Study options

Game Design and Development - Computer, Communication and Information Sciences, Master of Science (Technology)

Game Design and Development is a multidisciplinary major that tightly integrates students from different backgrounds. Students create and analyze games, experiment with new technologies and design approaches, and meet like-minded talent with whom to build the future of games and interactive experiences.
Aalto University / Climbing wall / Photography Mikko Raskinen


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

30 Nov 2023 – 2 Jan 2024

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Science

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies) Read more

Applying to master’s programmes


Game Design and Development is a multidisciplinary major that offers a unique mix of technical and artistic aspects of game development. The major is known for producing outside-the-box thinkers who have the ambition to push the boundaries of game design. Using a project-based, hands-on with minds-on approach, the major in Game Design and Development cultivates a strong community of students from diverse backgrounds seeking to support and collaborate with one another. 

Upon graduating from the Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Development, graduates will have: 

  • Deep understanding of games and game players from a psychological and behavioural viewpoint. Graduates are able to analyse games and determine what makes a game entertaining. They also understand the emotional and cognitive aspects of human beings and know how to design engaging gaming experiences. 
  • Wealth of skills and knowledge fueled by the latest research, technologies, and design tools. The “hands-on with minds-on” approach has allowed graduates to deepen their existing expertise and build a strong set of cross-disciplinary skills based on their personal interests. 
  • Extensive portfolio of games. Graduates will have a portfolio of completed projects, which helps in getting into the games industry. 
  • A visionary and groundbreaking mindset to shape the future of games. Graduates have the confidence and experience needed to make their unique vision come to life and bring forth a new generation of games. 
  • Capability to take responsibility for various design decisions. Graduates can effectively adjust to unforeseeable and changing situations that may arise during the design and implementation processes. 

Webinar | Game Design and Development

Want to hear more about Game Design and Development? Watch the webinar recording from fall 2020 where programme representatives and students tell more about the studies and answer some of your questions.

Watch the recording
Person climbing on an augmented climbing wall

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.

More information on tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available at the Scholarships and Tuition Fees webpage.

Structure of studies

The Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Development comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:

  • Major (40 or 60 ECTS)
  • Possible minor (20-25 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (25-30 ECTS)
  • Master's thesis (30 ECTS)
Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences


Graduates of the Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Development will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (in Finnish, "diplomi-insinööri"). Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS) offers a sibling Game Design and Development programme that leads to a Master of Arts degree. The Master of Science (Technology) path is recommended for students with a strong technical background. By their content, the two programmes are alike and organised in close collaboration with one another.

The programme is tailored so that students have the freedom to put together a highly personalised study plan based on their specific areas of interest. The major compulsory courses intend to give students a broad understanding of game design, i.e. set the foundation for their unique expression. Optional courses allow students to complement their core competencies with fields such as 3D animation, interactive storytelling, sound design, interaction design, and machine learning and AI tools for art and design.

Additionally, students may choose courses from all Aalto schools according to the personal study plan. It is strongly suggested that students venture outside their comfort zone as the greatest ideas often happen at the intersection of disciplines.

Through the courses in the Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Development, students are immersed in a wide range of topics such as level design, game balancing, games user research, and game design psychology. To give concrete examples of the topics covered, here are some courses picked from the programme’s extensive curriculum:

  • Games Now! (3-5 ECTS)
  • Game Design (5 ECTS)
  • Computer Graphics (5 ECTS)
  • AI in Media, Art, and Design (3 ECTS)
  • Introduction to 3D Animation (3 ECTS)
  • Introduction to Sound Design and Music (6 ECTS)

More information on the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide. There may be some changes to the courses for the academic years 2024–2026 — the new curricula will be published in April 2024, when they will also be visible in the Student guide.


In the Master’s Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Development, the topics and themes are universal and global, thus graduates can take their skills to any country in the world. As Finland is a gaming industry hub, the programme attracts a high number of international students. In addition, students can develop their global competencies by:

  • spending a semester at one of Aalto University’s partner universities around the globe
  • taking a summer course abroad
  • carrying out practical training abroad
  • carrying out master’s thesis research abroad

Aalto University is international by nature, welcoming thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad each year. These students join the diverse Aalto community not only through their studies, but also through multiple free time events, celebrations and extracurricular activities around the campus. Programme administrators, active student tutors and student support services work rigorously to help international students integrate into Nordic culture and welcome them at home in Finland.

Further study opportunities

The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).

Career opportunities

Video and mobile games are a thriving industry both in Finland and abroad, and the career opportunities pertaining to the creation of games are growing continuously. Typical career paths can be divided into three main categories:

  • Working in a top game studio as, for example, a game designer, game artist, programmer, producer or scriptwriter. Our students and alumni have gone to work at major Finnish game studios such as Supercell, Remedy, Rovio, and Ubisoft Redlynx.
  • Taking an entrepreneurial path and starting one’s own company. Some of our student games like Pako and Shadow Bug have enjoyed worldwide success and critical acclaim.
  • Following an academic path and becoming a researcher in the field

Thanks to the flexible curriculum, many Aalto students work already during their studies and secure themselves an industry position even before graduation. There is also a very active entrepreneurship community at Aalto, working as a springboard for founding a company.

Unto Rautio

School of Science graduates in working life

School of Science Master's graduates are highly successful in finding jobs corresponding to their education. On this page you can find information on job titles, job sectors and career development of our graduates.

School of Science

Research focus

The studies in the programme are closely related to the research conducted at the Department of Computer Science by professors such as Perttu Hämäläinen, Christian Guckelsberger, Robin Welch, and Jaakko Lehtinen. 

Co-operation with other parties

Game design is a multidisciplinary field by nature, bringing together experts from various backgrounds. The programme embraces a multidisciplinary approach that supports the development of “T-shaped” skills, providing students with the benefits of both specialisation and generalisation. While students have the opportunity to dive deep in a single field of their interest, the programme strongly embraces collaboration across disciplines which fosters creativity and provides students with a breadth of knowledge. Students are also encouraged to take on very unique and personalised study paths, enabled by the large variety of elective courses available.

The teacher network includes both games industry professionals and scholars. The programme also welcomes internationally acclaimed visiting specialists and guest speakers. There are also multiple visits organised to international game industry events in Finland and abroad during the studies.

Overall, Aalto University is well-known for bridging disciplines of business, arts, technology and science. The lively campus and freedom of choosing elective courses across the university bring students from different fields under one roof. This spontaneous multidisciplinary environment sparks new ideas, gathers enthusiasts around them and gives birth to friendships, networks, and every so often, startups.

Programme-specific admission requirements

The programme-specific admission requirements for the next student intake will be updated below by the end of August 2024.

Game Design and Development applicants meeting the general eligibility criteria for master's studies are evaluated according to the below Evaluation criteria. The evaluation process is described under Applicant evaluation process. In addition to the obligatory application documents, this study option asks the applicants to submit also the documents listed under Requested documents.

Chat with Aalto students

Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto on Unibuddy chat platform.

Chat with our students!
4 student ambassafors taking a selfie

Get to know us

Three happy students in overalls in the Aalto University metro entrance

Study at Aalto

Do you want to study in the Nordics in Finland? At Aalto University science and art meet technology and business. We believe in the power of curiosity and encourage our students to explore the unknown as well as to learn and do things in a whole new way.

A guy peeks from behind fresh green birch branches. Photo: Aalto University / Unto Rautio

Get to know Finland and Aalto

Finland’s excellent reputation in education, combined with a wide range of courses offered in English, makes Finland and Aalto University an attractive study destination for international students.

Study at Aalto

Contact information

Learning Services at Aalto University School of Science

For enquiries regarding the programme-specific application documents or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science

[email protected]

Admission Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services

[email protected]

  • Published:
  • Updated: