The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Project Management at Campus Gotland in Visby gives you the tools to work with the game medium on a professional level and to develop new experiences within the field. The programme specialises in leading and planning game projects. Former graduates have started their own studios and work at some of the world's best known game companies.
You will study at Uppsala University's 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. The Campus Gotland environment is characterised by close proximity between professors and students.
Numerous profiles from the game industry and notable higher education institutions have given the programme high praise: "This game design programme is one of the best that I have seen, particularly the polymorphous approach to design. The code is only as good as the player experience, and this shows. Also, there is a political approach that inflects design that gives many of us hope for a mature and complex industry of the future." - Prof. Derek A. Burrill, University of California
Why this programme?
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Project Management provides skills in developing games for commercial production, as well as a deeper understanding of how games work and how they affect us.
The programme mixes practical game development and theoretical courses within game design and a minor subject of your own choice. Throughout the programme we 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 experience that the game will provide. To reflect this, the programme provides training in expression through text, imagery and games, as well as verbal communication.
As a project manager, you will acquire skills and knowledge to plan and lead game production projects from inception to release. This includes group dynamics, planning and game-specific production methodology. The programme also trains practical production with other disciplines through project courses.
In 2014 the Department of Game Design was entered into 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.
Name: Erin Siikavaara From: Born on Ireland but have moved from place to place Programme: Game Design and Project Management
How did you choose your programme?
– I chose the programme because I believed I would be given the skill to run projects, and I have dabbled with the ideas of making games since High School. I was looking at the English programmes on universityadmissions.se and I stumbled upon the course. I felt it would be a good fit so I decided to try it.
What is it like to be an international student?
– It can be a bit difficult at times. Sometimes my teacher's English skills are lacking, making them hard to understand. Socially it can be a bit difficult. I tried doing one of the Rindi sittnings (dinner at the Gotland's student union) and it was all in Swedish... Most of the time, I feel I am in good company, the Swedish students are all fluent in English, which is pleasant, and all the other international students are the same way.
What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University Campus Gotland?
– Most of the teachers are willing to sit down and discuss things with you after class, making this a good learning environment.
How did you experience your first few days in Sweden?
– That being in 2010… It was strange, and I was shipped to Norway for a week soon after. Having spent my life moving from place to place, I do not suffer from culture shock that often.
Describe what a normal day is like for you?
– In the mornings we have class or group work. I usually lunch with my classmates and group. Some days I go and spend time at Skuggspel (a game store), having made friends with the store owner. I then try to work on an assignment and eat dinner that I cook at the beginning of the week. On Friday nights I either work the Bar, because I joined a bar team, or hang out with my classmates at Rindi.
What is something unique about your programme?
– I enjoy the actual DOING part of the course. We do not use a lot of theory in our major. The hands on experience is awesome.
What is your reason for studying and your ultimate goal?
– My favourite game is The Last of Us – it took me on a "feels" trip. I first watched a "Let's Play" of the game, not the type of game I typically play but I fell in love with it, and I had to play. I want to create something that will give someone else the same emotional journey. My favourite story arc in the whole game was one easily missed, experienced by reading little notes picked up along the way. To work on something so large scale like that game, I would need an education. It was also time I moved on with my life.
Describe the student life
– I thoroughly enjoy working the Student Union bar at Rindi. There is a group of people that I do not have classes with, whom I think of as a team. We support each other. I have seen what people will do to make another feel comfortable. In a perfect world, people like these would not be necessary, but I am glad they exist.
Three quick questions What is the best thing about Visby as a city?
– Visby is cute. I enjoy being able to walk and ride my bike anywhere.
What is your favourite student tradition at Uppsala University?
– I would say the "Lamning" was great.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
– Probably working for a larger gaming company like Blizzard or Sony.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Project Management comprises three years of full-time studies where the major subject Game Design is studied in parallel with the minor Computer Science through both theoretical and practical project courses. Courses within Game Design, where all project based courses are housed, are read together with the other programmes within the area of Game Design. Game Design makes up 105 credits out of the total 180 credits, while the minor subject makes up 30 credits. The programme also has 30 credits where you get to choose what to study, which can also be used to deepen or broaden your studies in the major or minor subject.
The minor and major subjects are studied in parallel. Both subjects contain theoretical courses as well as practical, project-based courses. The project courses test and train both game design and art production skills as students from all 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.
The projects, like the theoretical courses, train academic writing and presenting in preparation for the degree project that ends the third year.
The project management courses start from the basics and will lead to a small game development project, after which the projects increase in complexity and size. The project management courses teach group dynamics, project planning, leadership, risk management and conflict management.
Uppsala University has a wealth of cooperation agreements providing many options for studying abroad. The autumn semester of year three is particularly well suited for studies abroad.
Courses within the programme
Semester 1 Game Design 1 - Introduction, 15 credits Minor Subject, 15 credits
Semester 2 Game Design 2 - Game Development, 7.5 credits Game Production 1 - Arcade Games, 15 credits Minor Subject, 7.5 credits
Semester 3 Game Design 3 - System Design, 15 credits Minor Subject, 15 credits
Semester 4 Game Design 4 - Serious Games Design, 7.5 credits Minor Subject or optional courses, 7.5 credits Game Production 2 - Vertical Slice, 15 credits
Semester 5 Optional courses*, 30 credits *within major, minor or other subject, alternatively studies abroad.
Semester 6 Game Design 5 - Theory and Method, 7.5 credits Game Design 6 - Experimental Game Design, 7.5 credits Degree Project, 15 credits
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Project Management is offered delivered at Campus Gotland in Visby on the island of Gotland. Instruction is entirely in English.
The theoretical courses within game design are taught through lectures, workshops and smaller projects. The majority of the courses include group work. The programming courses are lecture-based with continuous practical programming.
Every year includes one or two project courses in which you will work with your specific role in groups to produce complete games, and teaching takes the shape of guidance and tutoring.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Project Management theoretically and practically prepares you for a professional career within business, organisations, authorities or as a business owner.
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, notable individuals from the international game industry, former students and academics are invited to judge student projects and share their experience. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to build your own contact network for the career ahead of you.
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 Blizzard Entertainment, Massive Entertainment, Starbreeze Studios, Crytek, Fatshark, Frictional Games, Ubisoft, Avalanche, Lionhead, CCP, DICE and Might and Delight. A number of former students also work within the Swedish higher education sector, teaching and running game design programmes.
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 within education, training and medicine, under the name Serious Games.
As a graduate of the programme, you will be able to continue your studies at Master's level in or outside of Sweden.
Voices from three alumni "The game design education at UU equipped me with an indispensable understanding of the framework of both trust and craftsmanship that is inter-disciplinary collaboration. It offered a comprehensive overview of the development process of interactive media while also letting me build my personal portfolio. It has been an instrumental piece in my success in the game industry both as an artist and manager." - Nicodemus Mattisson, Concept Art Director at Virtuos
"I think that the time on Gotland was an excellent opportunity to make my first contacts in the industry. All the founders of Toadman started their journey on Gotland. The chance to spend years to immerse oneself in game development and to meet like-minded people is invaluable." - Robin Flodin, CEO at Toadman Interactive
"Visby is a wonderful place to study at with an 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
General entry requirements for first-cycle (Bachelor's level) studies in Sweden. Also required is intermediate level mathematics (equivalent of Swedish course Mathematics 2a/2b/2c).
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies. The minimum test scores are:
IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
their completed upper secondary (high school) grades (67%)
Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (33%)
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.
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.
The Student Portal provides logged-on students access to course and programme pages, study results, e-transcripts, information from the student unions, file area, webmail, and more. In order to log on, you must have applied for a student account. The course and programme pages in the Student Portal can be seen without being logged on here. The pages contain basic information plus those features that the department has chosen to make accessible.