Year of entry 2023
The multi-billion pound global games industry is one of the most performance-driven areas of computer science. Along with video and console games, the popularity of exciting new immersive games, high-fidelity mobile and eSports are all on the rise – all of which is fuelling the huge growth of this fast-paced sector.
Successful computer graphics programmers push computing resources to the limit using deep understanding of architecture and high-performance programming to generate new levels of graphical realism and visual effects on cutting-edge hardware platforms. Working at the top end of the games industry, they focus on developing computer graphics on high-performance platforms, and writing engines for the next generation of games.
Studying computer science with high-performance graphics and games engineering at Leeds will equip you with the core technical and problem-solving skills to tackle current and emerging challenges. Our High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering course has been developed in collaboration with industry. You’ll gain proficiency in low-level programming (C++, Graphic and Compute shaders), a thorough understanding of multi-core and many-core programming techniques, game engine and tool development techniques, and fundamental insight into graphics and the practical techniques used in games including geometric models, animation and simulation, and advanced methods for visual realism.
As a computer science student, you’ll be taught in our brand new, purpose-built hub for students and academics - the Sir William Henry Bragg Building - which is home to world-leading research and specialist teaching facilities and laboratories right here on campus. The Bragg Centre is where scientists and engineers work collaboratively to develop solutions for economical, societal and technical challenges in the UK.
Here at Leeds, we understand the importance this industry has in everyday life, which is why our courses are professionally accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). The topics you’ll study reflect the latest developments in computer science and artificial intelligence, equipping you with the key knowledge, skills and experience you need to begin your career.
On completion of the first three years of the course, if you do not wish to complete the MEng year, you can choose to graduate with a Computer Science BSc.
Why study at Leeds:
- Take advantage of our close links with the games industry, with input from our industrial steering group and the opportunity to participate in the annual Game Republic student showcase.
- Study in the Sir William Henry Bragg building, a brand-new development providing excellent facilities and teaching spaces for an outstanding student experience. You’ll also have access to our visualisation teaching laboratory with high-end Unix workstations, our VR delivery room equipped with motion capture system and our robotics laboratory.
- Benefit from our partnership with the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.
- Develop your experience and boost your career prospects with our paid industrial placement opportunities or study abroad programmes.
- Make the most of your time at Leeds by joining CompSoc, where you can meet like-minded undergraduate and postgraduate students in the School of Computing through fortnightly events covering a range of activities including socials, sports and Hackathons!
Years one to three of the course (Computer Science BSc only) is accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS).
Accreditation is the assurance that a university course meets the quality standards established by the profession for which it prepares its students. An accredited computer science course must meet the quality standards set by the BCS.
Completing this degree course fulfils the academic requirements associated with becoming a member of the BCS. By completing our MEng, BSc degree course you will have exemption from the Engineering Council professional examinations, the first step towards becoming a chartered engineer.
This course provides unparalleled opportunity to study graphics in depth, with more modules on advanced graphics and graphics programming than any other institution in the Russell Group. By the end of this course, you’ll develop advanced-level, industry-standard technical skills in the following areas:
- low-level programming (C++, Graphic and Compute shaders)
- multi-core and many-core programming techniques
- computer graphics, from core principles to the practical techniques used in games, including geometric models, animation and simulation, advanced methods for visual realism
- game engine development techniques
Discovery modules are available in all years of your degree, as long as you are taking enough credits of your own subject for that year.
Our courses in Computer Science MEng, BSc, Computer Science BSc, Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence BSc, Computer Science with Artificial Intelligence MEng, BSc and Computer Science with High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering share a common first year, which focuses on the fundamentals of programming and the mathematical principles that underpin computer science. This gives you the flexibility to switch easily between the three courses if you choose, until the end of your first year.
Year 2 allows you to deepen and broaden your knowledge of computer science, with core modules introducing you to topics such as artificial intelligence and developing your understanding of algorithms and operating systems.
You’ll build on your knowledge in year 3, when you’ll have far greater choice in your optional modules and undertake a significant research project on a topic relevant to the gaming and graphics course.
On completion of your third year, you can choose to graduate with a Computer Science BSc instead of competing your fourth year.
Year 4 (MEng)
If you continue to year 4 for the MEng qualification, you’ll take masters-level modules in areas such as animation and simulation, geometric processing and artificial intelligence. You’ll also take part in a substantial group project on a specific computing problem that allows you to apply everything you’ve learned during the course.
Example projects include:
- Rendering of Deep Water using Spectral Domain Techniques in Real Time
- Rendering Biological Iridescence
- Multi-User VR Driving Simulator Game
- Molecular Dynamics Visualisation in VR
- Massive Mesh Simplification
One-year optional work placement or study abroad
To advance your skill set and boost your experience, you can choose to take up an industrial placement or study abroad at one of the many universities we’re in partnership with worldwide. Both of these options will extend your degree by 12 months.
Every year of the course gives you hands-on experience of project work. This gives you the opportunity to explore your subject further as well as developing valuable skills in problem-solving, communication and teamwork.
Find out more about student projects in Visualisation and Computer Graphics.
You’ll study computing ethics as part of your course. This is taught using real-life case studies, with input from specialist ethicists as well as your tutors and lecturers. The team responsible for the ethics taught in computing has produced educational material used to stimulate debate in class about topics such as ethical hacking, open source software, and use of personal data.
Not only will this enhance your reasoning and decision-making skills which are crucial to employers, but it will help you identify and respond effectively to ethical dilemmas that you’ll encounter in your professional life in the IT industry.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
Year 1 compulsory modules
|Fundamental Mathematical Concepts||10|
|Introduction to Discrete Mathematics||10|
|Object Oriented Programming||10|
Year 1 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Introduction to Programming||10|
|Introduction to Web Technologies||10|
Year 2 compulsory modules
|Formal Languages and Finite Automata||10|
|Algorithms and Data Structures I||10|
|Algorithms and Data Structures II||10|
|Software Engineering Principles||10|
|Software Engineering Project||10|
Year 2 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Web Application Development||10|
|Compiler Design and Construction||10|
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
|Web Services and Web Data||10|
|Intelligent Systems and Robotics||20|
|User Adaptive Intelligent Systems||10|
|Graph Algorithms and Complexity Theory||10|
Year 4 compulsory modules
|Foundations of Modelling and Rendering||15|
|Animation and Simulation||15|
Throughout your degree you will benefit from a range of opportunities to expand your intellectual horizons outside or within your subject area.
This course gives you the opportunity to choose from a range of discovery modules. They’re a great way to tailor your study around your interests or career aspirations and help you stand out from the crowd when you graduate. Find out more about discovery modules on our Broadening webpages.
Learning and teaching
You’ll study among academics who are leading their fields. Our research feeds directly into our teaching, meaning you’ll learn about the very latest developments in your subject while gaining the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of the IT industry.
To help you benefit from our expertise, we use a range of teaching and learning methods including lectures, lab classes, tutorials and example classes. Together they will equip you with in-depth knowledge and key practical skills that will put you in a good position to compete in science and technology-related careers. You’ll also work with an academic supervisor on your projects.
Our personal tutorial system will provide academic and pastoral support. You will have a designated personal tutor throughout your studies at Leeds. He or she will be an academic member of staff: you will have weekly academic tutorials with your tutor throughout your first year, in your tutor group (of typically 5 students), as well as one-to-one meetings twice per semester.
In addition, our excellent student support team is based close to where you’ll work and study to help with anything from academic advice to timetabling and project submission enquiries.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Assessment will consist of coursework problems issued during term, closed examinations at the end of term, and, for the individual project, a written project report usually accompanying a software product. The mix of assessment types varies between modules. In the fourth year of the course, the emphasis is very much on practical skills in computer graphics and high-performance programming, and as a result the coursework/exam split is close to 50% in that year.
A-level: AAA including Mathematics or Computing. Grade B (6) or above in GCSE Mathematics is required if no Mathematics A-level is taken.
Where an A-level Science subject is taken, we require a pass in the practical science element, alongside the achievement of the A-level at the stated grade.
Excludes A-level General Studies or Critical Thinking.
GCSE: English Language at grade C (4) or above, or an appropriate English language qualification. We will accept Level 2 Functional Skills English in lieu of GCSE English.
Extended Project Qualification and International Project Qualification: Whilst we recognise the value of these qualifications and the effort and enthusiasm that applicants put into them, we do not currently include them as part of our offer-making. We do, however, encourage you to provide further information on your project in your personal statement.
Access to HE Diploma
Pass 60 credits overall with 45 credits at Level 3, 30 credits with Distinction (including an appropriate number of Mathematics modules) and the remaining 15 credits with Merit or above.
D*D*D with Distinctions in all Mathematics units. Mathematics units must include Further Mathematics. This unit may be optional on your BTEC but is it required by the Faculty. Please contact us for further information. Please note: there may be different requirements for the new RQF BTECs, please contact Admissions.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the School’s Undergraduate Admissions Team.
D3, D3, D3 including Mathematics.
35 points overall with 18 points at Higher level to include 5 in HL Mathematics: Analysis and Approaches or 6 in HL Mathematics: Applications and Interpretation or 5 in HL Computing. If only Computing is offered from the IB, Grade B or above in GCSE Mathematics (or equivalent) is required.
Irish Leaving Certificate (higher Level)
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers
AA at Advanced Higher level, including Mathematics or Computing, and AABBB at Higher level.
Read more about UK and Republic of Ireland accepted qualifications or contact the Schools Undergraduate Admissions Team.
Were committed to identifying the best possible applicants, regardless of personal circumstances or background.
Access to Leeds is an alternative admissions scheme which accepts applications from individuals who might be from low income households, in the first generation of their immediate family to apply to higher education, or have had their studies disrupted.
Find out more about Access to Leeds and alternative admissions.
Typical Access to Leeds offer: ABB, including an A in Mathematics or Computing. Grade B (6) or above in GCSE Mathematics is required if no Mathematics A-level is taken.
If you do not have the formal qualifications for immediate entry to one of our degrees, you may be able to progress through a foundation year. We offer a Studies in Science with a Foundation Year BSc for students without a science background at A-level and an Interdisciplinary Science with Foundation Year BSc for applicants who meet specific widening participation criteria.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each section.. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
If you're an international student and you don't meet the English language requirements for this programme, you may be able to study our undergraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
UK: £9,250 (per year)
International: £26,500 (per year)
Tuition fees for UK undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for UK full-time undergraduate students are set by the UK Government and will remain capped at £9,250 for 2023/24 and 2024/25. The fee may increase in future years of your course in line with inflation only as a consequence of future changes in Government legislation and as permitted by law.
Tuition fees for international undergraduate students starting in 2023/24 and 2024/25
Tuition fees for international students for 2023/24 and 2024/25 are available on individual course pages.
Tuition fees for a study abroad or work placement year
If you take a study abroad or work placement year, you’ll pay a reduced tuition fee during this period. For more information, see Study abroad and work placement tuition fees and loans.
Read more about paying fees and charges.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There is help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more in our Undergraduate funding overview.
Apply to this course through UCAS. Check the deadline for applications on the UCAS website.
We typically receive a high number of applications for this course. To ensure we treat all applications fairly, we may put your application on hold until after the UCAS deadline before making a final decision. All applications received before the UCAS deadline are guaranteed equal consideration.
This course is not accepting applications for deferred entry.
Read our admissions guidance and see ‘application decisions’ for details.
International students apply through UCAS in the same way as UK students. Our network of international representatives can help you with your application. If you’re unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
This course is taught by
School of Computing Undergraduate Admissions
There is a shortage of highly skilled graduates in this field, so once you’ve completed this course it’s highly likely that you will be in demand. You’ll be well placed to join the multi-billion pound global games industry, in positions such as a software developer, technology leader for graphics and rendering or a games development leader or a technical director. You’ll be expected to progress rapidly into leadership roles, becoming the go-to person for expertise in graphics technologies.
Outside the games industry, the programming skills you develop during this course would allow you to secure a position in other performance-driven industries, for example, embedded systems. Your computer graphics expertise could also lead to opportunities in the animation and visual production industries.
University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research.
Our most recent computer science graduate destinations include:
- Visual Effects Artist, Disney Feature Animation
- Software Development Engineer, Amazon
- Technology Consulting Analyst, Deloitte
- Systems Analyst, Hewlett Packard
- Software Engineer, IBM
- Software Engineer, Microsoft
- Business System Analyst, Saudi Aramco
- Design Engineer, Sky
- Senior Firmware Engineer, SpaceX
- IT Projects Coordinator, United Arab Emirates University
At Leeds we help you to prepare for your future from day one. Our Leeds for Life initiative is designed to help you develop and demonstrate the skills and experience you need for when you graduate. We will help you to access opportunities across the University and record your key achievements so you are able to articulate them clearly and confidently.
You will be supported throughout your studies by our dedicated Employability team, who will provide you with specialist support and advice to help you find relevant work experience, internships and industrial placements, as well as graduate positions. You’ll benefit from timetabled employability sessions, support during internships and placements, and presentations and workshops delivered by employers.
You will also have full access to the University’s Careers Centre, which is one of the largest in the country.
Study abroad and work placements
Studying abroad is a unique opportunity to explore the world, whilst gaining invaluable skills and experience that could enhance your future employability and career prospects too.
From Europe to Asia, the USA to Australasia, we have many University partners worldwide you can apply to, spanning across some of the most popular destinations for students.
Find out more at the Study Abroad website.
The graduate recruitment market is highly competitive so it’s important that you stand out. An industrial placement could be the opportunity you need to impress potential employers and improve your chances of securing the career you want.
Benefits of a work placement year:
- 100+ organisations to choose from, both in the UK and overseas
- All placements are salaried
- Build industry contacts within your chosen field
- Our close industry links mean you’ll be in direct contact with potential employers
- Advance your experience and skills by putting the course teachings into practice
- Gain invaluable insight into working as a professional in this industry
- Improve your employability
If you decide to undertake a placement year, this will extend your period of study by 12 months and, on successful completion, you will be awarded the ‘industrial’ variant in your degree title to demonstrate your added experience to future employers.
With the help and support of our dedicated Employability team, you can find the right placement to suit you and your future career goals.
Here are some examples of placements our students have recently completed:
- Associate Engineer, Playground Games
- Software Engineering Placement, Blaize U.K LTD
- Software Developer, NewRedo
- Backend Engineer, Monzo Bank Limited
- Industrial Placement Student, Unisys Ltd
- Python Scientific Software Developer, UK Research and Innovation
- Operations Analyst, Williams Racing
Find out more about work experience on the Careers website.