Computer Science with High Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MEng, BSc

(Full time) 2018 start

Overview

By studying this course 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 from industry, this course focuses on 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 (C++, Graphic and Compute shaders), 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 including geometric models, animation and simulation, and advanced methods for visual realism.

This course is a four-year degree. If you choose to finish after three years, you will graduate with a BSc in Computer Science.

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
- NVIDIA
- 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’ll have access to laboratories equipped with high-end unix workstations with dual monitors and platforms for teaching mobile computing (Android/iOS devices), and robotics.

During your fourth year, you’ll use workstations running DirectX12 as games development platforms and have access to other specialist hardware including Oculus Rift headsets for experimenting with VR. For learning games engine design and exploring new rendering techniques, you’ll with the source code of a leading game engine, Epic’s “Unreal Engine 4”.

Accreditation

The first three years of the course (Computer Science BSc) is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students. An accredited computer science course must meet the quality standards set by the BCS. Completing this degree course fulfils the academic requirements associated with becoming a member of the BCS. By completing our MEng, BSc degree course you will have exemption from the Engineering Council professional examinations, the first step towards becoming a chartered engineer.

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.

Our Computer Science courses all share a common first year, which focuses on the fundamentals of programming and the mathematical principles that underpin computer science.

Year 2 allows you to deepen and broaden your knowledge of computer science, with core modules introducing you to topics such as artificial intelligence and developing your understanding of algorithms and operating systems.

You’ll build on this in Year 3, when you’ll have far greater choice in your optional modules and undertake a significant research project on a topic relevant to the gaming and graphics course.

In Year 4, a series of compulsory modules will develop your knowledge and skills in computer graphics and high-performance programming. 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 development techniques.

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

Projects

Every year of the course gives you hands-on experience of project work. This gives you the opportunity to explore your subject further as well as developing valuable skills in problem solving, communication and teamwork.

Find out more about our Projects

Ethics

You’ll study computing ethics as part of your course. This is taught using real life case studies, with input from specialist ethicists as well as your tutors and lecturers. The team responsible for the ethics taught in computing has produced educational material used to stimulate debate in class about topics such as ethical hacking, open source software, and use of personal data.

Not only will this enhance your reasoning and decision making skills which are crucial to employers, but it will help you identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you will encounter in your professional life in the IT industry.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Modules

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Databases 10 credits
  • Computer Architecture 10 credits
  • Computer Processors 10 credits
  • Fundamental Mathematical Concepts 10 credits
  • Introduction to Discrete Mathematics 10 credits
  • Procedural Programming 10 credits
  • Object Oriented Programming 10 credits
  • Professional Computing 20 credits
  • Programming Project 10 credits

Optional modules

  • Programming for the Web 10 credits
  • Introduction to Web Technologies 10 credits
Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Operating Systems 10 credits
  • Networks 10 credits
  • Formal Languages and Finite Automata 10 credits
  • Numerical Computation 10 credits
  • Artificial Intelligence 10 credits
  • Algorithms and Data Structures I 10 credits
  • Algorithms and Data Structures II 10 credits
  • User Interfaces 10 credits
  • Software Engineering 20 credits

Optional modules

  • Web Application Development 10 credits
  • Social and Mobile Web Application Development 10 credits
  • Data Mining 10 credits
  • Requirements Engineering 10 credits
  • Systems Thinking 10 credits
Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Computer Graphics 10 credits
  • Individual Project 40 credits

Optional modules

  • Web Services and Web Data 10 credits
  • Distributed Systems 10 credits
  • Parallel Computation 10 credits
  • Mobile Application Development 10 credits
  • Cryptography 10 credits
  • Programming Languages and Compilation 10 credits
  • Machine Learning 10 credits
  • Intelligent Systems and Robotics 20 credits
  • Information Visualization 10 credits
  • User Adaptive Intelligent Systems 10 credits
  • Combinatorial Optimisation 10 credits
  • Secure Computing 10 credits
  • Graph Algorithms and Complexity Theory 10 credits
Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Group Project 30 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

For more information on typical modules, read Computer Science with High Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MEng, BSc in the course catalogue

Broadening your academic horizons

At Leeds we want you to benefit from the depth and breadth of the University's expertise, to prepare you for success in an ever-changing and challenging world. This course gives you the opportunity to broaden your learning by studying discovery modules. Find out more on the Broadening webpages.

Learning and teaching

You’ll benefit from our integrated style of learning and teaching. Laboratory classes, project work, and industrial visits allow you to gain first-hand experience investigating and applying material from your lectures and tutorials to real life work situations. Together they will equip you with in-depth knowledge and key practical skills that will put you in a good position to compete in science and technology-related careers.

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.

Our personal tutorial system will provide academic and pastoral support. You will have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds. He or she will be an academic member of staff: you will have weekly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first year, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester.

In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries.

Assessment

Assessment will consist of coursework problems issued during term, closed examinations at the end of term, and, for the individual project, a written project report usually accompanying a software product. The mix of assessment types varies between modules. In the fourth year of the course, the emphasis is very much on practical skills in computer graphics and high-performance programming, and as a result the coursework/exam split is close to 50% in that year.

Entry requirements, fees and applying

Entry requirements

A-level: AAA including Mathematics or Computing. Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics is required if no Mathematics A-level is taken.

Where an A-Level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-Level at the stated grade.

Excludes A-Level General Studies or Critical Thinking.

GCSE: English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.

Other course specific tests:

Where candidates can demonstrate interest and aptitude for the subject, we may make a lower offer (usually AAB or equivalent). Where Maths or Computing are required this must be at grade A.

  • Access to HE Diploma

    Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction (including Mathematics) and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.

  • BTEC

    D*D*D with Distinctions in all Mathematics units. Mathematics units must usually include Further Maths and/or other appropriate Maths units. Some may be optional on your BTEC but are required by the Faculty. Please contact us for further information.

  • Cambridge Pre-U

    D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics.

  • International Baccalaureate

    35 points overall, with 18 points at higher level including 5 points at higher level in either Mathematics or Computing. If only Computing is offered from the IB, Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics is required.

  • Irish Highers (Leaving Certificate)

    H1 H2 H2 H2 H2 H2, including Mathematics.

  • Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers

    AABBB overall with AA in 2 Advanced Highers to include Mathematics or Computing.

  • Other Qualifications

    IT or Engineering Diploma: A (plus A or above in Mathematics or Computing in A-level).

Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Alternative entry

We’re committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.

Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.

Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.

International

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.

How to apply

International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK/EU students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. 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.

Next steps

Suitable applicants will be invited to an applicant day, for which we strongly encourage attendance, as this gives you the opportunity to meet our students, academic and admissions staff, and find out more about your course. You’ll take part in a practical computing activity followed by a student-led tour.

An interview with an academic will normally form part of this process. This will give you the chance to discuss your application in more detail, check that it’s the right course for you and your career plans, have your questions answered and find out more about studying at Leeds.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Engineering Undergraduate Admissions Policy

Fees

UK/EU: See fees section below

International: £20,500 (per year)

For UK and non-UK EU full-time students starting in 2018, the fee for 2018/19 will be £9,250. 

The fee for undergraduate students starting in 2019 will be confirmed in September 2018.

The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation, and as permitted by law. For example, the increase of 2.8% in 2017/18 was based on the government’s forecast for the RPI-X measure of inflation.

The UK government has confirmed that non-UK EU students in 2018-19 will have home fee status and be eligible for UK government student loans. The UK government has not confirmed the situation for future years, so keep checking our website for updates.

If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Financial support

The School of Computing offer a range of scholarships for Home, 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.

Read our alumni profiles to find out more about where our BSc Computer Science students are working now.

Careers Support

You’ll have access to our dedicated Employability team, located centrally in our Employability Suite, who will provide you with specialist face-to-face support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and year-in-industry placements, as well as graduate positions.

You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, ongoing support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers. The team also works closely with the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.

Find out more about careers support and employability

Study abroad and work placements

Study abroad

On this course you have the opportunity to apply to spend time abroad, usually as an extra academic year. The University has partnerships with more than 400 universities worldwide and popular destinations for our students include Europe, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa and Latin America. 

Find out more at the Study Abroad website.

Work placements

With the help and support of our faculty Employability Team, you can choose to undertake a placement at one of the 100+ companies that we work with. If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your degree by 12 months and on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your unique expertise to future employers.

Find out more about work placements

Course terms and conditions