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Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Production
About the studies
Game Design and Production is a multidisciplinary major that tightly integrates students from different backgrounds. Students of the programme get to create and analyze games, experiment with new technologies and design approaches, and meet brilliant people with whom to build the future. In addition to a deep understanding of games, graduates will have a portfolio of completed projects, which helps in getting into the games industry. The teaching staff includes both game industry professionals and game scholars.
The profiles of the graduates include e.g. game programmer, game designer and game studio founder. Our best student games, such as Pako and Shadow Bug have enjoyed worldwide success and critical acclaim.
Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish).
The programme qualifies for doctoral studies (Doctor of Science in an applicable field).
Language of instruction
The language of instruction is primarily English, and the programme can be completed entirely in English. Some courses can be taken in Finnish or Swedish. More information is available in the General information about studies page (aalto.fi).
The Game Design and Production major is organized in collaboration with the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS), and both schools offer a major that share a large portion of the courses. However, the mandatory courses differ, and the CCIS students have more technical courses on topics, such as computer graphics and artificial intelligence.
Structure of the studies
The Master's degree (120 ECTS) is composed of studies in major (40-65 ECTS), possible minor (20-25 ECTS), elective studies (25-35 ECTS), and Master's thesis (30 ECT).
Students can select their minor either from the other majors in the Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences or from the other Master’s programmes offered by Aalto University. The elective studies can consists of an additional major courses, additional minor, multidisciplinary courses, or studies abroad.
Additional information on the curriculum of the programme is available on the student portal Into.
Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation
The main subject is Game Design and Production.
Students are required to complete a Master's thesis, which is a research assignment with a workload corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. The topic of the thesis is agreed upon by the student and the supervising professor. Master's theses are typically written for a company or for one of the research projects of the department(s) in question.
The study environment in the programme is strongly international, and studies are conducted in multicultural groups. The School of Science offers diverse possibilities for student exchange all over the world. Exchange studies can be included in the degree e.g. as an international minor. Other possibilities for developing one’s global competence are e.g. conducting practical training abroad, taking a summer course abroad or acting as a tutor for first-year students.
Co-operation with other parties
The Game Design and Production faculty collaborates closely with national and international industry and research institutes. Many of the lectures are given by visiting teachers from the games industry and other universities. Visits to companies and conferences are also organized.
Programme-specific admission requirements
Applicants to the programme must meet the general eligibility and language requirements that are common to all Master's programmes in the field of science and technology.
The admission criteria to the programme is a high quality Bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, communications engineering, or electrical engineering. Excellent candidates with degrees in other fields such as information systems, engineering, natural sciences, mathematics or physics will be considered if they have sufficient studies and proven skills and knowledge in the required areas.
Required background in the Game Design and Production major:
- mathematics (linear algebra, calculus, probability theory, statistics, and discrete mathematics)
- good programming skills
- algorithms and data structures
- theory of computing
- computer networks
- software engineering
- project and team work
Knowledge of the following areas is considered an advantage:
- game design
- audiovisual design and production skills (3D modeling, 2D art, sound design, video editing)
- participation in game projects and jams
Evaluation criteria for Game Design and Production major
The major in Game Design and Production is organized in the two schools of Aalto University: the School of Science and the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. A group of students representing a variety of skills, backgrounds and talents are chosen every spring. Depending on the school attended, the student graduates with either M.Sc. (Technology) or M.A. (Art and Design). Correspondingly, if you have background in technology/engineering, you should apply to the programme through the School of Science (current page), and if your background is in art/design, you should apply to the major through the School of Arts, Design and Architecture.
The evaluation of applications is conducted in two phases.
Evaluation of the applicant’s paper application based on the above criteria. Special attention will be paid to the major-specific required and additional background knowledge.
During the evaluation, we value especially prior involvement in game production, e.g., participation in game jams and the creation of interactive software and technology, e.g., computer graphics. This experience is best demonstrated as videos to which links can be provided as part of the application documents.
Based on the evaluations in Phase I, the best applicants will be invited for interviews. Skype or phone interviews will be used with those applicants who do not live in Finland.
Applicants will be required to complete a set of assignments prior to interviews and a portfolio pitch as part of the interview.
Note that both prospective M.Sc. and M.A. students go through the same application process for the Game Design and Production major, but the focus of the portfolio evaluation and interview will vary depending on which degree is being applied for.
Required application documents
In addition to the mandatory application documents, applicants to the programme are requested to provide the following additional documents:
- at least one original recommendation letter (preferably academic)
- GRE or GMAT test results, if available
- official transcript of records for other university studies which are not included in the mandatory part of the application
- copies of any publications
- work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
- course descriptions of courses taken in relevant subject areas (see the subject lists above)
The application should explain the full educational history of the applicant.
Applicant’s motivation letter (compulsory part of the online application form) should be written in English. Also additional application documents described above (recommendations letter(s), course descriptions, work or other certificates, and publications) should preferably be submitted in English. If some other language than English, Finnish or Swedish is used in them, the applicant must provide precise, word-for-word translations of them.
For enquiries regarding the application process, application documents and language tests, please contact [email protected].
For enquiries regarding the content of programme and studies at the School of Science, please contact Learning Services of Aalto University School of Science, [email protected].