The Master Programme in Game Design provides you with the knowledge and skills required for advanced work in the game industry as well preparing you for continuing an academic career in the area of game design. As a game designer you learn the methods and skills that you need to master to achieve desired outcomes.
You will study at Uppsala University Campus Gotland, located in Visby on the Baltic island of Gotland, Sweden - the best-preserved medieval city in Scandinavia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Campus Gotland's environment is characterised by the close proximity between professors and students.
Why this programme?
Nowadays large games companies often have employees with research expertise working in development teams in order to evaluate player interaction and behaviour patterns and understand long-term effects and economic aspects of their products. In the design and development of games for entertainment, and games which have a primary purpose other than entertainment, there is a demand for game developers who can see and communicate the link between the reality that is portrayed in the game, the level of abstraction in the game, as well as its effects.
The Master Programme in Game Design offers you this higher level of scienctific proficiency through its combination of analysis, development and advanced studies. As a game designer, you will during this programme learn the methods and skills that you need to master to achieve desired outcomes.
Game design is a young discipline, and increased numbers of higher education providers, both in Sweden and internationally, are establishing game design as an area of study and research. The Department of Game Design aims to extend its offerings in doctoral studies in the future, either independently or in cooperation with one or more other subjects at the university.
The programme leads to a Master of Arts degree (Master of Arts,120 credits) with game design as the main field of studies.
The programme comprises two years of full-time study. Semesters one, two and four contain compulsory courses in game design.
The first semester consists of an introductory course containing a review of current research and development work in game design. This course includes theory and method as well as scientific writing, which prepares you for the degree project that you will write in semester four. In addition, the first semester contains courses in game analysis, presenting different methods of analysing games and their mechanics, structures and composition.
The second semester contains a course in game testing with an in-depth review of various ways of testing games, and a course on games and society, which deals with how games reflect their contemporary context. Further, there is a course in Pervasive Games, i.e. games that are played in the physical world as well as in the game world in such a way that public space becomes part of the game. The semester concludes with a course about game prototypes for research purposes, where you are given the opportunity to combine the theoretical and practical knowledge you have acquired during the programme.
In semester three you are able to choose courses - at first or second-cycle level - within or outside the department. Another option is to participate in international student exchange within the framework of the University's or the department's exchange agreements. During this semester the department offers courses in experimental game design and in various forms of storytelling.
The whole of the fourth semester is devoted to writing the degree project.
Instruction takes the form of lectures, seminars and workshops with oral and written assignments, to be carried out individually or in groups. Group work will develop your collaborative and communicative skills. During semesters one, two and three you will be writing longer reflective essays in preparation for your thesis in semester four.
In addition to traditional lectures and seminars your studies will consist of individual and group based self-study, revision and preparation for seminars and presentations.
You will demonstrate your ability to discuss results and draw conclusions in oral presentations in seminars, written reports, traditional exams, and, ultimately, in your Master's thesis.
The Swedish game industry currently employs about 5 000 people, and the industry organisation predicts continued growth. The Department of Game Design at Uppsala University retains a close relationship with former students, wherever in the world they are currently working or studying, through the game design alumni network. Our long-standing mutual relationship with the game industry is cultivated through active participation in industry events and discussions on envisaged future needs in terms of the desired skills of game designers.
As a means of nurturing active contacts with valuable representatives in the game industry and the academic world we host the annual Gotland Game Conference and the yearly event of the Alumni Days. This interrelation between industry and the department is further strengthened by our presence at industry fairs and exhibitions, and staff with links to the game industry. The department's alumni provide feedback about what skills and competences their workplaces expect from new graduates and how they have benefited in their own careers from the theoretical and practical knowledge they acquired during the programme.
The Master Programme in Game Design meets the entry requirements for PhD studies in human-computer interaction and neighbouring subjects, both in Sweden and internationally.
Bachelor’s degree with in-depth subject study in a main field of study specialising in games or gaming (e.g. game design, game development, game programming, computer and systems science, information technology). Knowledge of English corresponding to English 6 is also required (a Swedish bachelor’s degree meets the requirement for English).
Students are selected based on:
a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.