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Year of Entry 2022/23

Games Software Development

Full-time Computing

Learn the skills to become a programmer on this advanced technical course. MSc Games Software Development is aimed at enthusiasts interested in game technology and game industry employment.

Everything you need to know...

What is the fee? Home: £8,745 for the course
International/EU: £14,895 for the course
How long will I study? 1 Year
Where will I study? City Campus
When do I start? September 2022

University of the Year for Teaching Quality, The Sunday Times Good Univeristy Guide 2020

Course summary

  • Learn to implement real-time 3D applications using the C++ programming language.
  • Benefit from industry links with companies including Sony Computer Entertainment and Sumo Digital.
  • Gain project management skills, and learn how to approach the different stages of game production.
  • Identify and target a career path, and understand the structure and function of the industry.
  • Study on a course with industry accreditation from Creative Skillset, TIGA and PlayStation®First.

On this course, you'll develop software and learn to use the tools and frameworks used in the game industry. You'll study low-level hardware architectures for optimisation, including the novel architectures of games consoles and how to exploit them. You'll also look at the gaming industry itself — and prepare yourself for a rewarding position within it.

In 2018 we were named 'Best Educational Institution' by TIGA, the independent games association. The award recognises our games courses for being world leading, having strong links with industry, and leading its students into graduate roles.

Student View
MSc Games Software Development graduate Sergio Alapont

'The course provides you with the knowledge you need to work within the games industry, while helping you make useful contacts. I've also had the opportunity to work with SteelMinions, and published a PSVR game in the process.'

Sergio Alapont, MSc Games Software Development

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How you learn

Your lecturer's view
Watch course leader Dr Jacob Habgood talk about this course.

This course provides a wide-ranging study, with emphasis on industry relevance and involvement. You learn to locate, interpret and assimilate new developments from industry and research in your own work in a productive and effective way, while building a substantial, commercial-quality portfolio. The course is designed in conjunction with our industrial partners, and is regularly updated to include materials to reflect current trends in technology.

Learning and teaching involves lectures, seminars and practical problem solving activities in small group sessions. You will also be expected to engage in self-learning activities and with the assessment tasks set.

You learn through:

  • independent recommended reading
  • laboratory exercises
  • individual and group activities
  • software development
  • coursework
  • group project work
  • self and peer assessment
  • problem-solving activities
  • software development
  • personal research and development project
  • essays, presentations and dissertations

There are opportunities to study abroad at one of our partner universities with the possibility of funding through the Erasmus programme (subject to the UK’s continued participation in the Erasmus programme following the Brexit transition period).

Course leaders and tutors

Jacob Habgood
Jacob Habgood
Senior Lecturer in Software Engineering, Graphics and Multimedia

Jacob teaches on the Games Software Development degrees, including modules on 3D Game Prototyping for the PlayStation 4, Real-Time 3D Techniques using DirectX 11 and … Read more

Applied learning

Networking opportunities

Employers and industry practitioners are an influential part of the design, content and teaching of the course. The employability focus of the course is supported by frequent involvement of employers and IT professionals in the form of guest seminars, workshops, client projects, competitions and curriculum advice.

We work in close partnership with games companies such as SN Systems. They provide equipment and input into the design, development and delivery of the course, ensuring we teach the very latest topics. For example, industry speakers give talks on specialist topics and offer employability advice.


There is an annual student prize for the best software development tool, sponsored by SN Systems — a part of Sony Interactive Entertainment. 

Future careers

This course prepares you for a career in

  • the games industry
  • software engineering
  • research and academia
  • progression paths for research within the department and further afield


Previous graduates of this course have gone on to work for mainstream console development studios such as 


  • Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Sumo Digital
  • Just Add Water
  • On The Metal Ltd
  • Blue Byte
  • game engine developers such as Unity


This course is accredited by ScreenSkills (the Creative Industries' Sector Skills Council) and TIGA (The Independent Game Developers Association).

Student success story

Former games student Andrew talks about working in Steel Minions, Sheffield Hallam's in-house games studio.

Student success story
Liz Mercury

"I've had incredible work experience."
Liz Mercuri, MSc Games Software Development.

Liz Mercuri

Where will I study?

You study at City Campus through a structured mix of online lessons and face-to-face teaching with access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

City Campus

City Campus is located in the heart of Sheffield, within minutes of the train and bus stations.

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S1 1WB

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Adsetts library
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Equipment and facilities

On this course you work with

  • our active in-house game studio, Steel Minions, with specialist commercially-licensed equipment
  • one of the largest university PlayStation 3 and 4 Labs
  • industry-standard software (including Visual Studio, Unity and Unreal)
  • Vive® and Occulus® Rift headsets
  • games resources room with retail video games and consoles

Entry requirements

All students

Typically you need a degree software engineering, computer science, mathematics, physics, games programming or related areas. You should have a strong motivation to develop software and a keen interest in technological developments. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

We will also consider you if you have 5-10 years suitable industrial experience in art, computing, programming or other relevant areas, and depending on your educational background. Knowledge or experience of the games industry is useful but not essential.

You must also satisfy us that you have an appropriate level of skill to succeed on the course by demonstrating competency with the C++ programming language. You complete a short multiple-choice test consisting of a series of questions about the C++ language and its associated execution behaviour.

We also require one suitable reference.

English Language competence

You need to demonstrate appropriate English skills, which is typically shown by having either

• completed a degree taught and assessed in English

• an English GCSE at grade C or better

• an IELTS score of 6.0 with 5.5 in all skills (or equivalent) is the standard for non-native speakers of English.

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page. You can also watch a video guide on how to apply.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.


Module and assessment information for future years is displayed as currently validated and may be liable to change. When selecting electives, your choices will be subject to the core requirements of the course. As a result, selections may be limited to a choice between one of two or more specified electives in some instances.

Compulsory modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Game Development Practice Credits: 30 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Graphics And Animation Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Hardware Oriented Software Engineering Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Multiprocessing And Parallel Systems Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Research And Development Project Credits: 45 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Research Methods Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Software Studio Planning Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: Special Techniques For Graphics And Animation Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Elective modules
Module Credits Assessment
Module: Applied Artificial Intelligence Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework
Module: C++ Boot Camp Credits: 15 Assessment: Coursework

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time study in 2022/23 is £8,745 for the course.

† If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2022/23 is £14,895 for the course.

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Postgraduate student loans

Up to £11,222 available for Home students on most masters courses.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Computing courses (PDF)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.

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How do I apply?

You apply for this course via our online application form.

Apply for September 2021

You can also use the application form above to apply for future years of entry. If you require an alternate version of the application form, please email

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Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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