Sign in to follow this  
Alhaziel

Postgraduate UK: Msc Games programming (hull) vs Computer games technology (Abertay)

Recommended Posts

Alhaziel    102
Hi guys, i am going to choose my postgraduate course and university for the next year but I am unsure on which postgraduate course should i take... I was already accepted at university of abertay and i am waiting the response for the university of hull, but I would like to know what is the best course for games programming between them. I know that both of them are pretty good and really esteemed in the games industry, but anyone of you guys can summerize for me any pros and cons of these 2 courses? I d really appreciate it. Anyway thanks in advance. regards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bentaberry    100
I cant say anything about Hull, but I did study computer science at Abertay Dundee (Not the games course). The computer science course they ran was pretty good though sometimes lacked depth or threw you right into the deep end.

A few people I knew at the time were doing the games undergrad course and were really enjoying it, they have really good facilities and if i remember correctly they have some well equipped specialised labs which can be used by the game dev students.

I did not enjoy the social life in Dundee at all though I do not know how that compares to Hull or how important going out and socialising is to you.

It might be worth paying each one a visit and asking to be shown around.

I hope my 2 cents helps in some way :)

Either way, good luck with your search.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alhaziel    102
Quote:
Original post by bentaberry
I cant say anything about Hull, but I did study computer science at Abertay Dundee (Not the games course). The computer science course they ran was pretty good though sometimes lacked depth or threw you right into the deep end.

A few people I knew at the time were doing the games undergrad course and were really enjoying it, they have really good facilities and if i remember correctly they have some well equipped specialised labs which can be used by the game dev students.

I did not enjoy the social life in Dundee at all though I do not know how that compares to Hull or how important going out and socialising is to you.

It might be worth paying each one a visit and asking to be shown around.

I hope my 2 cents helps in some way :)

Either way, good luck with your search.


First of all thanks for your help i have really appreciated it.

Although i cant visit them cause i am not an uk citizen and at the moment i don 't have money / time to visit them...anyway i am pretty sure that the one in abertay is quite good... now i am hoping for some feedback on hull...

Social life is not the main factor for me, ...even if is something to take into consideration...and why wasnt your social life in dundee nice?
is really boring living there?

[Edited by - Alhaziel on March 20, 2010 2:52:52 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HackSlash    100
Hi Alhaziel, I'm currently doing the Msc Games Programming course at Hull and I enjoy it. It's a very intense course and the amount of information they give you is alot but you do have to "think outside the box" if you want a distinction.

The labs are pretty good, equipped with Gamecube & PSP dev kits which we've started to learn how to develop for this semester for our group project module. I was talking to Darryl (iphone guy, lecturer) and he said that the University will be applying for PS3 dev kits for next year so you might get a chance to do some PS3 development if they're approved.

Overally though, I don't have any complaints about it - it is a very intense course and you do have to be quick at learning topics so that you can start doing your coursework. A funny side effect of this is that a couple of us have gone through crunches to meet a deadline so the course will definately make you prepared for any crunches that you *may* experience when you actually start work at a studio. There are times when you do feel like you've been thrown in the deep end but you can always get some support from the lecturers.

Not too sure what else to say about the course, if you have any more questions just ask and I'll try my best to answer them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bentaberry    100
Quote:
Original post by Alhaziel
even if is something to take into consideration...and why wasnt your social life in dundee nice?
is really boring living there?



Its a city with not a lot to do in it. I was born there but moved away when I was really young. It can be quite a rough city depending on where you are and nightclubs etc are a bit horrible, smelly and often sticky affairs lol.

If you dont care much for nightclubs, the student Union is ok, not the Abertay one but the dundee university one which you are allowed into although that might have changed as they were not finished building the new abertay union when I was there.

In terms of other entertainment, they have an excellent swimming pool, rock climbing walls, cinemas.

If you walk through town on a sunday though its like a ghost town. The city is only really busy when there are students around.

All that said though, if your focus is entirely on studies, which im guessing is the most important aspect then Abertay as a university is a great place to learn and the lecturers are very friendly and you will probably find yourself in the pub with them at some point.

Another possible advantage to being in Dundee is that your not far from Edinburgh, about an hour on the train which means you "might" be able to get some work experience with "Rockstar Games"

Kind Regards
David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bibalasvegas    122
Quote:
Original post by bentaberry
Another possible advantage to being in Dundee is that your not far from Edinburgh, about an hour on the train which means you "might" be able to get some work experience with "Rockstar Games"
David


Well actually most of the games industry in scotland is based in dundee not edinburgh including realtimeworlds and ruffian.

Anyway, I a current student on the Abertay MSc so hopefully can give you some decent feedback.

The good things about the course are that:

-you roughly cover all you need to know to get into the industry (and I think this is backed up by the very good employment stats of the course compared to others)
-you do team projects with artists in game teams of 8+
-the course has a very good reputation in the industry (probably the best out of any uk games course)
-the standard of some of the students is quite high

In fact the main benefits of the course for me is that it has focussed my learning (deadlines!) and that I have met and now work with fellow student developers on game projects which is immensely useful.

The bad things are that some of the lecturers are not fantastic and you will have to do a fair bit of supplementary research on topics (particularly ones you wish to specialise in) to get good enough for the industry. Also none of the lecturers is a really amazing programmer so for pro tips on optimising and code structure you will still rely on the internet, fellow students, and books.

In terms of gear we have ps2 and psp, devkits. Only one ps3 devkit right now but more are on the way and our ps2 lecturer says next year they'll be doing ps3 instead (although take that with a pinch of salt!).

I get the impression that none of the uk games courses is fantastic right now but I have also heard decent things about Hull. Whatever you choose it will primarily be down to how much work you put in rather than the course itself - you've got to remember that quite a few of the posters on gamedev will know more than your lecturers about current game development.

Hope all that is useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alhaziel    102
OMG guys i want to thank you so much, i have never expeted so many feedbacks, u all are really helping me so much ^^

Anyway, I don't want to stress out you more, but I have only few questions left...

The first is for HackSlash

Quote:
Original post by HackSlash

Overally though, I don't have any complaints about it - it is a very intense course and you do have to be quick at learning topics so that you can start doing your coursework. A funny side effect of this is that a couple of us have gone through crunches to meet a deadline so the course will definately make you prepared for any crunches that you *may* experience when you actually start work at a studio. There are times when you do feel like you've been thrown in the deep end but you can always get some support from the lecturers.

Not too sure what else to say about the course, if you have any more questions just ask and I'll try my best to answer them.



I guessed it was very intense because i understood that there are 6 moduels and then the final dissertation in only 1 year... but how much time have i to make my final project? only a couple of months?
Probabily is a dumb question but in italy there are so many deadlines so if you cant make a project in time before the first deadline u can make it for the next.
So you can spend how much time you desire on your dissertation.
I think is really hard for my level of skills make a dissertation or final project in only 2 months..

In addiction do u make any project or works during your courses for xbox? or xbox360?

and what about the social life of hull?

Finally i have one more question for the other really kind guy who studying at abertay...what about the xbox and pc programming? i saw on the university site that there is a course called in this way..and the last question, How much time do u have to make your final dissertation? about 4 or 5 months?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bibalasvegas    122
The pc and xbox course really covers some more directx (in particular vertex and pixel shaders) and requires you to make a full game with c++ and directx. Everyone is doing a pc game though.

The masters' thesis is done in the second year from about half-way through september to the beginning of january. There is the option to do it over the summer directly after the first year instead though. Most students will do preliminary research over the summer in any case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HackSlash    100
Quote:
Original post by Alhaziel

I guessed it was very intense because i understood that there are 6 moduels and then the final dissertation in only 1 year... but how much time have i to make my final project? only a couple of months?
Probabily is a dumb question but in italy there are so many deadlines so if you cant make a project in time before the first deadline u can make it for the next.
So you can spend how much time you desire on your dissertation.
I think is really hard for my level of skills make a dissertation or final project in only 2 months..


Final hand-in for 2nd semester coursework is 10th May for source code and 17th for the report. After that, you're supposed to talk to your dissertation supervisor, so all in all you have from May to September for your dissertation so...~4 months. I'm guessing the reason why this course and the one in abertay have been highly regarded and approved by Skillset (UK governing body for entertainment industry) is because of the deadlines! hehe, j/k but you do have deadlines for each of the modules that you must meet or else you get penalised for everyday the project is late. I'm assuming it's going to be the same in abertay too.

Don't worry about your level, the course here is structured so that you learn everything you need to. In the 1st semester it's C++ and graphics using OpenGL (the coursework I had to do for both modules were combined) and a game architecture course which is a mixed bag of game design, politics & console architecture theory. The 2nd semester ramps it up with a combined Advanced Rendering & AI (directx shaders & ai), Simulation & Concurreny (physics & multi-threading) & the group development project. The C++ module is good as well because it's very thorough and the lecturer (Warren) is knowledgeable. Him and a few other lecturers went to GDC this year (giving us a week off)! :)

The development project will have you work in a team of 8 and this year, what we had to do was create a game for PC and then port it over to the psp/gamecube. The type of game was chosen for us though!

Quote:
Original post by Alhaziel
In addiction do u make any project or works during your courses for xbox? or xbox360?


No Xbox or Xbox 360, not too sure why but I'm assuming this is because of how similar the graphics api's for psp/gamecube are to OpenGL.

Quote:
Original post by Alhaziel
and what about the social life of hull?


It's good if you have the time for it! ;) Yeah, bentaberry's description of abertay almost fits hull! The student union is ok and the clubs around the "old bit" of town are good as well but they can be expensive if you don't go on a student night. All music tastes are covered. Throw in some house parties and you're sorted!
There's also 2 shopping centres and a cinema...there's probably more but those are really the highlights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alhaziel    102
I am really impressed guys you gave me so many information, everithing i needed to know^^
I am very very glad for your help, even if i have to admit that the decision is always hard to take because the 2 courses seems on the same really high level^^

Anyway thank you very much again^^

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this