student looking down smiling, blue overlay

Game Programming

BSc (Hons) (Top-up)

Study Game Programming at University Centre Leeds

From advanced games development to applied maths, this BSc (Hons) top-up degree powers up your knowledge for the games industry and programming-based environments. It enables you to specialise within the field of game programming , learning advanced techniques and skills using industry-standard software, techniques and workflows. You will also utilise language principles, such as C# and C++, to enrich and add depth to a range of games.

The games market in 2021 generated a total of $180.3 billion, with $93.2 billion belonging to the Mobile Games market (Newzoo 2021). It was estimated that these revenues were driven by 3 billion players. According to UKIE, 19% of job roles in the gaming industry are related to programming with 78% of employees having a Bachelor's degree; 55% of these degrees fall into the Games/STEM field.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 1 year
  • Venue: University Centre
  • Fee: £8,745 full-time (per academic year for UK students)
  • UCAS Course Code(s): I621
  • UCAS Institution Code: L21
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Validated By: The Open University
digital students sat in a row looking at monitors

Game Programming

You will develop and programme interactive mechanics that explore the advanced practices used in the gaming industry. You will pursue a problem related to your own interest, using your problem-solving abilities to produce a working solution. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a group project, building team working and professional skills. Alongside your games art and games development peers, you will develop and build a game through all of its core production stages.

Topics covered on this top-up degree include:

  • Computational mathematics 
  • Advanced artificial intelligence
  • Advanced programming techniques
  • Coding for emerging technologies
  • Group-based development projects
  • Advanced C++ and C#
  • Research techniques 

To reflect industry practice we promote the use of agile workflows and events such as game jams and societies. We focus on employability, so work is tailored to match and meet industry standards and workflows. We emphasise personal development, encouraging you to work with industry-standard software, tools and artwork.

This course is validated by The Open University 

The Open University Logo

How To Apply

If you would like to apply for to study full time, please do so via UCAS.

The institution code for University Centre Leeds is L21.

The application fee for applying through UCAS is £27.50.

Apply via UCAS

If you are a student currently studying at Leeds City College, Keighley College or Harrogate College and if all of the following applies:

  • you do not already have an application with UCAS
  • you only wish to study your full time undergraduate course with University Centre Leeds
  • should you be successful in your application and enrol onto this course, you agree to us submitting a record of prior acceptance (RPA) application to UCAS on your behalf 

Then you can make a direct application via the following link:

Internal Students - Direct Application Form

For further information in regards to this please email

Course Information

Modules may include:


Level 6


Advanced Games Development (20 Credits)

Learn how to transfer code across multiple coding languages, while developing a wide range of games and applications. This module also builds on advanced debugging techniques and code reviews, which will accelerate the process of game creation.


Research (20 Credits)

Every design decision reflects the ideological, technological and historical context of production; and this module encourages you to directly address these design constructs. You will conduct independent research into this issue, locating its problem in a theoretical context with reference to existing exploration by practitioners and theorists.


Applied Maths for Computer Games (20 Credits)

Discover the fundamental maths concepts that will help you understand the vital calculations game engines run in the background. You will then use these concepts to create specialised gameplay mechanics from scratch.


Team Project (20 Credits)

This module focuses on the group-working element of game creation. Working as a group is a paramount skill within the games industry and you will join with other games artists, developers and programmers to create a complex game.


Major Project (40 Credits)

The Major Project allows you to pick a chosen field of expertise and showcase your specialist skills. You will develop your practical and theoretical skills by selecting, evaluating and analysing a pertinent issue within the contemporary computer games industry.

You will be given the opportunity to work across a wide range of projects, developing skills in the specialism of game programming; looking at the advanced programming techniques required to create well-developed, polished and optimised systems and functions. You will create industry-standard gameplay mechanics by implementing these systems and functions in multiple coding languages. There is heavy emphasis on the preparation of systems in order to support developers throughout the production process. Throughout the year, you will be preparing and creating work to be showcased within a portfolio.


You will develop the following skills:

  • Creative and logical thinking that prepares you for the role of a games programmer 
  • Critical and analytical understanding of key systems and functions used in game programming
  • Fostering an independent and autonomous work ethic to become a self-motivated programmer
  • Research skills, employability skills, academic writing and project management

Benefits include:

  • Smaller cohorts allowing more personalised teaching and learning
  • Taught by practising professionals
  • Opportunity for networking and industry links
  • The opportunity to work collaboratively on ideas and projects

You will also develop your problem-solving skills, learning to appreciate and apply advanced techniques in the creation and development of games. You will learn the skills required to be a well-versed industry professional. You will develop a range of coding languages that are able to be used across multiple disciplines and industries, which will be vital to your career and personal development. All of these skills can be used in various job roles including Games Programmer, Gameplay Programmer, AI Developer and Software Developer.

Modules will be formally assessed and graded through a range of methods, including:


  • Practical demonstrations
  • Portfolios
  • Reflections
  • Case studies
  • Solo and group projects
  • Evaluations
  • Academic posters

This range of activities provides the opportunity for everyone to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the course of their studies.

The course is delivered in purpose-built suites at the University Centre.


Foundation Degree: 50% module average on the second year of an FD in a relevant subject.

HND: Merit grade in a relevant subject.

IELTS: IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any component.

International qualifications: International qualifications will be assessed against these criteria.

Mature applicants: University Centre Leeds welcomes applications from mature applicants who may not have met the academic criteria, but who can demonstrate a wealth of experience in their chosen field. Candidates in this category and otherwise are likely to be interviewed to assess their suitability for the course and may be asked to provide a portfolio of evidence to support their application. 

*21 years and over at the start of the course

RPL Claims: The course structure actively supports claims for Recognition of Prior Certified Learning (RPCL) or Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL).

On completion of this top-up degree you can progress on to a Masters or seek relevant employment which may include:


  • Programmer
  • IT Technician
  • Web Developer
  • App Developer
  • Game Programmer
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • AI Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Network Programmer
  • Unity Programmer
  • Unreal Engine Programmer

For the latest version of the programme specifications for this course please click here.

For the latest version of the course handbook for this course please click here.

For the latest version of The Open University regulations please click here.



Upcoming open events - book your place!

  • Wednesday 6 December (4-7PM) - Creative Arts On-Campus Open Event

Our open events give you a chance to hear from tutors, discover the range of student support available, and find out for yourself why University Centre Leeds is the highest for student satisfaction in the city.* (*NSS 2023)

Book your place

Request your 2024 Prospectus

Want to find out more about the wide range of courses, student support and more available for students at University Centre Leeds?

Request your 2024 University Centre Leeds Prospectus now - direct to your phone or delivered to your door.

Logo Dca Tass The Open University Logo QAA Logo Green.Jpg Logo Tef Bronze Logo Mixed Economy Group Logo Member Qaa Logo Ofsted Logo Nnecl