The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming 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 the technical aspects of game development. 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 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.
Numerous profiles from the game industry and other higher education institutions have given this Bachelor's programme high praise. Professor Derek A. Burrill from the University of California once said: "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."
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.
The programme mixes practical game development and theoretical courses within game design and programming. In 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 programmer, you acquire the logic and technical skills and knowledge that are required to develop games using current as well as tomorrow's technology. The programme also trains practical production with other disciplines through several project courses.
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.
What programme are you currently enrolled in?
Game Design and Programming
What made you choose this programme and specialisation?
I knew that I wanted to study programming, and I also wanted to work with something creative. This programme was a perfect combination of both.
What made you choose Uppsala University?
It is one of the best universities in Sweden and the only one that provides this kind of education in English.
What are the best things about your Bachelor's programme?
The game projects provide me with opportunities to apply the acquired design and programming knowledge in a creative and constructive way. Besides this, watching people enjoy what you've done is a very satisfying part of the study process.
Describe how an average day looks for you
I study for 8 hours a day on average, including lectures and self-studying. I typically study at the university or library during the day from 10 to 16.
In the evening, I cook or hang out with friends
How would you describe the atmosphere in class and on campus?
The campus is relatively small and you meet your classmates and teachers everywhere you go. Everyone knows each other more or less, and it makes the atmosphere in general very relaxing and friendly.
What do you hope to do after you graduate?
Finding a job in the game industry.
What advice do you have for other students interested in applying for the same programme?
The programme is a good combination of game design and programming. The game design courses are inspiring while the programming courses provide you with practical skills. It is a good choice for you if you are interested in both subjects.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming comprises three years of study where the major subject Game Design is studied in parallel with your profile, the minor Computer Science, through both theoretical and practical project courses. All project-based courses are housed within Game Design. 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.
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 will get to choose what to study, which can also be used to deepen or broaden your study in the major or minor subject or studies abroad. The projects, like the theoretical courses, train academic writing and presenting, in preparation for the degree project that ends the third year.
There are extra courses in programming that you can choose in your free-choice for semester five in addition to the first programming courses which are offered during your first year.
The programming courses start from the very basics and will the first term lead to a small game development project, 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 dive in under the hood and provides a deeper technical understanding of the technology.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming is offered at Campus Gotland in Visby on the island of Gotland. Instruction is entirely in English. The main subject Game Design is studied together with the students from the other programmes.
The theoretical courses within game design are taught through lectures, workshops and smaller projects. The majority of 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 work with your specific role in groups, to produce complete games and that is when the teaching takes the shape of guidance and tutoring.
The Bachelor's Programme in Game Design and Programming theoretically and practically prepares you for a professional career within business, organisations, authorities or as a business owner. Find out where our alumni work.
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 experiences. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to build your own contact network for your future career.
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 the Master's level in or outside of Sweden.
Voices from three alumni "The game design education at Uppsala University 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 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
General entry requirements for first-cycle (Bachelor's level) studies in Sweden. Also required is advanced+ level mathematics (equivalent of Swedish course Mathematics 3c).
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.
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.
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.