Course information

Department

Computing

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Course overview

This industry facing course has been developed to address the needs of the computer games sector, a continuously growing worldwide market, now larger than the film and music sectors combined.

This course is accredited by Creative Skillset.

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. 

You’ll be given the skills you need to build successful interactive experiences, whether you want to work at a start-up or as part of a large organisation.

Industry placements

We work closely with industry leaders to shape the course content, and offer industry placements at studios including:

 

              

Goldsmiths is a member of TIGA

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Department of Computing

What you'll study

Core Modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Programming for Games and Interactive Graphics 15 credits
  Advanced Programming for Games and Interactive Graphics 15 credits
  Mathematics & Graphics for Games 1 15 credits
  Mathematics & Graphics for Games 2 15 credits
  Business and Practice 15 credits
  Final Project 60 credits

 

All MSc Computer Games Programming students must take a number of optional modules worth a total of 45 credits (typically three 15 credit modules).

Some examples of 15 credit modules currently on offer are:

Optional Modules Module title Credits
  AI for Games 15 credits
  Physics and Animation for Games 15 credits
  Tools and Middleware for Games and Special Effects 15 credits
  Introduction to Virtual Reality 15 credits
  Mixed Realities 15 credits
  Data and Machine Learning for Artistic Practice 15 credits
  Games Design and Games Analytics 15 credits
  Introduction to Modelling and Animation 15 credits

Please note: The above list is neither exhaustive nor prescriptive. Other MA or MSc level computing modules may also be available to take (to be agreed with your tutor and the relevant lecturers.)

Seminars

We organise an industry-focused seminar series (shared with other postgraduate programmes), where we invite speakers from the games and creative industries.

Assessment

Mainly based on coursework (involving programming) and essays, as well as a final project and dissertation. Some lecturers may also conduct exams/quizzes.

Attendance

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 the 2019-20 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

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.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

UK students offered a place on this degree are eligible to apply for the BAFTA Scholarship Programme.

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
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • 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.

Selection process 

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 test 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.

Facilities

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: 

Staff

Professor William Latham, Co-director of MSc in Computer Games Programming

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 Programming

Frederic was previously the director and founder of the former MSc in Arts Computing (2004-7) and MSc Computer Games & Entertainment (2008-16; jointly with William Latham) at Goldsmiths. 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). 

Richard Leinfellner

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.

Alan Zucconi

Alan Zucconi is the author of one of the most popular online educational blogs, which helped thousands of developers all over the world to ship their games. Following its success, he published one of the leading textbooks in the field of Shader Coding for Unity. Some of the most recent commercial titles he has worked on include Pikuniku (Nintendo Switch, published by Devolver Digital), Still Time (PS4 & PSVita, in collaboration with SONY) and 0RBITALIS. He has experience in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Data Analysis, both from an academic and professional point of view.

Alan Zucconi is also a Video Game STEM Ambassador, with a strong focus on intersectional feminism and the support of under-represented groups in the game industry. He is a passionate lecturer and developer, currently working in the intersection between Creativity and Education.

Recognised as one of Develop’s 30 Under 30, he is deeply interested in using new media to bring innovation in Higher Education.

Other Lecturers

Main programme lecturers will be suplemented by lectures from games industry professionals, as well as invited guest lecturers, also from the games industry.

Suggested reading

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.

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:

Sony

Many of our Alumni (from the previous MSc CGE) are working at Sony in London and abroad. You will be able to get in touch with them and get insider tips and feedback to better prepare yourself to join this giant of the industry.

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

Placement: Rebellion

"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

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

Student work

Exercise for the Maths&Gfx1—MSc CGE Course at Goldsmiths, with Prof. Fol Leymarie. A stochastic L-System implementation using the Octet framework (github.com/andy-thomason/octet), featuring a rendering mode with a spring-damper system.
BioBlox2D : development done at Goldsmiths by some of our past MSc games programming students. More details here: http://www.bioblox.org
BioBlox3D : development done at Goldsmiths by some of our past MSc games programming students. Details on the project: http://www.bioblox.org
BioBloxVR : development done at Goldsmiths, University of London, by some of our past MSc games programming students. More on the project here: http://www.bioblox.org

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