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Game Programmer (Level 7)

Game Programmers / Developers create dependable and efficient software within the constraints of real-time graphical environments running on contemporary gaming platforms. Individuals provide their expertise in a range of areas including gameplay mechanics, asset pipelines, and custom technologies to keep the organisation at the forefront of the industry.

Apprentices will build on their existing core knowledge of games development and delve into both game software programming and game technology programming. With diversity and technology at its heart, a Kaplan Game Programmer apprenticeship is anything but standard.

As well as developing technical skills using a range of core technologies and platforms, apprentices build the capability and confidence to lead the design and development of bespoke systems and program reliable, efficient software to drive business change.

Ideal for more experienced programmers who interact with a community of programmers, providing technical authority and insight to Game Programmers, Designers, Producers, Artists, Animators, or Audio Engineers. They may also work with stakeholders such as publishers, platform holders, Producers, and Technical Directors.

If you’re seeking to maximise the benefit of time used as part of off-the-job training and develop technical capability coupled with sector relevant skills that can be directly applied to the role, this apprenticeship might be the right option for you.

This apprenticeship will benefit those who work within a video games development organisation. Individuals on this programme will typically be employed as a Developer Relations Engineer, Game Programmer, Gameplay Engineer, Gameplay Programmer, Mobile Game Developer, Rendering / Graphics Engineer, or Software Development Engineer - but this list isn’t exhaustive.

One of the key things to success is that the job role and Line Manager provide the opportunities, support and relevant work based projects to be able to contextualise and apply the apprentice’s learning back in the workplace, to gain real competency in that area.

An apprentice’s journey doesn’t end when their apprenticeship has finished. Although they will be fully competent in their role, they can continue their professional development by keeping up to date with the latest best practices and standards of the industry.

Regardless of age or prior attainment, anyone can do an apprenticeship provided they’re learning new skills and are employed in England, in a relevant role. Kaplan will support you to assess the job role suitability as part of your application.

To do this apprenticeship employers may specify that candidates must have at least a grade 4/C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English. If apprentices don’t have this level of Maths and English, Kaplan offers free resources and support to make sure they develop their understanding of the subjects and application by the end of their apprenticeship.

Employers could also ask you to have one of the following:

  • A minimum Level 4 qualification in a similar, technical subject. With an active interest in programming, having had informal learning in any programming language (preferably C++) OR
  • A non-technical bachelor’s degree with a minimum of one year’s working experience in a technical role. With an active interest in programming, having had informal learning in any programming language (preferably C++) OR
  • A technical bachelor’s degree with some elements of programming
  • Candidates with relevant working experience, but without formal academic qualifications, may also be considered.

Individuals will also be required to complete an entry test, checking their ability to understand programming in C++, logic, and Maths.


Level 7


Game Programmer


24 months with Gateway at 18 months

Costs / funding band

Free for learners

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About the programme

Specialist pathways

In addition to gaining broad core knowledge that supports them in their daily role, individuals on this apprenticeship will delve into two specialisms: game software programming and game technology programming.

Optimise your team’s workflows

The Game Programmer apprenticeship will help your people better understand the tools, technologies, systems, and methodologies to reduce performance bottlenecks, optimise resources, fix complex problems, manage stakeholders, and more.

Build on high demand skills

Apprentices on this programme will develop their C++ skills alongside others, to increase efficiency, productivity, and confidence in their daily duties.

Support for apprentices

Each learner has regular 1:1 contact and progress reviews to keep them on track, review their portfolio, and get them fully prepared for their final assessments.

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Included in this apprenticeship

Our Game Programmer apprenticeship integrates 11 modules of technical training with work-based projects. This ensures that learning and skills are directly applied to the apprentice’s role, and maximises the time used as part of off-the-job training. Individuals will gain core knowledge and specific technical training across both game software programming and game technology programming, to allow them to pursue their preferred area.

For each module, learners benefit from attending small, scheduled Live Online classes taught by a subject matter specialist, combined with additional online learning that can be completed at their own pace. Each of our live classes are interactive and discursive, giving apprentices quality time with tutors and sector peers to support the development of their knowledge and skills and bring new perspectives to their thinking. Learners also get practical lab time to hone their skills and practice using real data in a safe but simulated environment.

Game Programming 101

This module introduces learners to programming in C++. It will cover:

  • System set ups and compiling their first programme
  • The basics and importance of C++ versus other computer languages
  • Practical implementation of variables and structures
  • Theoretical and practical exercises of pointers and references
  • Variables, functions, structures, and semantics.
Game Programming

In this unit, apprentices will build on their Programming 101 knowledge and gain a deeper understanding of the C++ language. It will cover:

  • Theoretical and practical implementations of basic code and code specific to making games
  • Delivery of basic game logic
  • Code flow
  • Game loop flow
  • Object-oriented code
  • Memory management.
Game Theory

In this module, individuals will understand how their role provides technical insight across creative disciplines and communicates technical constraints or opportunities. In the industry, they could be working with Game Programmers, Designers, Producers, Artists, Animators, Audio Engineers, QA Staff, Project Managers, Analysts, Community Managers, or Marketing. It will cover:

  • How to think and act about games as a media format
  • How to interpret games as a product of entertainment, and how to work with them professionally.
Game Data Algorithms

This unit builds on the common computer structures used in game programming. It will cover:

  • Areas of use and the relevant advantages or disadvantages
  • Useful algorithms for game programming
  • Applications for different data structures
  • Linked lists, arrays, trees, graphs, and hash tables
  • Search and sorting.
Game Engine Theory

In this unit, the apprentice will get to know what a game engine consists of. It will cover:

  • The systems and modules that modern game engines consist of and how production teams use them
  • Concepts of a game engine and why they are needed
  • Modules that define a game engine.
Design Patterns

This module provides an understanding of design patterns in game development and how they are used to remedy issues. It will cover:

  • Knowledge of design patterns and how they can be used to streamline game programming
  • How programmers can develop and adapt to the needs of individual problems
  • Common problems in game programming
  • Choice of suitable design patterns and how these can be further developed.
Artificial Intelligence

Apprentices will understand what game AI is and how different aspects are used to create an entertaining experience for the user. It will cover:

  • Learning, testing, and implementing AI behaviour for projects and in separate applications
  • Basic AI behaviours
  • The difference between game AI and other types of AI
  • Implementation and testing of bespoke-created AI structures.
Advanced Game Programming

In this module, the learner will understand how to put together multiple components and make them work in a simple game application. It will cover:

  • C++ libraries as a practical view on threading
  • Creation of own libraries for reuse
  • Use of third-party libraries for graphic design
  • Parallel programming
  • Basic steps for creating a real-time game in C++.
Practical Procedural Generation

This unit gives apprentices the knowledge to know what makes up procedural technologies. It will cover:

  • Making procedural technologies to implement in applications and in-game projects
  • Practising and creating a procedural world
  • Theories for creating a realistic procedural generated terrain with objects
  • Create and implement a procedural generated AI.
Game Scripts

This module provides apprentices with an in-depth knowledge of scripting and the importance of the scripting interface. It will cover:

  • Integrating scripting into a game and the possibilities of dynamic scripting
  • Scripting with common script languages
  • Script language integration
  • Structure of game engine
  • Scripting with node trees.
Teamwork and Communication

In this final module, individuals will better understand how their role fits within a team and how to interact with their colleagues. It will cover:

  • Giving and receiving feedback from teammates
  • Team dynamics
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Feedback sessions.
Generative AI course

A one-day online course during which apprentices will learn about AI, discuss the theories and practice behind it, and leave with an action plan for further development. Bring significant value to your organisation with our Generative AI course.

Online development sessions

Our Game Programmer Apprenticeship programme also includes optional online development sessions. These interactive sessions focus on key Skills and Behaviours that will benefit your learners' development. For more information, please get in touch.

Skills development

To complement the technical training, apprentices will develop sector relevant skills at the right time for their job role.

Throughout the programme, the Talent Coach will support the apprentice and their line manager to identify opportunities to apply their new learning through work activities and projects. This provides a framework for the apprentice to develop and demonstrate the skills and behaviours required in a holistic way. The skills and behaviours are contextualised enabling evidence of competency to come from real-work that contributes to their business.


Programmes are running regularly throughout the year. View our timetables for scheduled Live Online sessions to see when the next one is running.

View timetables

Why choose Kaplan?

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Exclusive partnership

We have exclusively partnered with industry giants, Into Games and The Game Assembly (TGA), leveraging our joint expertise. TGA is consistently voted by the annual Rookie Awards as one of the best schools in the world for game development and design, and Kaplan is the first training provider to deliver this apprenticeship.

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Design and develop bespoke systems

Apprentices will enhance their existing skills, including C++, to ensure they can lead projects and manage teams tailored to the challenges and constraints of your organisation. They will be more empowered to make better decisions for the business and end-users alike.

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Comprehensive learning

Learners attend scheduled, interactive Live Online classes involving lots of practical discussion and application, and combine this with additional online learning that can be completed at their own pace.

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Expert teaching

Our tutors are all subject matter experts, with real world experience, and teach groups of diverse learners from organisations across the UK.

Support for employers:
  • Named client solutions point of contact to support you at every stage
  • Recruitment service to help you hire an apprentice for a new vacancy
  • Transparency throughout the application and onboarding process for your learners
  • Sector expert tutors and talent coaches delivering relevant training and development
  • Learning that is applied to your organisation through work based experience
  • Accurate, timely and accessible tracking for each learner
  • Line Manager visibility of your learner’s portfolio dashboards
Support for learners:
  • Tutor contact via email outside of scheduled classes
  • Regular 1:1 contact and progress reviews with their line manager and a named, industry experienced talent coach to keep them on track, review their portfolio and get them fully prepared for their End Point Assessment.
  • Peer to peer contacts from across the industry as part of a small cohort - creating opportunities to spark new ideas and get new perspectives
  • Apprenticeship ePortfolio to track their progress, capture off-the-job activity and hours, manage and capture progress reviews, upload evidence, as well as communication with their Talent Coach
  • Interactive lab environment to practise and put learning to the test
  • Student Service support available 362 days a year
  • Work based projects and support from a line manager to be able to contextualise and apply their learning back in the workplace

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