MSc Games Programming and Visual Computing

Build in-depth knowledge of programming practices and concepts as you immerse yourself in visual computing technologies and discover the demands on modern systems that deliver rich media content.

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    Course Length: 12-18 Months Full-Time, 2-3 Years Part-Time
    Start Dates: September 2020, January 2021, September 2021, January 2022
    Subjects: Computing and IT
    Location: Edge Hill University

    Please note, there is an intake to the 12-month full-time route each September and 18-month full-time route each January. The part-time route takes 2-3 years to complete and typically has intakes in both September and January.

    This course provides you with the core skills and confidence required to apply and produce knowledge and understanding of issues surrounding games programming and visual computing. You will also gain strong practical experience in the latest technologies and programming languages underpinning this field of study. This will enable you to explore, adapt, create and utilise appropriate models, methods, practices, theories and computational techniques in the context of changing and evolving technology. There is the additional opportunity to develop and evaluate new or advanced bespoke solutions appropriate for games programming and visual computing in the modern era. Whether you are a recent graduate or already working in the IT industry and looking to change career paths, this Masters degree provides a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge in this dynamic subject area.

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    In Depth

    What will I study?

    You will learn practical skills in programming using the current techniques that deliver games and other visually demanding media.

    The programme enables you to become involved in emerging technologies derived from industry, while also exploring advanced 3D graphics, virtual and augmented realities, multi-service network technologies and advanced programming skills.

    How will I study?

    The course is delivered through lectures, seminars and tutorials with a mixture of daytime and evening classes. These sessions are highly interactive with a focus on the practical application of concepts and the use of cases drawn from real life. An emphasis on small groups ensures that you will have plenty of opportunities for individual discussions with your tutors.

    How will I be assessed?

    Your vocational capability, academic critical thinking and intellectual development will be assessed throughout the course. This is achieved through a combination of coursework, case studies and problem-solving exercises. You may be assessed individually or in a group.

    Who will be teaching me?

    You will be taught by highly qualified, experienced and enthusiastic academics who research and regularly engage within the wider business and academic environment. Staff specialise in a variety of subjects so you will benefit from a wide range of knowledge and experience. The course team is occasionally supplemented by external IT professionals who are invited to teach particular sessions relevant to their area of expertise.

    A Great Study Environment

    Two students with rucksacks walk in front of the Tech Hub.The Department of Computer Science is based in the state-of-the-art £13m Technology Hub. This purpose-built development offers highly contemporary suites of outstanding facilities for Computer Science students.

    Our modern computer laboratories are equipped with high-specification computers, high-resolution screens and the latest hardware and software.

    A four-screen CAVE (Computer Augmented Virtual Environment) provides a super immersive 3D virtual environment, enabling users to immerse themselves in a virtual room and experience real life scenarios in 4K resolution.

    There are also specialist laboratories for networking and games programming, in addition to a specialist research laboratory, open access laboratory, a Harvard style lecture theatre, and ‘The Hatchery’, a working space for new business ideas.

    Learning resources include robots and a robotics simulator, wired and wireless networking hardware, graphics software, web development tools, software development environments, big data servers, eye trackers, giant 3D interactive teaching screens, and other specialist software required for studying forensics and internet security techniques.

    The department has strong links with industry and the curriculum is kept current and highly relevant through input from our Employer Advisory Panel.


    Expand All

    CIS4114Research and Development Project (60 credits)

    Research and Development Project provides experience of designing and executing a substantial project in a limited time, based on a project plan, employing practical skills, problem solving and underpinned by relevant research. You will apply and extend skills and knowledge learned in taught modules and demonstrate your competency to construct and complete a coherent project as a Computing professional.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    CIS4115Research Methods (20 credits)

    Research Methods provides you with the knowledge and skills to develop a proposal for, and subsequently undertake, a research project at Masters level. You will engage with the essential considerations when analysing a problem and designing a solution. The module will also immerse you in data collection from the user, literature reviews, interface designs and project planning. On successful completion, you will have a well-formed proposal suitable for Masters level study.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    CIS4116Emerging Technologies (20 credits)

    Emerging Technologies equips you with an advanced understanding of emerging technology and develops the appropriate skills to critically evaluate their suitability, impact and applicability to new scenarios. The module also strengthens your ability to identify and analyse ethical issues related to the use of new technology for both development and research purposes, including an overview of the professional and legal constraints within which computing specialists operate.

    Assessment: Coursework: 80%, Practical(s): 20%.

    CIS4138Multi-Service Network Technologies (20 credits)

    Multi-Service Network Technologies addresses the technologies, protocols and theoretical elements of the common next-generation network infrastructure. A network in its simplest form is a collection of nodes joined by links. Many objects of interest within the physical, biological and social sciences can be thought of as network. Networks in general have become critical to the operation and advancement of various fields. Different types of nodes, links and network technologies form the critical infrastructure for various verticals such as telecommunications, power lines and transport systems. The recent advancements in sensor technologies and the emergence of the ‘Internet of things’, where physical objects interact/interface with virtual objects seamlessly, has enabled convergence of the various vertical domains, creating a common underlying next-generation network fabric across all domains. This module will provide you with both the necessary theoretical knowledge and the practical skills in technologies and applications that encompass these next-generation multi-service networks.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    CIS4140Advanced 3D Graphics (20 credits)

    Advanced 3D Graphics equips you with an in-depth technical, theoretical and practical understanding of the techniques used in advanced 3D computer graphics. In the implementation of immersive computer games, the role that the graphics play in creating an engaging environment cannot be underestimated. Alongside game-play as a key feature, the visual effects which have been embedded within games on all platforms have developed rapidly over recent years. From the early 8-bit computer games to the photo-realistic rendering employed in the production of current games, the graphics often are a central tool for the game developers to draw players into the game environment. This module will study the strengths and limitations of high performance graphics hardware that is used in games and virtual reality. A particular emphasis is placed on understanding and implementing the interactions of light, materials, geometry and viewpoints in scenes using modern graphics hardware. You will also consider current concepts and practical applications in games, virtual reality, animation and visual effects.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    CIS4141Creative Applications in Virtual and Augmented Realities (20 credits)

    Creative Applications in Virtual and Augmented Realities explores the rapidly evolving fields of virtual reality and augmented reality in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the issues relating to the design and implementation of applications that make use of this technology. Development using the technologies affords a new range of opportunities for software designers and developers to provide an expanding range of interactions and experiences to users. Data can be presented in new and creative ways that can help practitioners develop richer insight and understanding of their data sets. On this module, you will develop a critical understanding of these mechanisms and gain an understanding of the relationship between the end user, the interface designer and the software developer. You will also receive an insight into the human factors that underpin decisions during the design process.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.

    CIS4142Advanced Programming (20 credits)

    Advanced Programming is designed to build your confidence and understanding in relation to adapting the features and constraints of programming languages. The module will introduce more advanced topics of programming, including data structures, problem decomposition, debugging techniques and fault finding and provide you with a firm grounding in the design and implementation of real-world problems. The aims of the module are to promote different ways of thinking about computer programming, encourage adaptability when faced with new tools and technologies in the future, and develop an appreciation of the importance of selecting a good programming tool for a given problem.

    Assessment: Coursework: 100%.


    You can expect to receive your timetable at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day or evening of the week. Postgraduate Computing courses are typically taught between 6pm-9pm on weekday evenings.


    Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

    Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

    Entry Criteria

    Entry Requirements

    You should have a degree equivalent to UK first-class or second-class honours (2:2 or above), comprising 50% or more of content in a computing discipline.

    Equivalent knowledge gained in alternative ways, for example through professional experience or completion of BCS Professional Diploma in IT (Level 6), is also accepted.

    English Language Requirements

    International students require IELTS 6.5, with a score no lower than 6.0 in each individual component, or an equivalent English language qualification.

    If your current level of English is half a band lower, either overall or in one or two elements, you may want to consider our Pre-Sessional English course.

    Recognition of Prior Learning

    Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual’s professional and employment experience (also referred to as ‘experiential learning’). This may include credit or learning undertaken at another university.

    Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University’s academic regulations (sections C7 and F3.1) or contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

    Career Prospects

    What are my career prospects?

    This MSc equips you with the skills and knowledge required to develop your interests and career in a wide variety of roles. These include, for example, working as a programmer, software engineer or games designer. You may also wish to consider an IT career in the entertainment industry.

    You will develop an in-depth knowledge of programming which relates closely to the gaming industry, while also gaining skills that can be easily transferred to many other career opportunities.


    Tuition Fees

    Tuition fees for full-time study on this MSc are £5,400 for UK and EU students and £13,250 for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21.

    Tuition fees for part-time study on this MSc are £30 per credit for UK and EU students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2020/21, i.e. £600 per 20 credit module.

    180 credits are required to complete a Masters degree.

    The University may administer a small inflationary rise in part-time postgraduate tuition fees in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

    Financial Support

    For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining postgraduate courses at Edge Hill University in academic year 2020/21, together with details of how to apply for potential funding, please view our Money Matters 2020/21 guide at

    Financial support information for international students can be found at


    How to Apply

    There is an online application process for this programme.

    Please choose the application form for your preferred intake date and mode of study.

    Visit for more information about the application process.

    Visit to access the relevant online application form and to find out more about the application process.

    Further information for international students about how to apply is available at

    Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

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    Get in Touch

    If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

    If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

    International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

    Course Changes

    Expand All This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years.

    This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented in the past two years. No material changes have been made to the information for this programme in that time. Any future amends will be tracked here.