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The Games Design department hosts a dynamic community of researchers who work in a wide and diverse range of topics. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and we engage with Research Groups at Brunel, an extensive network of researchers and scholars at other universities nationally and internationally, and professionals in the Games and other creative industries. Our current research includes:

Games Design

  • Prototyping Methods
  • User Interface & (player) Experience Design
  • Economic theory (including classical Game Theory) as a tool for numeric Game Design
  • Multi-sensory immersive game experiences

Games Studies

  • Transdisciplinary work looking at player agency in games through philosophic, artistic, anthropological, technological lenses
  • The effective use of a wide range of theoretical perspectives in practical design
  • The relationships between analog games (board games, role-playing games, live role-playing games) and digital games
  • Genre Studies

Games & Education

  • Game-based learning (GBL) / Mobile game-based learning (mGBL)
  • Microlearning design for adult learners
  • Games for Change – using games for awareness and social innovation

Games & Art  

  • Digital media art (style and graphical vocabularies)
  • Game Design as experiential art creation that transcends technology
  • Art Education / Teaching and learning in creative disciplines

Games & Music

  • Ludomusicology
  • Socio-Cultural Studies, Games and Music

Games & Design Research

  • Notions of Performing and Making through Play as an experiential design method

The department offers an inclusive research culture that brings together academic staff, and students in lecture series, game jams, seminars, and workshops. Our undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes are closely aligned with staff members’ research expertise.

Postgraduate students joining us are welcomed into a thriving research culture, and are encouraged to engage in pioneering research projects supported by lecturers who are active in theoretical research and creative practice.

Journals we (co)edit

Department staff are engaged in editorial roles on the Journal of Games and Virtual Worlds (Intellect Ltd).

Current Collaborations

  • Octopus 8, a multi-platform games development and publishing organisation. 4-5 games a year for four years have been published through the initiative.
  • QinetiQ, a British multinational defence technology company. Looking at how off-the-shelf commercial games can be used for training purposes

Research Centres

The College hosts two research centres:-

These centres promote international, interdisciplinary and high impact research by acting as key points of contact between academics, practitioners and the wider community, organizing major events, and hosting associated researchers.

Research Degrees

You are very welcome to undertake your PhD or MPhil in one of our research areas and work alongside our researchers. As a research student you'll benefit from the latest work by internationally-renowned academics and the support of our Graduate School. Many of our research initiatives involve successful collaborations with industry, the public sector, business and government, both in the UK and overseas. We have many funded and non-funded research degree opportunities available. For more information, visit our Research Degrees homepage