MEng Honours Computer Games Development with a Year in Industry (5-year sandwich) (UCAS Code: GG46)
For entrance requirements
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For course information
School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
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Computer Science, Computing Information Technology and Computer Games Development share a common core of modules in the first year. Students may therefore transfer between these courses at the end of first year, subject to meeting the normal progression requirements. Students interested in transferring to the Computer Games Development degree from either Computer Science or Computing and Information Technology will be required to pass an additional Mathematics exam should they not hold an A-level in Mathematics or Physics (or equivalent qualification).
For students whose first language is not English
An IELTS score of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each test component or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information on other acceptable English Language qualifications is available here
If you are an international student and you do not meet the entrance requirements, you should consider a preparation course at INTO Queen's University Belfast, which will prepare you for successful study on these degree courses. INTO Queen's University Belfast is based on the University campus and offers a range of courses including:
International Foundation in Engineering and Science
The computer games industry, spanning from consoles to PCs to mobile phones, has grown rapidly in recent years and is now a multi-billion pound global industry. The industry is still expanding and continually evolving and exploiting cutting-edge technologies as interfaces and new forms of gameplay are developed. Sound technical skills and creativity are essential for the development of a successful electronic game.
This prestigious integrated degree programme in Computer Games Development (including an optional placement year) will foster strong programming, content management and architectural design skills, and provide students with a full development experience, from concept to software design to final implementation, in preparation for a development-oriented career in the industry. Additionally, the skill set gained fully prepares graduates for a programming-oriented career within the wider software engineering industry.
Note: Computer Science, Computing Information Technology and Computer Games Development share a common core of modules in the first year. Students may therefore transfer between these degrees at the end of first year, subject to meeting the normal progression requirements. Students interested in transferring to the Computer Games Development degree from either Computer Science or Computing and Information Technology will be required to pass an additional Mathematics exam should they not hold an A-level in Mathematics or Physics (or equivalent qualification).Back to top
These degrees are modular, with core modules defined in each year and pathways that allow an increasing degree of specialism as students progress from Stage 1 to Stage 4. Modules are combined across the stages to reflect the various themes within the degree, and include:
Fundamentals of Programming and Algorithmic Development
Introductory Software Engineering and Project Management
Principles of Computer Architecture
Theory and Development of Multimedia Systems
Advanced C++ Programming
Data Structures and Algorithm Analysis
Games Programming (using XNA)
Networking Theory and Programming Practice
Principles Behind Game Theory and Game Creation
Principles of Software Engineering Explored Through Team-based Game Development
3D Game Engine Design and Development
3D Graphics and Programming
Advanced Topics in Software Engineering
Agile and Component-based Software Development
Concurrent (multi-core) Programming
Real-time Physics Programming
Year of Professional Experience
Between Stages 3 and 4 students undertake an optional full year's paid industrial placement. This placement year is an opportunity to put into practice the principles learned in the programme, and to gain practical experience in games design and development with an appropriate games development studio where possible. Students will receive assistance in obtaining a suitable placement.
In this stage students develop specialism in games programming through the selection of research-based modules and the completion of a games development research project. Based on current research strengths this would include:
Adaptive and Self-learning
Advanced Algorithmic Analysis
Advanced Computer Vision Techniques
Embedded Software Systems
Reasoning Under Uncertainty
The School has a world class reputation for research and provides excellent facilities, including access to major new research centres in Secure Information Technologies, Electronics, Communications and Information Technology and Sonic Arts. A number of modules on the course are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
The MEng in Computer Games Development provides a range of learning experiences which enable students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
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Students have access to a wide range of computers (laboratories are equipped with several hundred PCs including specialised computers to support this course) and current software packages. Networks link the School and University computers to powerful machines in Great Britain.
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As students progress through their course at Queen’s they will receive general and specific feedback about their work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and peers. University students are expected to engage with reflective practice and to use this approach to improve the quality of their work. Feedback may be provided in a variety of forms including:
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you will be encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.Back to top
On graduating with an MEng degree (and a year's experience), students will be able to take development jobs in the computer games industry or other computer-based creative industries. As competent programmers, graduates will also enjoy the same range of employment opportunities available to Software Engineers. In addition, the course will equip graduates to pursue research/further study in Computer Science and related disciplines.
Graduates from this degree at Queen’s are well-regarded by employers (local, national and international) Job opportunities within the computing sector are truly outstanding, with the local job demand for professionalism software engineering outstripping supply
We regularly consult and develop links with a large number of employers including, for example, Liberty IT and Asidua who provide sponsorship for our Computer Science degree as well as Citi and Kainos who are members of the employer liaison panel for the course.
The School has links with over 500 IT companies both here and abroad. We benefit from the fact that there are more software companies located in N Ireland than any other part of the UK, outside of London. This offers benefits on many levels for our students, from industrial input to the content of our courses, through to year long and summer placements as well as activities such as competitions organised by the companies etc.
You should also take a look at www.prospects.ac.uk for further information concerning the types of jobs that attract Computer Games Development graduates.
Further study is also an option open to Computer Games Development graduates. Students can choose from a wide range of Masters programmes as well as a comprehensive list of research topics, see the EEECS School website for more information.
Northern Ireland has an excellent international reputation for the quality and supply of its software engineers. Indeed many companies, both national and international, have opted for Northern Ireland as a base for their computing divisions in recognition of the high quality of graduates produced by the local universities.
Given this situation, it is not surprising that our graduates have had unparalleled job opportunities over the years, both locally and internationally. Because of the achievements of Queen's graduates already in the software engineering profession, a Computer Games Development degree from Queen's is a highly respected qualification.
Employers, from large multinational firms to small local organisations, actively target our students, recognising that Queen's Computer Science graduates are equipped with the skills they need. On graduating the majority of graduates take up posts associated with software design and implementation. Other than games development, opportunities exist in fields as diverse as finance, healthcare, research, consumer products, and public services - virtually all areas of business. Some of the employers include BT, Liberty IT, Kainos, Accenture, Citi, Wombat Financial Software.
The types of career open to Computer Games Development graduates include: Games Developer, Software Engineer; Systems Analyst; Systems Developer; IT Consultant; Reach and Development.
Other Career-related information: Queen’s is a member of the Russell Group and, therefore, one of the 20 universities most-targeted by leading graduate employers. Queen’s students will be advised and guided about career choice and, through the Degree Plusinitiative, will have an opportunity to seek accreditation for skills development and experience gained through the wide range of extra-curricular activities on offer. See Queen’s University Belfast fullEmployability Statementfor further information.
Degree Plus and other related initiatives:Recognising student diversity, as well as promoting employability enhancements and other interests, is part of the developmental experience at Queen’s. Students are encouraged to plan and build their own, personal skill and experiential profile through a range of activities including; recognised Queen’s Certificates, placements and other work experiences (at home or overseas), Erasmus study options elsewhere in Europe, learning development opportunities and involvement in wider university life through activities, such as clubs, societies, and sports.
Queen’s actively encourages this type of activity by offering students an additional qualification, the Degree Plus Award (and the related Researcher Plus Award for PhD and MPhil students). Degree Plus accredits wider experiential and skill development gained through extra-curricular activities that promote the enhancement of academic, career management, personal and employability skills in a variety of contexts. As part of the Award, students are also trained on how to reflect on the experience(s) and make the link between academic achievement, extracurricular activities, transferable skills and graduate employment. Participating students will also be trained in how to reflect on their skills and experiences and can gain an understanding of how to articulate the significance of these to others, e.g. employers.
Overall, these initiatives, and Degree Plus in particular, reward the energy, drive, determination and enthusiasm shown by students engaging in activities over-and-above the requirements of their academic studies. These qualities are amongst those valued highly by graduate employers.Back to top
Major new research centres have been established in Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, e-Science and in Sonic Arts. A number of our modules are closely linked to the research expertise of these centres, and evolve and change rapidly to reflect some of the current, emerging and exciting developments in the field.Back to top