IB: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
3 years full-time; 4 years full-time with the third year spent on industrial placement in a video games or general computing field; 4-6 years part-time
Prepare for a career programming in the games industry, in sectors including mobile games, casual games, social media games, and AAA console game development.
Why study BSc Games Programming at Goldsmiths?
- From the very beginning of the degree you'll have the opportunity to develop games in an environment that mirrors industry working practices as closely as possible
- You'll have the option of taking an industrial placement year between the second and final year, allowing you to gain invaluable work experience that will enhance your career prospects
- You'll develop technical skills, but also the creative skills that are so sought after in the industry
- The degree aims to prepare you for a career programming in the games industry, in sectors including mobile games, casual games, social media games, and – for the most successful students – AAA console game development
- The skills taught during the course are also applicable in other areas of computing such as mainstream programming jobs, mobile app development or web development, or could lead to Masters level study in games programming, which is an established route into high profile game development studios
- We're ranked number 2 in London for computing (Guardian University League Tables 2017)
Contact the department
If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Professor Robert Zimmer
What you'll study
The games industry is competitive for graduates, and one that involves some of the most technically challenging programming problems.
This degree is a technical computing degree that will equip you with the rigorous programming skills you need to succeed, together with the experience of applying those skills specifically to games development. As well as a technical industry, it's also a creative industry that requires constant innovation and understanding of art and design skills.
Our approach at Goldsmiths emphasises the creative side of programming and how programming relates to the creative aspects of game development. Most importantly of all, from the very beginning, you will be developing games in an environment that mirrors industry working practices as closely as possible. This will give you the experience you need as well as helping you develop a portfolio of work to present to potential employers.
The programme has three main elements: programming, technologies and practice. You will build your technical programming skills, learn about graphics, audio and artificial intelligence and current hot platforms such as Mobile Games, HTML5-based web games and social media games. You will also have many opportunities for practical work, making games using professional games engines and with professional working practices, such as design documentation, testing cycles, issue tracking and version control.
Year 1 (credit level 4)
|Introduction to Programming part 1||15 credits|
|Mathematical Modelling for Problem Solving||30 credits|
|Introduction to Games Development Practice||30 credits|
|Web Development||15 credits|
|Generative Drawing||15 credits|
Year 2 (credit level 5)
|Principles and Applications of Programming||30 credits|
|Perception and Multimedia Programming||30 credits|
|Games Development Group Project||30 credits|
The department will choose whether students in a given year will study Algorithms and Data Structures (30 credits) or Data, Networks and the Web (30 credits):
|Algorithms and Data Structures||30 credits|
|Data, Networks and the Web||30 credits|
Optional placement year
Our degrees include an optional industrial placement year between the second and final year of study. You will be responsible for securing a placement, but we can support you through this process.
Although we encourage you to take the opportunity of a placement year, you can also complete your degree in a straight three years.
Final year (credit level 6)
Study at Level 6 consists of option modules to the value of 60 credits. In addition to a final year project worth 60 credits, you can choose options from an annually approved list including:
|Game AI Programming||15 credits|
|Pervasive Gaming and Immersive Theatre||15 credits|
|Interaction Design||15 credits|
|Advanced Audio-visual Processing||15 credits|
|Machine Learning||15 credits|
|Physical Computing||15 credits|
This programme is taught through a mixture of lectures, tutorials, workshops and laboratory sessions. You’ll also be expected to undertake a significant amount of independent study. This includes carrying out required and additional reading, preparing topics for discussion, and producing essays or project work.
The following information gives an indication of the typical proportions of learning and teaching for each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 29% scheduled learning, 71% independent learning
- Year 2 - 25% scheduled learning, 75% independent learning
- Year 3 - 14% scheduled learning, 86% independent learning
How you’ll be assessed
You’ll be assessed by a variety of methods, depending on your module choices. These include coursework, examinations, group work and projects. If you opt for an industrial placement year, your placement tutor will assess your work. If you complete the placement year successfully, you earn the endorsement 'with work experience' on your degree certificate.
The following information gives an indication of how you can typically expect to be assessed on each year of this programme*:
- Year 1 - 70% coursework, 30% written exam
- Year 2 - 57% coursework, 43% written exam
- Year 3 - 80% coursework, 20% written exam
*Please note that these are averages are based on enrolments for 2016/17. Each student’s time in teaching, learning and assessment activities will differ based on individual module choices.
Credits and levels of learning
An undergraduate honours degree is made up of 360 credits – 120 at Level 4, 120 at Level 5 and 120 at Level 6. If you are a full-time student, you will usually take Level 4 modules in the first year, Level 5 in the second, and Level 6 modules in your final year. A standard module is worth 30 credits. Some programmes also contain 15-credit half modules or can be made up of higher-value parts, such as a dissertation or a Major Project.
Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.
We accept the following qualifications:
International Baccalaureate: 33 points overall with Three HL subjects at 655
Access: Pass with 45 Level 3 credits including 30 Distinctions and a number of merits/passes in subject-specific modules
Scottish qualifications: BBBBC (Higher) or BBC (Advanced Higher)
European Baccalaureate: 75%
Irish Leaving Certificate: H2 H2 H2 H2
We also 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 of 6.0 no element lower than 5.5 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for degree-level study.
If you don't have a Science or Mathematics-based A-level, you should normally have at least Grade B/Grade 6 at GCSE Mathematics.
We encourage applications from those without a formal qualification in these areas who can demonstrate relevant knowledge, skills and experience. We welcome applicants with BTEC qualifications, particularly those predicted DDM.
All applicants may be called for an interview, at which time they may be asked to take a computer aptitude test.
Fees & funding
Our degrees aim to equip you with a wide range of skills to meet the current demands of the industry and increase your career prospects.
Industrial placement year
Our degree programmes include an optional Industrial Placement Year between the second and third year of study. This offers you the invaluable opportunity to develop the practical skills and real world experience that is sought after by employers. You're supported throughout your placement year by a placement tutor, who provides you with guidance and liaises between you and your employer.
This degree will provide you with technical skills including:
- A strong understanding of how to design, develop and apply software in all areas of commerce and industry
- Develop interactive software including graphics and audio
- Develop playable and compelling video games
- An awareness of the fundamentals of computing (hardware, software, architecture and operating systems)
- An understanding of programming languages
- A clear sense of the issues involved in building and maintaining reliable software for the sophisticated demands of today's market and for the software industry as it develops throughout the 21st century
- An understanding of the social context and visual design aspects of software development together with the technical skills of programming
Our degrees have a large proportion of practical work in which you must deliver software projects, both individually and in groups. This mirrors as closely as possible a real world work environment. These projects develop your technical skills but also require you to tackle the broader aspects of the software development process, such as understanding users' needs and requirements and the design of interfaces on a number of platforms – from web pages to touch screen phones.
You'll also gain skills in teamwork, creative thinking, report writing, time management and organisation, presenting reasoned arguments to a range of audiences, and retrieval of information – all of which are sought by graduate employers.
The Department runs an MSc in Computer Games and Entertainment and successful graduates from BSc Games Programming would be well placed to apply for the Masters programme.
This programme aims to prepare students for a career programming in the games industry. Students would be able to take on jobs in many sectors in the games industry such as mobile games, casual game, social media games, and for the most successful students, AAA console game development. Students would also be able to progress to masters level study in games programming, which is an established route into high profile game development studios. The skills taught in the course are also applicable in other areas of computing such as mainstream programming jobs, mobile app development or web development.
Where do Goldsmiths computing graduates work?
Some of the recent graduate level careers for computing graduates have included:
- Video game developer
- Mobile App developer
- Film special effects and post-production
- Application programmer
- Web developer
- Computer music/sound engineer
- Interface designer
- Systems analyst
- Database manager