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									Faculty of Technology




MSc Computer
Games Programming



Student Handbook




September 2011
       DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY


             Faculty of Technology
            STUDENT HANDBOOK

                       2011/2012



             Master of Science in
         Computer Games Programming

                      Incorporating

           Postgraduate Certificate in
         Computer Games Programming

                            and

           Postgraduate Diploma in
         Computer Games Programming




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming   2
Contents
1 Introduction .............................................................................................. 4
  1.1 Introduction to the Course .............................................................. 4
  1.2 Course Team ................................................................................. 4
  1.3 Context .......................................................................................... 6
2 Programme Overview .............................................................................. 7
  2.1 Programme Details ............................................................................ 7
  2.2 Programme aims and objectives ........................................................ 7
  2.3 Programme Structure ......................................................................... 8
  2.4 Module descriptions ........................................................................... 9
  2.5 Assessment...................................................................................... 17
    2.5.1 Assessment Regulations ............................................................ 17
    2.5.2 Monitoring of Student Progress .................................................. 17
    2.5.3 Assessment Methods ................................................................. 17
    2.5.4 Assessment Marks ..................................................................... 17
    2.5.5 Awards ....................................................................................... 19
  Award of MSc ......................................................................................... 19
  Award of MSc with Distinction ................................................................ 19
  Award of MSc with Merit ........................................................................ 19
  Award of Postgraduate Diploma ............................................................ 19
  Award of Postgraduate Certificate.......................................................... 19
    2.5.6 Assessment Failures ................................................................ 19
    2.5.7 Registration Periods and Progression ........................................ 20
3 Teaching and Student Support .............................................................. 20
  3.1 Teaching and Laboratory Facilities .................................................. 20
  3.2 Blackboard ....................................................................................... 21
  3.3 Personal Tutor.................................................................................. 21
  3.4 Project Supervision .......................................................................... 21
  3.5 The Faculty Office ............................................................................ 21
  3.6 The Student Advice Centre .............................................................. 22
  3.7 The Placement Unit .......................................................................... 22
  3.8 University Services ........................................................................... 22
    3.8.1 The Library ................................................................................. 22
    3.8.2 Student Services - Help as and when you need it ...................... 23
    3.8.3 Registry ...................................................................................... 24
4 Programme Administration ..................................................................... 26
  4.1 Programme Management .............................................................. 26
  4.2 Teaching & Student Support ............................................................ 26
  4.3 Student Representation ................................................................. 27
  4.4 The Assessment Board .................................................................. 28
  4.5 Formal Student Feedback .............................................................. 28
  4.6 Communication .............................................................................. 28
  4.7 Submission of Coursework ............................................................ 29
  4.8 Student Identification Card ............................................................. 29
  4.9 Withdrawal from Programme.......................................................... 29
  4.10 Change of Name/Address ............................................................ 30
5 General Information ............................................................................... 30
  5.1 Introduction ...................................................................................... 30
  5.2 What to do if you ….......................................................................... 30
  5.3 Computing-related Health and Safety .............................................. 31


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                                                 3
6 Expectations of academic staff and students in delivery of MSc Computer
Games Programming ................................................................................ 32
  6.1 Academic Staff ................................................................................. 32
  6.2 Students ........................................................................................... 32


1 Introduction
Welcome to the MSc in Computer Games Programming. The Programme
Team wish you success during your studies at De Montfort University.
This handbook aims to help you to understand the programme and to get
the best out of it.


1.1      Introduction to the Course
This course comprises a number of awards:
MSc Computer Games Programming
Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Games Programming
Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Games Programming

We have developed this course to complement our undergraduate
programme and our research portfolio in A.I. and Games. The curriculum
has been designed to give you the skills needed to compete in the
aggressive job market for computer games programmers and do well in the
wider job market for software engineers. A key feature of the curriculum is
the combination of key theoretical skills in mathematics, physical
simulation and software engineering with the realisation of these ideas and
principles in software.

The course is delivered through traditional face-to-face teaching which is
supplemented by e-learning materials. The University uses an e-learning
system called BlackBoard which you will find invaluable in your studies.


1.2      Course Team
The course leader for MSc Computer Games Programming is Ian Kenny

Ian Kenny
Gateway House 4.56
Email: ikenny@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 8460 (internal ex. 8460)

Dr Ian Kenny is a senior lecturer in the Department of Informatics. Ian has
a wealth of experience teaching games programming and other games
development subjects. Ian has also worked in the games industry as a
programmer.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                                               4
Module leaders on the course:

Game Architecture, Design and Development

Ian Kenny
Gateway House 4.56
Email: ikenny@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 8460 (internal ex. 8460)
Computer Games Programming

Ian Kenny
Gateway House 4.56
Email: ikenny@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 8460 (internal ex. 8460)

Mathematical Modelling and A.I.

Ralph Birkenhead
Gateway House 6.76
Email: rab@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 257 7483 (internal ex. 7483)

Mr. Birkenhead is a Principal Lecturer affiliated to the Centre for
Computational Intelligence. He has significant teaching experience at
undergraduate and postgraduate level. He originally trained as a
mathematician, receiving a research master’s degree from the University of
Calgary in1979. His research interests include discrete mathematics,
fuzzy logic and neural networks.

Audio Programming and Tool Creation

Dr. Simon Coupland
Gateway House 6.60
Email: simonc@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 8419 (internal ex. 8419)

Dr Coupland is a senior research fellow affiliated to the Centre for
Computational Intelligence. He has significant experience of teaching and
supervision at postgraduate level. His main research area is type-2 fuzzy
logic. He was joint winner of the 2008 British Computer Society Machine
Intelligence Competition for the application of computational intelligence
techniques to free kicks in soccer video games.

Research Methods

Dr. Francisco Chiclana
Gateway House 6.59
Email: chiclana@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 8159 (internal ex. 8159)



Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                            5
Dr. Chiclana is a Reader in Computational Intelligence affiliated to the
Centre of Computational Intelligence. Dr. Chiclana received a PhD in
mathematics in 2003 from the University of Grenada. He has extensive
experience as a researcher and is internationally renowned for his work on
modelling consensus in the decision making process.

Project

John Platt
Gateway House 5.72
Email: jplatt@dmu.ac.uk
Telephone: 0116 207 7487 (internal ex. 7487)

John has a BA (Hons) Business Studies (1984) and Masters in Business
Administration (1991). Before joining the University in 1988, he had 11
years’ experience working in industry, in roles in programming, analysis
and management. His lecturing is largely in analysis, project management
and information security management. He is currently projects manager
across all computing post-graduate programmes and was previously
programme manager of the MSc Distributed Systems Integration for 3
years, until 2006, and chair of a cognate area management board in the
1990s.


1.3    Context
This programme forms part on an exciting portfolio of postgraduate
courses in advanced computing techniques. You will find a large number
of students undertaking MSc programmes in computing subjects at DMU.
The Postgraduate and Research Students Association offers lots of
opportunities for you to meet with your peers throughout the academic
year.

The Faculty of Technology is one five Faculties in the University and
comprises four departments:
    Informatics
    Computer Technology
    Engineering
    Media Technology

The course is based in the Department of Informatics with the majority of
the teaching staff working in that department. You will also be taught by
staff from the Department of Computer Technology.

Most staff are also affiliated to one of the following research groups within
the Faculty:

Centre for Computational Intelligence (CCI)
Staff affiliated to the Centre for Computational Intelligence (CCI)
investigate the invention and application of intelligent systems to a wide



Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               6
variety of problems, including a number of issues relating to computer
games.


Software and Technology Research Laboratory (STRL)
The STRL is primarily involved with software engineering for critical and
real-time systems. Some of these techniques and approaches are utilised
in the games development process.

Institute for Creative Technologies (IOCT)
The IOCT is a cross faculty institute researching a wide breadth of creative
technologies including computer gaming areas such agent control and
intelligent sport simulation systems.

2 Programme Overview
2.1 Programme Details
Programme Title:
MSc in Computer Games Programming
Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Games Programming
Postgraduate Certificate in Computer Games Programming
Faculty: Technology
Department: Informatics
Site of Delivery: Leicester City
Academic Subject Area: Informatics
Mode of Attendance: Full Time/Part Time
Length of Programme: 1-2 years (Full Time), 2-4 years (Part Time), 1-4
years (Distance Learning)

2.2 Programme aims and objectives
The focus of MSc Computer Games Programming is the creation of video
games software, which involves the coupling of specialist software
engineering skills with mathematical ability to realise advanced simulations
of real and imagined worlds. There are many areas and disciplines that
contribute during the creation of a computer game. The four areas of
architectural design, programming, graphics and mathematical modelling
provide you with an array of tools that encompass what we might consider
to be the aspects of video games creation. Artificial intelligence is a fast
growing area of computer games programming with the requirement that
computer opponents exhibit human like behaviour, cunning and human like
flaws. The use of artificial intelligence techniques by industry remains
mostly under the cover of commercial confidentiality. There is a fast
growing academic discipline of artificial intelligence in games in which the
Centre for Computational Intelligence (CCI) is active. The aims of the
course are to help you:
     Have a systematic understanding of the theoretical techniques used
        in computer games programming
     Be able to apply these theoretical techniques to software problems
     Have a systematic understanding and critical awareness of the


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              7
       workflow models for computer games programming
      Be able to develop original components of computer game
       intelligent systems using C++
      Be able to integrate software components with a computer games
       programming engine
      Be able to use industry standard tools for asset creation
      Be able to research the advances in computer games programming
       in an insightful manner
      Be able to assimilate complex information and arrive at sound
       judgements
      Be able to tackle complex problems in a systematic and original
       manner
      Be able to evaluate methodologies and propose new ideas where
       appropriate
      Be able to critically interpret the results of investigations/research

2.3 Programme Structure
The programme consists of an induction, five taught modules, an optional
44 week industrial placement and an individual project. There are three
main taught modules which form the bulk the curriculum and are taught
through semesters 1 and 2; Game Architecture, Design and Development,
Computer Games Programming and Mathematical Modelling and A.I. A
fourth module, Audio Programming and Tool Creation, complements these
modules and is taught throughout semester 2. The fifth and final taught
module is Research Methods which is taught via an e-learning portal
during semester 1. Following the taught component of the course you
have an option to go on a 44 week industrial placement. The placement is
not compulsory and carries 0 academic credits so does not affect the
classification of any award. If you wish to go on placement then let the
course team and placement unit team know as early as possible so that we
can help find you a suitable placement. The placement unit will be able to
let you know which companies are taking on placement students and what
kind of experience you will gain during the placement. We cannot
guarantee that you will find a placement position and recommend that you
are proactive in finding one. The individual project takes place over the
summer. Students who go on placement begin their project upon
completion of their placement.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               8
 Pre-programme        Induction Unit (0 credits)
 Semester 1 & 2       Game Architecture, Design and Development (30 credits)
 Year 1
   “                  Computer Games Programming (30 credits)
   “                  Mathematical Modelling and A.I. (30 credits)
  Semester 2, Year    Audio Programming and Tool Creation (15 credits)
 1
 Semester 1           Research Methods (15 credits)
 Year 1
 Semester 1 & 2       Optional 44 week placement (0 credits)
 Year 2
 Summer               Master’s thesis project (60 credits)
 Year 1 or Year 2
 (with placement)

2.4 Module descriptions
Game Architecture, Design and Development

Overview
This module provides the opportunity to understand and analyse computer
games architectures through a combination of theory and practice. This
module is designed to give an in-depth treatment of general game
development issues with a particular focus on software engineering, game
software architecture, implementation issues, and testing and evaluation.
This module will also cover games console and PC hardware, project
management and games design. Game software development
methodologies will be presented and critically appraised. Practical issues
and consequences of game development methodologies are illustrated
through the production of a game prototype.

Indicative topics
Basic concepts
    Definition of a game, game types/genres, game themes
    Historical stuff: dedicated consoles, programmable consoles, the
       home computer boom, cartridge-based and optical media consoles,
       games from Pong onwards
    Evolution of games console and graphics hardware
    Modern console hardware design
    The games industry, personnel, structure of game development
       teams.

Software engineering/methodologies/project management
    Software requirements and design, review of software development
      methodologies; identifying an appropriate methodology for game
      development
    Software project management issues, software project management
      techniques and tools


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                            9
      QA, Play-tests, structure and content of a play-test, evaluating the
       prototype.

Architectural issues
    Software architecture of a game: ‘birds nest’, monolithic versus
       modular, DAG, layered DAG, OOD, OOP, reusable code, coupling
       and dependencies, static inheritance hierarchies, component
       systems, data-driven approaches, client/server, scripting, multi-
       threading/multi-core
    Overall structure of a typical game engine and its components, e.g.
       physics, AI, network component, graphics rendering etc.

Implementation issues
    Console hardware vs. PC hardware, hardware considerations
    Multithreading/multi-core
    Tool selection, value of appropriate middleware
    Graphical asset-building 3D modelling tools e.g. Maya, 3DSMax
    Use of Photoshop, or equivalent, for texture creation
    Importing external graphical assets into game engines
    Audio creation/editing software and associated hardware/studio
      facilities, audio file formats. Integration into a game,
    Defining behaviour of game objects within a game, event-handling,
      visual and code-based scripting, non-proprietary and proprietary
      scripting languages e.g. Python, Lua, UnrealScript.

Games design
   The market: knowing your players, issues of age, gender,
     personality, ‘hard-core’ and casual gamers, player expectations
   The structure of a computer game, game worlds, different types of
     levels, gameplay progression through levels
   Flow, balance – achieving balance between features, between
     players, between players and the game, etc., responsibilities,
     aesthetics
   Level design, level diagrams, distribution of physical and gameplay
     features
   Game narrative and story-telling, structure of game stories, story-
     boards
   Role of audio components, player feedback, ‘emotioneering’
   Game AI, role and use of AI in games
   Event-handling, designing actions for game events
   Interface issues, relevant HCI principles, HUD displays
   Game Design Documents, structure and content

Computer Games Programming

Overview
In order to function as interactive entertainment, games software has
particular issues and constraints that must be addressed by programmers.
Games programming requires an understanding of issues raised by the


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                             10
software/hardware interface (particularly for console-based programming),
‘low-level’ programming, efficiency requirements, architectural
considerations and an understanding of fundamental maths topics. Due to
the inexorable advancement of games technology (whether PC-based,
console-based or handheld/mobile, etc.), games programmers must work
at the cutting edge of technology. Games programmers also usually work
in teams (which are sometimes very large) hence there is also a need for
games programmers to understand and have practice in the issues raised
by team programming.

The focus of this module is on good programming practice, good software
design, team programming, efficiency, optimisation and low-level details.
To encourage collaborative team-based development, relevant tools to
support and improve coordination of development activities such as
revision control systems and project management tools will be introduced
and used. The assessment for the module will involve the specification,
design and implementation of a game engine with group and individual
activities.

Indicative topics
Programming fundamentals
    Pointers and references
    Parameter passing – value, reference
    Const awareness
    Abstract classes and interfaces
    Smart pointers
    Data structures
    Templates, issues with templates

‘Low-level’ programming and optimisation
    Hardware considerations, cache use, integer/floating point
       operations
    Compiler awareness, compilation of sample code chunks, e.g.
       loops, conditionals, branching, compiler warnings
    Memory allocation – dynamic, static, the heap and stack, memory
       management, leaks
    Multi-threading concepts and implementation
    Cache friendly approaches, e.g. member ordering
    Use of assembly language
    Use of profiling tools, tuning
    Algorithm analysis
    Speed vs space
    Specific performance-related techniques:
          o Precomputation, lookup tables, avoiding malloc/free
          o Inlining
          o Reference parameters
          o Avoiding copying objects, avoiding implicit type conversions
    Spatial subdivision



Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                           11
Architecture
    OOD/OOP
    Monolithic vs modular
    Component model, interfaces and plug ins
    Data-driven approaches
    Multi-threading
    Software patterns, e.g. Factory, Visitor, Observer
    Scene graphs

Graphics programming (including the maths of the graphics pipeline)
    Vectors and matrices
    Transformations, projection, cameras
    Hidden surface removal
    Culling and clipping
    Lighting and shading
    Texturing
    Rasterisation
    Terrain generation
    Animation
    Vertex and pixel shaders


Team programming
    Coding conventions: style, naming
    Clean code
    Code review, peer review
    Source and document control/versioning
    Source integration
    Module integration
    Requirements gathering
    API specification

Mathematical Modelling and Artificial Intelligence

Overview
Many applications of modern computing involve processes of assesment
and decision making which used to be solely within the domain of human
beings. Uses of Artificial Intelligence are widespread - from search engine
algorithms on the internet to making decisions on credit worthiness to route
finding in virtual worlds. This module covers in outline the major techniques
of Artificial Intelligence and refers to applications which use these
techniques, where possible taking examples in the area of games
programming. Artificial Intelligence in games is an area of increasing
interest to games producers, particularly in managing and enhancing the
game experience.The general methods of AI include knowledge based
approaches, search algorithms, and computational methods such as
neural networks.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               12
The methods and modelling techniques illustrated in the development of AI
expertise have other applications in games production. The module will
build on the techniques introduced for AI to develop modelling skills
relevant to virtual world modelling and the modelling of physical interaction,
leading to a broad background in modelling continuous and discrete
physical phenomena. The physics and mathematics of motion will be
covered as well as mathematical techniques useful in 3D modelling.

Indicative topics
Maths
    Linear equations, solving systems of linear equations
    Intersection testing, object intersections
    Tree and graph structures (inc. binary space partitions)
    Real functions and rates of change
    Principles of differentiation and integration
    Simple differential equations and numerical solutions, e.g. Euler first
       order
    Curve fitting and interpolation
    Quaternions

Simulation
    Velocity and acceleration, momentum
    Newton's Laws
    Rotational dynamics
    Collision detection and response
    Projectile motion
    Aiming and shooting
    Particle systems

AI
        History and philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
        The central role of search
        Movement:
            o Movement in 2D and 3D
            o Steering behaviours, combining, flocking
            o Coordinated movement
        Pathfinding, A*
        Knowledge representation
        Decision making:
            o Decision trees
            o FSMs
            o Fuzzy logic
            o Goal oriented behaviour
            o Planning
            o Rule-based systems
        Machine learning
        Neural Nets
        Fuzzy Systems
        Genetic Algorithms, genetic programming


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                13
      Language generation /understanding
      Level of detail AI

Audio Programming and Tool Creation

Overview
This module exposes the students to the important and yet often
underrated area of audio programming for games and analyses how
technical members of a software team can develop useful and usable tools
for creative members of the team. The students will gain an appreciation
for audiology and the range of possibilities in audio programming with
grounding in the science of sound. The audio programming will be focused
on audio engine programming. The tool creation element will require the
students to have an understanding of HCI in order to create an digital
audio manipulation tools for use be creative personnel.

Indicative topics
Introduction

      What sound is and how sounds works
      The basic terminology: frequency, amplitude, pitch and dynamics
      The impact of the digitisation of sound, time domain against
       frequency domain
      Storage and representation and reproduction of digital sound.

The Manipulation of Digital Audio.

      How digital audio is manipulated
      Analysis of examples of digital manipulation (fade, reverb, chorus,
       pitchshifting and flange): how do they work? What do they do?
       Where do they come from?
      Implementation of digital audio manipulation techniques: How do we
       process the audio data efficiently? How do we apply manipulation
       techniques algorithmically? How can event based triggers be used
       to control a games soundtrack and sound effects?

Human Computer Interaction in the Context of Tool Creation.

      How can HCI principles be applied in tool creation
      Analysis of HCI paradigms, strategies and principles
      Understanding the needs of other team members in the game
       development process. Discussion of how to best meet these needs
       and application of this theory to a software solution.

Research Methods

Overview
This module provides grounding in the research methods required at MSc
level, looking at both quantitative and qualitative approaches including



Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                            14
laboratory evaluation, surveys, case studies and action research. Example
research studies from appropriate areas are analysed to obtain an
understanding of types of research problems and applicable research
methods. The research process is considered, examining how problems
are selected, literature reviews, selection of research methods, data
collection and analysis, development of theories and conclusions; and the
dissemination of the research. Project management is studied and issues
in obtaining funding and ethics are overviewed. The module exposes
students to a variety of research approaches, encourages analysis of
research papers and supports students in coming to conclusions
concerning directions for MSc projects.

Indicative topics
Introduction

      Nature and purpose of research
      Overview of research process.
      Consideration of outcomes: publications, products, and change.
      Analysis of Research Papers and Classification of Research.
      Examples of research. Introduction and overview of key selected
       papers in appropriate areas. Analysis of papers: what is the
       problem? How is it tackled? Where do the authors get their data?
       How do they interpret it? What conclusions do they come to? What
       is the contribution of the paper?
      Developing a classification of research types. Classifying the
       problem. Classifying the approach. Examples: Qualitative versus
       quantitative, positivist versus interpretive, field versus laboratory
      Classifying the approach to analysis: statistical, content analysis,
       grounded theory.

The Research Process
    Defining and selecting the problem. Problem search. Motivation.
     Sponsors and audience Effect of previous work. Need. Interest,.
    Reviewing previous work. The Literature review. Search and
     selection of sources. Evaluating and criticising previous work.
     Developing the story. Use of Internet sources.
    Developing a theoretical framework. Adding to existing theory.
     Drawing theory from other disciplines. Examples from sociology and
     psychology. Developing hypotheses.
    Selection of a research method. Relating method to problems and
     theory. Discussion of some available methods. Survey. Case
     studies. Experiments. Focus Groups. Participant Observation.
     Interviewing. Document analysis. Developing and evaluating a
     computer system. Structured evaluation studies.
    Execution of research. Data collection. Bias. Access to
     organisations. Tools to support data collection. Metaanalysis.
     Designing computer system evaluations.
    Analysis of research data. Overview of statistical and quantitative
     methods. Common statistical approaches. Dependent and


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              15
       independent variables. Variance. Correlation. Cronbach Alpha.
       Supporting and refuting hypotheses. Qualitative methods. Content
       analysis. Analysis of case studies.
      Development of theories and conclusions. Extending existing
       theory. Developing conclusions.
      Dissemination and presentation. Audiences. Conferences and
       papers. Developing the research paper. Communicating with
       researchers, practitioners and the public.

Research Support
   Project Planning and Management. Identifying resource
     requirements. Planning the research project.
   Terms of Reference. Controlling the project and modifying project
     plans. The uncertainty of the research process.
   Getting support. Introduction to research councils and the process
     of applying for a grant. Getting industrial support.
   Ethics. Examples of projects. Are they ethical? What are the ethical
     issues? Involving participants.

Project

Overview
This module provides the opportunity to develop and to demonstrate skills
acquired from the taught course in the solution of a real practical problem.
The module typically involves the analysis, design and implementation of a
computer system. The project would be expected to draw on the content
of several of the taught modules. Support is provided through a Project
Management Panel. The module includes an introduction to some of the
necessary project skills required to run a one-person project and present
the results of the project in the most favourable way. Project skills sessions
will take the format of workshops in which students will have the
opportunity to practice a particular skill.

Indicative Topics
    Project management techniques
    Feasibility studies,
    Cost benefit analyses,
    Software evaluation,
    Documentation,
    Interviewing skills, etc.
    The project skills aspects will include:
    Personal time management
    Project management
    Project selection
    Written and verbal communication
    Giving demonstrations
    Learning Strategies




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                16
2.5 Assessment
2.5.1 Assessment Regulations
These regulations should be read in conjunction with the DMU General
Examination Regulations for Taught Masters Degrees:
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/aboutdmu/policy/regulations/taught-postgrad/


2.5.2 Monitoring of Student Progress
The progress of all students is monitored each semester by the
Assessment Board. In all cases, the University’s General Student
Regulations apply with regard to the procedure for monitoring and
regulating student progress, exclusion on academic grounds and appeals
procedures.

2.5.3 Assessment Methods
There will be a mixture of reading, written, discussion board activities and
practical work. Some work will involve you working in groups, where you
will be awarded marks for your group interaction as well as the outcome
produced by the group. There will be formative feedback at regular
intervals sometimes in meetings with your personal tutor and less formally
by the teaching staff in lessons. Formative assessment is about keeping
you informed of your progress and drawing your attention to areas that you
need to work on. The purpose of this type of assessment is to help you
maximise your learning and is not graded.

The taught modules will be assessed by coursework and examination.
The purpose of coursework is both formative and summative, i.e. to assess
your current knowledge for grading and to give you feedback on areas
needing improvement. The purpose of examinations is summative, i.e. to
assess your level of knowledge and to give you a mark.

Assessment of the project will consider the management of the project, the
written report and the formal presentation/demonstration (refer to project
template and handbook for more information on this).

2.5.4 Assessment Marks
All modules and programmes operate to the generic University marking
criteria which provide summative results and transcripts in the form of
percentage marks. The generic criteria are set out below.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              17
> or = 70%        Excellent work which demonstrates that the student:
“Distinction
Level”               Possesses an authoritative grasp of the conceptual
                      context within which the work was undertaken
                   Is able to display originality, insight and powers of
                      in-depth critical analysis in the solution offered
                      and/or is able to sustain an argument displaying
                      originality, insight into current debates and
                      conceptual positions, in-depth critical analysis, and
                      is capable of expressing this argument clearly,
                      concisely and accurately
                   Possesses a high degree of relevant technical
                      competence
60 – 69%          A clear grasp of an appropriate methodology suitably
“Merit Level”     focused on the topic/problem. A good level of
                  understanding, organisation and relevant technical
                  ability. An ability to synthesise material and to
                  construct responses which reveal good skills of critical
                  analysis and insight.

55 – 59%          A coherent response to the task undertaken
(pass level)      demonstrating a sound grasp of appropriate
                  methodology. Work will be accurate and appropriately
                  organised with clear evidence of skills of critical
                  analysis.

50 – 54%          The grasp of material and methodology is such as to
(marginal pass    enable a basic response to the task undertaken. Work
level)            will generally be accurate and appropriately organised
                  with some evidence of critical analysis.

45 – 49%          The work demonstrates some understanding of the
(marginal fail)   topic/problem but overall the achievement in terms of
                  understanding, technical accuracy, organisation and
                  critical analysis does not justify a pass mark.

< or = 44%        Student’s performance is deficient in most respects,
(fail)            revealing inadequate grasp of the material, poor
                  organisational and technical ability and poorly-
                  developed communication skills. No evidence of
                  critical analysis. A clear fail.



A module assessment is a mark as above, comprising the weighted
combination of all of the coursework for each module. Each module
template identifies the assessment methods and more details of the
assessments are on the Blackboard shells for each module. In order to
pass a module you will normally be required to obtain at least a mark
of 50% overall for each module.


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                             18
2.5.5 Awards
Award of MSc
For the award of MSc, you are required to pass the Project and all taught
modules. The Assessment Board will examine the entire profile of student
performance in making recommendations for the award of the MSc. This is
to ensure that borderline pass/fail or borderline distinction cases are
treated fairly and that the external examiner agrees with the proposed
awards.
Award of MSc with Distinction
For the award of MSc with Distinction, you are required to have passed all
taught modules and the Project with a mark of 70% or above for the
Project (60 credits) and either at least four of the taught modules (15
credits each) at 70% or more (total of 120 credits) OR an overall average
of 70% or more for all modules plus the project.


Award of MSc with Merit

      The dissertation is at merit level (60%) and
      Either at least 120 credits (i.e. the project and four more modules)
       are at merit level
      Or the overall average mark is at merit level.

Award of Postgraduate Diploma
For the award of Postgraduate Diploma, you are required to pass either 8
taught modules, OR the Project and at least 4 taught modules.
Award of Postgraduate Certificate
For the award of Postgraduate Certificate, you are required to pass at least
4 taught modules.



2.5.6 Assessment Failures
Taught Modules
You are allowed to take a module assessment normally on no more than
two successive occasions, In other words, you are allowed one re-sit
attempt for each failed module. Where a taught module is retaken and
passed, it is given 50%. The Assessment Board will determine an
appropriate mechanism for the referral. If you are referred by the
Assessment Board you will normally be required to attend or have a
counselling session with the Programme Leader as soon as possible
following the release of your results.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              19
Project
You may redeem a project failure only at the discretion of the Assessment
Board. Where a project is assessed as a marginal fail, the Assessment
Board may allow you to resubmit the project on one further occasion only.
Where the Project is resubmitted and passed, it is given 50%.

Project
You may redeem a project failure only at the discretion of the Assessment
Board. Where a project is assessed as a marginal fail, the Assessment
Board may allow you to resubmit the project on one further occasion only.
Where the Project is resubmitted and passed, it is given 40%.

2.5.7 Registration Periods and Progression
The maximum period of registration for an MSc is 6 years. If you withdraw
from the programme (or if you do not complete it within the 6 years) you
can be awarded a Post Graduate Diploma or a Post Graduate Certificate
as long as you have the required amount of credits. You must normally
have completed taught modules with a total value of 60 credits before
commencement of the Project. The Project must be completed within an
agreed timescale (for exact dates refer to the project handbook). Projects
not completed within the agreed time will normally be subject to a
continuation fee.

If you choose to register for a Post Graduate Diploma only the maximum
registration period is 4 years and if you choose to register for a Post
Graduate Certificate only the maximum registration is 2 years.




3 Teaching and Student Support
3.1 Teaching and Laboratory Facilities
The laboratories available to you have high specification PCs with top end
graphics cards and sounds cards. Most of your laboratory class will take
place in these dedicated games labs. Additionally, lectures will take place
in standard lecture theatres suitable for MSc class size and some tutorials
will take place in standard class rooms. The opening times of Gateway
House are:
     7.30am to 9.00pm in term time
     7.30am to 7.00pm outside of term
It may be possible for you gain access outside these times if necessary.
To do this you will need to fill out an out of hours form (available from the
faculty office), the approval which is at the discretion of the University.
Note: it typically takes 5 working days between the out of hours form being
handed in to out of ours access being granted.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               20
3.2 Blackboard
Blackboard (http://blackboard.dmu.ac.uk/) is an e-learning portal which will
be invaluable to you during your time at DMU. Items that are posted on
Blackboard include:
     Academic announcements.
     Coursework and exam grades.
     Learning materials
     Code examples
     Information about placements.
     Links to useful external organisations.
Each of your modules will have an area on Blackboard where learning
materials, external links and announcements are posted. You will also find
links to other DMU based electronic resources including email and the
library catalogue.

3.3 Personal Tutor
The Programme Leader acts as your Personal Tutor, their role is to help
and support you if you have difficulties during the course. The Personal
Tutor can:
    direct you to appropriate support services within the University if the
       problem is not programme-related.
    supply advice concerning the programme.
    liaise with other members of the programme team if appropriate.

3.4 Project Supervision
Each student is allocated a Supervisor and a Second Reader who form the
project management panel (PMP). This is the team that will support you
whilst you undertake your project and who grade your project following
submission.
Your Supervisor is timetabled to meet you for eight half hour sessions, two
in the semester preceding your project and six during your project.
Additionally, you will have two or three PMP meetings of 20 to 30 minutes
to discuss your progress in the project. For more details see the Project
Guide document.

3.5 The Faculty Office
Faculty Office (+44 (0)116 257 7050) is the team which looks after all
aspects of programme administration, from enrolment onwards. This
includes:
     Enrolling and re-enrolling students onto the faculty's programmes
     Keeping student records up-to-date.
     Preparing exam papers.
     Inputting marks and posting results and transcripts out to students
       once approved.
     Ensuring that the faculty's programmes meet required quality
       assurance standards.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              21
       Providing information to students about all aspects of programme
        administration, for example programme regulations, progression,
        module choices and re-assessments.
Faculty Office staff will be available to assist with all your administrative
needs during your time as a student. The Faculty Office is on the fourth
floor of Gateway House.


3.6 The Student Advice Centre
The student advice centre (+44 (0)116 207 8499) is based on the ground
floor of the Gateway building and is located immediately to your left as you
enter the building. The Student Advice Centre is your first point of contact
for all learning support enquires.
Student facilities provided by the Student Advice Centre include:
     Large print copies of information
     IT support, including printing, scanning and password resets
     Fax service - incoming only
     Photocopying
From the Student Advice Centre, students can also:
     Obtain useful leaflets
     Purchase consumables
     View staff timetables
     Hand in course work

3.7 The Placement Unit
The Placement unit (+44 (0)116 257 7465) liaises with a large number of
employers who take on students at undergraduate and postgraduate level
for a fix term placement. We cannot guarantee that you will find a
placement and we recommend you contact the Placement Unit as early as
possible if you wish to undertake a placement. You will find the Placement
Unit on the ground floor of the Gateway building at the far end of the
Student Advice Centre, you can email the placement unit on
placementunittech@dmu.ac.uk.

3.8 University Services
3.8.1 The Library
The Department of Library Services’ role is to underpin the academic
objectives of the institution through support for learning, teaching,
scholarship and research, achieved through the delivery of effective,
efficient and customer-oriented services. The primary goal is to provide a
high quality learning experience for the diverse range of students at the
University.

Accommodation
The Department of Library Services comprises three libraries and
registered De Montfort University staff and students may access the
services and facilities in any of these. There are two libraries at the City
Campus, the main Kimberlin Library and the Law Library in the Hugh Aston


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               22
building, and a library at the Charles Frears campus. The Kimberlin Library
is the largest library, offering over 1,300 study spaces and a variety of
learning environments - silent, group and quiet discussion.

The recently developed Learning Zone on the Ground Floor of the Library
is a flexible learning space designed to facilitate collaborative working.
Library users are encouraged to configure the furniture and facilities
(whiteboards, sight screens) to suit their own needs. There are extensive
power outlets and wireless access, and a cafe and vending area for
refreshments (drinks and cold food are allowed in the Learning Zone area).
There are also four bookable ‘syndicate rooms’ equipped with extensive IT
and media facilities (laptops, plasma screens, smart-boards, DVD players)
that students can use for group work. The library has opened a new
learning zone combining computing facilities with study spaces in the
ground floor of the Eric Wood building.

Opening times
The library offers extensive opening hours during term time; the Kimberlin
is open for 24 hours a day, five days a week. The library opens at 10:00 on
Sunday morning and does not close until 2200 on Friday night. The library
is also open from 9:00 – 20:00 on Saturdays. Opening hours may vary
during vacation times.


Library services
The normal range of services to be expected in a large academic library,
including long and short-term lending, inter-library loans, access to
collections, IT, photocopying and study facilities are provided. Library staff
are available in person, over the telephone and via the Just Ask virtual
enquiry point to offer advice and guidance on the effective use of services
and resources. Study skills support is provided via CLASS (Centre for
Learning and Study Support), Maths Learning Centre, and the
development of IT skills aided by the IT Training team. These activities are
supplemented by self-help and subject-resource guides, including the
Finding Information series, which are available both in print and
electronically.

The subject librarian for computer games is Liz Martin, email address:
tech-library-enquiries@dmu.ac.uk

3.8.2 Student Services - Help as and when you need it

Student Services at De Montfort University provide flexible and responsive
support to all our students. Our aim is to help retain students, support
them with high quality information, advice and guidance, develop their
ability to secure a graduate level job, provide them with attractive
accommodation and promote an active tolerant and safe student
community.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                23
We know that your expectations of our services are high, and so we have
developed a Student Services Centre to meet your needs. This exciting,
accessible and welcoming centre brings together a range of key student
support services under one roof, where you will be met by professional
staff who can offer information, advice and guidance on a wide range of
topics such as :
     Jobs and careers - careers@dmu.ac.uk
     Housing - housing@dmu.ac.uk .
     Money and welfare - moneyandwelfare@dmu.ac.uk
     Disability issues - disability@dmu.ac.uk
     Counselling and personal support - counselling@dmu.ac.uk
     Mental Health support - studentservices@dmu.ac.uk
     International Student Support - studentservices@dmu.ac.uk

In addition students can also benefit from:
     A wide range of sports and recreational activities
     A surgery on campus where you can see a GP or Practice Nurse
     The Students' Union gives independent and confidential advice on
       any course-related problems. Information booklets are available
       from the Students' Union
     Chaplaincy and religious support to help find places of worship and
       faith communities in Leicester and to put you in contact with other
       students of the same faith
     ChildcareDMU works with childcarelinks.gov.uk to provide
       information on childcare to current and prospective students.

You will receive a copy of our student handbook, which provides detailed
information on all our services and is available in different formats. More
information can be found on the website at http://www.dmu.ac.uk/study-
information/student_services/

Or please contact us at:

Student Services Centre, Ground Floor, Gateway House 0.10
Telephone: +44 (0)116 257 7595
Email: studentservices@dmu.ac.uk
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm

3.8.3 Registry

The registry is responsible for a number University wide services and
functions including:
    Admissions.
           o Status checking and international student visa issues.
           o Processing of applications.
    Student Finance
           o Advice on what is available and how to apply.
           o Student Loan processing and queries
           o Operation of DMU bursary and scholarship schemes.
           o Tuition fees; rates and payment.


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                             24
     Enrolment management and ID cards.
     Council Tax Certificates.
     University Timetable
     Examination deferral requests
     Academic Appeals
     Academic Offences
     Examination schedules and management of all formal examinations
     Graduation Ceremonies and conferment of awards




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                       25
4 Programme Administration
4.1 Programme Management

The management of the programme comprises the Management Board
and the Programme Management Team. The Programme Management
Team will comprise the Programme Leader, programme tutors, the MSc
Project Co-ordinator, relevant technical staff and the programme
administrator. The team will draw on the advice of the Head of Studies and
Head of Quality as required. The overall responsibility for management of
the programme will rest with the Management Board. The Programme
Leader will have day-to-day responsibility for the programme and its
administration, for monitoring the programme to determine whether it is
achieving its stated aims, and for seeing that proposals for maintaining and
improving the quality of the programme are presented to the Management
Board.

The Programme Leader will be responsible for monitoring the progress of
students on the programme, and for bringing to the attention of the
Management Board any problems that may arise relating to student
performance or other aspects of the programme. Students will be provided
with access to up-to-date on-line copies of the General Student
Regulations; Taught Postgraduate Programmes, The University
Regulations; MSc Staff and Student Project Guide, and the De Montfort
University Charter.

4.2 Teaching & Student Support
Each module of the programme will consist of lectures, tutorials, seminars,
laboratories and electronic-lessons as appropriate. Material delivered in
the lectures is complemented by practical work delivered through a
laboratory or tutorial. All face-to-face sessions take place at the Leicester
City Centre campus. Handouts from these sessions are available through
the e-learning system we use called Blackboard. To access Blackboard
you need to use the following URL:

https://blackboard.dmu.ac.uk

Each module you study has what is known as a ‘shell’ i.e. an area
specifically associated with that module. There is also a shell for the
programme as a whole, and this contains some general information (such
as the programme handbook, careers information) as well as some
induction information.

Your lessons takes place over the course of a single academic year
consisting of 30 weeks - the normal pattern will be around 20-24 lessons
per module, each lesson providing approximately one week’s work. For
the three main modules, you are expected to work for approximately 300
hours on each module. For the Audio Programming and Tool Creation and




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               26
the Research methods modules, you are expected to work for
approximately 150 hours on each module.

Private study time encourages you to be actively involved in, and
responsible for, your own learning. This should involve, not only
recapitulating on material provided in the lessons and reading the course
texts, but reading generally around the subject matter, which is essential
for broadening your perspective of the course material.

Module templates include a recommended reading list but this is intended
to be indicative rather than exhaustive. You will find a wide selection of
books available in the library covering the material in your course and
much more.

4.3 Student Representation
One student from the course will be elected to the Postgraduate Board to
represent the views of students at the beginning of the year. If the student
representative is unable to attend meetings in person they will be asked to
communicate the issues they would like to raise to the Programme Leader,
prior to the meeting. Outcomes will be passed back to the student
afterwards.

All students will be invited to attend meetings of the Staff-Student
Consultative Committee (S.S.C.C.) where any general issues which are
not programme specific may be raised.


Terms of Reference
The Management Board is responsible for the planning, management and
review of all aspects of the programme operations including:
     the overall aims and objectives of the programme.
     the programme structure and content.
     teaching, learning and assessment strategies.
     the deployment of human, physical and learning resources allocated
      to the programme.
     the programme publicity and marketing strategies.
     arrangements for the recruitment, admission and induction of
      students.
     the monitoring of student progress, including associated provision
      for the academic counselling of students, in accordance with the
      relevant sections of the General Student Regulations.
     the welfare and pastoral care of students.

As part of these responsibilities the Management Board makes appropriate
provision for :
    ensuring adherence to the policies and procedures of De Montfort
       University.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              27
      staff-student liaison on the programme including arrangements for
       obtaining feedback from present and past students on programme
       operations.
      liaison with industry, employers and other relevant external
       agencies on programme operations.
      monitoring and evaluation of all aspects of programme operations in
       accordance with the protocols of the Department of Academic
       Quality.
      the submission of end-of-session reports on programme operations.

The Programme Management Board is responsible for the communication
of programme policy to staff, students and other relevant parties and for
adherence to De Montfort University protocols for the ratification of
approval of modifications to the programme.


4.4 The Assessment Board
The Assessment Board is primarily responsible for the assessment of
students in both internally and externally moderated assessments and for
determining the final decisions on your results. The membership of the
Assessment Board includes the External Examiner, who is appointed from
outside the University and part of whose job is to ensure that assessments
are carried out fairly and to a satisfactory standard. Results of assessment
are sent to you by post through the Faculty Office and you will also be able
to get you result in person from the Programme Leader. Results are NOT
given over the telephone. Provisional results of pieces of work will be
given where appropriate via the Gradebook facility on Blackboard.


4.5 Formal Student Feedback
The delivery of the programme in terms of lessons, practical work, and
assessments will be monitored and evaluated by the use of student
feedback questionnaires. Students will be requested to complete
questionnaires relating to the overall programme, individual modules and
the coursework assessments. These will be made available on Blackboard
(in the Programme Shell) and from module leaders. You are asked to
complete one for each module you study. If you wish these can be
submitted anonymously to Blackboard, otherwise please give them to the
module or programme leader. The Programme Management Team will be
responsible for evaluating student feedback and making appropriate
recommendations either to the Management Board or to the staff
responsible for individual modules and/or coursework assessments.
Additionally, the Management Board will receive feedback from students
through the student representative of the Management Board.


4.6 Communication
Email and announcements on Blackboard are the standard communication
media for the programme, and staff will often use these methods to


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              28
broadcast messages to the group. Email is usually the fastest way of
communicating with staff or other students, but you can also have face to
face meeting with staff. It is best to arrange face to face meetings in
advance as staff have other commitments that may conflict.

Reading lists for the modules are included in the templates and any
amendments to these will be issued at the start of each Semester. You
should make sure you have a copy of any text that is indicated as
"essential"; these are marked with an x in the module outlines.


4.7 Submission of Coursework
You will submit your assignments at the Student Advice Centre on the
ground floor of Gateway House. Additionally you will need to submit
electronic copies through Blackboard through a system called Turnitin.
Turnitin will compare your submission to other submissions and documents
available on the internet. The tutor setting the assignment will get a score
from Turnitin which gives an indication of any potential plagiarism issues
which the tutor can investigate. Plagiarism is a serious academic offence
and may lead to expulsion. Provisional results will be provided through
Blackboard. It is important that you familiarise yourself with the
environment as soon as you have enrolled and have access to it.

All coursework MUST be submitted by the lecturer's published deadline - it
is YOUR responsibility to ensure that your coursework is submitted to time.
Make sure that you are aware of the date well in advance and of the
penalty for late submission.

If you wish to obtain an extension due to illness or other acceptable cause,
ensure that you obtain this well before the deadline - only in exceptional
circumstances will requests for extensions be granted on or after the
coursework deadline. You will always be expected to produce third party
documentary evidence to support your request. Coursework which is
handed in by the due date will be marked as usual. Work which is up to
a week late will be capped at a mark of 50%. Work which is more than
a week late will be given a mark of 0%.


4.8 Student Identification Card
You will be issued with a combined registration and Students' Union card
following enrolment; this should be carried at all times when you are on
Campus. The card is required for the use of Library and Students' Union
facilities as well as for other identification purposes. Applications for
replacement cards should be made to the Faculty Office.


4.9 Withdrawal from Programme
If you consider withdrawing from the programme, for whatever reason,
please discuss the situation with the Programme Leader at an early stage.


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              29
4.10 Change of Name/Address
If you change your name/address/telephone number (home or work),
please contact the Faculty Office. It is essential that we have an up-to-
date address and telephone number in case we need to contact you.



5 General Information
5.1 Introduction
The following section includes general information about your time as a
student on the MSc programme. A number of common questions raised
by students are covered and guidance on coursework preparation,
submission and assessment is given. University standard forms can be
obtained by contacting the Faculty Office if required.


5.2 What to do if you …
Are Unable to Submit Coursework on Time
The programme is intensive, and it is important that coursework deadlines
are kept. Failure to do so compromises your ability to cope with the
succeeding work, both in that module and in other modules. Extensions to
coursework deadlines will therefore only be given in exceptional
circumstances, after discussion with the Programme Team. All requests
for deferment of assessment, including extensions to coursework
deadlines MUST be accompanied by mitigating circumstances form which
should include documentary evidence where this is available (e.g. Medical
Notes, Police incident number, etc). These forms are available from the
Faculty Office.

Lose Your Student Registration Card
You will be issued with a registration card following enrolment and you are
required to carry this card at all times when you are on University
premises. The card also acts as a library borrower’s card. If you lose your
registration card, please contact the Faculty Office, who will inform you of
the procedure for obtaining a replacement.

Change Your Address
Occasionally we need to write to you and sometimes the University and the
Information Centre will send official letters to your home address. It is,
therefore, important that you inform the University immediately of any
changes to your address or telephone number, at home, and in the case of
part-time students, additionally, at work. To do this contact the faculty
office.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                              30
Are Worried About a Particular Module
If you are generally happy with your progress but are having difficulties
with a particular module, you should discuss matters with the lecturer
taking that module. If you are unhappy about doing this, or you find that
the lecturer concerned is not able to resolve your difficulties, please
discuss the matter with your Programme Leader. It is important that such
difficulties are raised early so that the appropriate action can take place. If
there is a general feeling within your group that a particular module is not
going well, ask your student representative to raise it with the lecturer
concerned. If this presents a problem, or if the situation continues to be
unsatisfactory, ask your representative to raise it with the Programme
Leader. If necessary, it can also be considered at a Management Board,
but this should be treated as a last resort.

Are Worried About the Programme in General
Don't give up! Talk to the Programme Leader about any difficulties that
you are having, but do it at an early stage before they become
overwhelming. Students who feel under pressure, for whatever reason,
sometimes unconsciously exaggerate the importance of their difficulties
with a programme. Often a discussion with the Programme Leader will be
sufficient to change the student's perspective and enable him or her to
overcome the difficulty. Alternatively, the Programme Leader may be able
to suggest a programme of action which will help to remedy the situation.

Have Personal Problems
The performance of students can be heavily influenced by factors in their
personal or working lives, often totally unrelated to the programme. It can
be extremely beneficial to discuss such difficulties with another person. If
you are in this position, please do not wait until the difficulties become
insuperable. The University has trained Counsellors, whose services are
available to all students.


5.3 Computing-related Health and Safety
It is particularly important, as a student on a programme that uses
computers quite intensively, that you are aware of the University Health
and Safety Policy which is published in the document Safety in the Use of
Display Screens. The following summarises the recommendations.

Posture problems, e.g. aching arms, neck, etc., can be avoided by
adjusting your screen, keyboard and chair positions so that you are
comfortable when using the computer.

Visual problems, e.g. tired, aching eyes, can be avoided by positioning
your screen to avoid glare and so that it is at a suitable viewing distance for
you.

Fatigue and strain (visual, physical, mental) can be avoided by not using a
computer for long periods without a change of activity. During a break it is
better to do some other activity than simply rest. It is recommended that


Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                                 31
the maximum continuous period of use is 90 minutes, which should be
followed by a change of activity for at least 15 minutes. You should really
have a 5-minute change of activity every 30 minutes or a 10-minute
change after 1 hour.



6 Expectations of academic staff and students in
delivery of MSc Computer Games Programming

6.1 Academic Staff
      Four weeks before the start of induction, programme leader (PL)
       and programme administrator (PA) to send out enrolment forms to
       all applicants that have accepted a place. The induction timetable
       will also be included.
      At the start of induction PL to meet all students to welcome them to
       the programme.
      Students will be assigned to a ‘personal tutor’.
      Throughout the semesters –
      Module tutors to deliver course material inline with the module
       template and timetable.
      Module leaders/tutors are asked to normally respond to email
       questions within 3 working days of receiving them and when
       requested to arrange a meeting or phone call within 3 working days
       of receiving the request for one. Email queries will be copied to
       both tutors so that if the person who the query is aimed at is absent,
       the second tutor can respond.
      On receipt of coursework, module leaders/tutors to mark and
       provide feedback in line with faculty policy (re: timing).
      Module leaders to make provisional coursework marks available
       (e.g. using Blackboard Gradebook or similar)
      Module leaders to provide feedback to students – this could initially
       be general feedback about the coursework but preferably (or soon
       after release of general feedback) it should be individual feedback.
       This could be a scanned in copy of comments written on the front of
       the assignment marking sheet or an in person discussion.


6.2 Students
      Complete and return enrolment form as soon as possible,
       confirming if they are planning to attend the induction programme.
      Work through/read through the induction material and/or attend an
       induction
      Spend 40 hours per week on the course.
      Submit assignments on time both hard copies in person and
       electronic copies using Turnitin on Blackboard.



Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                               32
     Requests for extensions of up to two weeks can be made to the
      module leaders/tutors and the programme leader. There must be
      good reasons for asking for an extension. Extensions of any longer
      require an application to be made to the deferral board, details of
      how to do this are provided on the Blackboard.
     Check for provisional results – normally in the gradebook on
      Blackboard (go into Course Tools and then My Grades). The
      module leaders/tutors will inform students of the method for
      returning provisional marks for their module.




Student Handbook – MSc Computer Games Programming                           33

								
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