Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • COMP2221 Programming Paradigms AND COMP2271 Data Science


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module focuses on modern, advanced techniques for realistic image synthesis and visualisation, presenting the theoretical background and practical, established algorithms for offline and real-time 3D graphics.


  • Introduction: basic image generation.
  • Physically-based shading.
  • Deferred shading, screen space methods.
  • Global illumination methods, BRDFs, ray tracing.
  • Path tracing, Monte Carlo integration, acceleration techniques, radiosity.
  • Tone mapping.
  • Shadows.
  • Procedural content generation and noise generation.
  • Animation.
  • Visualisation definitions and rationale, information visualisation, scientific visualisation.
  • Coordinate systems and axes, colour scales, etc.
  • Visualisation pipeline and visualisation architectures.
  • Visualisation approaches to scalar, vector and volume data.
  • Multi-scale, multimodal, multidimensional data, uncertain data.
  • Data types, signal filtering, major software platforms.
  • Perception.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of this module, students will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of advanced computer graphics and visualisation algorithms and techniques, and a critical awareness of how they are applicable to both current and emerging needs within the industrial and research environment.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • An ability to independently evaluate advanced research issues within the computer graphics and visualisation domain including state-of-the-art and common industrial applications thereof.
  • An ability to identify challenges and barriers to emerging issues within the computer graphics and visualisation domain and propose potential solutions.
  • An ability to propose, plan and carry out research focused on such approaches to support current and future software applications.
Key Skills:
  • An ability to exercise judgement on current research topics.
  • An ability to propose and apply the appropriate techniques to a range of industrial and research applications.
  • An ability to effectively evaluate and communicate technical information.
  • An ability to confidently use relevant research material in the development of existing and new application areas.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures enable students to learn core material in the different subject areas.
  • Summative assignment tests the knowledge acquired and the students' ability to use this knowledge to solve complex problems.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 20 1 per week 1 hour 20
preparation and reading 80
total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Assignment 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Example exercises are given during the course.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University