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Undergraduate study
Games Programming (with Foundation Year)

Games Programming (with Foundation Year) BSc (Hons)

This degree is one of the UK’s leading games programming courses and is well respected by the industry. You have the opportunity to study on this specialist course taught by experienced developers and internationally recognised researchers.



Course routes:


Course overview

Work placement

Computer games facilities

See the facilities you use when you study computer games at Teesside University

Have you ever looked at your favourite games and thought how they were crafted? Games programmers are the masterminds behind the gameplay elements, graphics, and audio that make games come alive. It's a role that demands an exceptional level of technical skill and creativity.

Throughout your journey, you acquire the essential skills and knowledge to become a proficient games programmer, armed with a deep understanding of the games industry. This knowledge and experience will be your ticket to a rewarding career within the world of games. Beyond the classroom, you'll participate in a range of extracurricular activities, including game jams, hackathons, and networking events with industry professionals.

By the time you complete this course, you'll be equipped to embark on an rewarding career in the games industry, bringing your innovative ideas and technical expertise to the forefront of interactive entertainment.

This course includes a foundation year - ideal if you need additional preparation or if you don't have sufficient grades to join Year 1 of a degree.

The course is structured around the following themes:

  • programming and agile software engineering practices
  • gaming hardware and platforms (mobile devices and consoles)
  • gameplay programming and user interfaces (multimodal interfaces) artificial intelligence
  • networked multiplayer games (from social gaming to massively multiplayer games) graphics, animation, physics, and simulation programming.

Top reasons to study this course at Teesside:
  • British Computer Society (BCS) academic membership: get free BCS membership to accelerate your career path with CV builder tools, e-learning courses, mentorships programmes, jobs boards and volunteering opportunities.
  • Industry links: take part in Animex, our annual international animation and games festival featuring experts from Rockstar, Pixar, Disney and Sony.
  • Career-ready: our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.
  • Start-up business support: we support you to develop your own business in games through our innovative Power UP Indie Games Accelerator.
  • Quality teaching: 90% of BSc (Hons) Games Programming students agreed that staff are good at explaining things (National Student Survey 2023,

This course is also offered at our Teesside University London campus. Please note, the structure, content and delivery model is different, visit for full details.

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Course details

Course structure

Foundation year core modules

Case Studies

Focusing on computer games, animation and film, you gain an introductory level of understanding in the context of your chosen field of study. As well as looking at the historical and context of these, you observe how we interpret these types of media historically and materially. Choose a text within your area of interest, undertaking an analytical review in the form of a case study.

This is a 30-credit module.

Development Project

Working in small teams, you design, develop and demonstrate a software solution that relates to an agreed specification following an agile development methodology.

This is a 30-credit module.

Foundation Game

You create a small game, which involves writing a proposal document and completing a demo using a contemporary game engine.

This is a 30-credit module.

Programming Fundamentals

Gain an introduction to programming if you have little or no experience of it. You use tools that are easily available, easy to use and familiar to anyone who's used a computer. Learn how programming language constructs are applied to increasing complex problems.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 1 core modules

Algorithmic Problem Solving

Learn about the maths, algorithms and data structures that are essential for computer science and computer games – putting first principles into an applied context.

This module is closely linked to our programming modules and prepares you with essential, transferable problem-solving skills.

This is a 30-credit module.

Game Creation

Gain the skills you need for game creation using a contemporary game engine. Understand the fundamentals of modern game development, including scripting, asset creation and level design.

This is a 30-credit module.

Game Programming Fundamentals

Learn how to write computer programs with a focus on games-related applications. You consider common programming constructs that apply to multiple object-oriented programming languages such C++, Java, C#. You then focus on the games industry-standard C++ language.

This is a 30-credit module.

Game Software Engineering

Develop your programming and software engineering skills, knowledge and professionalism. Learn about advanced areas of C++ programming, along with standard analysis and design approaches.

This is a 30-credit module.


Year 2 core modules

Games Engine Construction

You investigate the architectural requirements of a game engine and the advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Create some of the identified systems such as graphics and simulation, demonstrating their effectiveness through a small game demo.

This is a 30-credit module.


You work with students from across all the games courses to develop a game slice in a team. Experience working in a production environment, and focus on specific skills in your own field of study while gaining valuable teamwork skills.

This is a 30-credit module.

Mobile and Multiplayer

Expand your knowledge and skills in games programming, computer architecture and software development. Focus on developing restricted mobile hardware and multiplayer aspects.

This is a 30-credit module.

Programming for Game Engines

You focus on the low-level scripting available in modern game engines. Create your own custom functionality by programming algorithms, functions and classes at an engine level.

This is a 30-credit module.


Optional work placement year

Work placement

You have the option to spend one year in industry learning and developing your skills. We encourage and support you with applying for a placement, job hunting and networking.

You gain experience favoured by graduate recruiters and develop your technical skillset. You also obtain the transferable skills required in any professional environment, including communication, negotiation, teamwork, leadership, organisation, confidence, self-reliance, problem-solving, being able to work under pressure, and commercial awareness.

Many employers view a placement as a year-long interview, therefore placements are increasingly becoming an essential part of an organisation's pre-selection strategy in their graduate recruitment process. Benefits include:

· improved job prospects
· enhanced employment skills and improved career progression opportunities
· a higher starting salary than your full-time counterparts
· a better degree classification
· a richer CV
· a year's salary before completing your degree
· experience of workplace culture
· the opportunity to design and base your final-year project within a working environment.

If you are unable to secure a work placement with an employer, then you simply continue on a course without the work placement.


Final-year core modules

3D Graphics

The use of 3D graphics in computer games has become increasingly realistic, and is one of the most important methods in conveying the game state to the player. You investigate 3D graphics techniques and apply a selection of them to create a portfolio. Research modern 3D programming techniques and libraries, and become familiar with creating code to run on both the central and graphics processing units.

This is a 30-credit module.

AI for Games

Gain an integrated view of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application in computer games, exploring up-to-date and advanced AI techniques.

This is a 30-credit module.

Games Project

You undertake a large-scale project guided by a member of staff, where you produce a substantial piece of work related to your course alongside a written report. You also present and discuss your project.

This is a 60-credit module.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

It is essential for you to gain experience in being a programmer. Your modules use a combination of lecture sessions to study the theory, computer lab sessions to put theory into practice with tutor guidance, and controlled studio environments to practice your professional and teamwork skills.

In your second year you take part in our unique Journeyman module, highly praised by industry, in which all games art students work with games designers in a simulated game studio experience, outsourcing various essentials such as assets and animation to specialist teams. You work on games in Unreal and Unity to strict milestones in a scenario that is as close to industry practice as possible within an academic environment.

Learn using our industry-standard facilities including multiple games development labs, virtual reality lab, and state-of-art Vicon motion capture facilities.

How you are assessed

Our course focuses on the application of the knowledge and skills you acquire. Most of your modules require you to design and develop software to demonstrate your new abilities. Your assignments are set by your tutor and you work on them throughout the academic year whilst receiving valuable feedback to guide your work.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Any combination of level 3 qualifications. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.

We may also be able to help you meet the entry requirements through our Summer and Winter University modules.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

You are ideally suited for employment in the games development industry and similar creative industries. A variety of programming roles exist within these industries such as gameplay programmer, tools programmer, middleware developer and mobile application programmer. The course gives you a strong foundation in computer programming, also allowing for a career in mainstream software development.

Our graduates are highly sought after in the games industry securing roles in AAA studios across the country and the globe including Accenture, HMRC, Zerolight, Ubisoft, Creative Assembly, Double 11, Microsoft, Traveller's Tales and many more.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

Select your country:


Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser


Other course routes

Work placement

Study this course with an optional work placement year, at no extra cost. Alongside this, you can gain valuable experience and engagement with the sector through our shorter work placements, internships and work experience opportunities.

Work placements


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 4 years (or 5 with a work placement)
  • UCAS code: I614 BSc/GPFY
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: Offers tailored to individual circumstances

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

Choose Teesside

  • Student and graduate profiles

    Opal Cadman

    Opal CadmanBSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming

    Middlesbrough is really student-focused, which made settling in so easy. And the gaming facilities are incredible.

    Meet Opal

    Tom Craven

    Tom CravenBSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming

    Tom works for Snapchat in Soho London.

    Meet Tom

  • Student work

    Computer Games showreel

    See some of the work our computer games students produce.

  • News

    Nick Marshall, pictured far left, with some of the Emmy winning team Emmy success for Teesside University graduate
    A successful Teesside University graduate who recently returned to the region to inspire guests at Animex is celebrating an Emmy Award for his work on a flagship HBO series.

    Read the full story

    Teesside Launchpad, home of the PowerUp Games Accelerator Indie games studios to attend prestigious conference
    Indie games developers based at Teesside University’s enterprise hub are to be given the opportunity to network with some of the industry’s biggest names when they attend a prestigious conference this month.

    Read the full story

    Toby Cotton and Courtney Pattison, front, with other Double Eleven placement students Leading games studio helping students gain industry experience
    A leading games studio is helping to nurture the future careers of eleven talented Teesside University students.

    Read the full story

  • On video

    Animex 2023

    Animex 2023 round-up, our international festival of animation, VFX and games.

    Women in Games

    Find out more about studying computer games at Teesside University


ExpoTees 2021 animation, visual effects and computer games showreel

Our ExpoSeries of events allow you to showcase your skills to industry professionals who are seeking to recruit new and rising talent.


Get in touch

UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

Online chat (general enquiries)

International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

More international contacts


Open days and events

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