Content of the studies
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 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 New Media – Game Design and Production, 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)
- Human-Computer Interaction (5 ECTS)
- Introduction to 3D Animation (4 ECTS)
- Introduction to Sound Design and Music (1-5 ECTS)
The programme follows a hands-on with minds-on approach that forms a dynamic combination of theory and practice. Through various group projects, students develop their communication and negotiation skills as well as advanced project management skills. Communication skills are practiced not only through teamwork but also by developing and pitching game concepts, as well as creating game marketing materials.
A concrete example of developing students’ creativity and proactivity is the Game Project course where students design, develop and publish their own games. The faculty finds it crucial to help students develop a strong game design portfolio that enables them to stand out in the industry.
The teacher network includes both games industry professionals and games scholars. The programme also welcomes internationally acclaimed visiting specialists and guest speakers. Other learning methods include regular excursions to game companies, industry and peer feedback on students’ games, as well as thesis advisors from the industry. There are also multiple visits organised to international games industry events in Finland and abroad during the studies.
Overall, the Master’s Programme in New Media – Game Design and Production comprises a total of 120 ECTS credits. The two-year programme consists of:
- Major (40-65 ECTS)
- Possible minor (20-25 ECTS)
- Elective studies (25-35 ECTS)
- Master's thesis (30 ECT)
Personal Study Plan (PSP)
The Personal Study Plan (PSP) is a practical tool to define a student’s own study path, compiling an optimal selection of courses that are aligned with the student's interests and programme requirements. PSP is also a useful tool for students to keep track of their studies. At best, it shows where students are with their studies and sets concrete milestones for them to follow.
For further details on the education content, see study guide 2020-2022.