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  1. Postgraduate
    1. 2020
Study at City

MSc Computer Games Technology

Entry Year:
Develop specialist technical skills for a career in the Computer Games Industry with City's leading Computer Games Technology MSc.

Key information

Start date

September 2020

Academic year dates


Full-time: 12 months (15 months with option of three month internship)
Part-time: 24 months


Full-time: £10,000

Part-time: £5,000 per year *


Full-time: £20,000

Part-time: £10,000 per year *


Northampton Square

Who is it for?

This MSc is aimed at students with a passion for computer games and a strong interest in programming. It is designed to develop your career in the games industry. The course will help you build on your undergraduate degree (which should be in a numerate subject with substantial computing content) or help you update your skills after a time in industry as a computing professional.


The Computer Games Technology MSc will help you to develop:

  • Strong technical skills suitable for professional programming roles in the game industry.
  • Specialist knowledge in computer graphics, AI, physics and audio.
  • The ability to design and build game engines from scratch in industry standard languages, including C++.
  • Knowledge of the games development process, including the pitch, design, and use of a game engine to build a demo.
  • Experience of the planning, management and execution of a major games technology project.


BCS Accredited Degree

MSDN logo

This course is accredited by TIGA, a non-profit UK trade association representing the UK's games industry. This course is also accredited by the BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, as fulfilling the academic requirement for registration as Chartered IT Professional (CITP) and partially fulfilling the requirements for Chartered Engineer (CEng) or Chartered Scientist (CSci).

Requirements and how to apply

Entry requirements

To apply for this course, you will need to hold a Bachelor's degree with lower second-class honours or above, or overseas equivalent in a numerate subject with substantial computing content.

Previous academic and commercial experience is also considered and normally involves programming.

Other suitable qualifications

If you do not qualify for direct entry, you may wish to follow a Graduate Diploma pathway to the programme through one of our partners.

INTO City, University of London

If you do not meet the entry requirements, INTO City, University of London offers a range of academic and English language programmes to help you prepare for study at City, University of London. You will learn from experienced teachers in a dedicated international study centre.

These programmes are designed for international students who do not meet the required academic and English language requirements for direct entry. To prepare for this degree course, learn more about the Graduate Diploma in Informatics.

Kaplan International College London

City works in partnership with Kaplan International College (KIC) London to provide preparatory courses for international students. Pre-Masters courses at KIC London offer you comprehensive support to help you complete your postgraduate study at City. Progression to this degree is guaranteed if you complete the KIC London Pre-Masters course at the required level.

English requirements

If you are an overseas student whose first language is not English, the following qualification is required:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum of 6.0 in all four components)

English language programmes

If you do not meet the English language requirements, INTO City, University of London offers English language programmes to help prepare you for study at university. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for entry to degree courses.

Visa requirements

If you are not from the European Economic Area / Switzerland and you are coming to study in the UK, you may need to apply for a visa or entry clearance to come to the UK to study.

The way that you apply may vary depending on the length of your course. There are different rules for:

  • Students on courses of more than six months
  • Students on courses of less than six months
  • Students on a pre-sessional English language course.

For more information see our main Visa page.

How to apply

Thank you for having decided to apply to study a postgraduate course at the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering. Please note that the deadline for applications for the 2020/21 academic year is 31st August 2020, however we may close earlier if all places are filled.

Apply now

You will be expected to submit the following:

  • Your degree certificate and transcript of marks from your first degree (if you do not have your final results at the time of making your application, please upload a provisional certificate/interim transcript of marks). A transcript is required in order to have your application processed.
  • If your first language is not English, or you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, please upload a Proof of English Proficiency if you have already obtained it. A list of accepted qualifications can be found here.
  • Please upload a detailed personal statement outlining why you wish to study this specific course, at City, University of London, as well as explaining how your past studies have prepared you for this course and how it will help you to progress in your career. If you require a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Master's programme in the UK, then please note that the quality of your personal statement will also be taken into account by the visa issuing authorities when deciding to grant you a student visa or not.
  • If you are applying for a part-time course, or have relevant work experience relating to the degree you are applying for, please upload a copy of your current CV/resume.

Please note: Academic references are not required when you submit your application. However, the admissions tutor may request them at a later date to help make a decision on your application.

Contact information for the Postgraduate Team

Tel: +44 (0)20 7040 0248

Postgraduate Courses Office, A302
School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering
City, University of London
Northampton Square

City is in central London, an international hub for activity in computer games.
Since inception, 98% of course graduates are using their course skills in the games or wider IT industry.
An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) provides guidance to the course to ensure students learn the right skills to enable them to work in the games industry.
During your course

More about fees

Fees in each subsequent year of study (where applicable) will be subject to an annual increase of 2%. We will confirm any change to the annual tuition fee to you in writing prior to you commencing each subsequent year of study (where applicable).

If a student leaves City after commencing but before completing their course, City reserves the right to charge the student the tuition/course fee for the full academic year (or full course for capacity limited post-graduate courses - up to a maximum of 2 years fees) in question. The student may be charged the full fee for that year or course as applicable unless the student is able to present justification that exceptional and unforeseeable reasons for their withdrawal exist.

How to pay

City has introduced an instalment payment scheme which is available to certain categories of students, including taught postgraduate students. For students following the normal academic year, the annual fee may be paid in two equal instalments: the first on registering, the second on 31st January. If you wish to pay your fees by instalment you must pay the first instalment at or before registration, by cheque or credit/debit card. You must also supply your bank details or credit card details for payment of your second instalment which will be deducted automatically from your bank or credit card account on 31st January.

Benefits of the course

Academic staff and alumni discuss the benefits of the MSc Computer Games Technology at City.


As a postgraduate student on a Computing and Information Systems course, you will have the opportunity to complete up to six months of professional experience as part of your degree.

Our longstanding internship scheme gives you the chance to apply the knowledge and skills gained from your taught modules within a real business environment. An internship also provides you with professional development opportunities that enhance your technical skills and business knowledge.

Internships delivered by City, University of London offer an exceptional opportunity to help you stand out in the competitive IT industry job market. The structure of the course extends the period for dissertation submission to January, allowing you to work full-time for up to six months. You will be supported by our outstanding Professional Liaison Unit (PLU) should you wish to consider undertaking this route.

Benefits of completing an internship at City are:

  • Develop new skills - Internships offer on-the-job learning that will help enhance your skill set and add to your CV.
  • Exclusive opportunities - The PLU is a dedicated team of internship and professional development specialists. We hold longstanding relationships with a large range of employers and proactively seek out exclusive internship opportunities to suit your needs and interests.
  • Central point of contact - You will be assigned a Work-Based Learning Advisor who will provide help and support throughout the internship process, from applying to roles through to completion of your Masters.
  • Enhance your employability - Organisations are very keen to employ graduates with existing professional experience. It is common for internship providers to offer interns full-time positions on completion of their Masters.
  • Gain an insight into an organisation and industry - This will help you with future career planning.
  • Give you a head start in your chosen field - With the experience you gain, you may be able to enter an organisation at a higher level on completion of your studies.
  • Develop your network of professional contacts - This will be useful when you come to apply for positions and roles within your preferred area.
  • Earn while you learn - The majority of internships provide a competitive salary.

More information on postgraduate internships.

Academic facilities

With over 1,300 workstations, the on-campus computer rooms provide you with a valuable learning resource and give you the opportunity to do coursework and projects. Computers have games development software including:

  • Unity3D
  • Unreal
  • Microsoft Visual Studio
  • Microsoft XNA Game Studio
  • MonoDevelop
  • MonoGame
  • NShader
  • FMOD Studio
  • FMOD Studio API
  • WildMagic Geometric Tools
  • Blender
  • Adobe Photoshop.

City has recently invested in a new computer lab equipped with high-specification NVidia GPUs.

Through City's Interaction Lab and the Department of Computing, there is a range of hardware that can be used for student projects, including:

  • Oculus Rift VR Headset
  • Emotiv Epoc EEG Headset
  • Neurosky Mindwave EEG Headset
  • X-Box One Kinect Sensor
  • X-Box 360 Kinect Sensor
  • Leap Motion (Gestural input device)
  • Affectiva Q Band Galvanic Skin Response sensor
  • Tobii X-60 Eye Tracker.


We offer a variety of accommodation options and support services for postgraduate students.

Read more about our postgraduate halls.

Our Accommodation Service can also help you find private accommodation.

Find out more about private accommodation.

Learn a language for free

We offer a free language course for City, University of London students.

Find out how to apply


Course timetables are normally available from July and can be accessed from our timetabling pages. These pages also provide timetables for the current academic year, though this information should be viewed as indicative and details may vary from year to year.

View academic timetables

Please note that all academic timetables are subject to change.

Student support

We offer an extensive support network during your time here at City, University of London – from Learning Support (including disability support) and counselling to financial and career advice – leaving you free to enjoy every opportunity campus life has to offer.

Find out more about the different types of student support available.

Course content and assessment

Teaching and learning

The teaching and learning methods we use mean that your specialist knowledge and autonomy increase as you progress through each module. Active researchers guide your progress in the areas of Games Development, Computer Graphics, Artificial Intelligence and Audio, which culminates with an individual project. This is an original piece of research conducted with academic supervision, but largely independently and, where appropriate, in collaboration with industrial partners.


A 12-month full-time option during which you attend all the taught modules during Terms 1 and 2, and complete a dissertation project within the 12-month period of the degree. Teaching will be on 2-3 days per week, and may include both day-time and evening classes.


A 27-month part-time option during which you attend half the modules in a first 12-month period, followed by the other half the next year. Teaching takes place two days a week and happen in the evening (18:00-21:00) to accommodate those studying alongside paid work.

Students are expected to complete all the modules in this two year period. The teaching periods are structured to deliver core modules in a sequence which permits engagement by part-time students alongside full-time students. The dissertation project is undertaken by part-time students in their second year.

Taught modules

Taught modules are delivered through a series of 20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of tutorials/laboratory sessions. Lectures are normally used to:

  • Present and exemplify the concepts underpinning a particular subject
  • Highlight the most significant aspects of the syllabus
  • Indicate additional topics and resources for private study.

Tutorials help you develop the skills to apply the concepts we have covered in the lectures. We normally achieve this through practical problem-solving contexts.

Laboratory sessions

Laboratory sessions give you the opportunity to apply concepts and techniques using state-of-the-art software, environments and development tools. In addition, City's online learning environment, Moodle, contains resources for each of the modules - from lecture notes and lab materials, to coursework feedback, model answers, and an interactive discussion forum.

Coursework and assessment

We expect you to study independently and complete coursework for each module. This should amount to approximately 120 hours per module if you are studying full time. Modules are assessed through written examination and coursework, where you will need to answer theoretical and practical questions to demonstrate that you can analyse and apply computer games technology methods.

Individual project

The individual project is a substantial task. It is your opportunity to develop an autonomous research-related topic under the supervision of an academic member of staff. This is the moment when you can apply your learning to solve a real-world problem, designing and implementing a solution and evaluating the result. At the end of the project you submit a substantial MSc project report, which becomes the mode of assessment for this part of the programme.

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The course has been designed in conjunction with games industry experts. An Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) provides guidance to the course to ensure students learn the right skills to enable them to work in the games industry. Current IAB members include:

  • Rahul Dey, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
  • Blair Trusler, Rockstar Games
  • Nicolas Chemin, Codemasters
  • Rupert Ward, Stick Sports
  • Mike Barwise, Marmalade
  • Alexander Dudok de Wit, Ubisoft
  • Shahed Aziz, KPMG.


The programme is composed of eight taught modules - seven core modules and one elective module - plus a final project.

If we have insufficient number of students interested in an elective module, this may not be offered. In rare cases, one or two elective modules may not run due to low interest or unanticipated changes in timetabling, including scheduling clashes, room and staff availability. If an elective module will not run, we will advise you at the beginning of every academic term or as soon as possible, and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules provide you with a firm grounding in computer games technology, including mathematics, programming, and game engines and architecture along with specialist topics in computer graphics, physics, AI, and audio.

The project component gives you an opportunity to carry out an extended piece of work under the supervision of one of our specialist academic and research staff, at the cutting edge of games technology, in an industrial or academic context.

Core modules

There are seven core modules.

Games Development Process

  • Develop a game design, pitch, and prototype using Unity and C#
  • Use industry standard software engineering practice (Agile) in games development
  • Follow the stages of games development in creating a prototype
  • Study principles of game design and apply them in practice.

Computer Game Architectures

  • Develop a game engine from first principles using C# and MonoGame
  • Create and deploy a cross-platform game using the game engine
  • Understand the principles of network gaming in the context of game engines
  • Optimise game engines by understanding the specialist nature of game hardware.

Computer graphics

  • Develop a graphics demonstration using C++, OpenGL and GLSL, the OpenGL Shading Language
  • Apply mathematical concepts such as vectors and matrices underlying computer graphics
  • Appreciate the real-time graphics pipeline and how shaders can be used to achieve graphical effects by taking advantage of the graphics processing unit
  • Apply algorithms for practical graphical tasks in games.

Digital Signal Processing & Audio Programming

  • Develop audio software using the FMOD audio rendering engine
  • Explain the mathematical and physical concepts underlying games audio
  • Appreciate how audio can enhance the gaming experience
  • Use advanced music informatics techniques in a games setting.

Object Oriented Programming in C++

  • Design and create classes and programs in C++ that are correct, robust and capable of being understood, reused and modified by others
  • Apply various object-oriented features, including inheritance, multiple inheritance and genericity, to enhance software quality
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the core features of C++ and their application to programming problems
  • Analyse substantial, well-written C++ programs and adapt them to new requirements.

Research Methods & Professional Issues

  • Understand important principles in performing research-based projects
  • Develop a games-related project proposal to be used for the final individual project
  • Learn evaluation, testing, and statistical techniques to analyse project outcomes.

Elective modules

You will choose one of the following elective modules.

Systems Specification

  • Apply the principles and concepts involved in object-oriented analysis and design and build models using the constructs of the Unified Modelling Language (UML)
  • Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the changing nature of software-intensive systems and the range of new methods, tools and techniques available to develop these systems
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the challenges of requirements elicitation
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the fundamentals of software quality assurance techniques.

Software Systems Design

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of software system design and its connections with requirements engineering, system analysis, system implementation and system verification
  • Use UML as a software system design language
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of software architectural styles and use them to create or transform software architecture models
  • Use design patterns, object frameworks and formal specifications techniques in developing detailed system design model with provable properties.

Please note that the Software Systems Design module is only available to full-time students due to programme scheduling.

Advanced Games Technology

  • Define and implement 3-D game worlds
  • Evaluate and synthesise the consequences of game engine design decisions
  • Critically and systematically appraise the function, requirements and use of AI for games
  • Promote and discuss a professional approach to management of a large-scale individual programming project.

Computer Vision

  • Understand the fundamental concepts, principles, and techniques for extracting information from images.
  • Compare computer vision systems composed of multiple algorithmic components.
  • Evaluate computer vision applications and derive principles of good practice.

Data Visualisation

  • Program graphical applications using Vega-Lite and Elm
  • Appraise and apply design principles for effective data visualization
  • Evaluate and apply theories of colour, layout and symbolization in data visualization
  • Find sources of data and know how to parse them for data visualization

Neural Computing

  • Design and implement Neural Networks and hybrid systems.
  • Select and apply supervised, unsupervised, hybrid Neural Network models for different problem domains and data types (continuous, discrete, nominal).
  • Propose and critically evaluate neural and hybrid systems based on combinations of Neural Networks, evolutionary computation, neuro-fuzzy systems and symbolic Machine Learning.
  • Rationally exploit both statistical and network approaches in applications

Deep Learning: Optimization

  • Implement, train and debug Reinforcement Learning algorithms.
  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of key Reinforcement Learning algorithms (such as Temporal Difference) and how they are applied to optimization.
  • Build Deep-Q Networks through the use of appropriate theory, practices and tools for their specification, design and evaluation.
  • Analyse alternative methods for machine learning optimization.
  • Be aware of the moral and ethical issues that arise in artificial intelligence environment and use appropriate professional and legal practices.

The programme specification contains more information on how the course is organised, the requirements for progression for each part and credits required for awards.

Recommended reading

You may wish to undertake some preparatory reading.

  • McShaffry, M. (2012) Game coding complete - 4th edition (Charles River Media)
  • Nystrom, R (2014) Game Programming Patterns (Genever Benning)
  • Rabbin, S. (2009) Introduction to game development -2nd edition (Charles River Media)
  • Gregory, J. (2014) Game Engine Architecture, Second Edition (A K Peters/CRC Press)
  • Millington, I. and Funge, J. (2009) Artificial Intelligence for Games (Morgan Kaufmann)
  • Wolff, D. (2013) OpenGL 4 Shading Language Cookbook - Second Edition (Packt Publishing)
  • Sellers, G. and Wright R. (2015) OpenGL Superbible: Comprehensive Tutorial and Reference, Seventh Edition (Pearson)
  • Hocking, J. (2015) Unity in Action: Multiplatform Game Development in C# with Unity 5 (Manning Publications)
  • Marks, A. and J. Novak Boer, J. (2008) Game Audio Development (Celmar Cengage Learning)
  • Millington, I. (2010) Game Physics Engine Development, Second Edition (Morgan Kaufmann)
  • Dunn, F. and Parberry, I. (2011) 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development - 2nd Edition, (CRC Press)
  • Oates, B.J. (2006) Researching Information Systems and Computing (Sage Publications).

Note: module leaders may choose to use different or additional texts to those listed above.

  • Alumni profile
    Caroline Aubry
  • Orkun_S
    Student profile
    The portfolio I created during the course has been especially helpful in taking my career further..
  • Student profile
    As someone who has always wanted to work in the games industry, taking the Computer Games Technology MSc course at City was one of the best choices I could have made. All of the course content was important and relevant to games and was taught by some of the best lecturers I have ever had. Their passion really shone through and it made the learning process that much more enjoyable. In addition to the lectures, the coursework and practical labs further enforced the content being taught, and built up my portfolio of work that I used in the career hunting process. The skills I acquired on the course are invaluable and helped me to get my dream job in the industry as a junior programmer at Rockstar North. If you are looking to get into the games industry, this is definitely the course for you..
  • Student profile
    My motivation for studying Computer Games Technology at City was to learn more about software development in a creative and challenging domain, which is just what I got out of the course. The initial course units placed some focus on theory, whilst the final project offered a generous opportunity for hands-on exploration. The camaraderie of the cohort offered a strong support network and encouragement throughout the part-time degree, whilst the visiting lecturers presented very industry-relevant material with hands-on and tangible exercises. Overall I had an extremely enjoyable and rewarding experience at City University London..
  • Student profile
    I applied for this course because I wanted to build up targeted experience in programming computer games. The course helped improve my knowledge in computer graphics, 3D audio and dynamic music, physics and AI and provided ample opportunity to apply these skills in creating game engines and prototyping game ideas. All this was invaluable when applying for and taking part in Dare to be Digital 2011, where my team won the Team Choice Award for our game PaperQuest. Since finishing the course I have started work as a programmer at Criterion Games, and I feel the course was a valuable stepping stone into the games industry..
  • Student profile
    I came to City to gain valuable experience programming, designing, and creating games and their underlying systems (AI, physics, graphics, etc). These expectations and more were met, as I not only learned about the entire development process but also about the more technical aspects of not only games but any software business. Also, the lecturers and staff at City were superb, and the contacts I made while at City were (and continue to be) invaluable..
  • Student profile
    Prior to signing up for the MSc in Computer Games Technology at City, my day job was as a developer working on Microsoft CRM customisation, mainly using .Net C# and Javascript, so without any formal experience in games programming beyond some small games prototypes written in my undergraduate course. The course has been fantastic for allowing me to consolidate my knowledge as well as teaching me plenty of new things that I thought I knew, but realised I didn't! Being on the course part time meant I could carry on working, and although it meant a lot of hard work in the evenings I have no regrets. It has allowed me to build up my portfolio and built up my confidence in being able to design and write my own games. Most importantly though, I met a lot of people who share the same interests, and that network will be priceless for all of us in building our future games..
  • Student profile
    The MSc in Computer Games Technology has the perfect balance between well prepared staff, great module structure, accurate organisation and deep academic theory with the right materials. I would recommend this MSc to anyone interested in a career in game development, as it helps to improve your knowledge in the matter, as well as build the confidence you need to lead you to the industry..
After you graduate

Career prospects

This MSc will equip you with advanced knowledge and skills in a range of topics in games technology in preparation for a career in computer games development.

Alumni of the course are working in companies including:

  • Rockstar
  • Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Electronic Arts
  • Codemasters
  • Start-ups and independent studios.

City has a dedicated incubation space, called City Launch Lab that is specially designed for student entrepreneurs from City, University of London who want to get their idea off the ground.

Professional roles include:

  • 3D-Graphics Programmer: Specialist 3D-graphics programmers often work on custom graphics engines that will be used across multiple games.
  • Audio Programmer: Audio programmers specialise in the generation, mixing and playback audio content, often having to work at a low-level with the audio hardware.
  • Physics Programmer: Physics programmers require a strong background in maths to write the software to simulate physical forces in real-time in a game.
  • Artificial Intelligence Programmer: Game AI is a combination of 'real' AI as studied in universities and 'clever tricks' that make a game appear intelligent.
  • Simulation and Game Engine Programmer: Specialist programmers in simulation must develop complex systems of interacting components.
  • User Interface Programmer: User interface programmers must implement GUI systems and input control systems that are appropriate for a game world.
  • Tools and Utility Programmer: An important specialisation for programmers is to develop the programs that can be used by artists and designers to generate game data.
  • Scripting Languages Programmer: Some programmers specialise in developing scripting languages for use in game engines to support the scripting of game events.
  • Networking Specialist: The need for networking and server programming specialists is growing as the popularity of online gaming increases.
  • Porting Programmer: Programmers who specialise in porting games to new platforms require intimate knowledge of the target platform to get the most of it.

Contact details

Programmes Office (room A302)

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