The BSc (Hons) Interactive, Immersive and Entertainment Technology degree course explores the design, development and production of interactive, immersive and entertainment experiences, simulations and solutions using cutting-edge technology.
Students will learn software such as Unreal Engine, Unity, Visual Studio, Maya, and Substance to build industry-relevant skills that are in demand in Interactive Entertainment, E-sports, Computing, Digital Technology, Engineering, Construction, Automotive, Healthcare, Agritech, Education, and other industries. The skills gained can be put into practice via placements, projects, exhibitions, competitions and other events.
There will be opportunities to learn to use VR/AR technology, create interactive environments, take part in E-sports competitions, build Internet of Things devices, develop apps for mobile and smart systems, produce computer games, and construct a range of other systems. The course is designed to enable and guide students to discover their own specialism while working closely with and understanding the roles of others in a team. Students will be encouraged to produce a professional portfolio that demonstrates their skills and knowledge to potential employers.
A wide variety of assessment methods are used on the course, including the creation of 3D environments and assets, mobile apps, interactive experiences, computer games, and IoT devices. In addition, assessments such as reports, presentations, and exhibitions will enable you to present your ideas and demonstrate your skills.
The course will be delivered at the STEM Innovation Campus in Bury St Edmunds.
Students may choose to follow their own path within the course or to focus with one of our suggested paths:
Development - focusing on Games Development, App Development, Smart Systems, Internet of Things, Tools and APIs, Artificial Intelligence, etc.
Design, Interaction and E-sports - focusing on Games Design, World Design, Playability, E-sports Industry, Streaming, E-sports Performance and Coaching, etc.
Content Creation - focusing on 3D Modelling, Animation, Environment Design and Creation, Surfaces Design and Lighting, 3D Real-Time Visualisation, etc.
There is a common first year, so there's no need to decide when you apply and there are plenty of options (see Course Modules below).
YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)
Students must take the following modules:
Creation Engines and Scripting (20 credits)
Creation engines (also known as game engines) now a play vital role in the development of interactive, immersive and entertainment solutions and experiences. This module explores the features and tools within creation engines, including scripting, graphics and audio.
Mobile and Smart Device Experiences (20 credits)
Apps provide a wide range of experiences from entertainment to productivity tools. This module explores the design and development of app-based experiences on mobile and smart devices.
Coding, Prototyping, and Internet of Things (20 credits)
This module introduces programming and prototyping with devices. This will include visual and creative programming and using microcontrollers for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
Projects, Testing and Performance (20 credits)
This module introduces team-based development and production of solutions and experiences using an Agile approach. Students will also explore playtesting within walkthroughs, interactive entertainment and competitive e-sports.
3D Concept and Modelling (20 credits)
Students will learn the real-time 3D creation process and pipeline, creating assets for real-time 3D environments, such as characters, architecture, vehicles and props ranging from photorealistic to more stylised creations.
Interaction and User Experience Design (20 credits)
Using a variety of techniques, including paper-based and electronic prototyping, students will gain practical skills in the design of experiences and user interfaces, and an understanding of the principles of ID and UX.
YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)
Students must take the following two modules:
Research Skills and Industry Engagement (20 credits)
This module builds an awareness of the exciting industry that awaits, along with essential research skills. Students will review literature on cutting-edge topics within interactive, immersive and entertainment technology; then engage with industry through a project, internship, placement or conference.
Multiuser Experiences (20 credits)
Online experiences have changed the way people interact and play. This module explores the development, hosting and support of a multiuser experience using creation engines and other technology. The module provides the opportunity for a significant team-based agile development project.
Students must select four optional modules from the following:
High-Level Programming for Experiences (20 credits)
The module explores the use of high-level programming languages and code libraries in the development of interactive, immersive and entertainment solutions. Topics include data structures and algorithms, and object-oriented and event-driven programming, to build a solid skillset applicable to many industry sectors.
Smart Systems Development (20 credits)
This module looks at smart solutions and the use of data from near real-time IoT sensors, conventional databases, data warehouses, and big data systems. The module covers the specification, design, development and security of systems with interconnected devices.
Surfaces and Lighting (20 credits)
The accurate representation of surface materials and lighting is essential in the creation high quality 3D environments. Students will have the opportunity to design their own textures, learn key lighting fundamentals, Physically-Based Rendering (PBR), and visual effects.
3D Animation (20 credits)
This module provides thorough coverage of animation principles along with practical experience of the animation pipeline. Students will learn how to rig and animate a character and other assets, and the skills gained will be applicable to any 3D project.
World Design and Playability (20 credits)
The design and construction of virtual worlds requires careful planning to ensure playability and navigability. The modules will explore pre-production, planning, world building, level construction, map creation, and gameplay balance, to develop engaging single and multiuser interactive environments for entertainment or simulations.
E-sports Industry, Streaming and Technology (20 credits)
Streaming and recording of content is now a fundamental feature of the online landscape. This module examines the software, platforms and technology required to support streaming and recording, using the e-sports industry and interactive entertainment as a vehicle to explore the issues. Skills learnt will be applicable in other contexts, for example, online learning and customer-focused content.
YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)
Students must take the following two modules:
Final Project (40 credits)
This module directly supports the development of academic and professional skills by providing the opportunity to undertake an individual development or research project of a meaningful scale and level of complexity. The project will include the creation of a software and/or hardware-based solution.
Reality, Immersion and Innovation (20 credits)
This module explores Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) alongside other forms of emerging 'reality' technology. There is an emphasis on exploring immersive technology in the creation of innovative interactive, real-time experiences in varied situations, e.g. in healthcare, science, engineering, education (gamification), and entertainment.
Students must select three optional modules from the following:
Middleware, Tools and APIs (20 credits)
This module covers the development of middleware, plug-ins, and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Tools for customisation, extensibility and interoperation within industry-standard software such as creation engines and development environments will be explored.
Interactive Visualisation and AI (20 credits)
Interactive visualisation techniques can be applied to complex datasets in diverse situations, for example, the analysis of player behaviour in interactive entertainment or environmental conditions via IoT devices. The focus in this module is on converting complex datasets into a viewable and understandable form using 3D graphical representations. Machine learning (ML) and AI techniques will be introduced, and the relationship with interactive visualisation explored.
Environment Design and Creation (20 credits)
This module covers the advanced design and asset creation techniques and processes required to create detailed, effective and engaging environments. Topics will include sky box creation, mountainous backdrops, environmental physics, foliage and trees. Material creation and application for optimised environments, playability and placement within environment design, and post-processing and lighting techniques for production, will also be covered.
3D Real-Time Visualisation (20 credits)
This module focuses on the construction and visualisation of buildings, interior environments, and product designs using interactive and high-performance real-time rendering techniques and technology. The techniques covered would be equally applicable to serious domains and entertainment, from existing buildings to future visions. The use of interactive elements within 3D visualisations will also be covered.
Game Design Theories, Storytelling and Narrative (20 credits)
This module considers game design theories and frameworks, storytelling and narrative. Topics include advanced game mechanics, design lenses, patterns, economies, play, culture and gamification, plus storytelling and character development, player choice, quests, history, and emotion. The module will also consider how concepts could be applied to non-games experiences beyond interactive entertainment.
E-sports Events, Performance an Coaching (20 credits)
The module considers e-sports performance, human factors, physical and mental training, fatigue, and ethics. The role of coaches, analysts and others in supporting, motivating and developing strategy will also be covered. The module also explores e-sports competition and the management, merchandising, sponsorship and particularly the technology of tournaments. An opportunity will be given to plan and run an e-sport event for the community, using technology to support and monitor various aspects of the experience.
On completion of the course typical careers might include:
Computer Games Developer
Data Visualisation Engineer
With growing interest in the technologies covered on the course, the skills and knowledge gained could be applied within various industry sectors including:
Interactive Entertainment and Computer Games
Fees and finance
£8500 per year
£1,417 per 20 credit module (part-time)
While not strictly essential, as access to teaching and research lab facilities are often available outside of timetable sessions for each module, it is advisable to purchase a personal computer; the required specifications for this would partly depend on the modules chosen and given the development of technology and changing value of equipment, it is not possible to place an exact cost on this. The course team and fellow students will be happy to discuss this with you.
Where certain modules are taken, students are advised to purchase a set of headphones to test audio and a gamepad to test input within their solutions. Other modules may require low-cost electronic prototyping equipment and components if you wish to experiment at home.
Other costs could include course books if you wish to purchase your own copies (avg. £100 - £200 per year); visits to exhibitions, conferences and other events (dependent on ticket cost and travel); paper-based materials and printing (although most work is submitted electronically); travel to placements, etc. (dependent on placement and your location).
Overall, we aim to keep additional costs as low as possible for students.
UCAS Tariff: 96 points
BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: MMM
A level: CCC