BSc (Hons) Games Development and Production

The course

UCAS code
G4GD
Duration
4 years
Location
Edinburgh
Delivery type
Full-time

Contact

Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.

Overview

Introducing our ground-breaking new undergraduate programme at Heriot-Watt University, BSc (Hons) Games Development and Production, exclusively launching in the vibrant city of Edinburgh.

Led by acclaimed industry expert Dr. Thomas Methven, a Bafta award-winning indie developer, you'll acquire sought-after skills in game design, 3D graphics, UI/UX, and more. Our expert teaching team will guide you through gaining real-world experience in designing, building, and releasing your own games. 

In recent years, Edinburgh has firmly established itself as a global hub for the gaming industry, surpassing major sectors such as AI, Data Science, and Cyber Security. This undergraduate programme seeks to bridge the gap within Edinburgh's thriving gaming ecosystem, driven by industry giants like Rockstar North, Epic Games, and Unity Technologies.

Our Games Studio

This programme has exclusive use of our purpose-built Games Studio inside our £19m innovation and entrepreneurship GRID building. This studio comes equipped with the latest development hardware, allowing the development of modern console or VR experiences. As there are only a handful of universities worldwide capable of offering such design-led programmes, this studio provides a unique mixture of practical supervised studio learning experience, technical know-how, and an interdisciplinary entrepreneurship approach to Games production.

Studying in Edinburgh, the key to your success

• Edinburgh's gaming legacy: Edinburgh has a rich gaming history and the most games companies of any Scottish city. It is home to a multitude of studios, indie developers, and related tech companies. It's a city where innovation, creativity, and technology converge, making it the perfect backdrop for your journey into the gaming world.

• An innovative teaching approach: Integrating portfolio construction, Computer Science fundamentals, and practical experiences with industry collaborators.

• Networking and community opportunities: Being in Edinburgh means you're in the heart of the action. You'll have unparalleled opportunities to meet fellow creatives, with regular industry events, conferences, and meetups that allow you to connect with professionals, hobbyist, and potential employers in the gaming field.

Inspiration all around: Edinburgh's stunning landscapes, historical architecture, and vibrant cultural scene provide boundless inspiration for game design and storytelling. The city's unique blend of tradition and modernity is the perfect environment for nurturing your creativity.

Internship and job prospects: Many gaming companies and startups in Edinburgh actively seek fresh talent. The proximity to these opportunities enhances your chances of securing internships and job placements during and after your studies, setting you on a path to a successful career in the gaming industry.

Our expertise and facilities

  • Led by Scottish BAFTA Winning Games Developer Thomas Methven: indie developer of SOLAS 128
  • Graduate showcase event: Every year we organize a graduate showcase, providing our students with an opportunity to demonstrate the games they've created to the industry and Scottish gaming community.
  • Built on industrial engagement: This degree was designed around the requirements of industry ensuring you are ready to take your next step into industry or indie development.
  • A leading university: Heriot-Watt University was one of the first universities in the UK to offer a Computer Science undergraduate meaning we boast a distinguished history of over five decades dedicated to research and teaching in this field.
  • State-of-the-art labs: To facilitate hands-on learning, we have created state-of-the-art labs based in the GRID; including the Games Studio and the university’s first VR labs.

Careers

Example of Gaming careers you could work in:

  • Game Developer: Develops the code and software components of video games.
  • Game Designer: Develops the core game functions, creating the rules, gameplay, and flow throughout the game.
  • Game User Experience (UI/UX) Designer: Enhances the overall user experience and designs how users interface with the game.
  • Game System/Engine/Graphics Developer: Develops the low-level components of a modern game, which supports the gameplay.
  • Game Producer: Manages the development process, ensuring games are completed on time and within budget.
  • Game Writer/Narrative Designer: Crafts the story and narrative elements of video games.
  • Game AI Programmer: Develops artificial intelligence systems to control non-player characters and game behaviours.

Course content

Year 1

Mandatory courses

  • F17LP: Logic and Proof
  • F17SC: Discrete Mathematics
  • F27CS: Introduction to Computer Systems
  • F27GI: Introduction to Games
  • F27ID: Introduction to Interaction Design
  • F27SA: Software Development 1
  • F27SB: Software Development 2
  • F27WD: Web Design and Databases

Year 2

Mandatory courses

  • F28DA: Data Structures and Algorithms
  • F28DM: Database Management Systems
  • F28ED: User-Centred Experimental Design
  • F28GE: Games Engines
  • F28HS: Hardware-Software Interface
  • F28PL: Programming Languages
  • F28SD: Introduction to Software Engineering
  • F28SG: Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms

Year 3

Mandatory courses

  • F20GA: 3D Graphics and Animation
  • F20GP: Computer Games Programming
  • F29AI: Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Agents
  • F29DC: Data Communications and Networking
  • F29GK: Games Prototyping
  • F29OC: Operating Systems and Concurrency
  • F29PD: Professional Development
  • F29SO: Software Engineering

Year 4

Mandatory courses

  • F20AD: Advanced Human Computer Interaction
  • F20DP: Distributed and Parallel Technologies
  • F20GG: Game Development Group Project A
  • F20GH: Game Development Group Project B
  • F20PA: Research Methods & Requirements Engineering
  • F20PB: Design & Implementation
  • F20PC: Project Testing and Presentation

Optional courses

  • F20BC: Biologically Inspired Computation
  • F20CN: Computer Network Security
  • F20DL: Data Mining and Machine Learning
  • F20RO: Intelligent Robotics
  • F20RS: Rigorous Methods for Software Engineering

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Entry requirements

Year 1

Standard entry requirements

  • Highers ABBB (including Mathematics)
  • A-Levels BBC (Including Maths at B)  
  • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points (with Mathematics at Higher Level 5)
  • BTEC DDM (including sufficient Mathematics)
  • HNC B in graded unit (including sufficient Mathematics)

Minimum entry requirements*

  • Highers BBBC (including Mathematics at B)
  • A-Levels BCC (including Mathematics at B)

* Minimum: under our Fair Access Policy, we will relax our standard entry requirements for some Scottish students depending on their circumstances. Our minimum requirements will apply if you:

  • live in an area within the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation lowest 20% (SIMD20), or
  • are care experienced.

We can also make exceptions for some Scottish students with grades above minimum but below standard. Read more about our Minimum and standard entry requirements

  • Advanced Highers BBB (including Mathematics and Computing plus excellent Highers)
  • A-Levels ABB (including Mathematics and Computing)
  • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points (with Mathematics and Computing at Higher Level 6)
  • HNC A in graded unit (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)
  • HND AB in graded units (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)
  • BTEC DDM (including sufficient Mathematics and Computing)

Year 2

Those entering at Year 2 are expected to be proficient in a high-level programming language JavaC#, or C++ experience valuable. Good maths background required.

Additional information

English language requirements

  • If English is not your first language, you have to show that your English is good enough to succeed on your course. Please see our English language requirements.

Fees

Tuition fees for 2024 entry
Status* Scotland England / Wales / N Ireland / Rep of Ireland International**
Fee Paid by SAAS £9,250 £24,048

* Your residency 'status' is usually defined as the country where you have been ordinarily resident for the three years before the start of your course. Find out more about tuition fees.

** 'International' includes applicants from European Union countries who do not hold Pre-Settled or Settled status in UK. (This does not include students from the Republic of Ireland - see above). Read more about the application process for EU nationals.

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your studies at Heriot-Watt over and above tuition fees in an academic year. Depending on your programme of study, these may include: protective equipment, field trips, professional memberships, studio fees, required course texts or other study resources.

Scholarships and bursaries

Featured scholarships

Bursaries for students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales

In addition to government loans and grants towards the costs of fees and living costs, we are offering generous financial support to attract and support eligible undergraduate students from England, Northern Ireland or Wales:

  • Heriot-Watt University Bursary (up to £3,100 per year)
View details about the Heriot-Watt University Bursary

View our full range of undergraduate scholarships.