Computer Games & VFX Programming MSc

Course Overview

Applicants to this programme are numerate and logically-minded, and it is likely that they will have previously studied engineering, computer science, maths or physics. They would be interested in computer graphics for games or CGI and visual effects. Graduates would seek employment in both the games and film VFX industries as game developers, animation tool developers, visual effects developers, technical directors, etc.

This programme will equip students with skills at a high academic level and also crucially enable them to practically implement their knowledge because of the 'hands-on' emphasis of the programme.

The main themes of the programme are:

  • Current and emerging algorithms and techniques used in film visual effects and games programming
  • Approaches used to generate off-line visual effects
  • Approaches used to generate real-time interactive games

The first theme develops in the student the necessary skills required to implement algorithms and techniques used to generate realistic scenes. These concepts will be explored in detail.

The second theme addresses the need for students to identify, evaluate and implement suitable methods to solve specific problems related to creating off-line visual effects.

The third theme recognises the need to solve these problems using approaches optimised for real-time computer games development and develops in the student the requisite skills.

Key Features

Applicants for this programme will have an interest in computer graphics and Computer Generated Imagery (CGI). The main themes of the programme are current and emerging algorithms and techniques used in film visual effects and games programming, approaches used to generate off-line visual effects and approaches used to generate real-time interactive games. This also includes the development/enhancement of tools used in the CGI and animation industry. Graduates will be concerned with the discipline of developing software and applications using high level programming languages. They will also be experienced in creating custom animated scenes using the powerful scripting languages of industry standard applications such as Maya and Houdini software. Graduates will have an advanced understanding of computer graphics, GPU shader development, and visual simulation methods making use of modern artificial intelligence and simulation techniques. Graduated are likely to find employment either within the film VFX industry, computer games or traditional software engineering sectors.


Animation Systems Development (20 credits)
Artificial Intelligence for Games & VFX (20 credits)
GPU Shader Development (20 credits)
Leadership and Management (20 credits)
Research Methods and Data Analysis (20 credits)
Visual Simulation (20 credits)
Major Project (60 credits)

Course Tutor(s)

  • Andrew Baker
  • Michael Dacey
  • Gordon Dickers


An Honours Degree (2.2 or above) or advanced qualification in Computer Science or cognate discipline from a UK University or recognised overseas institution, or industrial experience in Computer Networking and an Honours Degree.

Where English is not your first language, we ask that you hold an Academic IELTS test with a score of at least 6.0 (no element less than 5.5) or TOEFL with a minimum score of 550 (213 for computer based test).

Career Opportunities

It is expected that graduates would seek positions such as:

Software Engineers

  • Senior Software Engineers
  • App Developers
  • CGI Special Effects Programmers
  • Games Programmers
  • Lead Programmers
  • Render Manager
  • VFX Programmer
  • VFX Technical Directors

Related Courses

  • MSc Software Engineering
  • MSc Applied Computing
  • MSc eCommerce
MSc, MSc Award
Full-time, Part-time Study Mode
1 years Duration

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