BSc (Hons) Games Programming

Interested in using your talent for maths and physics in the interactive entertainment industry? Our Games Programming degree focuses on the technical aspects of games production for the PC, mobile and virtual reality games markets. We aim to equip you with the skills (especially programming in C++) to join this exciting and dynamic industry.

Games Programming

Key information


BSc (Hons)

Mode of Study:



6 years


The University of Bolton

UCAS points:


Start date:


Course Details

The global games industry continues to grow. Worth over $137 billion in 2018, this value is predicted to rise to over $180 billion by the end of 2021*. Games offers lucrative careers at the cutting-edge of technology and talented games programmers are always in demand in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Offering a broad education in games programming, design, development and technology, our Games Programming degree emphasises the technical aspects of game production. We aim for you to become a skilled programmer and you’ll use C++, the principal programming language in the games industry, at each stage of the course. We assume no prior knowledge of programming but a good knowledge of mathematics, especially algebra, will help you succeed on the course. We’ll guide and support you throughout your studies to help you master object orientated programming and design techniques and learn about advanced programming data structures and algorithms for game development.

Games and interactive applications are becoming more cinematic in look and feel so we teach maths and physics in a very practical way to help you learn to create 2D and 3D environments where behaviour and movement looks realistic. You’ll also have opportunities to gain experience of multi-platform programming and artificial intelligence techniques used in the development of efficient and robust games.

*Ukie, UK Games Success Stories - accessed on 22 August 2019

  • University of Bolton games graduates have been enjoying careers in the games industry for longer than most – we were one of the first UK universities to offer games courses.
  • We’ll help and support you to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates your skills in readiness to impress potential employers.
  • Team working skills are essential so you’ll have opportunities to work with students from our Games Design and Games Art courses on projects that mimic the multi-disciplinary teams found in the industry.
  • Our Game Jams are great opportunities to build your social network and practice your programming and problem solving skills.
  • We collaborate with games development companies on beta testing, offering you the chance to test upcoming games before they go to market. Previously, students have even got their names mentioned in game credits.
  • Industry experts from the leading games studios in the UK, along with Bolton graduates now successful in the sector, are regularly invited to give guest lectures on aspects of games development.
Key Features
  • Teaching staff on the games courses have a vast range of industry experience and an extensive network of contacts in the games industry.
  • The course covers both 2D and 3D game environments and game engines for traditional gaming (PC and console), mobile gaming (cloud, social and casual) and virtual reality gaming, along with game play analysis and hardware specification.
  • We organise studio visits and field trips to games development companies, and will encourage and support you to undertake work experience and industrial placements.
  • We design the course assignments and projects so that they mimic industry pipelines and standards to give you a real feel for a career in the games sector.
  • Our dedicated games labs feature high-specification hardware and industry-standard software.

  • 104 UCAS points. Please see our guide to the UCAS Tariff for examples of how to achieve these points.
  • Your Level 3 subjects must include at least one relevant subject; for instance, A-level Mathematics, Computing or Physics or BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing or Engineering.
  • You should also have five GCSEs at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including Mathematics.
  • If you don’t meet the standard entry requirements but have a technical computing background, we’ll be happy to consider your application. You’ll need to attain a minimum mark from a diagnostic mathematics test and attend an interview.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

A Games Programming graduate will be able to demonstrate the programming skills required to work on games and entertainment software. The technical skills you’ll develop include the ability to develop interactive software including graphics and sound, an understanding of programming language, including the use of artificial intelligence techniques, and multi-user and multi-processor programming.

What can I do with this qualification?

The computer games industry has grown dramatically in recent years and there’s now a demand for highly technical programmers with a good knowledge of mathematics, physics, artificial intelligence and code optimisation. Games programming graduates can pursue careers as games programmers, artificial intelligence programmers, graphics programmers, 3D modellers and web systems developers, across a range of sectors in the games industry such as mobile and social media games.

Many programmers start in junior programming positions. As you develop your programming skills, you can choose a specific area of video game programming to specialise in. Each aspect of a video game requires a detailed set of code, so a programmer may work on audio, physics, artificial intelligence, graphics, or any other single area required to make a video game function. Once programmers become more experienced, they may consider pursuing a lead programmer position, which involves leadership and management duties in addition to programming.

Alternative career options

The knowledge and skills developed on this degree programme will underpin a number of other areas of computing such as mainstream programming jobs, mobile app development or web development. Other career areas associated with this degree include:

  • Software development
  • Systems analysis
  • Computer and information systems management

Course fees

Home students starting this course in the first year will be required to pay a Home fee of £4,500 for the academic year 2020/21.


The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2020/2021.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.


Click here for more information about the scholarships and bursaries available to University of Bolton undergraduate students.

You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

University of Bolton Group Partners

Bolton College
University Technical College
Alliance Learning
University of Bolton

The University welcomes applications from our group partners and progressing students so we try to make our application process as simple and as fast as possible. By selecting the link for your chosen course from the list shown below you will be taken directly to our online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this and ensure you upload all supporting documents such as certificates and your personal statement when you apply.

Please ensure when you are asked to add a contact email address you add your college/university email account address as well as your personal address. If you do not add your college address as your contact address we will be unable to identify you as a partner and you will be referred to apply via UCAS, which incurs a cost.

We look forward to receiving your application and you continuing your academic journey with us!

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to help you achieve your potential. The core concepts and theoretical aspects of programming, maths and physics are introduced and developed through lectures, seminars, tutorials and critiques, as well as online sessions and support. These types of sessions also offer insights into the business and financial sides of the games industry.

Helping you learn how to apply this knowledge to practical games programming problems, design projects and in the development, analysis and testing of game elements is an important focus of our tuition. We support and guide you through technical introduction and support classes, laboratory and workshop sessions, demonstrations and activity-based assignments.

Practical activities and projects also offer opportunities for you to develop softer skills such as team working, problem solving, organisation and communication that are highly valued in the games and interactive entertainment industry. Guided independent study and self-directed learning are also essential to your success; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for practical activities and working on projects.

In terms of formal assessment, you can expect assignments, projects, in-class tests, examinations, presentations, and others. These contribute to your final module mark and allow you to demonstrate that you’ve met the learning outcomes. We also use other forms of assessment to help you learn, provide you with feedback and inform your development, though these don’t count towards your final module mark.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Introduction to Games Programming and Analysis
  • Introduction to Games Design
  • Object Orientated Games Programming
  • Level Design
  • Data structures and Software Engineering for Games
  • Games Hardware Development
  • Game Dynamics
  • Portfolio
  • Advanced Games Programming
  • Group Portfolio Project
  • Major Project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 70%, Practical exams 20%, Written exams 10%
Level twoCoursework 67%, Practical exams 8%, Written exams 25%
Level threeCoursework 70%, Practical exams 15%, Written exams 15%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 72%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 28%
Level twoGuided independent study 73%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 27%
Level threeGuided independent study 83%, Scheduled learning and teaching activities 17%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Steve Manning
Programme Leader

+44 (0)1204 903587

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903903

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Postgraduate Options

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MA Games Development

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