School of Art, Design and Architecture

MA Game Design

Take your skills to the next level with MA Game Design. Refine 3D modelling, 2D art and animation skills, level design and gameplay coding. Games industry experts will guide you through aspects of game design and development, game theory, and industrial contexts. You will develop your portfolio, and in the final module, work as a team to produce and ship a fully-fledged game.

Careers with this subject

  • Game Designer
  • Game Artist
  • Game Developer
  • Game Producer

Key features

  • MA Game Design blends enterprise incubation unit, academic study and creative lab. Emphasis placed upon critical reflection, experimentation and collaboration, combined with real-world training.
  • A vibrant interdisciplinary research community with opportunities to work with tutors who are specialists in a wide variety of games and digital media disciplines.
  • First class resources and facilities such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality, animation, digital suites,3D printing, laser cutting.
  • The opportunity to take part in field study trips locally, nationally and abroad, such as the EGX Rezzed and London Games Festival; Pictoplasma Character Design; and Animation Festival, Berlin.

Course details

  • Year 1
  • Core modules
    • GDES701 Playful Making

      Students build game creation skills through playful experimentation, exploring design and communication strategies such as pitching, storyboarding and rapid prototyping. Game design theory is introduced and put into practice through a range of prototypes and strategies. Students experiment with game engines, coding, and game art software, and the possibilities of alternative and experimental gaming platforms such as the city. The module culminates in a "game jam", where students create a functioning game prototype.

    • GDES702 Game Studies

      Students research and analyse game design theory concepts, investigating topics such as gamification, serious games, playbour, ludology, urban gaming, non-linear narrative, representation, realism and simulation, as well as critical research methods. The module culminates in an essay examining a particular game design concept and critiquing its use within a range of game texts.

    • GDES703 Game Craft

      Students choose a particular specialist games-industry skill as a focus for research and practice, developing their knowledge and expertise in their chosen area. Students may choose from any relevant area of study, such as character or environment art, creative producer, game and level design, game programming, audio design, narrative design and marketing. Students produce a final piece of work to demonstrate their craft, supported by a design journal documenting their process.

    • GDES704 Professional Practice

      This module aims to prepare students to engage with the games industry and broader economy and maximise their professional potential. Students research the commercial games landscape, investigating global markets, speculative models, job roles and workflows, with a particular focus on their chosen specialism. Students develop their online presence through professional social media profiles, portfolio sites and CVs, and produce new work to fill their portfolios, and critically analyse an element of the games industry in an essay.

    • GDES705 Final Project

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Game Design Programme Specification 6958

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

Normally a 2:1 degree or equivalent within an area relevant to the field of Game Design. But we will consider students below 2:1 if they can demonstrate a strong academic portfolio or a record of professional experience.

Candidates are interviewed before an offer is made.

IELTS score of 6.5 or equivalent required for overseas students.

English language requirements.

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

The University also has substantial experience in supporting mature students and welcomes applicants in this category. Applicants with APL will be considered on an individual basis according to the University Regulations Framework. Students interested in transferring postgraduate credits will be considered on merit and current University regulations regarding transfer of credits from other institutions will apply.

Applicants are not required to share a portfolio with us, however, doing so may allow us to guarantee you a place or consider applications that do not meet the normal academic requirements. A portfolio could include your 2D drawings, paintings, designs or animations, 3D models, game levels or mods, or examples of your coding such as programs, games or apps you have made.

Fees, costs and funding

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union.

New Student 2020 2021
Home/EU £7,800 To be confirmed
International £14,800 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) £450 To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances.

Additional costs

This course is delivered by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business and more details of any additional costs associated with the faculty's courses are listed on the following page: Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business additional costs.

How to apply

When to apply

Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full. 

Before you apply

Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance.

Disability services

If you have a disability and would like further information about the support provided by University of Plymouth, please visit our Disability Services website. 

International students

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.

Submitting an application

Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page).

What happens after I apply?

You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeks of us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.

We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail.

If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Email: admissions@plymouth.ac.uk 

Admissions policy

More information and advice for applicants can be referenced by downloading our Student Admissions Policy Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

<p>Master 3D modelling</p>
Master 3D modelling
<p>

Experience national and international fieldtrips

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Learn level design in industry-standard game engines
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Learn level design in industry-standard game engines

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Develop sought-after coding skills
<p>

Experience national and international fieldtrips

<br></p>
Experience national and international fieldtrips
<p>Hone your 2D art skills</p>
Hone your 2D art skills

Careers in the games industry and beyond 

A masters qualification in Game Design could lead to a career as a Game Designer or Game Artist, Developer, Producer or many other roles in the games industry. Your transferable creative and technology skills could also lead to employment as a designer, programmer or producer in other creative and tech industries.

The Digital Art and Technology Group

As part of the digital art and technology group at the University of Plymouth, MA Game Design builds on 25 years of excellence in interactive media education. The course is a new evolution of the Medialab Arts and Digital Art and Technology programmes, which have seen graduates go on to join the world’s top tech companies including Reddit, Facebook, Electronic Arts, Aardman Animation and Pixar, as well as find success as indie games developers, tech start-ups and world-renowned artists. Our team is a multidisciplinary collective of coders, artists, designers and hackers who work with data visualisation, games, virtual reality, robotics, interactive installations, sound design and everything else digital. We aim to future-proof our students, to prepare them for an ever-changing world, where technologies evolve, but smart thinking is always in demand.

Student work

See a variety of work from the subject group.

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Our research

  • B The exciting work going on in our research feeds back into the teaching on this course