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Digital Games Theory and Design MA

Course code

W280PDIGATDN

Start date

September

No placement available

Mode of study

1-year full-time

Fees

UK / EU:  £8,000

International:  £16,850

Entry requirements

2:2 (A-level)

N/A (BTEC)

N/A (IB)

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Overview

The games design industry, in the UK and worldwide, is growing and there is a demand for skilled and well-educated professionals to take gaming to its next level. Brunel’s Digital Games Theory and Design MA course will give you a comprehensive understanding of digital games and the techniques and principles used in their design.  

You will engage in, and experiment with, practical games design. You will focus on the process of devising the gameplay experience. This will include (but is not limited to) the creation of rules, gameplay mechanics, narrative, world design and user experience.

This is not a programming course and it’s not a graphics course, so there is no need for you to have programming skills or to have an art background. You will learn how to create your own practical designs, how to communicate your ideas to an audience, how to create games design documents, and you’ll also explore games studies.

You will have opportunities to make connections with other games design cohorts and industry experts. And we will encourage you to participate in extracurricular activities such as game jams and game-related networking events. These are all activities that introduce you to the broader social culture of the digital and creative world and are vital to being successful in the games industry.

The course is run by staff who are seasoned games designers and internationally published scholars who are active in the industry. They will share their enthusiasm and understanding of the nature of the video game industry, the importance of networks and the skills needed to create innovative games for the future.

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Course content

This exciting course teaches the creative process of games design. It covers the theory that underpins the formal characteristics of games as well as the social, cultural and historical contexts that shape the development of games, players, and society. Studying this course will help to fully equip you for your place in the games industry.

Students are expected to use the MA forum for discussions and are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular support activities such as game jams, local game related and networking events in order to practice the creative and technical skills developed throughout the programme and foster conversation and connections that are an invaluable part of the postgraduate experience.

The MA consists of compulsory modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.

Year 1

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Careers and your future

Upon completing the course, you'll have the potential to enter the games industry through a variety of jobs including level designer, quality assurance, project manager and games user researcher. Our MA will also help develop your expertise if you are already in industry and want to update your creative and technical skills to keep up with the latest developments in the dynamic field of games design. 

With confidence in their skills and their abilities, our graduates leave the course prepared to enter the games industry, and many of them have gone on to work for prestigious organisations including Hasbro, Rovio, Creative Assembly, Supermassive Games, and Ubisoft.

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UK entry requirements

  • A 2:2 (or above) UK Honours degree, or equivalent internationally recognised qualification, in arts, humanities, social sciences, multimedia, computing, or electrical engineering. 
  • Other subjects and qualifications with relevant games industry experience will be assessed on an individual basis and may also be considered.
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EU and International entry requirements

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 5.5 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 55% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason. We offer our own BrunELT English test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options through our Brunel Language Centre.

Please check our Admissions pages for more information on other factors we use to assess applicants. This information is for guidance only and each application is assessed on a case-by-case basis. Entry requirements are subject to review, and may change.

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Fees and funding

UK / EU

£8,000 full-time

International

£16,850 full-time

See our fees and funding page for full details of postgraduate scholarships available to Brunel applicants.

More information on any additional course-related costs.

Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase. 

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Teaching and Learning

The course offers a unique focus on practical design and on the theory of games. So if you’re passionate about games, and you want to understand how to design games and how to analyse and critically think about games, then this is a great course for you.

You have taught lectures in the first and second term. In term one you have a module called Critical Approaches and Games Design 1. In term two you have Socio-Cultural Contexts and Games Design 2. In the third term, which is over the summer, you’ll be studying for your MA dissertation which is based on supervisory meetings.

This is a one-year course which spans three terms. All taught sessions take place on one day a week - giving you the flexibility to work part-time or take care of personal responsibilities, as well as allowing you to complete your degree in one year.

Should you need any non-academic support during your time at Brunel, the Student Support and Welfare Team are here to help.

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Assessment and feedback

Assessment is via a combination of practical games-making work, presentations and essays of varying length.

You will also write a dissertation in the third term. There are no exams.

Read our guide on how to avoid plagiarism in your assessments at Brunel.