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.
Admission procedure and programme-specific requirements
The selection happens through the Aalto ARTS master's students admission process. We seek candidates who already possess advanced skills in one or more aspects of game creation (e.g., design, programming, animation or 3d modeling), and have a passion to both deepen and broaden their knowledge. The application process consists of two stages: 1) a written application which describes your background, experience and motivation and 2) a set of assignments followed by an interview, which also includes a portfolio pitch.
Game Design and Production Major applicants should have
- strong professional interest towards game design and/or game production
- insight into new media design and game related research
- some proven design competence
- fluent English (oral / written)
Relevant former studies and working experience is appreciated, as well as hobby projects and game related activities.
If you are applying with a programming background, you can also consider our MSc Major in Game Design and Production which works in very close collaboration with our Major.
Portfolios are not required in the first stage of the application process, but adding a link to your portfolio in your CV is encouraged, if you have one. (Also, in the second stage we want to see some of your work samples.)
CV (curriculum vitae)
Applications must include the applicant’s CV 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 should upload their CV to the application system in a single PDF-file before sending the application.
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 the School of Arts, Design and Architecture. The plan should explain the applicant’s personal strengths, areas of interest, artistic and design visions and artistic objectives.
Language of the application documents
All the application documents should be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English.
Other programme-specific application instructions
At the second stage of the application process there will be some homework, and during the interview the jury needs to see some of your other work samples. In the homework package there will be detailed guidelines how to proceed. If you are getting to the 2nd phase of the admission process, you will get the homework package and the invitation to the interview via email.