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Commercial Games Development

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Computer Science and Creative Technologies
One year Full-time
Programme leader:
Simon Scarle
Key fact:
A unique opportunity to gain advanced technical and research skills by working on live commercial projects within the PlayWest studio.

Page last updated 14 December 2018


This Masters in Commercial Games Development provides students with an intellectual experience of study in the field of games technology. Developed and delivered by staff with both technical and commercial expertise, you will be engaged in advanced research and enterprise activity within PlayWest, UWE Bristol's in-house commercial games studio.

Designed to meet the increasing shortage of technically adept games developers and programmers, the course also offers a unique pathway of advanced professional development.

During the course, you will develop a portfolio of live commercial and technical projects, gaining practical experience, academic skills and a deeper awareness of commercial processes.

A rich stream of live PlayWest research and development projects with industry partners that have previously included Rolls-Royce Aerospace and Bloodhound SSC, allows you to explore the use of games technology as well as virtual and augmented reality for real-world applications.

As well as giving equal weight to both the research component and the games development component, the course aims to establish an essential bridge between ground-breaking academic research and the entertainment software industry itself, often overlooked or misunderstood by both.

Industry-ready skills

By helping students form strong professional identities as developer-practitioners, graduates will be well prepared to step into roles within the games industry, academia and other emergent fields of games technology for the real world.

The degree provides an immersion into enterprise, cutting edge technologies and practice. Along with practical skills, it gives students a thorough understanding of what is required to operate within a commercial entity.

Unique study facilities

PlayWest is one of only a handful of in-house studios that hold full TIGA accreditation and PlayStation First partnership.

The studio is involved in live, high-impact work with a growing list of exciting industry partners.



You will study the following compulsory modules over the course of a year:

  • Commercial Games Studio - In this module you will focus on the development of commercial entertainment software products in a real-world industry setting. It will involve working on commercial projects slated for release or stakeholder handover.
  • Games Research and Development - Immerse yourself in this rapidly moving stream of innovation, and learn how to deploy new technologies across a range of contexts and emerging application areas. This module forms the basis of a portfolio providing an entry point to research and development within the Games industry and also to academic research and real-world application.
  • Dissertation by Research and Development - This is your chance to show your grasp of a complex and specialised area of knowledge, and your software engineering skills, by addressing a research problem with theoretical and methodological approaches.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The two taught modules will use collaborative game development techniques to help you develop both individual technical skills and advanced team working skills.

Staff will be embedded in the activities, leading teams and individuals under industry conditions.

You will use reflective video logs and streaming as effective industry and academic resources. Game jam learning will be used for producing prototypes, strengthening group dynamics and fostering continuing professional development and communities of practice.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Study time

The MSc Commercial Games Development is offered as a full time course over 12 months.

Two taught modules are spread across the first six to eight months, followed by a final 60 credit dissertation project.

You will be expected to attend two full contact days a week during the taught component of the course. The rest of the week is expected to be self-directed study time, with the recommendation that you work independently in the PlayWest studio.  


We will use a variety of assessment tools appropriate to the modules.

For Advanced Games Development, you will submit a portfolio with group and individual vivas.

For the Research and Development for Games module, assessment will be through video development logs, prototypes and a technology research portfolio of academic standard research papers.

For more detail, see our full glossary of assessment terms.


Study facilities

The course is housed within PlayWest, the university's in-house commercial games studio on Frenchay campus.

Students will have the opportunity to work with PlayStation First hardware (PlayStation 4 and Vita), and across a growing range of virtual and augmented reality technologies.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.


Careers / Further study

As well as post-doctoral study and employment in PlayWest itself, the course prepares students for a diverse range of roles within games development (indie and AAA provision), visualisation, virtual and augmented reality, software provision, visual effects, and mobile and app development.

Whether students progress onto employment, academia or their own entrepreneurial enterprises, the course provides a useful and unique launchpad to future success.


Full time course

FeesAmount (£)
Home/EU-Full Time-Award Fee7500
Home/EU-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)625
International-Full Time-Award Fee13000
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1083
Offshore-Full Time-Award Fee13000
Offshore-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit) 1083

Supplementary fee information

For information about funding for postgraduate course see our funding pages.


Entry requirements

We normally require an honours degree of 2.2 or above in Games Technology or similar technical discipline, with a substantial software development component.

We can consider applicants who do not meet the normal entry requirement, but who do have relevant professional experience or qualifications. In your application, you should describe in detail your professional experience and qualifications.

UWE Bristol's International College

International students who do not meet the academic or English language requirements to study this course can qualify by completing preparatory study at our International College.

For further information

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