Course Information
Select year of entry:
4 - 5 Years School of Computer Science Lincoln Campus [L] Validated 320 points (See below) G610 4 - 5 Years School of Computer Science Lincoln Campus [L] Validated BBB (See below) G610

Recent Graduate's Success

Games Computing graduate, David King, is Technical Director for Criterion Games, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Electronic Arts. He has worked as a Tools Engineer on titles such as the Need for Speed and Harry Potter franchises.

Graduates’ Twitter-inspired videogame taking gaming world by storm - Following its launch Hashtag Dungeon has been Greenlit for development on Steam, one of the largest digital distribution networks. Developed by Sean Oxspring and Kieran Hicks, as a project for their Games Computing undergraduate degree at Lincoln, the game has been compared to Nintendo’s original Zelda.

Introduction

The MComp is a four-year degree programme which enhances and extends the equivalent BSc (Hons) programme. It provides the opportunity to study a range of modules at Master’s level and to complete a substantive project in an area of specific personal interest. Studying at Master’s level enables you to both deepen and broaden your knowledge and understanding. This can provide you with a stronger CV and may give you a distinct edge in the job market.

The MComp Games Computing degree at Lincoln aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary for a technical career within the creative games and entertainment industry, including mobile, social media and console game development.

The strong conceptual and methodological grounding in both games design and games development makes Lincoln’s Games Computing course distinctive. Students are encouraged to recognise that software engineering is as important as creative design in the success of computer game products, and to explore the role of games as contemporary cultural artefacts. On the course, you can develop software that targets desktop, mobile and console platforms.

The course explores games design and games programming, 3D graphics, mathematics, games engine programming and other specialist topics such as artificial intelligence and social gaming. You have the opportunity to develop both the technical skills and critical conceptual skills that are much sought after in the video games industry.

The Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Computer Science and has shared his expertise and experience with our students.

Accreditations

This course is accredited by The British Computer Society.

The University of Lincoln is also affiliated with The Institution of Analysts and Programmers.

In addition, Lincoln’s School of Computer Science is a member of The British Interactive Media Association and The Independent Game Developers’ Association (TIGA).

How You Study

Full-time or part-time study available.

In your first year, you have the opportunity to study fundamental areas including introductory games studies, game design, computer architectures and mathematics for computing and programming.

In your second year, you have the chance to undertake an in-depth study in areas of games computing, such as computer graphics, games programming, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.

As well as completing a games development project in the third year, students are expected to complete an independent project and you can choose from a range of specialist optional modules, including mobile computing, parallel computing and robotics.

In the fourth year you can select further optional modules and will be expected to undertake a Master's level project.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of your degree. However, remember that you are engaging in a full-time degree; so, at the very least, you should expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time and you may undertake assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Are Assessed

The programme is assessed through a variety of means, including in-class tests, coursework, projects and examinations. The majority of assessments are coursework based, reflecting the practical and applied nature of games computing science.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above).

Methods of Assessment

The way you will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of Computer Science Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2016-17

Applicants should have a minimum of 320 UCAS Tariff points from a minimum of two A Levels (or the equivalent). In addition to the minimum of two A Levels, other qualifications such as AS Levels, the Extended Project and the ASDAN CoPE for example, will be counted towards the 320 point requirement.

We also accept a wide range of other qualifications including the BTEC Extended Diploma, Diploma and Subsidiary Diploma, the European and International Baccalaureate Diplomas, and Advanced Diplomas. You can find tariff values on the UCAS website http://lncn.eu/cdez

Applicants will also be required to have at least three GCSEs at grade C or above (or the equivalent), including English Language and Maths.

Applications are welcomed from mature students who are studying towards an Access to Higher Education programme. A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required. We will also consider applicants with extensive relevant work experience.

For international students who do not meet criteria for direct entry to this degree we offer the International Year One in Computer Science. Depending on your English language level you will study three or four terms then progress directly to the second year of this degree.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or
email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Algorithms and Complexity

The module aims to introduce the concepts of Algorithms and Complexity, providing an understanding of the range of applications where algorithmic solutions are required.

Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to the analysis of time and space efficiency of algorithms; to the key issues in algorithm design; to the range of techniques used in the design of various types of algorithms. Students can also be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around algorithms and complexity in the lectures, together with a practical experience of implementing a range of algorithms in the workshops.

Computer Architectures

This module aims to introduce the fundamentals of computer hardware underpinning the key aspects of Computer Science. This knowledge is not only essential for deeper understanding of the governing processes behind computing but also for realising how hardware interacts with software.

By studying Computer Architecture, students can gain greater confidence in their study subject and future benefits when improving their programming skills. The module will study the individual components of a computer system, their function, main characteristics, performance and their mutual interaction. Examples of the practical application of the skills developed in this module are given utilising a range of computing applications, including but not restricted to the domains of Games and Social Computing applications.

Game Design 1

This module explores games as products of a design process, centred on how the mechanics of a game shape the experience of the players.

There is a strong focus on practical work and experimentation, to get a first-hand understanding of how the components of a game work together and the effects of various changes in context.

Concepts such as design patterns, gameplay, game mechanics, storyline, narrative, game architecture, randomness and game balance are all studied, using examples of card games, board games and computer games from both contemporary and traditional sources.

The module will be broadly split between game design theory and game design practice. Level design (as an example of experience design in general) and its practical application via a commercial game development environment will be practically explored in detail. Theories of game design and design patterns will be studied using hands-on exercises such as paper prototyping and board game mock-ups as examples.

Introductory Games Studies

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the study, design and development of computer games.

The module provides a grounding and context for the Games Computing programme, encompassing the history of games technology and development of the industry, as well as societal, cultural and ethical aspects. Students can gain an appreciation of the production processes and analytical/technical skills required to work in industry. They will also have the opportunity to do some introductory development work during workshop sessions, set against a series of design challenges, using appropriate development tools.

Maths for Computing

This module aims to equip students with mathematical knowledge and skills required to design and develop computer systems and software.

Programming and Data Structures

This module aims to introduce the concepts and practice of simple computer programming, with attention paid to the fundamentals that constitute a complete computer program including layout, structure and functionality.

The module aims to extend students' knowledge of computer programming and introduces them to fundamental computing data structures allowing the representation of data in computer programs.

Web Authoring

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge to design and implement interactive client-side web technologies. Students have the opportunity to learn key concepts in web markup languages; notably the features and capabilities that are part of the HTML5 specification standard including multimedia elements, the canvas element, and local web storage.

Additionally students will have the opportunity to develop technologies that are part of the wider HTML5 family such as CSS3, geolocation, drag and drop, and javascript. A standards driven approach will be adopted throughout the module using web page validation techniques, with emphasis on the importance of separating web page style and structure.

Level 2

Artificial Intelligence

This module aims to provide a basic introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The module first considers the symbolic model of intelligence, exploring some of the main conceptual issues, theoretical approaches and practical techniques. The module further explores knowledge-based systems such as expert systems, which mimic human reasoning performance by capturing knowledge of a domain and integrating it to deliver a performance comparable to that of a human practitioner. Modern developments such as artificial neural networks and uncertain reasoning are also covered using probability theory, culminating in a practical understanding of how to apply AI techniques in practice using logic programming.

Game Design 2

This module builds on previous study to explore the application of game design in commercial game development.

The tools and methodologies of commercial game design are introduced and exercised in appropriate contexts. This includes pitching, requirements gathering, documentation of game design and gameplay evaluation.

There is a broad focus on applications of game design, identifying special considerations and requirements, including in the context of video games, board games, role-playing games, war games, simulation and sports.

Students will be encouraged to critique both their own designs and others. Frequent constructive group critiques will give students feedback on their design and ideas.

Games Programming

This module introduces the students to the fundamentals, theory, and techniques of Games Programming. The module gives the student a grounding in the development of games for predominantly, but not limited to, PC systems.

Consideration of games programming algorithms and techniques is given, whilst ensuring the student understands not only the programming aspect of games development but also the interaction techniques and devices and how sound and control interfaces make up a game.

Students will be encouraged to develop game code that delivers complete games.

Graphics

This module introduces the student to the fundamentals, theory, principles, methods, and techniques of 2D and 3D Computer Graphics. The specialised mathematical underpinnings are explored along with their practical application in algorithms. The development of skills in implementing and developing computer graphic applications with industry standard languages (such as C/C++) and standard graphics libraries (such as OpenGL) encourages the student to develop their programming skills while observing the theory of graphics in practice. The above will be delivered through a games programming context. Students will be encouraged to develop interactive graphics application, utilising the graphics algorithms and techniques.

This module develops the following mathematical concepts and techniques: coordinate systems, transformations (translation, rotation, and scaling), projection, vector additions and multiplications, matrix operations, dot and cross products, viewing conventions.

Group Project

This module aims to provide students with the experience of working as part of a team on a development project. Students will have the opportunity to produce a set of deliverables relevant to their programme of study, including a finished product or artefact. Final deliverables will be negotiated between the group and their supervisor, the module coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that each project covers the learning outcomes of the module.

Groups are expected to manage their own processes, and to hold regular meetings both with and without their supervisor. Groups will be allocated by the module coordinator and other members of staff. The process of development of the artefact and the interaction and management of group members underpins the assessment of skills in the module.

Human-Computer Interaction

In this module students will have the opportunity to form an appreciation of the importance of human factors and user-centred approaches in the development of technological systems (analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of technological systems).

Students will be introduced to the physiological, psychological and cognitive issues relevant to human computer interaction and user-interface design.

Object-Oriented Programming

This module aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the general principles and practices of advanced programming with respect to software development. Notions and techniques of advanced programming are emphasised in the context of analysis, design and implementation of software and algorithms.

Great importance is placed upon the Object-Oriented paradigm and related concepts applied to algorithm and software development.

Professional Practice

Professional Practice aims to develop an understanding of the basic cultural, social, legal, and ethical issues inherent in the discipline of computing; and to promote personal professionalism in the workplace. Examples of topics covered include:

  • The special nature of technological ethics.
  • Ethical decision-making and case analysis.
  • Ethics of software development.
  • Legal issues in the field of technology.
  • Codes of computer ethics and professional practice.
  • Globalisation of professionalism.
  • Professional engagement with the job applications process.

Level 3

Advanced Games Studies

This module aims to builds and extend on previous theoretical and practical study of games from a high-level perspective. Content focuses on advanced theoretical aspects of games analysis and a deeper understanding of cultural aspects surrounding gaming communities, and strongly reflects the international level research contributions into game studies ongoing within the school.

Where previous study within games related modules focuses on the low level issues of game design and analysis (for example, designing mechanics, basic issues associated with the use of games, etc.), this module complements this by approaching games from the opposite angle, and treats them as artefacts rather than collections of parts.

This module covers advanced topics of understanding games in an academic context, focusing on a deeper understanding on the experience that players have when engaging with games, and emerging games communities that shape how different groups of players approach playful experiences. This includes methodologies and topics such as games user research, experience design, and understanding games in social, physical and cultural contexts. This study will be complemented in the form of reflective workshops where analytical techniques can be practised using commercial game examples, and other media artefacts that communicate cultural aspects relating to play.

Autonomous Mobile Robotics (Option)

The module aims to introduce the main concepts of Autonomous Mobile Robotics, providing an understanding of the range of processing components required to build physically embodied robotic systems, from basic control architectures to spatial navigation in real-world environments.

Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around robotic sensing and control in the lectures, together with a practical “hands on” approach to robot programming in the workshops.

Business Intelligence (Option)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of meaningful and useful information for business purposes.

The purpose of the module is to understand the issues involved in the use and application of these ‘tools’ and how BI might be applied to generate creative and novel insight helping support better business decisions. BI systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems. They provide historical, current, predictive and insightful views of business operations, most often using data gathered from data warehouses. Software elements support reporting, interactive 'slice-and-dice' pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining.

Critical Perspectives on Project Management (Option)

The module 'Critical Perspectives on Project Management' aims to explore the practical issues and challenges of putting technology to work.

As technology grows and becomes ever more pervasive, the size, complexity and timescales of related projects grow too. The challenges facing project managers involved in planning, coordinating, directing and implementing technology based projects on-time, to budget and operationally as expected is ever growing. This module aims to develop a critical perspective of project management and uses case based material to develop an understanding about the various challenges project management in this arena presents. Students are encouraged to reflect on the limits of certain forms of rational project management modes in conditions that are more accurately described in terms of uncertainty, complexity, risk and chaos.

Cross-Platform Development (Option)

This module aims to provides students with knowledge on an alternative, and increasingly important, ‘platform agnostic’ approach for mobile development. This approach embraces the use of cross-platform methods by developing applications with a single code base that run efficiently across distinct mobile platforms, with maximum code reuse and interoperability.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate platform-dependent constraints by critiquing the emergent space of cross-platform tools and frameworks that aim to maximise code sharing between mobile platforms, whilst retaining common like-for-like sensor features such as geolocation, camera, storage and push notification’s without compromising performance or overall user experience. Contemporary cross-platform tools will be adopted throughout the module for the creation of applications that bridge multiple mobile platforms.

Data Science (Option)

This module is designed to introduce the fundamentals of data science: an emergent specialised area of computer science that is concerned with knowledge on ‘BigData’ mining and visualisation, including state of the art database platforms, development toolkits, and industrial and societal application scenarios.

Students will have the chance to learn the fundamentals of data science, including basic terminology and concepts, core models, current technology landscape, and topical application scenarios using cloud platforms and open datasets. Students can be introduced to a basic data scientist toolkit that can be applied to design/build data-driven applications, and provide insights into diverse datasets.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (Option)

This module aims to provide the business context for activities supported by and delivered through computing technologies.

Students may investigate the drivers for modern Electronic Business and consider enterprise applications from a business viewpoint. Students can explore the process of taking a technologically grounded idea, and develop a business case through break-even point to where profitability begins and specify an appropriate web site as the vehicle to deliver the business case. The Entrepreneurial perspective considers business development as a holistic process, students can engage with this notion throughout the module. The module will also draw upon examples and themes from social computing, the importance of which is growing rapidly in importance.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2 (Option)

This module aims to build on the principles of 'Entrepreneurship & Innovation 1' and applies formalised methods and approaches in the exploration of specific areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. The module will also investigate the application of social computing principles, game theory and cooperation analysis in the development of an entrepreneurial idea.

Game Engine Architectures

The term 'Game Engine' is widely used to describe the core software used to create a computer game, which typically combines key modules of functionality including graphics rendering, audio, player interface, physics simulation, non-player character control, and multiplayer game code. Some of these component functionalities will have been covered in previous modules.

In this module, students will have the opportunity to study advanced topics related to the development, structure, design, and use of professional-standard game engine software. This will primarily focus on technical aspects, including algorithms and optimisation, as well as software engineering issues such as code interface design, and cross-platform support. Previously studied topics, such as rendering, user interfaces, and AI will be revisited within this context. Students can look at various examples of open-source and commercial engines, and undertake practical work in lab sessions which will include analysis and modification of existing game engines.

Image Processing (Option)

Digital image processing techniques are used in a wide variety of application areas such as computer vision, robotics, remote sensing, industrial inspection, medical imaging, etc. It is the study of any algorithms that take image as an input and returns useful information as output.

This module aims to provide a broad introduction to the field of image processing, culminating in a practical understanding of how to apply and combine techniques to various image-related applications. Students will have the opportunity to extract useful data from the raw image and interpret the image data — the techniques will be implemented using the mathematical programming language Matlab or OpenCV.

Mobile Computing (Option)

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop knowledge in the specification and development of connected ‘data-driven’ mobile applications, using industry standard tools and guidelines.

Mobile device platforms, such as smartphones can provide a rich development experience with direct access to a number of pervasive sensors such as GPS, camera, proximity, NFC and multiple network connectivity channels. These sensors are used as building blocks for lifestyle-supporting mobile applications in areas such as health, fitness, social, science, and entertainment. Such applications are now seen as part of the everyday fabric of life. Students can learn how to develop topically-themed native mobile applications that consume RESTful web services. Data privacy and security issues are discussed throughout the module.

Parallel Computing (Option)

Parallel Computing is a very important, modern paradigm in Computer Science, which is a promising direction for keeping up with the expected exponential growth in the discipline.

Executing multiple processes at the same time can tremendously increase the computational throughput, not only benefitting scientific computations but also leading to new exciting applications like real-time animated 3D graphics, video processing, physics simulation, etc. The relevance of parallel computing is especially prominent due to availability of modern, affordable computer hardware utilising multi-core and/or large number of massively parallel units.

Physics Simulation

Realistic physics simulation is a key component for many modern technologies including computer games, video animation, medical imaging, robotics, etc. This wide range of applications benefiting from real-time physics simulation is a result of recent advances in developing new efficient simulation techniques and the common availability of powerful hardware.

The main application area considered in this module is computer games, but the taught content has much wider relevance and can be applied to other areas of Computer Science.

Project (Computer Science)

This module provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work independently on an in-depth project with an implementation element that builds on their established knowledge, understanding and skills.

Students will normally be expected to demonstrate their ability to apply practical and analytical skills, innovation and/or creativity, and to be able to synthesise information, ideas and practices to provide a problem solution. Self-management is a key concept here, as is the ability to engage in critical self-evaluation.

Software Engineering (Option)

The module covers advanced topics of Software Engineering, focusing on software methodologies, with respect to changes in the software development process including past and present techniques.

Key Software Engineering principles are explored in the context of real world software engineering challenges such as software evolution and reuse. Topics such as advanced testing, verification and validation, critical systems development, re-factoring and design patterns will be covered.

Tools for Making Games

This module aims to build and extend on previous theoretical and practical study of game development from a high-level tools perspective. The module focuses on advanced practical aspects of games development, and strongly reflects the practical real-world game development experience of the delivery team.

The practical aspect of the module covers the use of industry standard tools in the development of assets and components for use in commercial-level game projects. This will include operations of tools within the complex pipeline of the contemporary game development industry.

Masters Level

Advanced Artificial Intelligence (Option)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical applications of decision-making, problem-solving and learning abilities in software agents.

Search is introduced as a unifying framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI), followed by key topics including blind and informed search algorithms, planning and reasoning, both with certain and uncertain (e.g. probabilistic) knowledge. Practical exercises in AI programming will complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems.

Advanced Programming (Option)

This module aims to explore advanced topics using a contemporary object-oriented programming language. The objective is to prepare students for professional-level programming in scientific and commercial computing, and to support programming tasks in other modules of this award.

Students can explore a range of programming topics through a series of lectures and practical workshops, and will work on producing an individual programming assignment.

Advanced Software Engineering (Option)

This module aims to provide students with advanced concepts of Software Engineering principles and practices. Students can explore up-to-date methodologies and their application to real-world products and services will be covered.

Indicative topics of study will include (but are not limited to):

  • Agile methods of software engineering;
  • Requirements engineering, design, software components, software reuse, verification and validation, maintenance and configuration management, software evolution;
  • Critical system development and the ethical implications of software engineering;
  • Fault Tree Analysis.

Computer Vision (Option)

This module aims to explore current methodologies in the field of computer vision, covering a range of aspects in capturing, processing, analysing and interpreting rich visual content.

The aim is to offer students with a deep understanding and to allow an exposure to the latest developments in computer vision, equipping them with knowledge in practical depth. The module will also provide the opportunity for training in programming skills (e.g. Matlab), tools and methods that are necessary for the implementation of computer vision systems.

The module will also cover applications of computer vision in various fields, such as in object recognition/tracking, medical image analysis, multimedia indexing and retrieval and intelligent surveillance systems, allowing the students the opportunity to establish a full awareness to the technology advance in this rapidly evolving field.

Machine Learning (Option)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical application of machine learning algorithms, including supervised, unsupervised, reinforcement and evolutionary learning. Practical programming exercises complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems such as data mining.

Mobile and Connected Devices (Option)

This module aims to explore the cutting-edge computing concepts and in-the-field deployment of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and devices.

The module will investigate, through practical implementation, the low-barrier capture, communication, and highly scalable consumption of data from geographically dispersed physical objects and sensors, with a view to creating novel end-user experiences.

Physical objects can now be easily connected to the internet and other objects through small, low-power, and inexpensive lightweight computing devices; creating hugely scalable networks of ‘things’ that can interoperate and stream data using simple web standards such as REST. IoT enabled objects and infrastructure can enable unforeseen opportunities for novel application scenarios, data collection and consumption, as well as create new markets around open data and third party applications. Additionally, the module will aim to cover how emerging capability such as locative and context aware technology can be exploited in cloud-connected prototypes and mobile applications. In terms of practical development, special attention is given to: creating data stream assets from sensor boards and smartphones, building a cloud information hub to store sensor data, and developing cloud services for consumption by mobile and other third party applications. Students will be given the opportunity to design and prototype IoT enabled applications, based on themed societal issues, using a combination of development boards and sensors, cloud computing services, and mobile applications.

Research Methods (MSc Computer Science)

This module is designed to cover the fundamental skills and background knowledge that students may need to undertake research related to the title of the award being studied, including: surveying literature; selecting and justifying a research topic; planning of research; selection of appropriate research methods; evaluation of research; presentation and reporting of research; and legal, social, ethical and professional considerations.

Level 4

Advanced Graphics

This module aims to enhance students understanding of concepts and theory around computer graphics, as well as enhancing their practical techniques. Advanced techniques available for graphics processing units (GPUs) are explored along with their practical implementation.

Autonomous Mobile Robotics (M) (Option)

The module introduces the main concepts of Autonomous Mobile Robotics, providing an understanding of the range of processing components required to build physically embodied robotic systems, from basic control architectures to spatial navigation in real-world environments. Students will be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around robotic sensing and control in the lectures, together with a practical “hands on” approach to robot programming in the workshops.
Working at Masters level, students will research the area in depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Business Intelligence (M) (Option)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of meaningful and useful information for business purposes. The purpose of the module is to understand the issues involved in the use and application of these ‘tools’ and how BI might be applied to generate creative and novel insight helping support better business decisions. BI systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems. They provide historical, current, predictive and insightful views of business operations, most often using data gathered from data warehouses. Software elements support reporting, interactive 'slice-and-dice' pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining.

Working at Masters level, students will have the opportunity to research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Critical Perspectives on Project Management (M) (Option)

The module 'Critical Perspectives on Project Management' aims to explore the practical issues and challenges of putting technology to work. As technology grows and becomes ever more pervasive, the size, complexity and timescales of related projects grow too. The challenges facing project managers involved in planning, coordinating, directing and implementing technology based projects on-time, to budget and operationally as expected is ever growing. This module aims to develop a critical perspective of project management and uses case-based material to develop an understanding about the various challenges project management in this arena presents. Students are encouraged to reflect on the limits of certain forms of rational project management modes in conditions that are more accurately described in terms of uncertainty, complexity, risk and chaos.

Working at Masters level, students can research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Data Analytics and Visualisation (Option)

This module aims to develop students' understanding of contemporary approaches to data analysis and visualisation. The module places particular emphasis on making sense of large datasets such as those generated from social media interactions or other web sources. It delivers material on the fundamental understanding of human visual perception and the political and persuasive power of data, and develops this alongside the use of standard tools for data collection, processing, manipulation, analysis and visual presentation. The practical role of data analytics and visualisation in media and business contexts is a core thread running through the module.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (M) (Option)

In this module students have the opportunity to investigate the drivers for modern Electronic Business and consider enterprise applications from a business viewpoint. Students can explore the process of taking a technologically grounded idea and develop a business case to the point where profitability begins.

Working at Masters level, students can research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

MComp Research Project

The MComp Research Project is an individual piece of work that expects students to apply and integrate theoretical knowledge and practical skills from the breadth of their experience with computer science sub-disciplines, in order to address a specific research question or questions formulated with support from academic staff.

The form and nature of this project is negotiable, but at MComp Level 4 there are typically three types of Project that are undertaken:

  • Industrial Based Project work (typically engaged with through a work placement)
  • Client-based project delivery (typically with an approved client in either public, private or third sector partners, and with a clearly articulated delivery)
  • A research based project (typically done in conjunction with a member of academic staff in the School and with a clear linkage to research activity of the staff member but which could include collaborative projects with research groups at other Universities)

The student can undertake work that is predominantly relevant to the ongoing research in one of the established research centres within the School of Computer Science. In all cases the Project supervisor will ensure that the study undertaken is suitably grounded within the programme title of each student.

Movement Interfaces

Recent years have seen growing interest in games interfaces that require movement of the body, and build on the user’s physical skills and abilities; the new dimension introduces a unique set of challenges in the design of games that extends beyond traditional human-computer interaction.

This module aims to provide students with advanced understanding of theoretical and practical concerns related to the design of technology that recognizes, captures and visualizes player movement. A number of inter-disciplinary perspectives on designing for player movement are considered, such as accessibility of games for players with mobility impairments, sports, performance, dance and audience. In addition, students can engage with practical issues related to the design, development and evaluation of movement-based games.

Software Engineering (M) (Option)

The module covers advanced topics of Software Engineering, focusing on software methodologies, with respect to changes in the software development process including past and present techniques. Key Software Engineering principles are explored in the context of real world software engineering challenges such as software evolution and reuse. Topics including advanced testing, verification and validation, critical systems development, re-factoring and design patterns will be covered.
Current research in Software Engineering will be discussed with the expectation of researching recent software engineering concepts. Working at Masters level, students will research the area in depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Students have the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community of active researchers and take part in extracurricular activities such as performance and games workshops, game jams and national competitions. Lincoln’s Games Research Group undertake projects in crowd simulation in games, the metrics of first-person shooters and pervasive and mobile gaming.

Overseas Study Visits

Overseas study visits have been a feature of our courses in recent years. Visits aim to provide students with a unique insight into games development issues in overseas territories. Last year students had the opportunity to attend a summer school in China with our partner, Sichuan University, and work alongside students from a number of countries to develop skills in Mobile App Development as well as having free time to visit the local panda breeding centre. (total cost to each student was approximately £300 based on 2015 costs).

Placements

Placement Year

When you are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, you will be required to cover your own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

Students have access to a specialist development laboratory, industry-standard software development environments, 3D modelling software, motion capture systems and games distribution platforms. Software development environments including Unreal Engine 4, Unity Pro, Visual Studio, and Oculus Rift play a major part in the practical elements of the course.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever your area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which you may need in your future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

The global video games industry is worth more than $80 billion annually. It has, in terms of sales, overtaken the film industry. New releases of games and consoles are no longer just product launches but international news events.

Games Computing graduates can work across the games development field as tools programmers, artificial intelligence programmers, level designers, mission scripters, games testers and many other roles in the wider IT industry. Lincoln graduates have gone on to work for both computer games industry giants and niche companies in the sector. These include Electronic Arts (EA Games), Criterion Games, Rockstar, Sumo Digital and Team 17.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) Animation degree aims to introduce students to the innovative world of moving image, digital visualisation and contemporary narrative. The aim of this course is to develop creative animators and artists with the flexibility to practise their craft in a variety of media.
The BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree provides you with the opportunity to develop the experience, skills and knowledge to design and develop a variety of software and hardware computing solutions for real-world problems. Particular attention is paid to cutting-edge topics, such as artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, in addition to core computer science disciplines. This aims to ensure that your studies are at the forefront of research in the field. In addition, you are encouraged to work with academics on research projects, such as with Marc the robot.
The MComp Computer Science degree is a four-year, integrated Masters degree is designed to give the experience, skills and knowledge to design and develop a variety of software and hardware computing solutions for real-world problems.
The BSc (Hons) Games Computing degree at Lincoln aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary for a technical career within the creative games and entertainment industry, including mobile, social media and console game development.
The BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree encourages students to become skilled visual communicators and provides the opportunity to work on project briefs that require practical skills and creative insight to find innovative solutions using a variety of media.

Introduction

The MComp is a four-year degree programme which enhances and extends the equivalent BSc (Hons) programme. It provides the opportunity to study a range of modules at Master’s level and to complete a substantive project in an area of specific personal interest. Studying at Master’s level enables you to both deepen and broaden your knowledge and understanding. This can provide you with a stronger CV and may give you a distinct edge in the job market.

The MComp Games Computing degree at Lincoln aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary for a technical career within the creative games and entertainment industry, including mobile, social media and console game development.

The strong conceptual and methodological grounding in both games design and games development makes Lincoln’s Games Computing course distinctive. Students are encouraged to recognise that software engineering is as important as creative design in the success of computer game products, and to explore the role of games as contemporary cultural artefacts. On the course, you can develop software that targets desktop, mobile and console platforms.

The course explores games design and games programming, 3D graphics, mathematics, games engine programming and other specialist topics such as artificial intelligence and social gaming. You have the opportunity to develop both the technical skills and critical conceptual skills that are much sought after in the video games industry.

The Gadget Show host Jason Bradbury is currently a Visiting Lecturer in the School of Computer Science and has shared his expertise and experience with our students.

Accreditations

This course is accredited by The British Computer Society.

The University of Lincoln is also affiliated with The Institution of Analysts and Programmers.

In addition, Lincoln’s School of Computer Science is a member of The British Interactive Media Association and The Independent Game Developers’ Association (TIGA).

How You Study

Full-time or part-time study available.

In your first year, you have the opportunity to study fundamental areas including introductory games studies, game design, computer architectures and mathematics for computing and programming.

In your second year, you have the chance to undertake an in-depth study in areas of games computing, such as computer graphics, games programming, human-computer interaction and artificial intelligence.

As well as completing a games development project in the third year, students are expected to complete an independent project and you can choose from a range of specialist optional modules, including mobile computing, parallel computing and robotics.

In the fourth year you can select further optional modules and will be expected to undertake a Master's level project.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Contact hours may vary for each year of your degree. However, remember that you are engaging in a full-time degree; so, at the very least, you should expect to undertake a minimum of 37 hours of study each week during term time and you may undertake assignments outside of term time. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

University-level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour in class students are expected to spend two - three hours in independent study.

Please see the Unistats data, using the link at the bottom of this page, for specific information relating to this course in terms of course composition and delivery, contact hours and student satisfaction.

How You Are Assessed

The programme is assessed through a variety of means, including in-class tests, coursework, projects and examinations. The majority of assessments are coursework based, reflecting the practical and applied nature of games computing science.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date (unless stated differently above).

Methods of Assessment

The way you will be assessed on this course will vary for each module. It could include coursework, such as a dissertation or essay, written and practical exams, portfolio development, group work or presentations to name some examples.

For a breakdown of assessment methods used on this course and student satisfaction, please visit the Unistats website, using the link at the bottom of this page.

Staff

Throughout this degree, students may receive tuition from professors, senior lecturers, lecturers, researchers, practitioners, visiting experts or technicians, and they may be supported in their learning by other students.

For a comprehensive list of teaching staff, please see our School of Computer Science Staff Pages.

Entry Requirements 2017-18

GCE Advanced Levels: BBB

International Baccalaureate: 30 points overall

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Distinction, Merit

Access to Higher Education Diploma: A minimum of 45 level 3 credits at merit or above will be required.

We will also consider extensive, relevant work experience; please email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk with full details for further advice.

In addition, applicants must have at least 3 GCSEs at grade C or above in English and Maths. Level 2 equivalent qualifications such as BTEC First Certificates and Level 2 Functional Skills will be considered

For international students who do not meet criteria for direct entry to this degree we offer the International Year One in Computer Science. Depending on your English language level you will study three or four terms then progress directly to the second year of this degree.

If you would like further information about entry requirements, or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the Admissions team on 01522 886097, or
email admissions@lincoln.ac.uk.

Level 1

Algorithms and Complexity

The module aims to introduce the concepts of Algorithms and Complexity, providing an understanding of the range of applications where algorithmic solutions are required.

Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to the analysis of time and space efficiency of algorithms; to the key issues in algorithm design; to the range of techniques used in the design of various types of algorithms. Students can also be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around algorithms and complexity in the lectures, together with a practical experience of implementing a range of algorithms in the workshops.

Computer Architectures

This module aims to introduce the fundamentals of computer hardware underpinning the key aspects of Computer Science. This knowledge is not only essential for deeper understanding of the governing processes behind computing but also for realising how hardware interacts with software.

By studying Computer Architecture, students can gain greater confidence in their study subject and future benefits when improving their programming skills. The module will study the individual components of a computer system, their function, main characteristics, performance and their mutual interaction. Examples of the practical application of the skills developed in this module are given utilising a range of computing applications, including but not restricted to the domains of Games and Social Computing applications.

Game Design 1

This module explores games as products of a design process, centred on how the mechanics of a game shape the experience of the players.

There is a strong focus on practical work and experimentation, to get a first-hand understanding of how the components of a game work together and the effects of various changes in context.

Concepts such as design patterns, gameplay, game mechanics, storyline, narrative, game architecture, randomness and game balance are all studied, using examples of card games, board games and computer games from both contemporary and traditional sources.

The module will be broadly split between game design theory and game design practice. Level design (as an example of experience design in general) and its practical application via a commercial game development environment will be practically explored in detail. Theories of game design and design patterns will be studied using hands-on exercises such as paper prototyping and board game mock-ups as examples.

Introductory Games Studies

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to the study, design and development of computer games.

The module provides a grounding and context for the Games Computing programme, encompassing the history of games technology and development of the industry, as well as societal, cultural and ethical aspects. Students can gain an appreciation of the production processes and analytical/technical skills required to work in industry. They will also have the opportunity to do some introductory development work during workshop sessions, set against a series of design challenges, using appropriate development tools.

Maths for Computing

This module aims to equip students with mathematical knowledge and skills required to design and develop computer systems and software.

Programming and Data Structures

This module aims to introduce the concepts and practice of simple computer programming, with attention paid to the fundamentals that constitute a complete computer program including layout, structure and functionality.

The module aims to extend students' knowledge of computer programming and introduces them to fundamental computing data structures allowing the representation of data in computer programs.

Web Authoring

This module aims to provide students with the knowledge to design and implement interactive client-side web technologies. Students have the opportunity to learn key concepts in web markup languages; notably the features and capabilities that are part of the HTML5 specification standard including multimedia elements, the canvas element, and local web storage.

Additionally students will have the opportunity to develop technologies that are part of the wider HTML5 family such as CSS3, geolocation, drag and drop, and javascript. A standards driven approach will be adopted throughout the module using web page validation techniques, with emphasis on the importance of separating web page style and structure.

Level 2

Artificial Intelligence

This module aims to provide a basic introduction to the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The module first considers the symbolic model of intelligence, exploring some of the main conceptual issues, theoretical approaches and practical techniques. The module further explores knowledge-based systems such as expert systems, which mimic human reasoning performance by capturing knowledge of a domain and integrating it to deliver a performance comparable to that of a human practitioner. Modern developments such as artificial neural networks and uncertain reasoning are also covered using probability theory, culminating in a practical understanding of how to apply AI techniques in practice using logic programming.

Game Design 2

This module builds on previous study to explore the application of game design in commercial game development.

The tools and methodologies of commercial game design are introduced and exercised in appropriate contexts. This includes pitching, requirements gathering, documentation of game design and gameplay evaluation.

There is a broad focus on applications of game design, identifying special considerations and requirements, including in the context of video games, board games, role-playing games, war games, simulation and sports.

Students will be encouraged to critique both their own designs and others. Frequent constructive group critiques will give students feedback on their design and ideas.

Games Programming

This module introduces the students to the fundamentals, theory, and techniques of Games Programming. The module gives the student a grounding in the development of games for predominantly, but not limited to, PC systems.

Consideration of games programming algorithms and techniques is given, whilst ensuring the student understands not only the programming aspect of games development but also the interaction techniques and devices and how sound and control interfaces make up a game.

Students will be encouraged to develop game code that delivers complete games.

Graphics

This module introduces the student to the fundamentals, theory, principles, methods, and techniques of 2D and 3D Computer Graphics. The specialised mathematical underpinnings are explored along with their practical application in algorithms. The development of skills in implementing and developing computer graphic applications with industry standard languages (such as C/C++) and standard graphics libraries (such as OpenGL) encourages the student to develop their programming skills while observing the theory of graphics in practice. The above will be delivered through a games programming context. Students will be encouraged to develop interactive graphics application, utilising the graphics algorithms and techniques.

This module develops the following mathematical concepts and techniques: coordinate systems, transformations (translation, rotation, and scaling), projection, vector additions and multiplications, matrix operations, dot and cross products, viewing conventions.

Group Project

This module aims to provide students with the experience of working as part of a team on a development project. Students will have the opportunity to produce a set of deliverables relevant to their programme of study, including a finished product or artefact. Final deliverables will be negotiated between the group and their supervisor, the module coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that each project covers the learning outcomes of the module.

Groups are expected to manage their own processes, and to hold regular meetings both with and without their supervisor. Groups will be allocated by the module coordinator and other members of staff. The process of development of the artefact and the interaction and management of group members underpins the assessment of skills in the module.

Human-Computer Interaction

In this module students will have the opportunity to form an appreciation of the importance of human factors and user-centred approaches in the development of technological systems (analysis, design, implementation and evaluation of technological systems).

Students will be introduced to the physiological, psychological and cognitive issues relevant to human computer interaction and user-interface design.

Object-Oriented Programming

This module aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the general principles and practices of advanced programming with respect to software development. Notions and techniques of advanced programming are emphasised in the context of analysis, design and implementation of software and algorithms.

Great importance is placed upon the Object-Oriented paradigm and related concepts applied to algorithm and software development.

Professional Practice

Professional Practice aims to develop an understanding of the basic cultural, social, legal, and ethical issues inherent in the discipline of computing; and to promote personal professionalism in the workplace. Examples of topics covered include:

  • The special nature of technological ethics.
  • Ethical decision-making and case analysis.
  • Ethics of software development.
  • Legal issues in the field of technology.
  • Codes of computer ethics and professional practice.
  • Globalisation of professionalism.
  • Professional engagement with the job applications process.

Level 3

Advanced Games Studies

This module aims to builds and extend on previous theoretical and practical study of games from a high-level perspective. Content focuses on advanced theoretical aspects of games analysis and a deeper understanding of cultural aspects surrounding gaming communities, and strongly reflects the international level research contributions into game studies ongoing within the school.

Where previous study within games related modules focuses on the low level issues of game design and analysis (for example, designing mechanics, basic issues associated with the use of games, etc.), this module complements this by approaching games from the opposite angle, and treats them as artefacts rather than collections of parts.

This module covers advanced topics of understanding games in an academic context, focusing on a deeper understanding on the experience that players have when engaging with games, and emerging games communities that shape how different groups of players approach playful experiences. This includes methodologies and topics such as games user research, experience design, and understanding games in social, physical and cultural contexts. This study will be complemented in the form of reflective workshops where analytical techniques can be practised using commercial game examples, and other media artefacts that communicate cultural aspects relating to play.

Autonomous Mobile Robotics (Option)

The module aims to introduce the main concepts of Autonomous Mobile Robotics, providing an understanding of the range of processing components required to build physically embodied robotic systems, from basic control architectures to spatial navigation in real-world environments.

Students will have the opportunity to be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around robotic sensing and control in the lectures, together with a practical “hands on” approach to robot programming in the workshops.

Business Intelligence (Option)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of meaningful and useful information for business purposes.

The purpose of the module is to understand the issues involved in the use and application of these ‘tools’ and how BI might be applied to generate creative and novel insight helping support better business decisions. BI systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems. They provide historical, current, predictive and insightful views of business operations, most often using data gathered from data warehouses. Software elements support reporting, interactive 'slice-and-dice' pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining.

Critical Perspectives on Project Management (Option)

The module 'Critical Perspectives on Project Management' aims to explore the practical issues and challenges of putting technology to work.

As technology grows and becomes ever more pervasive, the size, complexity and timescales of related projects grow too. The challenges facing project managers involved in planning, coordinating, directing and implementing technology based projects on-time, to budget and operationally as expected is ever growing. This module aims to develop a critical perspective of project management and uses case based material to develop an understanding about the various challenges project management in this arena presents. Students are encouraged to reflect on the limits of certain forms of rational project management modes in conditions that are more accurately described in terms of uncertainty, complexity, risk and chaos.

Cross-Platform Development (Option)

This module aims to provides students with knowledge on an alternative, and increasingly important, ‘platform agnostic’ approach for mobile development. This approach embraces the use of cross-platform methods by developing applications with a single code base that run efficiently across distinct mobile platforms, with maximum code reuse and interoperability.

Students will have the opportunity to investigate platform-dependent constraints by critiquing the emergent space of cross-platform tools and frameworks that aim to maximise code sharing between mobile platforms, whilst retaining common like-for-like sensor features such as geolocation, camera, storage and push notification’s without compromising performance or overall user experience. Contemporary cross-platform tools will be adopted throughout the module for the creation of applications that bridge multiple mobile platforms.

Data Science (Option)

This module is designed to introduce the fundamentals of data science: an emergent specialised area of computer science that is concerned with knowledge on ‘BigData’ mining and visualisation, including state of the art database platforms, development toolkits, and industrial and societal application scenarios.

Students will have the chance to learn the fundamentals of data science, including basic terminology and concepts, core models, current technology landscape, and topical application scenarios using cloud platforms and open datasets. Students can be introduced to a basic data scientist toolkit that can be applied to design/build data-driven applications, and provide insights into diverse datasets.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (Option)

This module aims to provide the business context for activities supported by and delivered through computing technologies.

Students may investigate the drivers for modern Electronic Business and consider enterprise applications from a business viewpoint. Students can explore the process of taking a technologically grounded idea, and develop a business case through break-even point to where profitability begins and specify an appropriate web site as the vehicle to deliver the business case. The Entrepreneurial perspective considers business development as a holistic process, students can engage with this notion throughout the module. The module will also draw upon examples and themes from social computing, the importance of which is growing rapidly in importance.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 2 (Option)

This module aims to build on the principles of 'Entrepreneurship & Innovation 1' and applies formalised methods and approaches in the exploration of specific areas of entrepreneurship and innovation. The module will also investigate the application of social computing principles, game theory and cooperation analysis in the development of an entrepreneurial idea.

Game Engine Architectures

The term 'Game Engine' is widely used to describe the core software used to create a computer game, which typically combines key modules of functionality including graphics rendering, audio, player interface, physics simulation, non-player character control, and multiplayer game code. Some of these component functionalities will have been covered in previous modules.

In this module, students will have the opportunity to study advanced topics related to the development, structure, design, and use of professional-standard game engine software. This will primarily focus on technical aspects, including algorithms and optimisation, as well as software engineering issues such as code interface design, and cross-platform support. Previously studied topics, such as rendering, user interfaces, and AI will be revisited within this context. Students can look at various examples of open-source and commercial engines, and undertake practical work in lab sessions which will include analysis and modification of existing game engines.

Image Processing (Option)

Digital image processing techniques are used in a wide variety of application areas such as computer vision, robotics, remote sensing, industrial inspection, medical imaging, etc. It is the study of any algorithms that take image as an input and returns useful information as output.

This module aims to provide a broad introduction to the field of image processing, culminating in a practical understanding of how to apply and combine techniques to various image-related applications. Students will have the opportunity to extract useful data from the raw image and interpret the image data — the techniques will be implemented using the mathematical programming language Matlab or OpenCV.

Mobile Computing (Option)

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop knowledge in the specification and development of connected ‘data-driven’ mobile applications, using industry standard tools and guidelines.

Mobile device platforms, such as smartphones can provide a rich development experience with direct access to a number of pervasive sensors such as GPS, camera, proximity, NFC and multiple network connectivity channels. These sensors are used as building blocks for lifestyle-supporting mobile applications in areas such as health, fitness, social, science, and entertainment. Such applications are now seen as part of the everyday fabric of life. Students can learn how to develop topically-themed native mobile applications that consume RESTful web services. Data privacy and security issues are discussed throughout the module.

Parallel Computing (Option)

Parallel Computing is a very important, modern paradigm in Computer Science, which is a promising direction for keeping up with the expected exponential growth in the discipline.

Executing multiple processes at the same time can tremendously increase the computational throughput, not only benefitting scientific computations but also leading to new exciting applications like real-time animated 3D graphics, video processing, physics simulation, etc. The relevance of parallel computing is especially prominent due to availability of modern, affordable computer hardware utilising multi-core and/or large number of massively parallel units.

Physics Simulation

Realistic physics simulation is a key component for many modern technologies including computer games, video animation, medical imaging, robotics, etc. This wide range of applications benefiting from real-time physics simulation is a result of recent advances in developing new efficient simulation techniques and the common availability of powerful hardware.

The main application area considered in this module is computer games, but the taught content has much wider relevance and can be applied to other areas of Computer Science.

Project (Computer Science)

This module provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to work independently on an in-depth project with an implementation element that builds on their established knowledge, understanding and skills.

Students will normally be expected to demonstrate their ability to apply practical and analytical skills, innovation and/or creativity, and to be able to synthesise information, ideas and practices to provide a problem solution. Self-management is a key concept here, as is the ability to engage in critical self-evaluation.

Software Engineering (Option)

The module covers advanced topics of Software Engineering, focusing on software methodologies, with respect to changes in the software development process including past and present techniques.

Key Software Engineering principles are explored in the context of real world software engineering challenges such as software evolution and reuse. Topics such as advanced testing, verification and validation, critical systems development, re-factoring and design patterns will be covered.

Tools for Making Games

This module aims to build and extend on previous theoretical and practical study of game development from a high-level tools perspective. The module focuses on advanced practical aspects of games development, and strongly reflects the practical real-world game development experience of the delivery team.

The practical aspect of the module covers the use of industry standard tools in the development of assets and components for use in commercial-level game projects. This will include operations of tools within the complex pipeline of the contemporary game development industry.

Masters Level

Advanced Artificial Intelligence (Option)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical applications of decision-making, problem-solving and learning abilities in software agents.

Search is introduced as a unifying framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI), followed by key topics including blind and informed search algorithms, planning and reasoning, both with certain and uncertain (e.g. probabilistic) knowledge. Practical exercises in AI programming will complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems.

Advanced Programming (Option)

This module aims to explore advanced topics using a contemporary object-oriented programming language. The objective is to prepare students for professional-level programming in scientific and commercial computing, and to support programming tasks in other modules of this award.

Students can explore a range of programming topics through a series of lectures and practical workshops, and will work on producing an individual programming assignment.

Advanced Software Engineering (Option)

This module aims to provide students with advanced concepts of Software Engineering principles and practices. Students can explore up-to-date methodologies and their application to real-world products and services will be covered.

Indicative topics of study will include (but are not limited to):

  • Agile methods of software engineering;
  • Requirements engineering, design, software components, software reuse, verification and validation, maintenance and configuration management, software evolution;
  • Critical system development and the ethical implications of software engineering;
  • Fault Tree Analysis.

Computer Vision (Option)

This module aims to explore current methodologies in the field of computer vision, covering a range of aspects in capturing, processing, analysing and interpreting rich visual content.

The aim is to offer students with a deep understanding and to allow an exposure to the latest developments in computer vision, equipping them with knowledge in practical depth. The module will also provide the opportunity for training in programming skills (e.g. Matlab), tools and methods that are necessary for the implementation of computer vision systems.

The module will also cover applications of computer vision in various fields, such as in object recognition/tracking, medical image analysis, multimedia indexing and retrieval and intelligent surveillance systems, allowing the students the opportunity to establish a full awareness to the technology advance in this rapidly evolving field.

Machine Learning (Option)

This module aims to cover the theoretical fundamentals and practical application of machine learning algorithms, including supervised, unsupervised, reinforcement and evolutionary learning. Practical programming exercises complement and apply the theoretical knowledge acquired to real-world problems such as data mining.

Mobile and Connected Devices (Option)

This module aims to explore the cutting-edge computing concepts and in-the-field deployment of emerging Internet of Things (IoT) platforms and devices.

The module will investigate, through practical implementation, the low-barrier capture, communication, and highly scalable consumption of data from geographically dispersed physical objects and sensors, with a view to creating novel end-user experiences.

Physical objects can now be easily connected to the internet and other objects through small, low-power, and inexpensive lightweight computing devices; creating hugely scalable networks of ‘things’ that can interoperate and stream data using simple web standards such as REST. IoT enabled objects and infrastructure can enable unforeseen opportunities for novel application scenarios, data collection and consumption, as well as create new markets around open data and third party applications. Additionally, the module will aim to cover how emerging capability such as locative and context aware technology can be exploited in cloud-connected prototypes and mobile applications. In terms of practical development, special attention is given to: creating data stream assets from sensor boards and smartphones, building a cloud information hub to store sensor data, and developing cloud services for consumption by mobile and other third party applications. Students will be given the opportunity to design and prototype IoT enabled applications, based on themed societal issues, using a combination of development boards and sensors, cloud computing services, and mobile applications.

Research Methods (MSc Computer Science)

This module is designed to cover the fundamental skills and background knowledge that students need to undertake research related to the title of the award being studied, including: surveying literature; selecting and justifying a research topic; planning of research; selection of appropriate research methods; evaluation of research; presentation and reporting of research; and legal, social, ethical and professional considerations.

Level 4

Advanced Graphics

This module aims to enhance students understanding of concepts and theory around computer graphics, as well as enhancing their practical techniques. Advanced techniques available for graphics processing units (GPUs) are explored along with their practical implementation.

Autonomous Mobile Robotics (M) (Option)

The module introduces the main concepts of Autonomous Mobile Robotics, providing an understanding of the range of processing components required to build physically embodied robotic systems, from basic control architectures to spatial navigation in real-world environments. Students will be introduced to relevant theoretical concepts around robotic sensing and control in the lectures, together with a practical “hands on” approach to robot programming in the workshops.
Working at Masters level, students will research the area in depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Business Intelligence (M) (Option)

Business Intelligence (BI) refers to technologies, applications, and practices for the collection, integration, analysis, and presentation of meaningful and useful information for business purposes. The purpose of the module is to understand the issues involved in the use and application of these ‘tools’ and how BI might be applied to generate creative and novel insight helping support better business decisions. BI systems are data-driven Decision Support Systems. They provide historical, current, predictive and insightful views of business operations, most often using data gathered from data warehouses. Software elements support reporting, interactive 'slice-and-dice' pivot-table analyses, visualization, and statistical data mining.

Working at Masters level, students will have the opportunity to research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Critical Perspectives on Project Management (M) (Option)

The module 'Critical Perspectives on Project Management' aims to explore the practical issues and challenges of putting technology to work. As technology grows and becomes ever more pervasive, the size, complexity and timescales of related projects grow too. The challenges facing project managers involved in planning, coordinating, directing and implementing technology based projects on-time, to budget and operationally as expected is ever growing. This module aims to develop a critical perspective of project management and uses case-based material to develop an understanding about the various challenges project management in this arena presents. Students are encouraged to reflect on the limits of certain forms of rational project management modes in conditions that are more accurately described in terms of uncertainty, complexity, risk and chaos.

Working at Masters level, students can research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

Data Analytics and Visualisation (Option)

This module aims to develop students' understanding of contemporary approaches to data analysis and visualisation. The module places particular emphasis on making sense of large datasets such as those generated from social media interactions or other web sources. It delivers material on the fundamental understanding of human visual perception and the political and persuasive power of data, and develops this alongside the use of standard tools for data collection, processing, manipulation, analysis and visual presentation. The practical role of data analytics and visualisation in media and business contexts is a core thread running through the module.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation 1 (M) (Option)

In this module students have the opportunity to investigate the drivers for modern Electronic Business and consider enterprise applications from a business viewpoint. Students can explore the process of taking a technologically grounded idea and develop a business case to the point where profitability begins.

Working at Masters level, students can research the area in-depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

MComp Research Project

The MComp Research Project is an individual piece of work that expects students to apply and integrate theoretical knowledge and practical skills from the breadth of their experience with computer science sub-disciplines, in order to address a specific research question or questions formulated with support from academic staff.

The form and nature of this project is negotiable, but at MComp Level 4 there are typically three types of Project that are undertaken:

  • Industrial Based Project work (typically engaged with through a work placement)
  • Client-based project delivery (typically with an approved client in either public, private or third sector partners, and with a clearly articulated delivery)
  • A research based project (typically done in conjunction with a member of academic staff in the School and with a clear linkage to research activity of the staff member but which could include collaborative projects with research groups at other Universities)

The student can undertake work that is predominantly relevant to the ongoing research in one of the established research centres within the School of Computer Science. In all cases the Project supervisor will ensure that the study undertaken is suitably grounded within the programme title of each student.

Movement Interfaces

Recent years have seen growing interest in games interfaces that require movement of the body, and build on the user’s physical skills and abilities; the new dimension introduces a unique set of challenges in the design of games that extends beyond traditional human-computer interaction.

This module aims to provide students with advanced understanding of theoretical and practical concerns related to the design of technology that recognizes, captures and visualizes player movement. A number of inter-disciplinary perspectives on designing for player movement are considered, such as accessibility of games for players with mobility impairments, sports, performance, dance and audience. In addition, students can engage with practical issues related to the design, development and evaluation of movement-based games.

Software Engineering (M) (Option)

The module covers advanced topics of Software Engineering, focusing on software methodologies, with respect to changes in the software development process including past and present techniques. Key Software Engineering principles are explored in the context of real world software engineering challenges such as software evolution and reuse. Topics including advanced testing, verification and validation, critical systems development, re-factoring and design patterns will be covered.
Current research in Software Engineering will be discussed with the expectation of researching recent software engineering concepts. Working at Masters level, students will research the area in depth and produce critical reports of their findings.

The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Special Features

Students have the opportunity to be part of a vibrant community of active researchers and take part in extracurricular activities such as performance and games workshops, game jams and national competitions. Lincoln’s Games Research Group undertake projects in crowd simulation in games, the metrics of first-person shooters and pervasive and mobile gaming.

Overseas Study Visits

Overseas study visits have been a feature of our courses in recent years. Visits aim to provide students with a unique insight into games development issues in overseas territories. Last year students had the opportunity to attend a summer school in China with our partner, Sichuan University, and work alongside students from a number of countries to develop skills in Mobile App Development as well as having free time to visit the local panda breeding centre. (total cost to each student was approximately £300 based on 2015 costs).

Placements

Placement Year

When you are on an optional placement in the UK or overseas or studying abroad, you will be required to cover your own transport and accommodation and meals costs. Placements can range from a few weeks to a full year if students choose to undertake an optional sandwich year in industry.

Students are encouraged to obtain placements in industry independently. Tutors may provide support and advice to students who require it during this process.

Student as Producer

Student as Producer is a model of teaching and learning that encourages academics and undergraduate students to collaborate on research activities. It is a programme committed to learning through doing.

The Student as Producer initiative was commended by the QAA in our 2012 review and is one of the teaching and learning features that makes the Lincoln experience unique.

Facilities

Students have access to a specialist development laboratory, industry-standard software development environments, 3D modelling software, motion capture systems and games distribution platforms. Software development environments including Unreal Engine 4, Unity Pro, Visual Studio, and Oculus Rift play a major part in the practical elements of the course.

At Lincoln, we constantly invest in our campus as we aim to provide the best learning environment for our undergraduates. Whatever your area of study, the University strives to ensure students have access to specialist equipment and resources, to develop the skills, which you may need in your future career.

View our campus pages [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/ourcampus/] to learn more about our teaching and learning facilities.

Career Opportunities

The global video games industry is worth more than $80 billion annually. It has, in terms of sales, overtaken the film industry. New releases of games and consoles are no longer just product launches but international news events.

Games Computing graduates can work across the games development field as tools programmers, artificial intelligence programmers, level designers, mission scripters, games testers and many other roles in the wider IT industry. Lincoln graduates have gone on to work for both computer games industry giants and niche companies in the sector. These include Electronic Arts (EA Games), Criterion Games, Rockstar, Sumo Digital and Team 17.

Careers Service

The University Careers and Employability Team offer qualified advisors who can work with you to provide tailored, individual support and careers advice during your time at the University. As a member of our alumni we also offer one-to-one support in the first year after completing your course, including access to events, vacancy information and website resources; with access to online vacancies and virtual and website resources for the following two years.

This service can include one-to-one coaching, CV advice and interview preparation to help you maximise your future opportunities.

The service works closely with local, national and international employers, acting as a gateway to the business world.

Visit our Careers Service pages for further information. [http://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/campuslife/studentsupport/careersservice/]

Additional Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required, depending on your course. Some courses provide opportunities for you to undertake field work or field trips. Where these are compulsory, the cost for the travel, accommodation and your meals may be covered by the University and so is included in your fee. Where these are optional you will normally (unless stated otherwise) be required to pay your own transportation, accommodation and meal costs.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost. Where there may be exceptions to this general rule, information will be displayed in a section titled Other Costs below.

Related Courses

The BA (Hons) Animation degree aims to introduce students to the innovative world of moving image, digital visualisation and contemporary narrative. The aim of this course is to develop creative animators and artists with the flexibility to practise their craft in a variety of media.
The BSc (Hons) Computer Science degree provides you with the opportunity to develop the experience, skills and knowledge to design and develop a variety of software and hardware computing solutions for real-world problems. Particular attention is paid to cutting-edge topics, such as artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction, in addition to core computer science disciplines. This aims to ensure that your studies are at the forefront of research in the field. In addition, you are encouraged to work with academics on research projects, such as with Marc the robot.
The MComp Computer Science degree is a four-year, integrated Masters degree is designed to give the experience, skills and knowledge to design and develop a variety of software and hardware computing solutions for real-world problems.
The BSc (Hons) Games Computing degree at Lincoln aims to equip graduates with the skills necessary for a technical career within the creative games and entertainment industry, including mobile, social media and console game development.
The BA (Hons) Graphic Design degree encourages students to become skilled visual communicators and provides the opportunity to work on project briefs that require practical skills and creative insight to find innovative solutions using a variety of media.

Tuition Fees

2016/17 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,000 per level £14,500 per level
Part-time £75 per credit point  
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

 

2017/18 Entry UK/EUInternational
Full-time £9,000 per level £14,500 per level
Part-time £75 per credit point  
Placement (optional) Exempt Exempt

 Please note that not all courses are available as a part-time option.

For further information and for details about funding your study, please see our UK/EU Fees & Funding pages or our International funding and scholarship pages. [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studyatlincoln/undergraduatecourses/feesandfunding/] [www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/international/feesandfunding/]

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions. [www.lincoln.ac.uk/StudentAdmissionsTermsandConditions]