Page 1

Diploma Overview

Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


Introduction The MQF Level 5 Diploma in Computing with Games Design and Development (60 ECTS) provides students with knowledge of the principles of computing, game design and game development. Students will improve their problem solving skills together with programming and mathematical computation skills. By the end of the diploma programme, students would be able to understand the concepts behind game design, and participate in the design of games and subsequent development.

General Learning Outcomes The Diploma in Computing with Games Design and Development will enable participants to: 1. 2. 3. 4.

Recognise and recall the principles of computing. Examine simple problems and devise solutions. Interpret software design and implement solutions through programming. Recognise fundamental concepts and evaluate approaches that may be taken when planning information systems.

Progression, Duration and Entry Requirements Saint Martin’s Institute of Higher Education has been delivering a similar University of London qualification since 2001 and students who have successfully completed the Diploma in Computing and Information Systems have in their vast majority continued to read for a BSc (Hons) in Computing & Information Systems conferred by the University of London over a further two academic years. The National Commission for Further and Higher Education has accredited the Diploma in Computing with Games Design and Development at Level 5 of the Malta Qualification Framework, which is equivalent to a first year of a degree programme. The programme is of 60 ECTS. The Diploma in Computing with Games Design and Development is offered over one academic year to students who are 16 years and older, earning stipends and maintenance grants during their academic year. Those already in work may wish to study the Diploma in Computing with Games Design and Development as an evening student over two academic years whilst keeping their jobs. The minimum age accepted for evening study at Saint Martin’s is of 20 years old. Students must possess a minimum of 4 ordinary level SEC at grade 5 or better, including mathematics and English language.

4 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


Fees 2018/2019 Full-time (EU)

Full-time (Non-EU)

Part-time (EU)

Application Fee

€125

€125

€125

Registration Fee

€950

€950

€480

€4,990 €3,550/year

€6,490 €4,180/year

€1,495/year

(one time non-refundable) (one time non-refundable) Diploma MQF 5 (Tuition & Examination Fees)

Course over one year Course over two years

Students following the Diploma on a full-time basis will benefit from: • A fixed stipend of €1348 between 1st October and 30th June (applicable to EU students only). In addition to this students will also receive a yearly sum of €698.81 to partly cover expenses related to educational material & equipment and a one-time grant of €698.81 payable in the first year of their studies. Students are required to refer to the MGUS Regulations for further details regarding eligibility and conditions with respect to the scheme. The scheme is administered by Students’ Maintenance Grants Section, within the Ministry for Education and Employment. • Upon successful completion of the Diploma, the graduate will benefit from a tax credit and thus will be eligible to recover 70% of the costs incurred once in employment. If a parent/guardian is paying the tuition fees, the parent/guardian will be able to benefit from the tax credit. The maximum value of tax credits refundable is €3500. Students following the Diploma on an evening basis are eligible to recover €2450 (70% of the cost of programme) in tax credit following successful completion, resulting in a net cost of €1055.

stmartins.edu/computing | 5


Compulsory Units The following subjects are compulsory to the Diploma in Computing with Games Design & Development: SMc10306 SMc10307 SMc10315 SMc10327 SMc10328 SMc10329 SMc10330 SMc10333 SMc10334 SMc10335 SMc10337 SMc10339 SMc10340 SMc10344

Introduction to Java Programming (7 ECTS) Intermediate Java Programming (7 ECTS) Introduction to Front-End Web Development (4 ECTS) Game Design 1 - Conceptual Game Design (7 ECTS) Audio Design 1 - Fundamentals (3 ECTS) Visual Design 1 - Visual Narratives (3 ECTS) Maths and Science for Computer Games (7 ECTS) Introduction to Algebra and Matrices (4 ECTS) Introduction to Graphs (2 ECTS) Introduction to Calculus (4 ECTS) Principles of Computing Architecture (4 ECTS) Implementing and Querying Databases (3 ECTS) Core Database Principles (3 ECTS) Introduction to Interaction Design (4 ECTS)

6 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


stmartins.edu/computing | 7


SMc10306

Introduction to Java Programming (7 ECTS) Programming is an essential tool for any computer scientist. In this study unit, students are exposed to different programming principles including sequences, selection and iteration structures, rules and syntax used for the JAVA Programming Language. Thus, students will be able to build a simple toolset of concepts and ideas used in programming. Students will be able to translate and programmatically implement solutions to simple problems. This unit serves as a basis for further programming study units.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Write Java programs that output messages to the terminal. 2. Use comments in a program. 3. Define String constants. 4. Compile and run Java programs. 5. Interpret some common compiler error messages. 6. Fuse arithmetic expressions in programming to perform calculations. 7. Use integer and real types in programming. 8. Concatenate Strings using the ‘+’ operator. 9. Write expressions which would be used to calculate data. 10. Declare variables with appropriate variable names. 11. Write assignment statements. 12. Calling methods. 13. Write programs which accept input from the user and then behave in different ways depending on the input. 14. Use if-else statements in order to introduce branching within one’s program. 15. Make use of Boolean expressions. 16. Program repetition using loops. 17. How to declare and initialise an array. 18. Use for loops to process arrays. 19. Use nested loops when needed in one’s programs. 20. How to create one’s own methods within a Java program. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. About directory structure and where to put the programs one writes. 2. About the CLASSPATH system variable. 3. That Java is case sensitive. 4. About the purpose and syntax of the main method in a Java application. 5. The different between print() and println() method. 6. How the division operator gives different types of results depending on its operands. 7. About the use of operator precedence in expressions. 8. About the use of brackets in computing expressions. 9. The purpose of variables. 10. The differences between the primitive types of Java. 11. About the allowable String used for variable names.

8 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


12. What a method is. 13. The existence of pre made methods in classes provided by Java. 14. What method signatures are. 15. About some graphical methods. 16. The Scanner class. 17. Java APIs. 18. Syntax and semantics of the if statement. 19. Syntax and semantics of the for, while and do while loops. 20. Method overloading and type-checking. 21. What arrays are and how to use them. 22. Nested loops. 23. Why methods are useful. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Demonstrate how arithmetic expressions are used. 2. Demonstrate how to use integer and real types in programming. 3. Demonstrate how to use string concatenation in order to produce more meaningful output. 4. Demonstrate which data type to choose in order to represent certain kinds of data. 5. Show how to use assignment statements. 6. Show how method calls are done. 7. Show how to use methods of other classes which are premade by Java. 8. Define method signatures. 9. Demonstrate how to prompt the user for input for different types of data such as int and other types. 10. Show what the Scanner class provides in terms of functionality. 11. Demonstrate how to look up Java APIs. 12. Define the syntax and semantics of if-else statements. 13. Show how to use all three of the basic loops. 14. Differentiate between static and non-static methods. 15. Differentiate between the use of void and non-void methods. 16. Demonstrate when one should use arrays. 17. Define how nested loops work. 18. Show how to use parameters.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Distinguish when one would use the print() or println() methods. 2. Distinguish when to use integer or real types. 3. Distinguish which operations should be used in order to obtain the required data. 4. Deduce what kind of data is being used in order to select the best data type in order to faithfully represent that data. 5. Determine the best time to prompt the user for input. 6. Determine the best methods to use from Java APIs. 7. Determine the appropriate conditions to use within one’s if-else statements. 8. Determine which of the loops is best suited for a particular problem. 9. Determine the cause of index out of bounds exceptions. 10. Determine how to solve problems using nested loops. 11. Determine when to create void and non-void static methods. 12. Determine what parameters are needed for one’s methods. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 9


SMc10307

Intermediate Java Programming (7 ECTS) In this study unit, students are exposed to advanced principles of programming in JAVA which would allow them to create programs that are more complex in nature. This unit builds up on the knowledge obtained in ‘SMc10306 :: Introduction to Java Programming’, such that one would be expected to implement programs with the ability to read and write from and to files, using well-known searching or sorting algorithms, incorporating the use of dynamic data structures as well as implementing programs using the Object Oriented Programming approach.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Use command line arguments. Create recursive methods. Use class path system in Java. Use the correct variable scope. Identify the different variable memory size. Use type casting. Read and write to a file. Implement simple sorting and searching algorithms. Sort integers and strings is essentially the same. Define custom classes. Distinguish instance and static variables. Distinguish instance and static methods. Use inheritance to extend a class in java. Handle exceptions using try and catch. Identify when to use dynamic arrays or arrays in a java program.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. How to use command line arguments 2. How to develop recursive code 3. How to import external libraries into a java program 4. Manage and structure your java project under a standardized filing system 5. Create their own java libraries 6. Differentiate between reference and simple variables 7. Variable types in relation to their memory size 8. Which variable can be typecast into which datatype 9. The purpose of a file 10. How to read a line or a character from a file 11. How to write to a file 12. Different sorting algorithms 13. Different search algorithms 14. Calculate complexity analysis of simple search and sorting algorithms 15. How to use custom classes 16. How to create instance and static methods 17. How to use constructors 18. Inheritance and override methods in object oriented programming 19. What it means to throw an exception 20. Dynamic arrays 21. How dynamic arrays are used to store arbitrary large amount of data

10 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Demonstrate the purpose of the main method in Java. Demonstrate how to use recursion and convert iterative code into recursive code. Show the use of public classes and methods in java. Demonstrate why we need to keep to a particular organisation system when working in java. Show when to use local and global variables. Demonstrate how variables are passed as parameters inside java methods. Show why the read method in java return an int value. Demonstrate how to use typecasting. Show how you can read and write to a file. Demonstrate how to use the read and write methods to create a spellchecking program. Demonstrate how to use sorting and searching algorithms. Show what a class is and how to create one. Differentiate between static and instance methods. Differentiate between static and instance variables. Demonstrate when and how to extend classes. Show why we Override methods. Demonstrate when to use try catch methods. Demonstrate how to sort the contents of a vector. Show how to manipulate the contents of a file by storing them in a vector and then manipulating the vector.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Identify recursive or iterative code Identify a well formatted java project Distinguish where and when to correctly use local or global variables Identify when to typecast a variable Identify when to optimize on memory usage using different variable data types Identify which sorting algorithm should be used Identify which searching algorithm should be used Identify when to use static or instance methods Identify how many layers does the class system in your system extend Identify how to make the best use of vectors

Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 11


12 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


SMc10315

Introduction to Front-end Web Development (4 ECTS) With today’s technological advances and the reduction in price for Internet subscription packages, browsing through different web pages is as normal as reading a magazine or a book. Thus, it is essential that computing students are exposed to the process of developing web pages. In this study unit students will be exposed to the techniques needed to be able to build simple web pages using HTML5 and CSS3. Furthermore, students are shown how to build such web pages using best-practice methodology as well as adopting a mobile-first approach. This study unit serves as a basis to other web development units.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Choose the right colours and fonts for a website. 2. Add multimedia interaction to a website. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Basic design principles. Developing a website. What HTML is and how it is able to display web pages. Use of HTML Tags. What is CSS. CSS properties. Develop webpages for multiple devices. Develop webpages for multiple resolutions.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Demonstrate how to write HTML/HTML5 script. Demonstrate how to write CSS3 scripts. Show if a website is using plugins. Add plugins to their webpages. Recognise how to develop scalable front end websites.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Criticize the overall design of a website. 2. Judge the quality of a website. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 13


SMc10327

Game Design I Conceptual Game Design (7 ECTS) Game Design is about how games work, not how they look. It is about the function of games, and Game Design I: Conceptual Game Design addresses the fundamental ideas behind the design of both electronic and non-electronic games. In a modern society where games occupy most of our idle and leisure time, the elements that make up a game need to be identified, analysed, and their functionality and role in the player experience correctly understood and applied in order to make a compelling game that players will want to buy, play, and replay. Game design is a process that can be approached in a variety of ways and that needs to be reported in different levels of detail to different audiences: be it the developer who will create it, the producer who will sell it or the player that will buy it. Conceptually, games are rule systems that allow players to interact with the game space in order to satisfy set challenges, and this results in the design of gameplay, narrative, puzzle challenges, and basic interaction such as interface design, information design, and world interaction. Regular hands-on practice allows students to analyse, modify, and create game designs.

14 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Complete a gaming design development task within a set deadline. Identify areas for further improvement. Demonstrate operational capacity and management skills using creativity in designing game mechanics. Interact with others to convey abstract and concrete solutions to game mechanic problems. Formulate a design of a game based upon given mechanics and makes judgments on the solution given. The effective and efficient management of projects and people within agreed timeframes through coursework.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1.

Components of game design

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Define games and game design. Distinguish between games, play, and work. Relate game mechanics to game dynamics. Distinguish between games of progression and games of emergence. Compare different approaches to game design. Trace games to the underlying rule system(s). Review advanced textbooks on game design which may lead to further academic or vocational learning and, researches solutions to abstract game programming problems.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Make judgments on existing games based on knowledge of game design issues. 2. Evaluate own learning and can improve key competences for furtherlearning, and promotes team training. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.


SMc10328

Audio Design I Fundamentals (3 ECTS) The role of audio in any multimedia experience is most often a secondary one, supporting the visual narrative going on screen. However, the particular nature of sound and the sensory nature of hearing make audio a very important factor of the immersive experience present in games and films alike. With many games featuring open world exploration, and with augmented and virtual reality having games encroaching on our physical space, the use of audio clues to help us navigate the game world is of utmost importance as is the use of sound effects to attract our attention and the use of ambient audio to locate us both spatially and emotionally in the virtual world. Audio Design I: Fundamentals includes a range of theoretical and practical audio-related areas, such as: theory and history of audio in games; soundscapes; elements of music composition; aesthetic analysis of environmental audio and music; recording studio skills and exposure to audio synthesis and procedural generation. Throughout, special emphasis is placed on design fundamentals of the audio experience within the larger context of a game.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Completes an audio production task within a set deadline. 2. Identifies areas for further improvement. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Physiological elements of the human body involved in aural perception of audio signals. 2. Various hardware and software tools for audio recording,synthesis, editing and playback. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Define psycho-acoustical properties of various environments. Describe the role of audio effects and music in game narrative and mood setting. Record, edit, and mix sound samples. Create soundscapes and sound effects to convey a particular mood or setting. Use the proper tools for the appropriate audio task.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1.

Make judgement on the quality of a recording and suitability to a particular context.

Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 15


SMc10329

Visual Design I Visual Narratives & Asset Generation (3 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

With vision being the main sensory input for humans, allowing them to perceive the world around them and their spatial position in relation to it, this study unit deals with the design of visual narrative fundamentals that allow authors to create compelling stories that engage and immerse the audience. Applicable to both computer games and other non-interactive media such as print and film, Visual Design I: Visual Narratives includes topics such as history, analysis and production in traditional art media such as painting, drawing and sculpture; communication fields like illustration, typography and graphic design. Special emphasis is placed on how visual aesthetics play a role in the game narrative experience, and thus on the fundamental visual design principles rather than on specific software packages that would limit the creative possibilities of our students.

1. Produce an artistic artifact within given limits and specifications. 2. Identify areas for further improvement. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. The role of art in the social fabric of communities throughout history. 2. The importance of diverse elements in visual representations. 3. The processes in creating characters for game art. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Convey a message through visual means. 2. Give life to a character through visual representation. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Apply proper colour and shading effects to textures. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

16 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


SMc10330

Maths & Science for Computer Games (4 ECTS) In order to facilitate players’ immersion into a game world, one needs not only a good story but also a believable game world that behaves according to expectations, which are either transferred from the real world or accepted to belong to the virtual world: either exclusively or shared with other games in the same genre. To implement such game world behaviour, most games use physics engines that coordinate the interaction of the player’s avatar with other game objects, and this study unit introduces students to the fundamental mathematics and physics needed to understand, and in future possibly implement, these behaviour that make game dynamics possible: whether it’s a ballistic trajectory in Angry Birds or a 9-car pile-up in Grand Theft Auto. Maths and Science for Computer Games explores aspects of physics and mathematics specific to game-programming while implementing them in an industry-standard Game Development IDE, giving the students hands-on practice with the implementation and tweaking of such behaviour.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Completes a gaming software development task within a set deadline. 2. Identifies areas for further improvement. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1.

Equip students with essential mathematics necessary to handle the kind of programming required to develop video games, especially within a 3D environment. 2. Familiarise students with the geometry and manipulation of basic objects in 3D, and their associated physics. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Able to give required proofs to justify solution chosen for given task. 2. Have working knowledge of the various methods of implementing curves and curved surfaces within a 3D game engine. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Applies mathematical techniques to solve rendering and physics problems. 2. Design basic enemy AI. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 17


SMc10333

Introduction to Algebra & Matrices (4 ECTS) A strong basis of algebra is essential for many disciplines within other mathematical and computing fields. This study unit thus enables the student to revise the work covered in Ordinary Level (or equivalent) relating to algebra and enables the student to build upon this knowledge to tackle more advanced problems in this field. Furthermore, this unit also introduces the student to the topic of matrices – a mathematical and convenient way of representing data in a table format. It introduces the student to the basic arithmetic operations involving matrices together with their use in the solution of simultaneous equations and transformations.

18 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Revise the use of directed numbers, fractions and BODMAS. Round numbers up or down depending on the required level of accuracy. Recognise the presence of surds. Identify the rules of indices. Carry out arithmetic operations involving surds and indices. Revise prime factorisation, highest common factors and lowest common multiples. Work out operations on polynomials including basic arithmetic, simplifying and expanding. Factorise polynomials through common factors. Factorise quadratic polynomials through common factors, difference of two squares and trinomials. 10. Evaluate sums involving algebraic fractions. 11. Factorise polynomials of degree of three or higher through the remainder/factor theorem. 12. Decompose algebraic fractions into their subsidiary partial fractions. 13. Evaluate expressions with the unknown in the power, using indices. 14. Identify the use of logarithms. 15. Identify and recall the laws of logarithms. 16. Convert between logarithmic form and index form. 17. Solve expressions with the unknown in the power, this time using logs. 18. Explain what a matrix is and use correct notation and terminology related to matrices. 19. Find the transpose of matrices. 20. Carry out arithmetic involving matrices including: addition, subtraction, scalar multiplication and matric multiplication. 21. Recognise the conditions necessary for matrix arithmetic. 22. Represent a system of linear equations in matrix notation and using the augmented matrix. 23. Solve a system of simultaneous equations in 2 unknowns using the inverse method. 24. Apply matrices in simple transformations.


Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Revision of secondary school mathematics mainly involving directed numbers, algebra and fractions. 2. Manipulation of further algebraic techniques such as logarithms, remainder theorem and partial fractions. 3. The formulation and manipulation of matrices and their applications in transformations. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Work confidentially material from secondary school mathematics such as directed numbers, algebra and fractions. 2. Tackle problems involving furhter algebraic topics such as logarithms, remainder thoerem and partial fractions. 3. Use and manipulate matrices. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Identify which algebraic technique to use in a particular context. 2. Recognise the need of advanced topics of algebra. 3. Recognise where to use matrix operations and recognise where in which contexts these will be applied in. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 19


SMc10334

Introduction to Graphs (2 ECTS)

Learning Outcomes (Competencies):

Various units in computing programmes require good and proficient use of graphs which were studied in secondary school. This study unit thus enables the student to consolidate the work covered in Ordinary Level (or equivalent) related to this unit and builds upon this knowledge to be able to confidently sketch and interpret a variety of graphs.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Plot and identify points within the Cartesian co-ordinate system. Interpret and obtain equations of straight lines. Sketch and interpret graphs of straight lines. Define the concept of the function and identify what constitutes to a function. Define and obtain the domain and range of a given function. Combine functions using arithmetic operations and composite functions. Sketch the graphs of constant, linear, quadratic, cubic and simple rational functions. Sketch functions involving exponential and logarithmic functions.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Revision of secondary school mathematics mainly involving graphs and functions. 2. Algebraic, logarithmic, exponential and simple trigonometric functions. 3. Graphs of basic functions and their transformations. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Work confidentially material from secondary school mathematics such as graphs and functions. 2. Tackle problems involving algebraic, logarithmic, exponential and simple trigonometric functions. 3. Sketch and interpret graphs of basic functions and their transformations. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Recognise and distinguish different functions. 2. Interpret and manipulate graphs of different functions. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

20 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


stmartins.edu/computing | 21


SMc10335

Introduction to Calculus (4 ECTS) This study unit introduces the student to a very important branch of mathematics. Calculus is the study of how things change and has very important applications relating to modelling and predictions. The unit looks into the three main branches of calculus; differentiation, integration and series. It provides the student with the mathematical foundations in these areas, necessary for applications which are found in other study units throughout the programme.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18.

Explain the concept of the gradient function. Recognise and use correct notations involving the first and second derivatives. Differentiate functions of the form y = axn. Differentiate functions using the chain rule, product rule and quotient rule. Use differentiation to find the critical points of a function. Determine the nature of critical points of functions by using the first and second derivatives. Find points of inflexion of a function. Sketch functions using all the information obtained above. Differentiate functions involving exand ln x. Distinguish between arithmetic and geometric series. Work out problems involving terms and sums of arithmetic and geometric progressions. Decide on whether a series converges and diverges and find the sum to infinity where possible. Express series in terms of the sigma notation. Expand series represented by the sigma notation and find their sums. Recognise and apply the notation for definite and indefinite integration. Carry out basic integration involving simple powers, logarithmic and exponential functions. Evaluate definite integrals in simple cases. Use integration to find the area under a curve or in between two curves.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1.

Differentiation and integration of basic rules and the application of such rules to more complex functions and graphs 2. Distinguishing between different types of series Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1.

Differentiate and integrate basic functions as well as apply these concepts in relation to curve sketching and areas under graphs. 2. Demonstrate and recognise the different types of series and solve problems using such series. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1.

Recognise the need for differentiation and integration and recognise where in which contexts these will be applied in. 2. Interpret problems involving series and recognise which series can be used in each case. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

22 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


SMc10337

Principles of Computing Architecture (4 ECTS) What do computing devices have in common? What are the basic building blocks of such devices? From laptops and tablets, to smartphones, game consoles and technological equipment at data centres, they all feature the main basic elements of an input-processoutput system and work with the binary system. Ultimately, all boils down to a series of ones and zeros, on and off signals or fluctuations in voltages and/or magnetism. But what is this all about? What does it entail? How are these stored, and how are they interpreted by the computer as instructions or data? This study unit is designed in order to answer all of these questions. It explores how the humble transistor, when connected in circuits, can in actual fact accomplish all of this. The unit gives the necessary understanding of the most basic of computer elements in order to understand the composition of the computer and how it works.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Determine the best computer architecture design for a given problem. 2. Identify client requirements and build or modify a system to suit their needs. 3. Assess a given system and report on its performance and any issues pertaining to the system that might have an adverse effect on the overall operations. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Outline the history of computers, including the five generations of computers. Explain the Von Neumann architecture. Explain the advantages of using the binary system in computing. Outline the difference between electronic, magnetic and optical memory. Explain how data are stored in these three types of memories. Explain main terms concerning memory, e.g. memory capacity, access time, transfer rate. Explain the components of the CPU and their functions. Explain how integers are represented in computers, e.g. using unsigned notation, signed magnitude notation, excess notation, and two’s complement notation. 9. Describe the functions of the operating system and its major components. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. Design a system according to requirements and depending on the functionality of the system, its desired features and performance. 2. Assemble a system according to a given design. 3. Prepare, install, configure and test a system to ensure proper and reliable operation. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Compare and contrast between different systems and be able to select an appropriate one to cater for client’s needs. 2. Decide whether a given system is efficient and effective for the task at hand. 3. Determine the right course of action to be taken to troubleshoot a given system to minimise on the downtime and other consequences. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 23


SMc10339

Implementing & Querying Databases (3 ECTS) This study unit complements ‘SMc10340 :: Core Database Principles’, giving the student a practical approach to the design, implementation, testing and maintenance of databases. Applying the concepts learned in the core study unit, students are able to take a database project through its entire phases – from design to implementation and maintenance. This study unit goes through the theoretical concepts of data definition and data manipulation, and focuses on how these are effected through a query language such as SQL. Learns will have the opportunity to assess their implementation and come up with suggestions to improve the system overall, in the context of the applicable scenario and problem domain.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Develop a design for a database in terms of a set of relations, given a written statement of the data requirements (scenario). 2. Implement a database based on an initial database design. 3. Query a database in terms of given criteria and be able to issue reports accordingly. 4. Take appropriate measures to improve the overall efficiency of databases and querying. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Express and query a database through a language such as an SQL dialect. Express and implement a database system using query language. Define the data objects at the conceptual level. Define integrity constraints.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Become proficient in creating databases using a query language such as SQL. Use data definition language to specify the data types and constraints on the data. Use data manipulation language to insert, update, delete and retrieve data. Transform and implement natural language queries.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Assess the performance of a query and determine appropriate action where needed. 2. Decide on a path to troubleshoot issues pertaining to a database system and querying, and take appropriate action accordingly. Learning Outcomes (Communication): 1. Be able to produce query results which are meaningful and present them appropriately in a manner than can be easily understood by non-technical persons. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

24 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


SMc10340

Core Database Principles (3 ECTS) Data is at the core of every information system and the overall usefulness, effectiveness and efficiency of a system, very much depends on the quality of its data. This study unit gives a wide perspective of databases, but focuses on relational database systems, predominantly used by businesses across many industries and sectors. The study unit introduces the student to the three main components required to design and maintain database systems: database concepts, database design (including ERD modelling) and normalisation techniques. The study unit introduces the student towards a solid understanding of the underlying concepts in databases such as relational theory and set theory. These concepts are then applied to good practices in terms of database design and modelling using different design notations. Finally, the students are exposed to the process of finetuning designs by looking at, and solving common issues of data handling such as entity-relational traps and data anomalies and inconsistencies, along with way of preventing each.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. Develop a design for a database in terms of a set of relations, given a written statement of the data requirements (scenario). 2. Implement a database based on an initial database design. 3. Query a database in terms of given criteria and be able to issue reports accordingly. 4. Take appropriate measures to improve the overall efficiency of databases and querying. Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Express and query a database through a language such as an SQL dialect. Express and implement a database system using query language. Define the data objects at the conceptual level. Define integrity constraints.

Learning Outcomes (Skills): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Become proficient in creating databases using a query language such as SQL. Use data definition language to specify the data types and constraints on the data. Use data manipulation language to insert, update, delete and retrieve data. Transform and implement natural language queries.

Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 1. Assess the performance of a query and determine appropriate action where needed. 2. Decide on a path to troubleshoot issues pertaining to a database system and querying, and take appropriate action accordingly. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 25


26 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


SMc10344

Introduction to Interaction Design (4 ECTS) Why do we design? How should we design? When should we design? Interaction design does not just happen. It has to be the philosophical foundation of and motivation behind any software. From the design of information systems to the design computer games, the user has to be kept at the centre of the process. This is easier said than done without the right tools and approach. We start this study unit by seeing how the relationship between users and machines evolved throughout the years and understanding what makes a user in the 21st century. Having said that, who is the user? Does the average user exist? This unit also provides an introductory background about the psychological and sociological profiles of users and what makes us all different. It is at this point that we can start venturing into the tools needed to deliver meaningful experience design. We will be exploring the importance of usability while practicing the principles of sketching tools and approaches to create initial prototypes that generate conversations and instigate feedback.

Learning Outcomes (Competencies): 1. 2. 3. 4.

Gain a historical perspective of the field. Identify user profile with respect to psychology and social context. Sketch illustrations that facilitate the appreciation of software and its use. Design information for different scenarios.

Learning Outcomes (Knowledge): 1. Recognise the importance of Usability. 2. Recognise and recall principles of design. Learning Outcomes (Skills): 3. Apply the principles of this field in relationship to other disciplines (e.g. Software Development, Psychology and Engineering). 4. Make use of usability concepts in appreciating, using and building interactive solutions for a range of applications. Learning Outcomes (Critical & Judgemental): 5. Crticise and improve interface designs. 6. Choose a User Centered Design approach. Learning Outcomes (Communication): 1. Sketch software interfaces. 2. Report on design principles that are present or missing in a given interface. Mode of Assessment: This study unit is examined through a mix of assignments, tests and examinations.

stmartins.edu/computing | 27


Glossary National Commission for Further & Higher Education (NCFHE)

The NCFHE was officially launched on the 14th September 2012 and is legislated by the revised Education Act’ which came into force on the 1st August 2012. Their mission statement is:

Higher Education

All non-compulsory non-formal and informal learning or research which serves to obtain a national qualification classified at Level 5 of the Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF) or higher, or a foreign qualification at a comparable level.

Malta Qualifications Framework (MQF)

The MQF assists in making the Maltese qualifications system easier to understand and review, and more transparent at a national and international level. The framework is also a referencing tool that helps to describe and compare both national and foreign qualifications to promote quality, transparency and mobility of qualifications in all types of education.

European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The ECTS is a system adopted by the European Union authorities to determine the value of a learning experience of a student at every level. 60 ECTS is equivalent to 5 contact hours to every credit which may include formal lectures, tutorials, supervised group work and other learning activities which are under the guidance of a lecturer and 15 hours of student self-study.

“To foster the development and achievement of excellence in further and higher education in Malta through research, effective licensing, accreditation, quality assurance and recognition of qualifications established under the Malta Qualifications Framework.”

28 | Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development


Learning Outcomes

Learning outcomes are statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process. Learning outcomes are used to express the requirements or standards set by the qualifications. They serve a variety of purposes: to recognise prior learning; to award credit; to ensure quality; to improve credibility; to increase transparency.

Academic Year

The academic year is spread over 36 weeks, 12 weeks for the Autumn semester (Oct to Dec), 12 weeks for the Winter semester (Jan to Mar) and 12 weeks for the Spring semester (Apr – Jun). Full-Time – lectures are normally scheduled from Monday to Thursday between 08.30Hrs and 20.00Hrs, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Fridays and/or Saturdays. Evening – lectures are normally scheduled between 18.00Hrs and 20.00Hrs from Monday to Friday, with the possibility that lectures may also be scheduled on Saturday mornings from 08.30Hrs to 10.30Hrs or between 10.45Hrs to 12.45Hrs. You will need to attend a two-hour lecture every week for each course chosen and alternate weeks in the case of half courses. Lectures falling on a public holiday will be reschedule on a Friday between 18.00Hrs to 20.00Hrs.

stmartins.edu/computing | 29


Phone +356 21235451 infodesk@stmartins.edu ©2017 Saint Martin’s Institute of higher Education Higher Education Institute License no. 196 by NCFHE

Diploma in Computing with Game design & development  

The Malta Qualification Framework (MQF) Level 5 Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development is a programme targeting individuals who...

Diploma in Computing with Game design & development  

The Malta Qualification Framework (MQF) Level 5 Diploma in Computing with Game Design & Development is a programme targeting individuals who...

Advertisement