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View videos of work completed by students on our games software course.
Watch the trailer for Bounceback, Sheffield Hallam students' PSP Minis game title that won three out of four Game Republic awards in 2012.
Listen to final year students talking about Steel Minions, Sheffield Hallam's commercially licensed game development studio.
View profiles of students on this course
Videogame visionaries at Sumo Digital are mentoring our games development students through a series of placements at the Yorkshire studio.
Read about our final year and postgraduate games development students who won three first-prize awards in the North's biggest games industry-led awards.
• Benefit from established relationships with top games companies.
• Excellent facilities include one of Europe's largest PlayStation® 3 teaching labs.
• One of only a small number of industry-accredited UK undergraduate game programming courses.
• Gain a competitive advantage with a one-year placement at one our partner organisations.
About this course
This course prepares people interested in programming to work in the games industry either as a console developer, indie developer or in related areas.
You study the skills and techniques demanded by the industry, such as programming, especially in C++, software engineering and mathematics, optimisation and the use of games hardware on desktop, consoles and mobile platforms.
We work in close partnership with games companies such as Sumo Digital, SN Systems and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE). They provide equipment and input into the design, development and delivery, ensuring we teach the very latest topics. For example, industry speakers give talks on specialist topics and offer employability advice.
We have been awarded PlayStation®First status by Sony (SCEE), providing unique access to PlayStation® professional development hardware (dev kits) and software (SDK), and equipping students with industry relevant game development skills across PlayStation®3, PlayStation®4, PlayStation®Vita and PlayStation®Portable. We have Europe’s largest PlayStation teaching lab.
You also work on web and mobile platforms such as iOS and Android. As well as benefiting from an emphasis on DirectX, you gain experience with cross platform tools like Marmalade and Unity, which can target any device.
In your third year, we help you secure a 12-month placement, allowing you to apply your skills and gain real world experience before you graduate. In previous years, students have taken placements at • Sony (SCEE) • Team17 • SN Systems • SI Games • Autodesk on salaries of up to £18,000. Sumo Digital offers a one-year placement to two students on track for a first-class honours degree.
If you do well in the first two years, you will be eligible for transfer to our related MComp course, an integrated masters course that provides additional depth of study and increased industrial involvement. You may also be selected to work within Steel Minions, our own commercially licensed game development studio, and take part in small-scale commercial development projects.
You graduate with a personal portfolio that you can show prospective employers and we advise you how to maximise its potential.
Key areas of study
Key areas include
• advanced programming skills, using C++ as the core language throughout the course
• 3D mathematics
• industry standard APIs such as Microsoft’s DirectX, Unity, Marmalade
• programming for the PlayStation® platforms
• technologies and hardware architectures for games software
• project management techniques and tools used within the games industry
• interdisciplinary team game prototype development • introduction to game design, ethics, game industry business models, 3D graphics and modelling packages.
We are one of only a handful of universities in the world with their own commercially-licensed game studio (Steel Minions) and we were the first UK-University to release a commercial title for Sony’s games consoles in the form of Bounceback for PSP minis.
You apply for this course through UCAS.
2014/15 academic year
For 2014 entry, membership of professional bodies is included in the course fee.
Course fees may be subject to annual inflationary increase.
Get further information on fees and funding here.
2014/15 academic year
Typically £11,250 a year
2015/16 academic year
Typically £11,500 a year
Course fees apply to courses starting in the academic year given and may be subject to annual inflationary increase.
For further information on fees and funding see www.shu.ac.uk/funding
• individual coursework • presentations • group work • examinations • final year project
Optional year-long work placements are normally gained by competitive interview and are not a guaranteed part of a course.
Click on the button below to enquire about this course.
This course is one of only a small number of industry-accredited undergraduate technical courses in game programming in the UK.
It is accredited by Creative Skillset (The Creative Industries' Sector Skills Council) and the British Computer Society (The Chartered Institute for IT), and counts towards the academic requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer.
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Cuboid, by BSc (Hons) Games Software Development students.
Cuboid, by BSc (Hons) Games Software Development students.
Cuboid was produced by a small group of students for an undergraduate module called programming for games. The game was created using DirectX and visual studio.
The team members were • Simon Morris • Ashley Colin-Richardson • Gary Thomson • Ben Marshall.
Eden was produced by students for a final year undergraduate module called games design. 3D assets and characters were created using 3dsMax while the environment and game mechanics were created using Epic's UDK.
The team won third place for game design at the Game Republic student showcase 2010.
The team members were • Ian Smith • Griffin Warner • Oliver Riley • Nicola Honey • Joseph Thompson.
Sheffield Hallam students' game 'Bounceback' wins three awards (0:47)
Steel Minions is Sheffield Hallam's own commercial game development studio providing workplace simulation to students on our games degrees. It is a licensed PlayStation Minis and iOS developer with a range of games in development.
Steel Minions' first title 'BounceBack' walked away with three out of four awards at the 2012 Game Republic student showcase. The PSP Minis title won the Four Door Lemon prize for best technology, the Sumo Digital prize for best game design and the Rockstar Leeds prize for best team.
Steel Minions games studio (2:34)
Steel Minions games studio
Final year students on the MComp Games Software Development degree talk about their experiences working in Steel Minions, our commercially licensed game development studio, as part of their course.
BSc (Hons) Games Software Development, Fourth year
'The open day at Sheffield Hallam was a breath of fresh air. All the staff I spoke to seemed very enthusiastic and motivated about the subject and understood the importance of practical skills and employability, in addition to the required theory.
'During my time at Sheffield Hallam I have enjoyed the course material and have found the lectures and assignments both interesting and challenging. The teaching staff, some of which have prior experience in the games industry, are approachable and are always keen to share their knowledge and expertise. Accompanying them we often get talks from professionals outside the University who offer a good insight into what is currently going on in the industry.
'When I began my course fresh out of sixth form I often found presenting, especially to large groups, rather nerve-wracking! Even from year one, you are required to get lots of practice presenting to a large audience of both students and staff. This experience came in very hand on placement where I was expected to give several important presentations, and has improved my confidence and communication skills across the board.
'I have recently enrolled on the MComp Games Software Development course after getting a taste for the games industry during placement. I would love to pursue a career in this field, preferably working on game technology and tools development.
'My work placement year was spent working for SN Systems (Sony Computer Entertainment Europe) in Bristol. SN Systems produce tools for the games industry, including compiler, debugger and profiling applications for the PC for use with PSP and Playstation 3 hardware. This was an excellent experience as I was given the opportunity to work alongside some brilliant people and contribute directly to production level code. One of my placement year projects has been integrated into the latest version of the Playstation 3 Tuner application, available to developers worldwide.
'Prospective students should expect to be up against a lot of competition. Games development courses are always very popular so I would advise that you always make an effort to go beyond the material taught as part of the course and read around the course modules as much as possible. Also, make the most of the opportunities provided by the University and don’t be afraid to ask lots and lots of questions. Use the university industry links to your advantage and build up a list of contacts, this will help when looking for a placement and finding work during/after study.
BSc (Hons) Games Software Development, Fourth year
Sumo Digital placement opportunities
A group of students from Sheffield Hallam University's game development courses are being mentored by the videogame visionaries at Sumo Digital with a series of placements at the Yorkshire studio.
The company, which has produced hits such as Sonic and SEGA All Stars Racing, and the Dr Who games, asked Sheffield Hallam to supply them with 13 interns as part of their relationship with the University's new game development studio.
Dr Jacob Habgood, senior lecturer in games development, said: "The fact that the largest developer in the region is giving our students these opportunities is really exciting.
"Along with the chance of developing games in-house here at Sheffield Hallam, they now have the chance to be involved in developing major international releases and working with some really inspirational industry figures."
In December 2010 the University launched its own development studio, called Steel Minions, which has become a registered PlayStation Minis developer through its partnership with Sony. The University is currently one of very few in the UK to have the ability to bring games developed in-house to market.
Sumo Digital's studio manager, Paul Porter, said: "We're really impressed with the standard of Sheffield Hallam's students, and it's great that we can utilise their skills and talent through these placements.
"The games industry is a tough one to break into, so opportunities like this are key for students and graduates, as is being able to learn in an environment like the Steel Minions games studio."
Awards haul for student game developers
Games development students at Sheffield Hallam University are taking their careers to the next level after sweeping up at an industry awards ceremony.
Students from Sheffield Hallam won awards in all categories at the annual Game Republic Student Showcase event, held at Huddersfield University. The event featured 26 projects, 85 students, and representatives from four games companies judging four award categories.
Sheffield Hallam students took first place in the Game Technology (Thomas Avison, Matthew Driver, Martyn Mees, Robert Whitley, Edward Willoughby, Anna Mellor-Meecham), Game Design (Jonathan Stewart, Jonathan Saunders, Lisa Tran, Mitchell Mellard, Shane Ecclestone) and Best Team (Scott Simpson, Wesley Arthur, Mark Carrigan, Joe Allen, Luke Hobson, Deirdre McGrath) category. Josh Pears won third place in the Game Art category, and David Ramsden won third place in Game Technology.
Two of the games will now be released as commercially-available games through the University's in-house games studio, Steel Minions. Aspect is a collaborative puzzle game for the PlayStation®3, which will be released on the PlayStation Network later this year. Redneck Renovator is a destruction-based puzzle game for Android which will be released on Google Play later this summer.
Dr Jake Habgood, senior lecturer in games development said: "There are some fantastic opportunities in the games industry, but it's a tough area to break into. Game Republic do a great job of giving students the opportunity to show off their skills, knowledge and hard work to employers, and I'm really proud of our students' commitment to producing publishable products."
Managing director of Game Republic, Jamie Sefton, said: "The Game Republic Student Showcase is about nurturing talent in this region - an opportunity for final-year students to show their work and be recognised by games companies in Yorkshire.
"The standard of entries was again very high this year, so to win an award demonstrates real passion, skill, talent and dedication, and gives the winning students - including those from Sheffield Hallam - more opportunities to succeed in the games industry."