Our BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming degree course will take you through the main areas of games development from initial idea generation all the way to releasing a playable and polished game.
As you study you’ll develop specialist skills in areas such as gameplay, artificial intelligence, gaming tools, and mobile gaming, and learn to create software using industry-standard programming languages such as C# and C++. This will not only allow you to create games, but give you a secondary skillset as a software developer.
You’ll also develop a deep understanding of the two most popular commercial game engines, Unity and Unreal – knowledge that is highly sought after in the creative industries.
And of course you’ll build a professional portfolio to showcase your skills to future employers and clients.
Studying ARU’s Computer Games Programming degree gives you the opportunity to maximise your skills, gain valuable experience, and develop your professional network. The East of England is a hub for games companies, with Jagex, Frontier Developments and Ninja Theory all based locally.
As a Computer Games Programming student at ARU, you’ll be based in our games development studio in the heart of Cambridge, which houses industry-standard hardware and software. Our expert teaching and technical staff are here to offer you crucial support and feedback, and help you create an online presence to showcase your work.
Working as a team is crucial to games development and so you’ll take part in collaborative projects with students from other creative courses, developing your skills in teamwork and project management.
Every year, you’ll also tackle live briefs from our industry partners. These might include prototyping game ideas, and even developing teaser games. You’ll have a chance to take part in negotiated briefs too, which may focus more on your particular interests and specialisms.
You’ll also attend games jams, industry talks, conferences and festivals, like our annual gaming-inspired event Gamebridge. At Gamebridge, students from across the country attend industry-led talks and 1-2-1 portfolio reviews, whilst showcasing their work and networking with companies such as Frontier and Jagex, as well as other like-minded students.
Are computer games programmers in demand?
The computer games industry is booming, with growth fuelled by the proliferation of mobile gaming and new technologies such as altered/virtual reality (AR/VR) and next-generation consoles, as well as the popularity of eSports and game streaming and vlogging. According to UKIE the value of the UK video games market reached £7bn in 2020.
With more computer games available in more formats than ever before, gamers have come to expect high-quality gaming experiences. The industry needs highly skilled graduates that can work in multidisciplinary teams.
What are the benefits of a degree in Computer Games Programming?
Eight-one percent of the UK computer games industry is educated to at least undergraduate level, rising to 88% for core games production roles in art or programming. A degree in Computer Games Programming is a signal to employers that you’re serious about a career in computer games and are up to the challenges of the job.
Course Leader: Dominic Chapman
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Sam McHaffie, Final Project 2023See more of our undergraduate computer games students' work
More than 200 students from across the country took part in industry-led talks and portfolio reviews, while showcasing their work and networking with major gaming companies like Frontier and Jagex.
ARU Senior Lecturer in Computer Games Art Adam Twycross explains which of our undergraduate computer games courses is the best choice for you.
2021 showreel of work by students on the BA Computer Games Art course at the School of Creative Industries at ARU in Cambridge
As a Computer Games student at ARU you'll have access to:
Our Computer Games Technical Officer will be on hand to offer training and support. You can also get training in the use of all our creative facilities.
Our new digital workshop includes a variety of computer aided manufacturing machines, helping you learn up to date manufacturing and design processes as well as supporting many traditional techniques. These technologies include:
As a student at ARU you'll benefit from:
Our Creative Showcase shines a spotlight on what makes ARU creative and cultural – our spaces, places and people. Find out more about our community, the difference we make, the stories we tell, and the things that inspire us.
Meanwhile, Present is an exhibition that you curate for yourself. Explore the work of our graduating students in this eye-catching virtual degree show.
Alternatively, take a guided tour and meet our students.
Senior Lecturer Practitioner
Deputy Head of School
Senior Lecturer Practitioner
Our BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming degree course will prepare you for programming-focused roles such as gameplay programmer, artificial intelligence programmer, tools programmer, and mobile programmer. You could also apply your skills to software development.
We recognise that experience and contacts help you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for jobs. That’s why, while you’re studying for your Computer Games Programming degree, you’ll have numerous opportunities to meet and work with companies from our extensive industry network. ARU students have previously undertaken internships and work experience with ARM, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Frontier and Just Flight.
We’ll help you develop a professional portfolio and online presence from day one, so you can showcase your skills to potential employers and clients. You’ll also graduate with skills in information literacy, critical thinking, communication, teamwork, and project organisation and management, all of which will serve you well throughout your career.
After you graduate, you might decide to stay at ARU and study for a Masters, such as our MSc Computer Games Development (Computing) degree. Take advantage of our Alumni Scholarship and save 20% on your fees.
Informed by employers, our courses support an integrated approach to employability. You’ll have opportunities to develop the skills and abilities they are looking for and gain a deeper understanding of how your academic learning relates to the world of work through Live Briefs and Ruskin Modules.
You will need to dedicate time outside of your course to develop your employability, through placements, internships or volunteering or through our partner scheme Students at the Heart of Knowledge Exchange (SHoKE). You can evidence this experience on your CV and talk about it in interviews to give you that all important edge.
Our Employability and Careers Service offers a range of expert advice and support to build your unique professional profile, including tailored career appointments, advice on writing your CV, and help to complete job applications. You’ll have 24/7 access to the Careers Centre, our comprehensive online digital resource, which empowers you to start building a Personal Career Development Plan from the very start. Design your future at ARU.
Do you have a question that we haven't answered so far? Talk to our application experts. You can also ask our Student Ambassadors about life at ARU.
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