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BSc (Hons) Interactive Media

From programming to storytelling, our degree provides you with hands-on experience with the latest technologies.

2018/19 entry

UCAS code


Institution code



3 years full-time (plus optional placement year)

Typical offer

AAB (full entry requirements)

Start date

September 2018 (term dates)

UK/EU fees

£9,250 per year (2018/19)

International fees

£16,620 per year (2018/19)

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Interactive media has permeated almost every aspect of our lives.

Mobile apps, websites, games and social media have transformed the way we work, play, learn and interact with each other. But this is just the beginning. With new interactive technologies like virtual and augmented reality on the horizon, we are only just beginning to understand the huge potential of interactive media to transform and enhance our lives.

Our Interactive Media BSc will give you the power to create the new types of interactive media content that are transforming our society and culture. The unique multidisciplinary degree brings together technical, creative and socio-cultural perspectives on interactive media. You will be supported to develop your creativity, to acquire technical skills needed in the production of interactive media, and to have the ability to analyse and assess the impact of interactive media upon individuals and society as a whole.

The degree combines creativity with technical work, user experience design with computer programming, and human-computer interaction with critical contextual analysis of digital culture and society. You will gain hands-on experience of the latest digital technologies, study the theory and practice behind mediated interaction, and learn to assess the cultural implications of contemporary media developments. You may have the opportunity to find and secure a placement year in industry between years two and three of your course. Upon completion, you will be a well-rounded professional, attractive to a huge range of employers, from entertainment to finance, from technology development to design, from industry to academia.

Made in Creative UK

Made in Creative UK

The Department of Theatre, Film and Television supports the Made in Creative UK campaign.



Industry knowledge

Our staff are actively involved in creating games and other interactive media products.

Superb facilities

Motion capture studio, audio and edit suites, post-production and interactive media rooms.

Happy students

95% of our students are satisfied overall with the course. We're in the top 5 for 6 measures in the subject area, and at the top for Learning Opportunities and for Learning Community. Within the Russell Group we scored the highest for 6 measures in our subject area (NSS 2017).

The Interactive Media degree offers an ideal grounding for those wishing to work in the digital media industries, which increasingly require people to work with technology from a creative perspective. This is the course that will create the next generation of interactive media stars.
Charles Cecil MBE, Co-founder of Revolution Software

Course content

Innovation in interactive media requires an understanding of the field from technical, creative and socio-cultural perspectives. In the words of Steve Jobs, "technology alone is not enough — it is technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing". As a student on the Interactive Media BSc, you will gain a comprehensive skillset that combines programming and engineering, design and art, and media and cultural studies.

You'll learn how to understand and create interactive media software, content and products for a variety of platforms and uses including:

  • mobile apps
  • games and virtual environments
  • responsive websites
  • virtual reality
  • social media 
  • augmented reality
  • interactive television
  • digital art installations

The course is strongly academically based but also gives you the freedom to develop your own practical ideas from the first year onwards, as you create a portfolio to show to your future employers. You will have access to superb technical facilities, be surrounded by students studying closely interrelated degrees in media technology and production, and be taught by lecturers who are world-leading researchers in interactive media. You will also benefit from our excellent links with industry, through masterclasses, internships and employment opportunities.

Study abroad

There isn't a study abroad option for the Interactive Media degree, but there are several study options here at York.

Year 1

You'll learn the fundamental principles of software programming for media systems, how to create audio and visual assets and the nature of interactive storytelling. You will also explore the historical development and social and cultural impact of interactive digital media, ranging from video games to social networks and the Internet of Things.

Modules studied by our current first year students are: 

  • Programming for Digital Media – Learn about the syntax of a computer program and basic algorithmic structures. Develop digital media programming skills in the Processing language.
  • Introduction to Media Technologies – Learn about the science and technology behind digital images, videos, sounds and 3D graphics. Develop digital media production skills with industry standard tools.
  • Digital Culture, Aesthetics and Storytelling – Learn how stories are told in traditional and interactive media and study key issues in digital culture. Develop the ability to critically analyse interactive media systems.
  • Computational Thinking – Learn to solve problems with computers using algorithmic abstractions and computational models. Continue to develop your programming skills in Processing by turning your ideas into prototypes.
  • Developing Interactive Media – Complete the entire process of interactive media development, from concept creation to evaluation, while implementing a creative project idea of your choice.

Academic integrity module

In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.

Year 2

You'll continue to enhance your programming, media production, design and critical analysis skills and learn to combine them to create games, virtual environments, responsive websites and cross-platform mobile apps. You will also learn user-experience design techniques for understanding how users interact with interactive media and develop essential team working skills in a group project. At the end of the academic year, we'll support you in finding interactive media industry placements.

Modules studied by our current second year students are: 

  • Media Production for Interactive Environments – Learn to create 3D virtual worlds using the Unity game engine. Understand how levels and scenes can be designed to tell stories and create compelling experiences.
  • Web Application Design and Development – Learn to create high quality, usable and accessible web applications using the industry standard technologies HTML5, CSS and Javascript.
  • Interactive Media and Society – Continue to develop your critical analysis skills by applying key media theories to rigorously analyse the impact that interactive media has on culture and society.
  • User Experience Design – Learn user experience design methods that enable you to identify user needs and devise, design, and evaluate interactive media concepts and artefacts that respond to them.
  • Interactive Media Group Project – Develop essential team working skills by completing the entire process of interactive media development, from concept creation to evaluation, with a group of fellow students. 

Year 3

Develop your skills in the areas of interactive media that interest you most, by choosing four optional modules. Take a business, legal and professional issues module to prepare for employment. A major part of your third year is devoted to your final project, which allows you to develop an idea in depth and demonstrate all the skills and knowledge you've gathered during the course.

Modules studied by our current third year students are: 

  • Project Planning (compulsory) – Learn project development methods that will equip you to complete your individual project and plan projects in your future career. Develop an idea for your individual project with a tutor’s help.
  • Interactive Media Individual Project (compulsory) – Undertake a significant scientific, design or engineering project or a humanities dissertation in an interactive media topic that interests you.
  • Business, Legal and Professional Issues (compulsory) – Prepare for a job in industry by learning about key issues, including financial, legal, ethical aspects and marketing. Learn to develop business plans for your ideas.
  • Advanced Interaction Techniques and Technologies (optional) – Understand how cutting edge technologies like VR and haptics work. Learn interaction techniques for creating compelling user experiences with them.
  • Mobile Interaction (optional) – Understand technologies that enable and support mobile computing. Learn to create native mobile applications using Google’s Android platform.
  • Critical Design (optional) – Learn how to respond to complex situations and global societal challenges through the lens of interactive media by employing critical design theories and methodologies.
  • Gaming Industry and Culture (optional) – Understand key video game theory concepts and debates and explore the relationship between theory and practice in the context of game development.
  • Empirical Research Methods (optional) – Learn to design and conduct rigorous, scientific experiments that evaluate and compare users’ experiences of interactive media systems.
  • The Digital Self (optional) – Understand how digital technology changes and defines us as individuals, as social beings and as humans.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Learning by design

Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Initiate, plan and execute interactive media projects, both individually and collaboratively, using various creative, artistic, analytic, technical, organisation and communication skills. 
  • Identify needs for mediated expression, communication and interaction and devise, model, evaluate and communicate meaningful interactive media concepts and artefacts that address them, through the application of user experience design methodologies. 
  • Create high quality interactive media assets, including graphics, pictures, video, sound and virtual environments, through the application of aesthetic principles, understanding of human perception and application of dedicated authoring tools. 
  • Select, devise and apply appropriate algorithmic abstractions to model behaviour of interactive media artefacts and express such models in computer programming languages. 
  • Theorise interactions between media, technology and culture, and critique the social, political and cultural implications of such interactions employing relevant theoretical frameworks. 
  • Adhere to established norms of professional conduct that operate in relation to interactive media, including business, legal, regulatory and ethical aspects. 
  • Mediate conversations between people of various specialities involved in the process of interactive media development, including designers, art and content creators, software developers, business operators, and media analysts. 
  • Approach specific situations with creativity, analyse them critically and with rigour, and communicate ideas with clarity and persuasiveness.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees

UK/EU International
£9,250 £16,620

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.

Fees for subsequent years

  • UK/EU: further increases within the government fee cap will apply in subsequent academic years. We will notify you of any increase as soon as we can.
  • International: fees for international students are subject to annual increases. Increases are currently capped at 2% per annum.

More information

For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.


We offer a number of scholarships to help cover tuition fees and living costs.

Home/EU students

International students

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers accommodation costs and estimated social costs.

“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”

The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018

Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

York's BSc in Interactive Media is taught by academics at the cutting edge of research that also have hands-on industry experience. You'll learn through a mixture of lectures, small-group seminars, practicals, one-to-one tutorials and masterclasses with visiting industry leaders.

  • We're based in a £30m high spec building housing one of the best media and performance facilities in any UK university.
  • You'll learn in purpose-built computer labs and on mobile multimedia devices, with access to a wide range of interactive media, TV and theatre equipment for specialist projects.

Overall workload

As a guide, students on this course typically spend their time as follows:

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Lectures and seminars300 hours264 hours228 hours

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

The rest of your time on the course will be spent on independent study. This may include preparation for lectures and seminars, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.

Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours will vary from person to person. In UK higher education the expectation is that full-time students will spend 1200 hours a year learning.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television on Campus East.

Most of your contact hours will be in Theatre, Film and Television, with some additional teaching on Campus East.

Course location

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll complete several different kinds of written and practical assignments, including: exams, written essays, technical reports, computer programs and media examples.

  • For project work, you can choose themes that suit your interests, with the opportunity to develop a theme throughout the three years, moving from prototypes to research and development of a fully functioning system.
  • You'll receive feedback on all summative and formative assignments, mostly in the form of written comments.
  • Some classes use anonymous electronic quizzes to generate instant feedback and spark discussion with the whole class.

Percentage of the course typically assessed by coursework and exams

Year 1Year 2Year 3
Written exams25%0%0%

The figures above are based on data from 2016/17.

Studying Interactive Media was one of the main reasons I got my placement - the combination of technical skills and creative thinking was exactly what they were looking for. University definitely helped with my organisation and communication skills, and I have also used and built upon my practical knowledge of creative programming, UX design and even games development.
Rebecca, BSc Interactive Media

Read more on what our students say about us.

Careers and skills

Our graduates enter the professional world using their wide range of technical, design and analytic skills gained from the degree. The interactive media sector is one of the fastest growing areas of the economy and this degree combines rigorous academic work with the development of practical skills for you to succeed in this competitive industry. You will be equipped for roles such as web/AR/VR development, user interface and experience design​, games design and development, project management, digital content production and marketing, and further academic research. Employers of our graduates include EON Reality, Scott Logic, Netsells, the Open Data Institute, and FTI Consulting.

Hear what our graduates have to say about the programme.

Career opportunities

  • Web/AR/VR software developer 
  • Digital content producer 
  • Game​​ developer/designer/programmer 
  • Front end web developer 
  • Web designer 
  • User experience (UX) designer 
  • User interface (UI) designer 
  • Digital marketer ​ 
  • Project manager 
  • Engagement manager 
  • Social media manager 
  • Digital communications manager​

Transferable skills

  • Creative systems design
  • Critical thinking
  • Computer programming
  • Digital media production
  • Independent research skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Planning
  • Communication: oral presentations and digital media techniques
  • Time management
  • Writing: technical reports and critical essays

Entry requirements

Qualification Grade
A levels

Our normal offer is AAB

  • We sometimes make lower offers to applicants who can demonstrate talent and passion for the subject.
  • We don't accept General Studies or Critical Thinking.
GCSEs We look for a good standard at GCSE or equivalent, across a range of high-quality subjects.
Access to Higher Education Diploma 36 credits at Distinction and 9 credits at Merit or higher
BTEC BTEC National Extended Diploma: DDD
Cambridge Pre-U D3, D3, M2
European Baccalaureate 80% overall average
International Baccalaureate Obtain the diploma with a score of 35 points overall
Irish leaving Certificate H2,H2,H2,H2,H3,H3
Scottish Highers / Advanced Highers AAAAB at Higher Level

English language


6.5 overall, with 5.5 or better in each section

Pearson (Academic PTE)

61 overall with no less than 51 in all components

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

Grade C

Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

Grade A

GCSE/IGCSE/O Level in English (as a first language)

Grade C


To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

All applications must be made through UCAS. If your application meets departmental qualifications, we will notify you at least two weeks in advance if you are invited to attend an interview or a post-offer visit day. Both include a talk about the BSc in Interactive Media and tours of the department's state-of-the-art facilities.

All students considering study at the University of York are invited to attend a full University Open Day.

Next steps

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Department of Theatre, Film and Television

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