This groundbreaking course has been developed to address the needs of the computer games industry, a fast growing worldwide market worth billions of dollars.
We combine an emphasis on technical skills such as advanced programming, mathematics, AI, and graphics with a solid grounding in IP protection, entrepreneurship, business planning, teamwork and project management.
Whether you want to work at a start-up or as part of a large organisation, you’ll be given the skills you need to build successful interactive experiences.
See what some of our alumni have to say about studying Computer Games & Entertainment at Goldsmiths.
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Computing
Modules & structure
|Introduction to Programming||30 credits|
|Mathematics and Graphics for Computer Games I||15 credits|
|Mathematics and Graphics for Computer Games II||15 credits|
|Business and Practice||15 credits|
|Tools and Middleware for Games and Special Effects||15 credits|
|AI for Games||15 credits|
|Physics and Animation for Games and Entertainment Systems||15 credits|
|Advanced Programming for Games and Interactive Graphics||15 credits|
Final Project & Dissertation
During this final project, you will undertake a project towards your dissertation, typically over the Spring-Summer period (May to September). We offer three options to our students:
Individual research project:
- This is based on a research theme selected by you and agreed upon by the lecturing team. Recent examples include:
- Building a cheap kinect-like gesture tracking system
- AI (rule-based) platform for game level design
- Software development for our mobile technology projects (iPhone based)
Mainly based on coursework (involving programming), essays, final project and dissertation; some lecturers may also conduct exams/quizzes.
The taught programme is organised into three terms (full-time). The Autumn term runs from early October to mid-December, the Winter/Spring term from mid-January to the end of March, and the Summer term runs, typically, from late April to mid-September. Taught modules are given during the Autumn and Winter/Spring terms, while the Final Project takes place during a Summer term (in the second year for part-time students).
Download the programme specification for this degree to find out more about what you'll learn and how you'll be taught and assessed.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
Computing at Goldsmiths is ranked 17th in the UK for the quality of our research**
The Department of Computing offers a creative, contemporary and pioneering approach to the discipline.
From developing computers that can compose music and paint pictures, to defining and implementing new social media tools and applications, we aim to invigorate computing and the world around it.
Learn by doing
We place a great emphasis on creativity, independence and ‘learning by doing’. Students undertake practical work in real-world situations, carrying out projects in ways that mirror industry practice.
We also promote an interdisciplinary approach to the subject: from computational arts to games and entertainment, and from data science to digital journalism.
You’ll be taught by industry experts – our academics are deeply engaged in current research, with many applying their knowledge and skills to developing cutting-edge technology. And we have close links with industry, too, regularly inviting leading professionals to deliver lectures and talks.
Find out more about the Department of Computing.
**Research Excellence Framework 2014, Times Higher Education research intensity subject rankings
Seminar Series: Games & Entertainment Industries
Each year we bring guest speakers to Goldsmiths from the games and entertainment industries.
This is one of the ways we create more links with the industry and are able to offer to our students help in getting internships in various games studios during the summer term.
In the past our guest speakers have included:
- Steve Goss, Creative Director, Supermassive Games
- Richard Wilson, Head of TIGA
- David Bishop, Head of Game Design, MindCandy
- John Ribbins, Creative Director, Roll7
- Jeff Wagner, Senior Technology and Production Consultant, SideFx
- Russell Clarke, Director of Product Development, Ideaworks Game Studio
- Sam Martin, Head of Technology, Geomerics
Professor William Latham, Co-director of MSc in Computer Games & Entertainment
William is well known for his pioneering work with IBM (1987-93) in evolutionary art and computing at the IBM UK Scientific Centre in Winchester. He is co-author of the book 'Evolutionary Art and Computers', published in 1992, which covers the work during this period with the mathematician Stephen Todd. His award-winning organic computer animated films were shown at SIGGRAPH and many computer graphics events around the world, and he had major art exhibitions, touring the UK, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan for four years. During this period his work received much press and TV coverage and a number of IBM patents emerged from this work.
From 1993 to 2003, William was CEO of Computer Artworks Ltd, which initially worked with the music industry for two years (clients included BMG Music) then focused on producing computer games for Playstation 2, Xbox and PC. Employing around 90 people, clients included Microsoft, Nokia, Atari and Sony Computer Entertainment. Hit games developed included the award-winning ‘The Thing’ (PS2, Xbox, PC) for Vivendi Universal which was a number one hit in the UK and Germany. (The game is a sequel to the cult John Carpenter film of the same name.) Other products included the cult PC game Evolva for Virgin Interactive and Organic Art for Warner Interactive and Mattel. The average turnover was approximately £5m per annum, with two development studios in London and Brighton. William was responsible for negotiating and closing contracts valued at $100K to $5m with USA and European Publishers.
William is Director and Founder of Games Audit Ltd (2003), which is an Operational and Technical Due Diligence Company focusing on the development of Playstation3, Xbox360, Nintendo Wii, PC and MMO games for clients which include Banks, VCs and City Investment companies, Games Publishers and Developers. Games Audit clients include: Ingenious Ventures, Add Partners and IDG Ventures, ITI Techmedia (Scotland), Imprimatur Capital, IFG (International Film Guarantors), Add Zero, Nesta, NCC (National Computing Center; escrow provider).
Professor Frederic Fol Leymarie, Co-Director of MSc in Computer Games & Entertainment
Frederic was previously the director and founder of the former MSc in Arts Computing at Goldsmiths, before joining William Latham to create the new MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment. He received his BEng in Electrical Engineering, with honors in aeronautics, from the Polytechnic School of Montreal, his MEng from McGill University in Computer Vision and Biomedical Imagery, and his PhD from Brown University (in 3D shape representation). In the mid-nineties he was leading R&D projects in the industry of 3D Geographical Information Systems, with Thales – part of Thomson-CSF – based in Paris, France.
His current research interests incorporate ideas from computer vision, together with the physics of waves and shocks and their modelling in modern mathematics via singularity theory. Frederic is also working on perceptual models grounded in geometry, based in part on Gestalt theory. Frederic has initiated several 'shape-based' projects mixing the arts, humanities, social sciences, and computing, including CyberCity and CyberMonument, digital sculpting (with the Mid-Ocean Studio), digital archaeology (co-founder of the SHAPE lab at Brown University), and FoldSynthProtein Folding Visualisation Project (with William Latham and Stephen Todd at Goldsmiths and the Bioinformatics group at Imperial College, London).
Andy Thomason, Leader of the Programming, Tools and Middleware, and AI courses
Andy is a games industry veteran – from his involvement in computer chess and console games in the 1970s through Psygnosis technology group, Rage games, Confounding factor and now Sony Computer Entertainment. He's now split between SN Systems, Sony's console tools specialist, and Goldsmiths. Andy has contributed to many recent triple-A game titles by troubleshooting performance issues.
Andy holds a half time senior lecturing position with us, and keeps a half time position at Sony, SN Systems in Bristol, as a Compiler Engineer (since 2004). Previously he was Technology programmer at Confounding factor (2003-04), on the game "B-17 Flying Fortress: The mighty 8th" (1999-2003), at Psygnosis (1994-99).
Andy has experience with every aspect of computer science from video codecs, speech recognition, game engines, mathematics, geometry processing, operating systems to compilers.
Andy holds a BSc with Honours in Physics and Electronics from the University of Manchester, and an MSc in Mathematics from the Open University.
Richard Leinfellner is co-founder of 80’s games company Palace Software, where he was responsible for a number of hit games for Commodore 64 and Amiga. Richard has held executive level production roles at a number of major developers including 11 years as Executive Producer and Vice President at Electronic Arts. During his career he has managed teams of upto 150 people and shipped a significant number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful games including Cauldron, Barbarian, Dark Omen, Populous 3, Theme Park World, F1 and Battleforge.
Prior to his move into academia Richard was the CEO of Babel Media, with office in the UK, India and Canada and a staff of 350 providing outsourced services for the interactive entertainment industry.
Whilst focusing mainly on games production and business in his spare time Richard is still a keen programmer with a focus on the IOT for which he design Bluetooth Low Energy devices and firmware.
He holds a BA from the Open University and is Visiting Professor for Digital Entertainment and Business at the University of Abertay.
Suggested preliminary reading:
- “Game Programming Gems,” Vol. 1-6, Mark DeLoura, 2000-6.
- “Massively Multiplayer Game Development,” (vols. 1 & 2), T. Alexander, 2005.
- “Death March,” E. Yourdon, 2nd ed., 2003 ( www.yourdon.com).
- “Waltzing with Bears: Managing Risks on Software Projects,” T. Demarco & T. Lister, 2003.
- “Computational Geometry,” M. Overmars & O. Schwarzkopf, 2nd rev. ed., 2000.
- “Texturing and Modeling: A Procedural Approach,” D. Ebert et al., 3rd ed., 2002.
- “The Animator’s Survival Kit,” R. Williams, 2002.
- “Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art,” S. McCloud, 1994.
- “Creating Emotion in Games: The Craft and Art of Emotioneering,” D. Freedman, 2003.
- “3D Game Engine Design,” D. Eberly, 2006.
- “3D Game Engine Architecture,” D. Eberly, 2005.
- Graphics Gems Series
- GPU Gems Series
- ShaderX series, W. Engel.
- “Agent-Based Software Development,” M. Luck, R. Ashri & M. d’Inverno, 2004.
- AI Game Programming Wisdom series, S. Rabin, 2002-6.
- “Creating Music and Sound for Games,” G. W. Childs, 2006.
- “Fundamentals of Audio & Video Programming for Games,” P. Turcan & M. Wasson, 2003.
- “Real-Time Collision Detection,” C. Ericson, 2004.
- “Game Physics,” D. Eberly, 2003.
- “Effective C++,” 3rd edition, S. Myers, 2005.
- “More Effective C++,” S. Myers, 1996.
- “Effective STL,” S. Myers, 2001.
- “C++ Coding Standards,” Stutter & Alexandrescu, 2004.
- “Exceptional C++,” Stutter, 2004.
- “Code Complete,” 2rd rev. ed., S. McConnell, 2004.
- “Peopleware,” 2nd ed., T. DeMarco, 1999.
- “Software project Survival Guide,” S.McConnell, 1997.
- “Professional software development,” S.McConnell, 2003.
- "Beyond the C++ Standard Library -- an intro. to Boost," B. Karlsson, 2006.
- "Mathematics for 3D game programming & Computer Graphics," E. Lengyel, 2nd edition, 2003.
- "3D Math Primer for Games & Graphics Development," F. Dunn & I. Parberry, 2002.
Skills & careers
This course is run by an experienced team of practitioners who have the knowledge and industry contacts to help you succeed in the computer games industry. As well as offering you the chance to do an internship as part of your course, we also host regular speakers and networking sessions.
Almost 100% of our graduates find work within four to five months of finishing the course. They now work for a number of major studios including Splash Damage, Ubisoft, SONY SCEE, Rebellion Studios, Mediatonic, Frontier, Supermassive and Roll7, as well as getting funded for startups such as Terrardhard. Find out what some of our alumni have to say about their time studying at Goldsmiths.
We also work with the following industry partners:
Our MSc in Computer Games & Entertainment is part of the PlayStation®First Academic Partnership Programme offered by Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) uk.playstation.com. Our course provides students with unique access to PlayStation® professional development hardware (dev kits) and software (SDK) to equip students with industry relevant game development skills across PlayStation®3 and PlayStation® Vita. www.worldwidestudios.net/london
Placement: Supermassive Games
"Following two years of successful placements at Supermassive Games, which resulted in full time jobs, we are looking forward to inviting Goldsmiths students to take part in our internship assessment day again this year."
Jonathan Amor, Director of Technology, Supermassive Games
Placement: Reflections - a Ubisoft studio
"We are delighted to announce that Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, will be taking on two Goldsmiths MSc Computer Games and Entertainment Programming students for Internship."
Dr Chris Jenner, Expert Programmer
"Having now placed four interns from Goldsmiths here at Rebellion, two of which have gone on to become permanent members of staff, we are very much looking forward to future applications from talented and creative Goldsmiths MSc Computer Games students” Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion
Rebellion is one of Europe’s largest independent game developer-publishers, with their own state of the art cross-platform games engine and toolset. Rebellion’s latest number one hit was Sniper Elite 3, and they also publish the legendary 2000AD comic featuring Judge Dredd.
Placement: The Creative Assembly (SEGA)
Following two continuous years of The Creative Assembly (SEGA) successfully taking Goldsmiths MSc Games Programming Students on placements we are pleased to announce that we have reserved a minimum of three placements for Goldsmiths MSc students starting the course in September 2013, on site during the period May to September 2014. Subject to interview/ portfolio process”. Martin Servantes Director of Operations & Finance
Leading UK Developer Creative Assembly is the developer of the hit game series Total War. They are currently working on a new cross-platform title based on the Alien IP. Based in Horsham.
Placement: Jagex Games Studio
"Jagex Games Studio in Cambridge is looking forward to receiving applications from Goldsmiths’ talented MSc Games and Entertainment students for their summer internships in 2014”.
Sue Stather, Graduate Recruitment Specialist, Jagex Games Studio (RuneScape and Transformers Universe MMO Development Studio)
Placement: Roll 7
Roll7 is a New Cross-based indie video games developer and has been offering placements to Goldsmiths MSc Games students for three years. Roll7 is just about to release its first console title OlliOll, exclusively for PSVita, and we are looking for another 1 or 2 Goldsmiths programming interns for 2014 to work on a Sony backed PS4/Vita cross-play title
You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least upper second class standard in computing, engineering or mathematical sciences, and an interest in - and capability for - working in interdisciplinary contexts.
You might also be considered if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant commercial experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.
English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.
For this programme we require:
IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)
If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.
How to apply
You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system.
Before submitting your application you'll need to have:
- Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
- The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
- A personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online
- If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)
You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.
When to apply
We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September.
We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place conditional on you achieving a particular qualification.
If you're applying for external funding from one of the Research Councils, make sure you submit your application by the deadline they've specified.
Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.
You will be required to demonstrate sufficient proficiency at programming in a major language, such as C, C#, C++ or Java, before being accepted on the programme. This may take the form of text or – during an interview – a practical challenge to programme a well-known method or algorithm. A portfolio of relevant work (such as programming samples, art-based/sketch book, games assets, or games programmed/designed) will strengthen your application.
Find out more about applying.
Fees & funding
UK students offered a place on this degree are eligible to apply for the BAFTA Scholarship Programme.
Find out more about tuition fees.