Master's Programme in Computer, Communication and Information Sciences – Game Design and Production

Game Design and Production 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




2.12.2019 – 3.1.2020




2 år, heltidsstudier


Lämplig lägre högskoleexamen


Det tekniska utbildningsområdet


120 studiepoäng


Högskolan för teknikvetenskaper


€15000/år (magister studier) för studeranden från länder utanför EU/EES

Ansökningsperioden har slutat

About the studies

Study objectives

Game Design and Production 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. 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.


Career Opportunities

The profiles of the graduates include e.g. game programmer, game designer, and game studio founder. Our best student games, such as Pako, Shadow Bug, and PlusMinus have enjoyed worldwide success and critical acclaim. Our students and alumni work at all major Finnish game studios such as Supercell, Remedy, Rovio, and Redlynx.


Graduates of the programme will graduate with a Master of Science (Technology) degree (diplomi-insinööri in Finnish). 

Post-graduate studies

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).

Tuition fees

The tuition fee is €15 000 for non-EU/EEA students. Further information is available on Scholarships and Tuition Fees page (aalto.fi).

Study contents

The Game Design and Production major is organized in collaboration with the Aalto University School of Arts, Design and Architecture (ARTS). The M.A. in New Media programme of Aalto ARTS has a “sibling major” with the same name, which you should apply to if you aim for a Master of Arts degree instead of Master of Science. Both majors share a large portion of the courses, but 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 consist of 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. Please note that there may be changes to the curriculum for 2020-2022. The new curriculum will be published in April-May 2020.

Choosing a main subject or field of specialisation

The main subject is Game Design and Production.

Doctoral Track

Game Design and Production major offers also a competitive doctoral track where a limited number of top students can be admitted. Students selected to the doctoral track can have their studies tailored towards pursuing PhD studies and can start working towards a PhD in one of the department’s research groups already during their Master studies. Applicants are asked to indicate their interest in entering the doctoral track in the application form. The best doctoral track applicants will be interviewed. Read more>>


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.

Examples of Master’s theses: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/39850 and https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/38966


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 include 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.

Research focus

The topics of the major are linked to ongoing research focus areas in the Department of Computer Science at Aalto University School of Science.

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
  • databases
  • 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 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.

Phase I

Evaluation of the applicant’s 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.

Phase II

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 compulsory application documents, applicants to the programme are requested to provide the following study-option-specific documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)*
  • Motivation letter*
    • The motivation letter should be written in English. The maximum length of the motivation letter is about 4000 characters.
  • At least one original recommendation letter (preferably academic)
    • You can upload the recommendation letter(s) to your online application form. There are no specific instructions for their content.

*) The lack of these documents will adversely affect the evaluation of your application.

In addition, these additional documents add value to your application:

  • Course descriptions of courses taken in relevant subject areas (see the subject lists above)
    • You can either copy the course descriptions from the university website or study guide or summarize them yourself. A list of most important topics covered will suffice.
  • Work certificates and certificates of other relevant achievements
  • Copies of any publications
  • Official transcript of records for other university studies which are not included in the mandatory part of the application
    • With documents related to degree studies, follow these instructions. With other higher education studies (e.g. open university or other non-degree), upload the documents to your application as part of the study-option-specific documents.
  • GRE or GMAT test results, if available
    • Please upload the test result to your study-option-specific documents.

The application should explain the full educational history of the applicant.

General instructions on study-option specific documents

All additional application documents described above 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.

Upload the documents to your online application form in pdf-format. Name the file(s) according to format: Name of the document-Lastname-Firstname (e.g. CV-Lastname-Firstname.pdf). Maximum file size is 1.0 GB.

The study-option-specific documents must be uploaded for each study option separately, even if you use the same document (e.g. CV). Please check carefully the study-option-specific document requirements for each study option you apply to.

The deadline for the study-option-specific application documents to be uploaded to your application form is 10 January 2020 at 15:00 (GMT +2).

Contact information

For enquiries regarding the application process, required compulsory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at [email protected].

For enquiries regarding the study-option-specific application documents, doctoral track or studies in the programme, please contact Learning Services at Aalto University School of Science at [email protected].

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