What do you know about the technical aspects of game development? The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming offers you the logical and technical knowledge to work with the game medium on a professional level. You will learn how to develop games and new experiences within the field. The programme focuses on game development with C++ programming.
You will study at Uppsala University Campus Gotland, located in Visby on the island of Gotland, Sweden.
Why this programme?
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming provides skills in developing games for commercial production, as well as a deeper understanding of how games work and how they affect us and our society.
The programme mixes practical game development and theoretical courses in game design and programming. 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 communicate 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 programmer, you acquire the logic, technical skills and knowledge that are required to develop games using current as well as tomorrow's technology. Through several project courses, you also practice producing games together with students with other skill sets.
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 come to share their experiences and knowledge during recurring events. This provides plenty of opportunities for students to build their own network of contacts. Our 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 both 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.
How did you choose your programme?
My mom knew of the education through colleagues that recommended it to her and she visits Gotland a lot. I knew I loved game design and wanted to try programming so I felt like this programme would be a good choice. Visby also seemed like a very nice place to study in.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
They offer a lot of courses, which has definitely helped me broaden my knowledge in my favourite subjects but also made me discover new things. The teachers/professors are also passionate about their subjects so I feel like I get very invested in my courses with lots of inspiration from the teachers. I was new to coding but through tutoring, I've grown a lot and feel like I am advancing in my studies very quickly.
Do you remember your first impression of Visby? Please tell us!
Like many others I found everything to be very picturesque and cosy, especially during autumn when I first arrived. Since I am from a big city I noticed how Visby is much calmer and that everything runs at a slower tempo which is something I have come to enjoy and always long back to when I am away
What are three things on your calendar this week?
As me and my team are preparing to showcase our game that we have been developing for Gotland Game Conference, I'll need to bug fix and polish the game at the beginning of the week. On Wednesday evening our team will get together to prepare t-shirts to wear during the conference, make dinner and have fun. We have had regular get-togethers during the development as a way of celebrating our hard work and this time we will combine it with some last fixes for the event. Then on Friday and the weekend, we will showcase our game!
Describe the student life!
I feel like I have found some great friends that I can both study with and hang out with outside of lectures. When we study we usually stay around campus in smaller groups. It can get quite late at times but it is very nice to not be alone all the time while studying and we often go out to eat afterwards. In our free time, we do everything from game nights to going out to bars or just hanging out. When Rindi (the student union) is open or has planned some type of activity we go there as well, they had a very fun Halloween party last year which has been one of my favourite nights.
Three quick questions: What is your favourite place in Visby?
The boardwalk, which is close to campus. I always walk by it when I'm out on walks.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully as a programming lead of some sort at a bigger game company. I want to continue to learn about as much programming as possible. I will probably take some courses in other programming languages and AI as I find it very interesting.
Where is the best place to study?
Upstairs in the campus cafeteria, in the afternoon, it's spacious but also quiet.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming comprises three years of studies where the major subject Game Design is studied in parallel with your profile, the minor subject area in Computer Science, through both theoretical and practical project courses. All project-based courses are within the main subject area, Game Design. The project courses test and train both programming, game design and graphic production skills as students from all the Game Design programmes collaborate to produce games.
In this way, the programme provides a continuous opportunity to test and utilise your ability in realistic scenarios, since the project courses effectively model the challenges that must be faced when working in a diverse team of creative, artistic, organisational and technical individuals.
Game Design makes up 105 of the total 180 credits needed for a degree, while the minor subject makes up at least 30 credits. The programme also includes 45 credits where you will get to choose what to study, which can also be used to deepen or broaden your studies in the major or minor subject, or for studies abroad. Like the theoretical courses, these projects train academic writing and presenting, in preparation for the degree project that ends the third year.
The programming courses start from the very basics and lead to a small game development project at the end of the first year, after which the projects increase in complexity and size. Throughout the project courses, commercial game engines are usually used, where the focus is to code game logic, while the programming courses provide a deeper technical understanding of the construction of digital games.
In addition to the first programming and mathematical courses offered during your first year, there are additional courses in programming that you can choose as electives in the fifth semester.
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 Programming is offered at Campus Gotland in Visby on the island of Gotland. Visby is the best-preserved Medieval town in Scandinavia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Instruction is entirely in 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 courses include group work, which means you need to be comfortable with working tightly in a team with other students. The programming courses are lecture-based with continuous practical programming.
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 Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming prepares you, theoretically and practically, for a professional career within business, organisations, government bodies or as a business owner.
Former students have gone on to become both business owners running their own 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. A number of 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 graduates of the programme 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 own network of contacts 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.
As a graduate of the programme, you will be able to continue your studies at the Master's level in or outside of Sweden.
"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 advanced level mathematics (equivalent of Swedish course Mathematics 3c).
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.