High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MSc

Year of entry

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Start date
September 2024
Delivery type
On campus
12 months full time
Entry requirements
A bachelor degree with a First (hons) in computer science. We require all applicants to have studied a breadth of relevant modules including significant programming, systems development, data structures and algorithms, with strong marks across all these modules.
Full entry requirements
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
UK fees
£13,500 (Total)
International fees
£31,750 (Total)

Course overview

Student smiling at the camera whilst sat at a computer.

By studying this Masters degree, you’ll be well placed to join one of the most performance-driven applications of computer science – the multi-billion pound global games industry. As a graduate, you'll work at the top-end of the games industry, developing computer graphics on high-performance platforms or writing engines for the next generation of games.

Developed in collaboration with a prestigious steering group, this course will build on your computer science knowledge to specialise in computer graphics, where programmers must 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.

You’ll gain proficiency in low-level programming, 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.

Why study at Leeds:

  • Our globally-renowned research conducted right here in our School feeds directly into the course, shaping your learning with the latest thinking.
  • Benefit from studying at a university that is a partner of the Alan Turing Institute, the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.
  • Advance your knowledge in high-performance graphics and games engineering, building an extensive technical skill set recognised and sought after in the gaming industry.
  • Build industry experience by conducting your own individual project which focuses on a real-world topic of your choice, giving you the chance to develop professional skills in research and critical thinking.
  • Access a wide range of industry-standard specialist facilities including hardware like virtual reality headsets and workstations with high-end GPUs to act as DirectX12 and Vulkan games development platforms.
  • Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team made up of academics and researchers who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research and part of the Visualization and Computer Graphics research group.
  • Benefit from close links with the games industry, including input from our industrial steering group with the opportunity to participate in the annual Game Republic student showcase.
  • Study in the Sir William Henry Bragg building which provides excellent facilities and teaching spaces for an outstanding student experience.

Course details

Our course gives you the opportunity to study graphics in depth.

During the first half of the year, you'll study a range of modules which will develop your knowledge and skills in high-performance graphics and games engineering. By the end of this course, your technical skills – as demanded by the industry – will be second to none 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 and tool development techniques

Project work

During the second half of the year, over the summer months, you’ll also work on your research project. This gives you the chance to work as an integral part of one of our active research groups, focusing on a specialist topic in computer science and selecting the appropriate research methods

To find out more about projects past students have completed, visit our Visualization and Computer Graphics group page.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering MSc in the course catalogue

Year 1 compulsory modules

Module Name Credits
MSc Project 60
Group Project 30
Deep Learning 15
Foundations of Computer Graphics 15
Advanced Rendering 30
Modelling and Animation 15
Scientific Computation 15

Learning and teaching

We have an active research environment which feeds directly into our teaching. You’ll have regular contact with staff through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings. Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.

Industry links

Our close links with industry also mean that you have direct contact with industry and potential employers from an early stage in your course. Members of our steering group will contribute to the delivery of the course ensuring that you learn the latest industry developments. You’ll also have the opportunity to engage directly with the games industry through industry lectures, visits to games development companies and attending UK games events.

Specialist facilities

At Leeds, we provide an exciting environment in which to gain a range of skills and experience cutting-edge technology.

You'll use workstations with high-end GPUs to act as DirectX12 and Vulkan games development platforms and have access to other specialist hardware including the latest Virtual Reality headsets for experimenting on. For learning games engine design and exploring new rendering techniques, students will build their own game engine from scratch.

You'll also study in the Sir William Henry Bragg building, with excellent facilities and teaching spaces.

Programme team

You'll be taught by a team of academics and researchers who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research and part of the Visualization and Computer Graphics research group.

Programme leader, Dr He Wang, is the Director of High-Performance Graphics and Game Engineering and Academic Lead of Centre for Immersive Technology. His research interests are mainly in computer graphics, vision and machine learning and applications.

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.


You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams.


Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a First (hons) in computer science. Other Computing based degrees may be considered on a case by case basis.

We require all applicants to have studied a breadth of relevant modules including significant programming (including C++), systems development, data structures and algorithms, with strong marks across all these modules. Prior exposure to the mathematics relevant to computer graphics, in particular linear algebra, is strongly recommended.

Relevant work experience will also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Engineering (6 weeks) and Language for Science: Engineering (10 weeks)

We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. Find out more about our six week online pre-sessional.

You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.

How to apply

Application deadlines

Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

31 July 2024 – International applicants

8 September 2024 – UK applicants

Click below to access the University’s online application system and find out more about the application process.

If you're still 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.

Admissions policy

University of Leeds Admissions Policy 2025

This course is taught by

School of Computing

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions team

Email: pgcomp@leeds.ac.uk


UK: £13,500 (Total)

International: £31,750 (Total)

Additional cost information

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 on our living costs and budgeting page.

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 may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

Career opportunities

There is a shortage of highly skilled graduates in this field, so once you’ve completed this course it’s likely that you'll 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, 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 could allow you to secure a position in other performance-driven industries, for example, embedded systems. Your computer graphics expertise could lead to opportunities in the animation and visual production industries.

Plus, the University of Leeds is in the top 5 most targeted universities in the UK by graduate recruiters, according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2024 report.

Careers support

At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one. We have a wide range of careers resources — including our award-winning Employability team who are in contact with many employers around the country and advertise placements and jobs. They are also on hand to provide guidance and support, ensuring you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.

  • Employability events — we run a full range of events including careers fairs in specialist areas and across broader industries — all with employers who are actively recruiting for roles.
  • MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate, you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
  • Qualified careers consultants — gain guidance, support and information to help you choose a career path. You’ll have access to 1-2-1 meetings and events to learn how to find employers to target, write your CV and cover letter, research before interviews and brush up on your interview skills.
  • Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.

Find out more about career support.

Student profile: Tian Zeng

I chose Leeds as I found the curriculum to be flexible. It covers the most important areas in the game field such as game engine, animation, rendering and provides a lot of practice for students.
Find out more about Tian Zeng's time at Leeds