High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MSc

(Full time) 2019 start


By studying this Masters, you’ll be well placed to join one of the most performance-driven applications of computer science – the multi-billion pound global games industry. As a graduate, you will work at the top-end of the games industry and will develop computer graphics on high-performance platforms, or write engines for the next generation of games.

Developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group, this course will build on your computer science knowledge to specialise in computer graphics, where programmers must push computing resources to the limit, using deep understanding of architecture and high-performance programming to generate new levels of graphical realism and visual effects on cutting-edge hardware platforms.

You’ll gain proficiency in low-level programming, a thorough understanding of multi-core and many-core programming techniques, game engine and tool development techniques, and fundamental insight into graphics and the practical techniques used in games.

Designed to meet the needs of industry

You can be sure that what you learn will be the technical skills required by industry as this course has been developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group from industry comprising:
- Barog Game Labs
- Double Eleven
- Epic Games
- Team 17
- Sumo Digital
- Weaseltron.

Members of our steering group will contribute to the delivery of the course ensuring that you learn the latest industry developments. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage directly with the games industry, through:
- co-curricula industry lectures
- visits to games development companies
- attending UK games events.

We are also a member of Game Republic, which is an industry-led professional games network that supports and promotes the Yorkshire and Northern England games sector. We hope that students of this course will take part in the Game Republic student showcase.

Specialist facilities

You will use workstations with high-end GPUs to act as DirectX12 and Vulkan games development platforms and have access to other specialist hardware including the latest Virtual Reality headsets for experimenting on. For learning games engine design and exploring new rendering techniques, students will be working with the source code of a leading game engine, Epic’s “Unreal Engine 4”.

Course content

Interested in graphics? Our course provides unparalleled opportunity to study graphics in depth, with more modules on advanced graphics and graphics programming than any other institution in the Russell Group.

A series of compulsory modules will develop your knowledge and skills in high-performance graphics and games engineering. By the end of this course, your technical skills – as demanded by the industry – will be second to none in the following areas:

• low-level programming (C++, Graphic and Compute shaders)
• multi-core and many core programming techniques
• computer graphics, from core principles to the practical techniques used in games, including: geometric models; animation and simulation; advanced methods for visual realism.
• game engine and tool development techniques.

Over the summer months you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods.

Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at our High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering module descriptions.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.


Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • MSc Project 60 credits
  • Parallel and Concurrent Programming 15 credits
  • Foundations of Modelling and Rendering 15 credits
  • Games Engines and Workflow 15 credits
  • Geometric Processing 15 credits
  • High-Performance Graphics 15 credits
  • Animation and Simulation 15 credits

Optional modules

  • Big Data Systems 15 credits
  • Data Science 15 credits
  • Bio-Inspired Computing 15 credits
  • Algorithms 15 credits
  • Data Mining and Text Analytics 15 credits
  • Cloud Computing 15 credits
  • Semantic Technologies and Applications 15 credits
  • Image Analysis 15 credits
  • Scheduling 15 credits
  • Scientific Computation 15 credits
  • Graph Theory: Structure and Algorithms 15 credits

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MSc in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We have an active research environment which feeds directly into our teaching. You’ll have regular contact with staff through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.

Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course. Members of our steering group will contribute to the delivery of the course ensuring that you learn the latest industry developments. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage directly with the games industry through industry lectures, visits to games development companies and attending UK games events.


You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in computer science or a demonstrably equivalent qualification. Relevant work experience will also be considered. We expect you to have strong programming skills, including familiarity with C++. Prior exposure to the mathematics relevant to computer graphics, in particular linear algebra, is strongly recommended.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible for taught postgraduate programmes. The Faculty of Engineering will only consider applications made before the dates below, subject to places being available:

31 July – International Applicants

10 September - UK/EU applications


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Engineering Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU: £10,500 (total)

International: £22,000 (total)

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

The School of Computing offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students. Find out more about our Scholarships.

Career opportunities

There is a shortage of highly skilled graduates in this field, so once you’ve completed this course it’s highly likely that you will be in demand. You’ll be well placed to join the multi-billion pound global games industry, in positions such as a software developer, technology leader for graphics and rendering or a games development leader or a technical director. You’ll be expected to progress rapidly into leadership roles, becoming the ‘go to’ person for expertise in graphics technologies.

Outside the games industry, the programming skills you develop during this course would allow you to secure a position in other performance-driven industries, for example embedded systems. Your computer graphics expertise could lead to opportunities in the animation and visual production industries.

Careers Support

You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual STEM Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UKs leading employers.

The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Course terms and conditions