Falmouth University Games Academy students standing in front of a large dinosaur model

Indie Game Development MA (Online)

Become a confident and daring indie game developer.

Key details
Location
Online
Course duration
2 years
Attendance
Part-time

Course overview

On this online Indie Game Development MA, you'll produce vibrant and engaging experiences for gamers. Analyse the principles of the creative process, from ideation and design through to delivery and dissemination. Integrate design tools, programming languages, game engines, as well as specialist middleware and frameworks into your game development practice.

Explore business models used by indie games studios to see how you could start up your own. And, if you already have a business idea, get it off the ground with help from a mentor.

You will:

  • Apply the principles of design and creativity to generate fun and playful experiences
  • Learn to use industry-standard platforms for making games and adapt to their technical constraints
  • Use methods from business and analytics to better understand how people engage with indie games and game companies
  • Adopt both technical and arts perspectives as part of a design thinking process to deliver novel games
  • Collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, an increasingly important skill in the games industry
  • Practice digital and non-digital game design across a range of application domains, including gamification and serious games
  • Keep and control the Intellectual Property (IP) of any games you produce

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Start dates: January / May / September

(Three intakes per year) 

Course details

Throughout this indie game development course, you'll learn how to produce original and creatively distinguished games based on your own intellectual property. You'll gain the ability to critically reflect upon and evaluate working methods and find the most effective ways to collaborate on projects. You'll also gain key professional skills in pitching your ideas; communicating concepts and presenting artefacts visually with clarity and enthusiasm.

Modules 

This course is comprised of five modules, four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). The modules have been specifically designed to be studied in a non-linear order, with the order in which you’ll study the modules depending on when you begin the course. All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.

MA Indie Game Development Online: Juan and Nick's Story

MA  

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. 

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details for the MA.

PGDip  

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required. 

From module information to course aims and assessment criteria, discover the full course details for the PGDip.

Module details

By devising a series of small-scale creative artefacts, you'll use your existing ideas about development practice and then experiment with new approaches to challenge these ideas. This will enable you to create a personal case study, from which you can define how to expand and enrich your practice. Beyond the personal case study, you'll gain a broader sense of the contexts in which these practices are applied across disciplines.

(30 credits)

You’ll develop and combine skills from the art, design and programming disciplines to create your own small indie game. This will help you understand how game development draws from many different disciplines and explain the different tasks involved in making games. By the end of the module you'll have made a game yourself and produced a report that explains the cross-disciplinary context for your creative process.

(30 credits)

You'll work in a team on a problem-led creative project. This will typically, but not necessarily, be a small game or creative app. You will work together to situate, design, implement and evaluate your creative artefact. With the support of a supervisor, you'll strategically manage scope, workflow, communication roles and responsibilities. At the end, you will have produced an original artefact, based on your own intellectual property, that clearly illustrates how you can engage an audience.

(30 credits)

In this module, you’ll design and prepare to launch a small business with a focus on indie game development. You’ll investigate and assess market opportunities in an area of your choice. This could involve exploring your audience, comparing how game businesses operate, contrasting business models, and considering how intellectual property can be managed. You’ll then decide which business opportunity your indie game is responding to and devise a business plan. You’ll consider branding, cash flow modelling, enterprise planning, incorporation, seeking further investment and interrogating routes to market. This will underpin further development and launch of your indie game.

(30 credits)

You’ll work on a major research and development project, either independently or with others. This will allow you to expand and consolidate your skills of devising, developing and executing an extended development project. You can build upon your projects from other modules or develop a new concept. You should finish the course with a polished project of a publishable quality. A supervisor will act as your mentor and adviser. If you’re planning to start your own business following this MA, your supervisor can direct you to professional services staff for business mentoring.

(60 credits)

The modules above are those being studied by our students, or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.

Studying Indie Game Development online means you'll be part of the renowned Games Academy, which was ranked in the top 30 games schools worldwide by the Princeton Review.

Headshot of MA Indie Game Development student Sarah Masters
MA Indie Game Development student Sarah Masters

Graduate spotlight: a new sense of self-confidence through indie game development


Game developer Sarah Masters wants her work to make a positive difference in the world. Having recently graduated from our master’s in Indie Game Development, she’s currently undertaking a PhD as part of the world’s largest games research programme. 

Read more

How you'll learn

You'll learn through a blend of lectures, webinars, guest talks, tasks and discussion forums, which you'll access via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you'll find all key documentation, get course announcements and access extensive learning resources. 

You'll be supported academically by Online Tutors, who will also deliver weekly webinars and facilitate the online forums. If you need assistance with anything that isn't directly related to course material, a dedicated Student Advisor team will be on hand to help. You'll also have access to Falmouth University's excellent employability service, RealWORKs.

You'll refine dynamic development practices, spending 20-25 hours a week working on your craft. We incorporate optional face-to-face events for all our online students. There will be up to two per year and will typically run over weekends, to fit around your other commitments.

Find out more about learning online

Study hours

A postgraduate student should dedicate at least 20-25 hours per week for study.

Assessment methods

Assessment provides the course team with a means of offering tailored guidance alongside advice on how to progress knowledge and skills in key areas that relate to the course Learning Outcomes. The course team will identify your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and discuss them with you throughout your time on the course.

Assessments are 100% coursework, submitted in an electronic format to the virtual learning environment, and designed to reflect professional practice. Assessment methods include:

  • Projects
  • Portfolios
  • Pitches
  • Papers

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Staff

The Indie Game Development course is part of Falmouth’s Games Academy, one of the largest dedicated game development studio spaces of any UK university. You'll learn from industry experts with years of experience across disciplines, bringing together art, animation, audio, design, programming, production and writing. Some members of staff only teach on specific modules.

Some members of staff only teach on specific modules, and your course might not feature every staff member who teaches on the course.

Dr Jamie White

Course Coordinator, UX Design and Indie Game Development

As Course Leader for the Games Academy's online master's courses, my responsibilities involve managi...

Dr Jamie White

Facilities

  • Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • Study alongside students from around the world
  • Accessible online audio / visual content
  • Optional face-to-face events*
  • Invitation to attend alumni events
  • 24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
  • Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
  • Students' Union community
  • A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
  • Access to our Careers and employability service RealWORKS

*Please bear in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic may impact these events. You can view the latest information here.

 

Woman at a computer with a lion illustration on the screen
Indie Games student at computer

Careers

Our game development graduates have worked as:
 
  • Game developers at companies such as MediaTonic, Firesprite, Creative Assembly, Project Gamechanger and Rare
  • Creative AI specialists at companies including Ultrahaptics, Solutionpath and Bewsign
  • Researchers and developers at companies such as Facebook
  • Further study at doctoral-level in artificial intelligence and/or data science, sponsored by the likes of Google

Our graduates have a track record of producing successful indie games. Published titles include: Get Packed by Moonshine Studio, Soria by Polargryph, SAI by Studio Mutiny, RoBoats by Animal Puree, Kick Your Astronaut by SquirrelSoft and Karate Krab by Liquid Sapling. Visit Our Games page to find a selection of real games that Falmouth students have collaborated on.

How to apply

An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification is desirable. However, candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. If you'd like to discuss our entry requirements, speak to an advisor.

For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) either request information with our easy online form, or read about it on our apply page.

If English isn't your first language, you'll need to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficiently developed for successful completion of your studies. We accept a range of recognised English language qualifications that are equivalent to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic minimum score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.

This course has three intakes per year: January, May and September.

Academic start date* Application deadline
23 January 2023 5 January 2023
29 May 2023 8 May 2023
25 September 2023 4 September 2023 

Please note:

*Virtual Welcome Week begins the week before the academic start date. During this time, our Student Advisor team will host Welcome Webinars and be in touch with practical information on how to study online.

An Early Bird discount is available for early applications. The scheme offers a £300 MA tuition fee reduction if you apply by the Early Bird discount submission deadline:

Early Bird discount submission deadline* Academic start date
28 November 2022 23 January 2023
3 April 2023 29 May 2023
1 August 2023 25 September 2023

*If you receive an offer and within two weeks you accept the place and pay the acceptance fee, you will then qualify for a further £300 off your MA tuition fees. Both these payments would be applied to your final fee instalment.

To discuss all our discount opportunities, contact an advisor.

Speak to an advisor

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees

£11,795 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - 2 years part time - MA/MSc course

£7,865 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - PGDip course

£12,150 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - 2 years part time - MA/MSc course

£7,921 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - PGDip course

Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible. 

The figures above don't include accommodation and living costs

Typical course costs

As part of studying Indie Game Development you will require:

Laptop/computer

A desktop/laptop at an expense of around £1,300, capable of running game engines (such as Unity and Unreal Engine), and 3D modelling software (Blender and Autodesk Maya, for example), as well as our virtual learning environment.

Optional face-to-face events 

You will be expected to cover your own travel, accommodation and subsistence costs to attend these events. 

Ask a student

What better way to find out about life at Falmouth University than by asking our current students?

From course details and academic support, to the social scene and settling in, our students are ready and available to answer any questions you might have. Simply set up your account, send them a question and they'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Request information

Do you have questions about the course or studying at Falmouth? Fill in our simple online form and we'll get in touch to support your application journey.

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