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I'm starting my undergraduate studies soon, but as I'm not from UK, I completly don't have idea what university should I choose.

Do you know any good game programming universities?

Is it good idea to make computer science as undergraduate studies and game-programming as postgraduate one? I'm thankfull for all your replies, as they help me alot.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Trevor Powell, msell, bobobobo, Maik Semder, Josh Petrie Jul 1 '13 at 15:33

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This question is too localized. It is specific to the UK, but beyond that, it is specific to you, your abilities, your means, and your personal desires. – user744 Feb 28 '11 at 19:56
Do a CS course. It'll almost certainly be much more beneficial. – The Communist Duck Feb 28 '11 at 21:51
@Joe Wreschnig : Even though you're right, downvoting a newcomer is not very nice. – Raveline Mar 1 '11 at 13:48
@Raveline: Downvoting is not mean. Also, I didn't downvote the question. Thanks for assuming, though. – user744 Mar 1 '11 at 14:13
Is it good idea to make computer science as undergraduate studies and game-programming as postgraduate one? I'm thankfull for all your replies, as they help me alot. – Neomex Mar 1 '11 at 15:21
up vote 5 down vote accepted

When I think of people I've interviewed that have done games courses, the one that sticks in my mind is Abertay (in Scotland).

That said, I have to agree with U62. Doing a games course doesn't mean you'll come out the other side and fall into a job in games. I've interviewed people (and the odd lecturer) who's been on games courses from various institutions and the quality seems to vary wildly. I would expect good games "people" to be good no matter what course they do. I don't think many people I've interviewed and then been offered a job have come from games courses, the majority have done other courses and have a strong love of playing and writing games, with them being able to demonstrate this love via some sort of game related demo.

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A game development degree might be more fun for you to take, but if you talk to anyone in the industry that hires programmers they will all tell you that they'd rather hire a programmer with a good Computer Science, Maths or Physics degree than someone who did a game development degree. There are plenty of online resources that will help you find out which UK universities have good CS departments.

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I find that's very much contrary. Every B of CS graduate I know from a traditional school doesn't have a quarter of the practical knowledge and experience I've seen from one of the rare worthwhile game development schools. – Sion Sheevok Mar 1 '11 at 3:01
Granted but you are comparing the average BSC holder to the exceptional game programming degree holder. – Skeith Apr 7 '11 at 12:42

If you're really focused on game development then a course specific to that may be right up you street. There are a lot of skills you'll learn that are specific to games development that you'll be unlikely to learn anywhere else: directx, opengl, etc. You'll also gain an understanding that there can be a lot of people involved: story writers; level designers, programmers, testers, etc. and possibly be given the chance to focus on a specific area that interests you.

However it may be worth considering a more general computer science route. Although you'll miss out on the specific skills of game development, you'll arguably get a better grounding in core development and gain more general skills that you can apply to a wider range of problems.

Only you can decide what you want to study. Studying either course will not limit you to working in or out of a specific industry, but it may make it more difficult to change course.

With that piece of advice out of the way, onto answering your specific question:

There is a broad opinion that the University of Abertay is one of the foremost institutions for studying game development in the UK. Abertay had the foresight to build and develop a top level course specializing in game development before others and it's continued to build on it.

Dundee (where the university is based) has a thriving game development industry that has sprung up partly because of the courses. Games like GTA4 (amongst many others) were developed in the area. That should give you an indication of the community that's built up.

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I'm looking at the moment to start next year and the two best choices I've seen are Abertay in Scotland and Derby in the midlands. I haven't been to see Abertay yet but as far as I've heard it has been given a LOT of money by the government to help supply the course with development kits and engines and the like, but it does not do a placement year, which I see as being worth much more than just having slightly better computers as then you get to work with other people and see how the professionals do it.

Derby, however, though it has less money it still has decent facilities (about 20 PSP development kits, large dual screen monitors on each computer, up to date specs and the like) and it also aims to get all of it's students into a relevant placement after their second year for a year.

Hope that helps you make a decision :)

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If I were looking at UK universities for game programming courses, I'd probably look at Essex. After all, they have Richard Bartle there.

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As interesting as Bartle can be, choosing a university for a single part-time professor is a bad idea. – user744 Mar 1 '11 at 14:15
@Joe The point being that, as he is passionate about games and game design, and is also iconic in those arenas, it's very likely that he will infuse the university's courses with that passion. Therefore, it's worth looking at. Maybe not choosing in the end, but certainly a reason to add it to the watch list. – Kaz Dragon Mar 4 '11 at 12:54

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