Games Development and Design

Key Information


1 year

Start Date

September 2024

Typical Offer

See More


Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

MSc Games Development and Design is designed to build on students' existing computer programming skills, providing them with the knowledge and expertise to develop contemporary video games using a variety of advanced tools and platforms such as virtual reality.

Industry context is an important aspect of this programme, and students can study game design topics that are applicable to working within the sector and to independent game creation, as well as familiarise themselves with research techniques that are appropriate for further postgraduate study.

The course is informed by the work and research of academic staff who specialise in games, with a combination of industry experience and research backgrounds in relevant areas. This environment provides a rich source of inputs and perspectives, as well as many opportunities for constructive and creative multidisciplinary interactions.

Guest speakers from games companies and other related areas contribute to the Frontiers of Games Research module. This is designed to help students develop industry perspectives, and better prepare them for employment or further study.

Why Choose Lincoln

Develop the knowledge and expertise to develop contemporary video games

A focus on industry context and topics applicable to working within the sector

Informed by the work and research of academic staff who specialise in games

Complete an independent research project in a specialist area

YouTube video for Why Choose Lincoln

How You Study

This course comprises a range of core modules, including Advanced Programming; Virtual and Augmented Reality for Games; Frontiers of Games Research, Prototyping and Evaluation for Games; Advanced Graphics; and Games Design Methods and Approaches. Students can also select from a number of optional modules covering a range of specialist subject areas.

The Research Methods module is designed to cover the fundamental skills and background knowledge needed to undertake research in this area. Students are then able to undertake a substantial research project focusing on an area of particular personal and professional interest, through substantive software implementation and the development of a dissertation.

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


† Some courses may offer optional modules. 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.

Advanced Programming 2024-25CMP9133MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreAdvanced Software Engineering 2024-25CMP9134MLevel 72024-25This module aims to provide students with an understanding of advanced concepts of software engineering principles and practices. The course focus on developing the skills necessary to design and deploy sophisticated modern software systems in a range of application areas. You will develop your practical software engineering skills and learn new theories of software development.CoreFrontiers of Games Research 2024-25CGP9021MLevel 72024-25This module introduces cutting-edge topics in games research areas, including both theory and practical applications. The module will follow a research seminar format, involving input from colleagues across the School of Computer Science and other Schools at Lincoln. Additionally, guest lectures from industry representatives and leading international researchers will be offered. Topics will include technical aspects, user experience, design, serious games, and games studies. Students will further benefit from opportunities to discuss potential research topics that they can explore to build and enhance their research and critical thinking skills.CorePrototyping and Evaluation for Games 2024-25CGP9022MLevel 72024-25This module is guided by the industry experience of lecturing staff, and underpinned by theoretical considerations from game design and player experience, to deliver an industry-relevant experience of building and evaluate game concepts.CoreResearch Methods (MSc Computer Science) 2024-25CMP9139MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreResearch Project 2024-25CMP9140MLevel 72024-25This module presents students with the opportunity to carry out a significant inquiry-driven project, focusing on a topical area of interest that is aligned with their programme of study. This is primarily realised through the development of a dissertation and substantive software implementation. The research project is an individual piece of work, which enables students to apply and integrate elements of study from a range of modules, centred on a specific research question. The student will undertake work that is relevant to the ongoing research in either one of the established research centres within the School of Computer Science or through the development of a project concept in consultation with their allocated academic supervisor. Students are required to undertake the development of a software artefact that is non-trivial in scale and goals, and is supported by best-practice application of appropriate theoretical frameworks. The work should also draw upon and enrich the student’s own experience.CoreVirtual and Augmented Reality for Games 2024-25CGP9023MLevel 72024-25On this module students can learn about emerging Virtual and Augmented Reality platforms from both design and development perspective. Students will have the opportunity to design, build and evaluate their VR and AR apps using state-of-the-art platforms.CoreAdvanced Graphics 2024-25CGP9018MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreGame Design Methods and Approaches 2024-25CGP9020MLevel 72024-25This module explores the various conceptual tools that can be applied to the games design process. The module will be broadly split between theory and practical applications, contextualised against both commercial and academic applications. Students will be encouraged to develop as reflective design practitioners, through critiquing their own designs and those of their peers. There is a specific focus on the design pipeline, starting from requirements gathering, through conceptualisation and prototyping, to evaluation and iteration. Students will learn various methods to help them tackle the specific challenges at each stage in this process. The module is grounded in practical experimentation, and student-centered exploration of the module themes. Through this module students will develop an understanding of the interplay between the different components and mechanics of a game, and how small changes can impact the gameplay experience.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Students on the programme may be assessed through a variety of means, including in-class tests, coursework, projects, and examinations. The final stage research project enables students to further specialise and complete a piece of work of significant complexity.

Specialist Facilities

Our students are primarily based in the University’s Isaac Newton Building. Technical resources include computer laboratories with high-performance workstations equipped with full software development platforms. There is a range of equipment for loan, including Raspberry Pi devices, robots, and virtual reality equipment such as HTC Vive and Oculus Quest.

A student using a HTC virtual reality device

Research-informed Teaching

Our postgraduate teaching is underpinned by world-leading research. Academic strengths lie in computational neuroscience, machine learning, data analytics, robotics, medical imaging, AI in healthcare, and many aspects of human–computer interaction and games computing. From optimising the treatment of cancer patients to spearheading the development of next-generation robots for agri-food production, computer scientists at Lincoln are working at the forefront of new technologies.

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
A student listening in a seminar

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

First or second class honours degree in a discipline involving a significant element of computer programming, such as computer science, engineering, or other science and technology subjects.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

Overseas students will be required to demonstrate English language proficiency equivalent to IELTS 6.0 overall, with a minimum of 5.5 in each element. For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Career Development

As one of the world’s largest entertainment industries, the games sector can provide a rewarding and stimulating career. Students on this programme have the chance to develop skills needed by the industry, and the course aims to develop versatile professionals capable of thriving in a wide range of areas and employment destinations.

Academic Contact

For more information about this course, please contact the Programme Leader.

Dr Patrick Dickinson

Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
A group of students sat around a table, working together on a project
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.