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What is the Course about?

Games Development is one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of software development that one can work in. Graduates of this course are sought after by both multinational and indigenous industry leaders such as Microsoft, Black Shamrock, Glu Mobile and Dice Studios.

The games industry continues to grow rapidly and Ireland is gaining international recognition as a centre of excellence due to the calibre of graduates in this field.

Course Structure

This course provides students with the skills they need to become professional games developers. Students will acquire skills in software design and programming, game design, graphics programming, and artificial intelligence. On completion, students will have produced several complete game concepts in a playable form.

Lectures and course practicals cover game industry development technologies, including: programming languages (C++, C#, JavaScript, Python and HTML5) game engine and frameworks (Unity 3D, Unreal Engine, SFML, SDL, OpenGL) and source code control systems (Git/Github). Students have the opportunity to make their own technology selection for the final year project.

Collaboration is actively encouraged throughout this course. Collaboration, beginning in first year, with students from Interactive Digital Art and Design will result in the creation of numerous portfolio titles, game projects and technical demonstrations.

Is this course for you?

Have you a deep interest in how things work? Have you the persistence to see a task through to completion? Are you creative and proud of your work,willing to go the extra mile to get it just right? Have you a passion for learning new things? You are not just a consumer of content but also a creator.

Special Features:

  • An active learning environment that includes dedicated game development studios.
  • Games Development students have competed successfully in national and international digital game events including:
    • 2023 Games Fleadh Winners of six awards including Best Game built using Software libraries
    • 2022 Games Fleadh: Robocode winners and winner of 3 special prizes including Best in Game Play.
    • 2019 Games Fleadh: Game Studio Ireland Challenge.
    • College Cup Champions and winners of four other awards.
    • GameCraft 2019: Recipient of first, second and third prize.
  • SETU Carlow's final year project showcase is attended by leading employers in the games and IT industries.
  • The department maintains an international perspective through widespread collaboration with other computing departments and higher education providers with active research links with Netherlands, France, China, Finland, Norway, Hungary and UK.
  • Graduates of this course are sought after by employers and Institute of Technology Carlow alumni are working for prominent companies such as Frostbite Studios, Aeria Games, Glu Mobile, Havok, Demonware, Engage XR and Microsoft.
  • Exit Award: Higher Certificate in Computer Games Design and Programming (NFQ Level 6) after Year 2 and Bachelor of Science in Computer Games Programming (NFQ Level 7) after Year 3.

Year 1

Semester 1 Semester 2
Communication Skills (M) Concept Art for Games (M)
Human Computer Interaction (M) Game Design (M)
Introduction to 2D Digital Art (M) Interaction Design (M)
Introduction to Programming (M) Introduction to Data Analytics (M)
Mathematics for Graphics (M) Introduction to Object Oriented Programming (M)

M is a mandatory subject - E is an elective subject

Year 2

Semester 3 Semester 4
Agile Software Development (M) 2D Game Programming (M)
Computer Architecture for Game Devices (M) 3D Gameplay Programming (M)
Gameplay Programming I (M) Assembly Programming (M)
Object Oriented Programming (M) Motion Graphics (M)
User Interface Programming (M) Software Engineering for Games (M)

M is a mandatory subject - E is an elective subject

Year 3

Semester 5 Semester 6
3D Graphics (M) Approved Semester Abroad (E)
Data Structures and AI Algorithms (M) Project (E)
Gameplay Programming for Mobile Devices (M) Work Placement (E)
Web Development and Databases (M)

M is a mandatory subject - E is an elective subject

Year 4

Semester 7 Semester 8
Artificial Intelligence for Games (M) Game Analytics (M)
Fundamentals of Game Networking (M) Online Gaming Technologies (M)
Games Engineering II (M) Artificial Intelligence in the Wild (E)
Project (M) Bias in Computational Systems (E)
Real World Modelling and Simulation (M) Blockchain Technology (E)
Capstone Project (E) Case Studies in Data Science (E)
Cloud Data Centers (E)
Concurrent Programming (E)
Data Engineering (E)
Data Visualisation (E)
Distributed Development (E)
Entrepreneurship (E)
Linux Infrastructure Engineering (E)
Machine Learning for Games (E)
Programming Language Design (E)
UI/UX Design and Development (E)

M is a mandatory subject - E is an elective subject

What are the minimum entry requirements?

  • 2H5 & 4O6/H7
  • English or Irish O6/H7
  • Mathematics O6/H7

What follow-on study opportunities are available?

Graduates have the option to progress to postgraduate studies at either masters or doctoral level within the gameCORE Research Centre at SETU Carlow or elsewhere. Graduates will also be eligible to undertake the MSc in Data Science or MSc in IT Management at SETU Carlow.

What exemptions will I receive?



What will I be able to do when I finish the course?

  • Specialist software engineering role in games (Rendering / AI /Gameplay / UI / Networking).
  • Engine developer (Unity3D / Unreal / Frostbite).
  • Specialist software engineer in performance-related solutions to problems in all types of industry (Financial trading / Autonomous driving / Data analytics etc.).
  • Mobile app developer.
  • General software engineer in the commercial computing sector.

Course Leader

Mr Ross Palmer


Call: +353599175527

Email: [email protected]