capture knowledge and expertise and to document it appropriately (CO6009 & CO6014)

Students will demonstrate the ability to manage their time, and to plan, conduct and report research in a variety of formats, and deal with statistical and textual analysis of data. Students will gain experience in project management consistent with practice in professional contexts, as well as knowledge of ethical standards. They will demonstrate numerical skills appropriate to the interpretation of large data sets; the ability to work effectively in a team; the ability to plan and carry out work individually, keeping to deadlines; the ability to reflect upon their own learning and performance and enhance their abilities in the light of that reflection.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Time management (CO4036)
  • Reflection skills (CO4036)
  • An awareness of ethical issues raised when working with technology (all modules)
  • Ability to use library resources in order to identify and retrieve source material, compile bibliographies, inform research and enhance presentations (all modules)
  • Familiarity with commercially used software (CO4035, CO4036 & CO4134)

FHEQ Level 5

  • The ability to work as a key member of a team (CO5016 & CO5019/WB5101)
  • Enhanced reflection skills (CO5019/WB5101)
  • Project management (CO5016 & CO5019)
  • Reconcile conflicting project objectives, finding acceptable compromises recognising the limitations of capability, capacity, cost and time (CO5016 & CO5019)
  • Appreciate the need for continuing professional development in this discipline (all modules)
  • Build and test software solutions for a range of application contexts (CO5016)
  • Familiarity with commercially used software (CO5016, CO5019 & CO5035)

FHEQ Level 6

  • The ability to plan, manage, conduct and report a complex individual project (CO6009)
  • Demonstrate an understand of current theories, models and techniques that provide a basis for problem identification and analysis, software design, development, implementation, verification and documentation (CO6009)
  • Apply software engineering techniques to a range of real-world problems and issues (all modules)
  • Organisation and project management skills (CO6001)
  • Professional specialisation (CO6025, CO6026, CO6034 & CO6035)

Throughout the programme, a common theme will assess the students’ competency in delivering presentations to an audience so that they are able to perform this essential communication skill in industrial scenarios.

FHEQ Level 4

  • Describe and discuss technological issues clearly and accurately both orally (CO4005 & CO4036) and in written work (all modules)
  • Be able to write for an academic audience (all modules)
  • Ability to work as an individual and as part of a team to develop and deliver quality software deliverables (CO4036)

FHEQ Level 5

  • Communicate fluently with members of a team (CO5016 & CO5019)
  • Ability to communicate with multiple stakeholders in an appropriate way, in a variety of forms (CO5016 & CO5019)
  • Ability to negotiate and compromise on possible solutions to software project problems (CO5016 & CO5019)
  • Written and oral evaluation and reflection of technological subjects (all modules)

FHEQ Level 6

  • Fluent and accurate written communication, based on clear and critical argument and evidence-based reasoning (all modules)
  • Fluent oral communication suitable for an academic audience (CO6009)

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 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.

Programming

Programming using high level languages 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 essential to the fulfilment of the programme objectives at all levels. At Level 6, additional modules can be studied as options that allow students to further develop their programming skill.

Games Theory and Implementation

This theme is core and must be studied at levels 4 through 6. 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 Level 5, 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.

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.

Module Options

At Level 5 students must choose ONE from CO5019 or WB5101

At Level 6 students must choose TWO modules from CO6001, CO6014, CO6025, CO6026 and CO6034

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CO4005 4 Information Analysis and Presentation 20 Comp
CO4010 4 Introduction to User Experience 20 Comp
CO4035 4 Introduction to Games Theory and Implementation 20 Comp
CO4036 4 Collaborative Games Development 20 Comp
CO4134 4 Introduction to Content Creation 20 Comp
CO4625 4 Fundamentals of Programming 20 Comp
CO5011 5 Digital Audio 20 Comp
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
CO5625 5 Further Programming and Algorithms 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 N/A
CO6035 6 Advanced Games Theory and Implementation 20 Comp

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 of Higher Education completion of Level 5 having obtained 240 credits (120 at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5).

Students may obtain an exit award of Certificate of Higher Education on completion of Level 4 having obtained 120 credits.

Not applicable

The admissions data provided below is current as of June 2016. Please refer to the prospectus pages on the corporate website www.chester.ac.uk for any updates.

  • A minimum of 280 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent (see note below). Offers will be made in grades or a combination of points and grades. A typical offer might be BCC/BBC
  • BTEC Extended Diploma: DMM
  • BTEC Diploma: D*D*
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: B in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 26 points
  • Access to HE Diploma to include 45 credits at level 3, 30 of which must be at Merit or above
  • OCR National Extended Diploma: Merit 2
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: DMM
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma: D*D*

Please note that we accept a maximum of 20 points from GCE AS Levels and that Welsh Baccalaureate (core) and A Level General Studies will be recognised in our offer. We will also consider a combination of A Levels and BTECs/OCRs.

GCSE Maths grade C or above is also required.

The UCAS points tariff will change for September 2017 entry. Under this new tariff, the points requirement will be 112 UCAS points (subject to confirmation).

For international entry requirements, you will need to visit http://www.chester.ac.uk/international/your-country and select the appropriate country.

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

This programme has been designed specifically to meet the Computing (2016) benchmarking statements issued by the QAA. Below is a summary of how this programme meets those benchmarking statements:

  • The course has a range of modules in computing topics and specialist games development modules that will develop a student to be thorough in this subject.
  • All LO's are clearly stated at programme and module level with further information provided on teaching methods, assessment and module content.
  • Progression through the programme can be seen in section 24 of this programme specification. 
  • Students are taught about professional practice and ethics relating to the computing and games industries.
  • Students are encouraged to develop a number of key skills, this is particularly apparent in the practical modules of this programme including programming, asset development, design theory and collaborative production.
  • Students learn how to plan, manage and deliver solutions to computing (games) requirements, evaluating complex problems and devising appropriate methods to meet those requirements.
  • A range of wider, generic skills applicable to students becoming effective in the workplace are introduced, specifically within the context of the games industry. These include source control, project methodologies, time management, QA/testing, marketing and the presentation of results.
  • At Level 5, all students have the opportunity to experience work-based learning.
  • At Level 6, students have to apply their analytical and practical skills to a significant final year implementation project (Dissertation module, CO6009).
  • Students all have access to current software tools and hardware as used in the games industry.

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. (February 2016). Subject Benchmark Statement (Computing). Gloucester, UK: The Quality Assurance Agency 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 monitoring and constructive feedback to students from the tutor.

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.

None.

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