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Take your computer game development skills to the next level. Study, plan, produce and test games in our specialist studios. Working alongside students from our Computer Games Development Art course, you’ll gain experience in multi-disciplinary working and create an advanced portfolio.
- Study, plan, produce and test games in our specialist studios
- Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team alongside students from our MA Computer Games Development (Art).
- Improve your prospects with guest speakers and live briefs from companies like Sony, Sumo Digital, Jagex, and Frontier
- Take part in events with industry reps like gaming festival Brains Eden, hosted every year by ARU, where games studios snap up the latest talent
- Study in Cambridge, where 18% of the UK gaming industry is based (nesta.org.uk)
The UK video games industry is worth £3.78 billion and there’s currently a recognised skills shortage of skilled games designers. If you have a first degree in computer science or a similar technical degree, our course will give you the skills to confidently create advanced level games.
Based in Cambridge, the heart of the UK’s games development industry, you’ll work in our Computer Game Development studio and hub, where you’ll create games both on your own and in teams, and gain the technical design skills to publish successfully across a range of platforms.
As well as furthering your development skills, you’ll also focus on games programming and tailor your research project so that you can concentrate on developing skills in an area that you’re passionate about.
We constantly focus on entrepreneurial opportunities, and sharing modules with our MA Computer Games Development (Art) means you’ll work with different strands of the games industry and meet and build your contacts ready for your career. Everything you design will also build into a valuable portfolio to help you secure your dream job when you graduate.
It can take up to three years to create a game, all the way from initial concept to the finished product. One game can involve up to 200 professionals working as a team.
As a game developer, you could design the visual styling as well as how it plays. You could be involved with animating characters and objects, creating audio, programming, testing and producing.
Besides working in the leisure/entertainment sector, you could use your skills to develop ‘serious’ games. These are used in rehabilitation, education and training, defence, science, health, city planning and engineering.
You could also go into a career in marketing, teaching or general technology.
You’re also in the perfect position to continue your academic career and move up to our Computer Science PhD.
MODULES & ASSESSMENT
Games ProgrammingModern games are built of many specialised components; graphics, artificial intelligence, game logic, network communications, data storage, tools development and more. It is near impossible to be a specialist in all of these areas so an aspiring games programmer needs to be able to focus on one area and become an expert on that topic. Each student start with a range of prior experience and will bring a wide range of desired specialisations. This module allows you to negotiate a structured set of specific objectives which are to be achieved within the module. You will be encouraged to take responsibility for your own learning and examples of innovative approaches to learning or artefact production will be encouraged. You will discuss with your allocated tutor your programming topic of interest and aspirations for learning. The tutor will explain the requirements of the module and together you will agree an appropriate set of objective and assessment criteria. You will present a plan of activities to achieve the agreed objectives which will be agreed with the tutor. You will then be expected to carry out the plan and submit the agreed work in the agreed format at the end of the module period. These deliverables will be assessed against the objectives and assessment criteria agreed at the start of the module.
Portfolio (Computer Games Art)Create a professional quality artefact in the form of a game or technical demonstrator. Your final work will demonstrate attainment in technical, professional and game design knowledge. You’ll be required to take on a quasi-professional role in the development of a substantial piece of work which will include research, specification, design, documentation, development and evaluation. A key element is for students to evaluate their skill set, and, if necessary, specify and undertake a learning programme to gain the skills they need. Weekly computing laboratory sessions will be used to guide and monitor progress with the emphasis on supporting appropriate learning activities rather than delivering content. Seminars on particular technologies relevant to student project topics may be included as well as generic issues such as legal, professional and project management. The module will provide an opportunity to develop new skills or take existing knowledge further within a supportive framework. You’ll create a middleware package, complete game or technology demonstration, either individually or, with approval, as part of a small team. The assessment of the module is based on the research, process, documentation, implementation and evaluation of this artefact as agreed with the tutor. This will be measured by a comprehensive account of the project process, specification, design, implementation, skills development alongside the finished artefact and presentation. Where group work is specified the contribution of each individual will be assessed separately. A professional and real world approach is encouraged and work can be undertaken for third party clients and practitioners of the industry.
Games Development 1Games development is a multi-disciplinary endeavour, requiring input from artists, audio-technicians, programmers and designers, to produce an entertaining, polished product. This module provides you with an opportunity to apply your existing skills to complex interdisciplinary projects. Games design theory is tested in a developmental framework where you collaboratively plan successive games projects and in the process gain hands-on experience on how your particular discipline relates to the demands and requirements of professional games development. Rapid project prototyping will lead to a critical evaluation and assessment of the games design and highlight areas that could be improved in the development process. Formative assessment takes place on a weekly basis during practical sessions both by tutors and peers. You will learn to reflect on your own and others’ practice and contribute to peer assessment sessions. You will have an opportunity to discuss the progress of the projects with the module tutors. Periodic milestone presentations of the game in development will also be formatively assessed. Summative assessment takes the form of completed game development projects and a critical report which provides a reflective commentary of the development process, a contextual analysis and an evaluation of the projects.
Games Development 2In this module, you have the opportunity to plan and develop a games project which will focus on developing an innovative games experience. You are encouraged to focus on innovative and engaging player experiences which are not necessarily limited to traditional video game platforms. You will be challenged to develop projects with a target platform, audience and reward strategy in mind and to reflect professional, legal and ethical issues in your game design. The projects which you undertake can be either a full and complete game development project, or an experimental prototype for the exploration of new ideas which can potentially be taken further in your Major Project. You will develop project management and time management skills by collaboratively constructing a schedule of development which considers the prioritising of the various skillsets and accommodating these interdependencies. You will work collaboratively, ensuring that you plan and develop the project in consideration of the demands and influences of the subject specialism of other team members. Formative assessment takes place at several stages within the module: (i) at pitching sessions (ii) two peer assessment sessions (iii) in one-to-one tutorials during which you are able to discuss progress of the project with module tutors Summative assessment will take the form of a game development project and a critical report on the game artefact that provides an analysis of the development process and the project in relation to industry practice.
Research MethodsGain support and foundations in the research skills needed for your Masters level dissertation. You’ll investigate research activities including project management, research project design and analyses, ethical considerations and dissertation preparation.
Major ProjectThis module supports students in the preparation and submission of a Master’s stage project, dissertation or artefact. The Module provides the opportunity for students to select and explore in-depth, a topic that is of interest and relevant to their course in which they can develop a significant level of expertise. It enables students to: demonstrate their ability to generate significant and meaningful questions in relation to their specialism; undertake independent research using appropriate, recognised methods based on current theoretical research knowledge, critically understand method and its relationship to knowledge; develop a critical understanding of current knowledge in relation to the chosen subject and to critically analyse and evaluate information and data, which may be complex or contradictory, and draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions; develop the capability to expand or redefine existing knowledge, to develop new approaches to changing situations and/or develop new approaches to changing situations and contribute to the development of best practice; demonstrate an awareness of and to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research or professional practice; communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion; evaluate their work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner.