The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Graphics provides you with academic knowledge and skills in developing games for commercial production, as well as a deeper understanding of how games work and how they affect us.The programme specialises in producing art for game development, starting with 2D graphics for games and progressing on with 3D graphics, with several elective courses to specialise in later.
You will study at Uppsala University's Campus Gotland, located in Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden.
Why this programme?
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Graphics gives you the tools and skills you need to work with the game medium on a professional level and equips you to develop new expressions within the field. The programme mixes practical game development and theoretical courses within game design and graphics/expression in convergent media. In the programme, you will explore theories and methods in game design, game development and game analysis. Game developers need good communicative skills both to work with their team and to shape the game experience. To reflect this, the programme provides training in expression through text, imagery and games, as well as verbal communication.
As a graphics student, you learn to produce art assets for 2D and 3D games, combining theoretical and artistic knowledge with the technical skills inherent in the medium. Through several project courses, the programme also trains practical production in collaboration with students from other disciplines.
The programme usually has a vast variety of nationalities among students, and thanks to the high level of our students' productions, the education has a good reputation internationally. Invited professionals and academics usually visit the department to share their experiences and knowledge during recurring events. This provides you with opportunities to build a network of contacts for the future. Past students have a track record of winning prizes at the Swedish Game Awards, the largest Nordic competition for independent developers.
The Department of Game Design is a member of the Higher Education Video Game Alliance, a gathering of mainly North American higher game development educators where education, research, and industry questions are on the agenda.
The programme leads to a Bachelor of Arts (180 credits) with Game Design as the main field of study.
Name: Sofiya Nilsson from Sweden, Pim Hopstaken from The Netherlands
How did you choose your programme? Pim – I've always loved playing games. And I was looking for a university programme that seemed fun to me and something that would keep me interested throughout the entire three years. This programme really stood out to me because of the wider variety of subjects you get, and the fact that all of them seemed fun to learn about.
Sofiya – When I was researching different programmes that had 3D courses, Game Design and Graphics, Uppsala University came up as one of the options that looked interesting. I realised that they had a lot of interesting courses, which I thought would be fun to take. I did not think to go into game design initially but looking back it was a good choice to make. I have been challenged creatively and given lots of experience.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University? Sofiya – The best thing is the study spaces that we get to use to study, have meetings or just enjoy time together with friends playing card games or board games. The other best thing about studying at Uppsala University is the really great people you get to meet and become friends with.
Pim – For me, it is the fact that Campus Gotland is in such a nice location. I really love the peacefulness of Visby, even though it is not boring. It is the perfect place to study. I also love the interaction we have with the teachers and staff.
Do you remember your first impression of Visby? Please tell us! Sofiya – When I first moved to Visby it was such nice weather outside. It made me love taking strolls through the city going to different cafes and exploring the old town. The campus is located in such a nice area with a big park right outside as well as the sea being just a couple of minutes away. Visby is a very cute and cosy city and is a great study environment where you are able to enjoy both the calmness during the autumn and winter seasons and some more action during spring and summer!
Pim – It seemed much bigger than in the pictures. Even though it is very small, it still seems more sizeable and lively. The city is definitely very beautiful, and I still enjoy the sunsets every night.
What are three things on your calendar this week? Pim – This week I have class for my graphics minor twice and class for my game design major twice. Then at the weekend, I will go out with my friends or maybe just hang out at home and finish up on some assignments.
What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal? Pim – I study because I want to learn things and not necessarily for a certain job or career path. But I do really like the types of career paths that are possible with this programme. I would like to still explore what kinds of paths I can take.
Sofiya – My personal reason for studying is to learn the technical side of the job that I am striving for. Even though you can learn a lot on your own, getting helpful feedback from people that have either been a part of the industry or have a lot of experience is very important for your personal growth both as an artist and as a game designer.
Describe the student life! Sofiya – The student life in Visby is a lot cosier than in other student cities. You and your friends have a couple of spots that you usually hang out at and you get to know a lot of new people from both your own programme as well as from others, which makes it feel like you are a part of a small community.
Pim – Student life is great here. We have a student union with a bar. The best thing they organised was probably the “Lamning”, where new students get an introduction to student life on Gotland.
Where is the best place to study? Sofiya – For me, as a Game Design student, the best place to study is probably the G-house which is located near the main campus. It has some really nice rooms with big tables where you can freely put your stuff and stay for as long as you need to.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Graphics comprises three years of full-time studies, where the major subject Game Design is studied in parallel with the minor subject, Expression in Convergent Media, through both theoretical and practical production courses. All production courses are taken together with students from the other Bachelor's programmes in Game Design.
The graphics courses start from the basics by studying perspective drawing, character drawing, computer graphics, colour theory, composition, and animation. This leads to a game development project at the end of the first year. Your studies and the projects increase in complexity and size. In addition to the first graphics courses, a wide range of elective courses are offered during the fifth semester in, for example, motion-capture technology, 3D character animation or 3D environmental art.
Game Design makes up 105 out of the total 180 credits of the programme, while the minor subject in Graphics/Expression in Convergent Media makes up at least 30 credits. The programme also includes 45 credits where you can select courses to broaden your field of study or deepen your knowledge in the major or minor subject.
In the final semester, students in all the Game Design Bachelor's programmes will read a course in theories and methods in Game Design before beginning their Degree Project.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Graphics is offered at Campus Gotland in Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden. Visby is the best-preserved Medieval town in Scandinavia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The language of instruction is exclusively English. The main subject, Game Design, is studied together with the students from the other Game Design programmes.
The theoretical courses within Game Design are taught through lectures, workshops and smaller projects. The majority of the courses include group work, which means you need to feel comfortable working together with others. The graphics courses have continuous practical training in drawing, computer graphics and modelling.
The first couple of years includes one or two project courses, in which you work with your specific role in groups to produce complete games, as a programmer, graphic artist, or project leader but also as a game designer. During the work process, each group will receive supervision and guidance.
The autumn semester of year three is particularly well suited for studies abroad. You can either apply for the central partner universities or the partner universities with which the department collaborates. Students are offered a broad spectrum of opportunities for study abroad as Uppsala University has exchange agreements with more than 400 international universities.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Graphics prepares you, theoretically and practically, for a professional career within business, organisations, government bodies or as a business owner. As a graduate of the programme, you will also be able to continue your studies at the Master's level in or outside of Sweden.
Former students have gone on to become both business owners running their studios and employees at some of the most successful game studios in the world. Notable examples of companies where graduates have found work include Massive Entertainment, CD Project Red, Starbreeze, Crytek, Fatshark, Frictional Games, Ubisoft, Avalanche, Bohemia Interactive, Funcom, CCP, DICE, Activision Blizzard and Might & Delight, King, Star Stable and Mojang. Several former students also work within the Swedish higher education sector, teaching and running game design programmes.
One of the programme's strengths is its well-established contact with the game industry. This is why the programme's former students make up an especially useful network. Through yearly recurring events arranged by the department, notable individuals from the international game industry, former students and academics are invited to judge student projects and share their experiences. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to build your contact network for your future career.
The game industry is the largest and fastest growing business in the entertainment industry. It is in continuous development, which leads to a large demand for a broad spectrum of creative professionals with game development as the common denominator. Games are also increasingly being used in education, training and medicine.
"Visby is a wonderful place to study with a great environment, and where your classmates become family. If you ever lack inspiration you could just take a walk through the charming medieval town and along the harbour to recharge and gather new ideas and thoughts. During my studies, I participated in many game development events where students got to meet developers from the industry. I believe networking today could be as important as having a strong portfolio when it comes to getting a job in the industry today."
- Lisa Wackenhuth Svanström, 3D Artist at Star Stable Entertainment
During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Requirements: General entry requirements for first-cycle (Bachelor's level) studies in Sweden. Also required is intermediate level mathematics (equivalent of Swedish courses Mathematics 2a or 2b or 2c).
Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Selection: Students are selected based on:
their completed upper secondary (high school) grades (66%)
Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (34%)
Students who have completed their upper secondary (high school) studies outside of Sweden are selected based on their upper secondary grades. Students who have completed their upper secondary studies and have taken the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (only available in Swedish) are selected based on their upper secondary grades and their Scholastic Aptitude Test results.
Tuition fee-paying students and non-paying students are admitted on the same grounds but in different selection groups.
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.