Master's Programme in New Media – Game Design and Production
Language of instruction:
Field of study:
The core competences which the students will develop are design, project management, prototyping, research, teamwork skills, and deeper skills in their own area of game design and production.
As a graduate you have
• understanding of games as systems,
• ability to take a key part in a game production group,
• understanding of the different competences needed in game production and
• capability to critically analyse and develop established traditions
Studies can be complemented with courses from related fields such as 3D animation, interactive storytelling and interaction design.
The programme is taught in English, and students can write their thesis in Finnish, Swedish or English.
The game industry is an exciting and growing field. You can find careers in game design, game programming, game art, game production, game scriptwriting and game research, depending on your study choices and background. Entrepreneurial skills can also be gained, e.g., through minor subject studies in the university-wide Aalto Ventures Program. Many students have started their own game companies, and all graduates will have completed projects in their portfolio.
The graduates are independent professionals who have the capacity to lead and manage the development of their professional field internationally. The curriculum of the programme is being developed in cooperation with other academic institutions and the industry, which supports the students' career planning. The Master's Theses of the students are being co-advised by external experts from the academia and the private sector.
Post-graduate study options
The programme gives a good foundation to continue to doctoral studies.
Content of the studies
Game Design and Production is a Major Subject within the Master’s Programme in New Media focusing on game design for interactive digital media. The education is project-oriented and provides a unique possibility for developing game design skills while also building conceptual understanding on games. You will deepen your skills based on a personal study plan. Multidisciplinarity is emphasized by the highly diverse backgrounds of students – one can apply with any Bachelor’s degree, and the students include programmers, 3D artists, animators, creative writers, architects, and even psychologists. The teacher network includes top game industry professionals and game scholars.
For further details on the education content, see 2018-2020 Study Guide
The Major Subject provides an excellent basis for an international career. A significant number of the department’s applicants, students, teachers and researchers are from abroad, and all the courses are taught in English. Students and researchers are encouraged to network internationally and have an option to spend a part of their studies abroad through any of our exchange programmes.
Programme-specific Admission Procedure and Evaluation Criteria
What we look for in an applicant?
- Strong professional interest towards game design and/or game production
- Insight into new media design and research related to games
- Demonstrated competence in a skill relevant to making games, e.g., visual art, programming, sound design, creative writing.
- Fluent English (both oral & written)
- Motivation letter
When needed, we also check additional info like portfolios or open source code repositories, if links have been provided. We appreciate experience in making games, both professionally and as a hobby (e.g., participating in game jams), ability to communicate well, a high level of relevant skills, motivation, and an innovative mindset.
In the second stage, the evaluation criteria consists of
Required application documents
Study Option’s requirements for the application documents are listed below. Please also note requirements for the application documents presented in the general application instructions. Attach each application document to the electronic application form in PDF form.
A portfolio is not needed in the first stage, but if the applicant has one, it’s good to provide the link for us in case we want to get more information about the applicant.
Applications must include the applicant’s CV (single PDF-file) indicating personal data, educational background, work experience, exhibitions, publications and articles, awards and grants, study trips and positions of trust. As a game applicant, please also add links to videos or other audiovisual documentation of your games or related work such as interactive computer graphics. Note that we will not be able to download and test executable software binaries or source code.
Applicants must write up a motivation letter of a maximum of 4000 characters in length, explaining why they wish to apply to the degree programme in question, what their particular interests are in the field, and what their hopes and expectations are regarding studies at Aalto University. The plan should explain the applicant’s personal strengths, areas of interest, professional visions and objectives.
Language of application documents
Application documents must be written in one of the following languages: Finnish (Swedish) or English.
Part of the applicants are invited to the second stage. The invitation to the second stage is sent to the applicants at latest 7 days in advance.
In the second stage the applicants should complete a set of preliminary exercises that we send them before the interviews. In the interview, the applicants should be prepared to present and discuss a portfolio of their previous work and projects. There will also be other questions about the applicant and their preliminary exercises.