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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 15/07/2022 20:29:16

Title of Module: Game User Research

Code: COMP09113 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Marco  Gilardi

Summary of Module

Understanding players and their behaviour is the keystone for developing the game user experience, which has nowadays become vital for the success of computer games.

This module focuses on introducing students to Game User Research, covering research methodologies and methods used in computer games, such as (but not limited to) playtesting, analytics and expert analysis.

The aim is to make students understand the importance of considering and involving the player before, during and after the design, development and release of the game. The module will teach students how to develop a research plan, how to formulate research aims and objectives, develop a methodology for playtesting and also cover how to request and obtain bug reports from playtesters as well as topics on ethics in computer games and games user research.

Case studies and industry practices will be discussed and applied during the module. 

The module will cover:

1 Introduction to User Experience

2. Processes and Frameworks for Game User Research

3. Research methodologies and methods in computer games

  • This module embeds the key “I am UWS” graduate attributes and in particular:

  • Universal(critical and analytical thinking, Emotionally-intelligent, Collaborative, Research-minded),

  • Work Ready(digitally literate, problem solver, effective communicator, Motivated, Potential leader, Ambitious)

  • and Successful (Autonomous, Innovative, Driven, Transformational)

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research methods in computer games development

L2. Demonstrate ablity to plan user research sessions, choosing appropriate methodologies and methods to answer the research questions as well as develop meaningful questionnaires and interview scripts

L3. Demonstrate ability to plan and conduct successful user research sessions in practice

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Knowledge of research methodologies and methods in Computer Games

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Application of programming constructs in a form data analytics collection and testing to assess computer games.
Ability to behave professionally and ethically during user research sessions.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Ability to identify research qeustions to design playtests and research sessions with players.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Ability to communicate research findings clearly in written using different formats

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Work autonomously to design and plan user research sessions
Work in teams to run the sessions collect and analyse data

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:
Game Engine 2

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module provides lectures and asynchoronous support activities to introduce the concepts and principles that underpin the practical element of the module.

Synchronous lab based activities consists of:
- Five group workshop activities guide students through exercises aimed to reflect on the lectures material and develop the technical ability in relation to the theory learned in the lectures
- Seven support sessions assist in the development of the user research based coursework.

Exercises are presented each week, which students are expected to undertake and demonstrate to show developing competence with the subject matter.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery7
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop36
Independent Study157
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Drachen, Miza-Babaei, Nacke (2018) Games User Research, Oxford

Hartson R. and Pyla P. (2019) The UX Book 2, Morgan Kaufmann

Bromley S. (2021) How To Be A Games User Researcher: Run better playtests, reveal usability and games UX issues, and make games better, Independently published

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are expected to engage with the module by regulardly attending lectures and completing labs assignments on a weekly basis.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardComputing
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCreative Computing
ModeratorThomas Hainey
External ExaminerN Whitton
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Practical Written Assignment – detailed research design specification and report – 40%
Practical Coursework – conduct user research on game developed in Game Engine 2 and iterate improvements on it from the outcomes of the research sessions - 60%
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Report of practical/ field/ clinical workcheck markcheck mark 400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Clinical/ Fieldwork/ Practical skills assessment/ Debate/ Interview/ Viva voce/ Oralcheck markcheck markcheck mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
The University policies on equality and diversity will apply to this module: the content and assessment are based on the ability to communicate in English but are otherwise culture-neutral.
For students with additional support needs, an advisor from enabling support will agree the appropriate adjustments to be made, consulting with the module coordinator if necessary.
Further guidance available from Student Services, School Disability Co-ordinators or the University’s Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator.
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.