Indie Game Development MA (Online)

Falmouth University Games Academy students standing in front of a large dinosaur model
Indie Game Development Msc 2022

Become a confident and daring indie game developer, producing vibrant and engaging experiences for gamers.

Key details
Course duration 2 years
Attendance Part-time

Request information

Apply for MA

Apply for PGDip

Get a prospectus

Start dates: January / May / September

(Three intakes per year) 

Course overview

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 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

Course details

Throughout this 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.

Image of game cover for Sol 705 - we see an old man with a telescope, a girl with blonde hair and purple streaks and a cat.
Sol705 Cover

Student shortlisted at Swiss Game Awards


Patricio Land was nominated at the 2021 Swiss Game Development Awards for his point and click graphic adventure Sol 705.

The game is Patricio's tribute to the golden age of gaming - the '90s - where point and click titles ruled the day. 

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

Check out the stories below to discover more about our incredible community.

Two characters from opposing teams on the FPS game Blade Gunners. One man wears blue, the other purple. Both carry guns
Game art Blade Gunners

Student projects celebrated at 2022 Games Expo

06 June 2022

The Falmouth Games Academy have celebrated the end of the academic year in style with the latest ite...

Student projects celebrated at 2022 Games Expo
Logo for the Falmouth Showcase 2022
Showcase 2022

The Falmouth Showcase is coming: 21-26 May 2022

10 May 2022

Hungry for inspiration? On the hunt for fresh talent? Discover our next generation of incredible cre...

The Falmouth Showcase is coming: 21-26 May 2022
User Experience Design online students inside the Games Academy
User Experience Design face to face event

Online UX Design students revel in collaborative workshops with industry leaders

22 April 2022

Students on Falmouth's online master's course in user experience design recently met up in person fo...

Online UX Design students revel in collaborative workshops with industry leaders
A group of Roblox avatars stand together in a virtual cityscape
Roblox cropped

Student secures internship with gaming giant Roblox

19 April 2022

First year Game Development student James Cox has been accepted onto the accelerator programme for R...

Student secures internship with gaming giant Roblox
Games academy students sit side-by-side looking at computer screens
GA students

Games Academy ranked alongside the best in the world

29 March 2022

Falmouth University’s Games Academy has once again secured a place on the Princeton Review’s lis...

Games Academy ranked alongside the best in the world
Josh and his daughter
Josh Brough

Emotional maturity and thinking deeply: How studying an online MA has helped this UX Design student to thrive

04 March 2022

UX Design student Josh Brough has recently secured a job at Cornwall fashion and lifestyle brand Sea...

Emotional maturity and thinking deeply: How studying an online MA has helped this UX Design student to thrive
Photo of Game Development graduate Madison Riley
Madison Riley

How the Games Academy helped this graduate realise her creative potential

17 February 2022

Madison Riley tells us how her degree helped her accelerate into the games industry.  ...

How the Games Academy helped this graduate realise her creative potential
A Minecraft image still of bridge over river of water and fields in the background
Minecraft image still

8 best open world indie games to play right now

11 February 2022

Unlike games with fixed levels and linear paths, open world games let players roam freely in the vir...

8 best open world indie games to play right now
A student creates a digital drawing
Game Jam Drawer

Students level up at the Global Game Jam 2022

10 February 2022

Games Academy students co-created games with gamers worldwide as part of the 2022 Global Game Jam. ...

Students level up at the Global Game Jam 2022
Gaming company character standing in front of a rainbow
Dull Dude logo

Indie Game Development lecturer scores prestigious funding for indie game company

11 January 2022

MA Indie Game Development (online) Senior Lecturer Iain Lobb has been awarded funding by t...

Indie Game Development lecturer scores prestigious funding for indie game company
Women In Esports 1
Women In Esports 1

Widening participation in Esports: in conversation with Elise Dennis

08 December 2021

Elise Dennis is a final year Game Development student and a professional esports player. Here, she d...

Widening participation in Esports: in conversation with Elise Dennis
Hands typing on a keyboard with playstation controllers on the table
Indie Game Controllers

5 ways to market your indie game

03 December 2021

This piece is written by Iain Lobb, award-winning game developer and Senior Lecturer of MA Indie Gam...

5 ways to market your indie game
Image of game cover for Sol 705 - we see an old man with a telescope, a girl with blonde hair and purple streaks and a cat.
Sol705 Cover

Indie Game Development student shortlisted at national game awards

18 November 2021

MA Indie Game Development online student Patricio Land was nominated in the Best Entertainment Game ...

Indie Game Development student shortlisted at national game awards
Kaya 1
Kaya 1

Games Academy on a hot streak as student team wins funding from Tranzfuser for third year running

05 November 2021

Falmouth student gaming team Meteorite Media have received development funding from industry leading...

Games Academy on a hot streak as student team wins funding from Tranzfuser for third year running
Game art from Inifinite Bounty. Characters are a selection of aliens
Inifinite Bounty Character

Falmouth is one of the world’s best universities for Creative Media and Entertainment

12 October 2021

The Rookies ranks Falmouth as one of the top universities for creative media & entertainment, ga...

Falmouth is one of the world’s best universities for Creative Media and Entertainment
A monster wearing a tooth necklace
Phuong New

Student work celebrated at Falmouth Games Expo

30 June 2021

The Games Academy has brought the curtain down on a productive academic year with their annual celeb...

Student work celebrated at Falmouth Games Expo
Games Academy students wearing a VR headset in front of an orange background
Vr Ga New

Falmouth’s Games Academy moves up the global top 50 table

26 March 2021

The Games Academy has moved up the list of the best places in the world to study games design. At nu...

Falmouth’s Games Academy moves up the global top 50 table
A game art still of a large tank in a rocky desert
Knightsofborria Rustbreaker 3

Rustbreaker brings more Games Academy success

16 February 2021

Game Design MA students Max, Christopher and Jake – aka Game Developing team Knights of Borria –...

Rustbreaker brings more Games Academy success
A screen with a game animation and players listed on the side
Jared2

Games Academy student spots gap in the market

15 February 2021

Third year Game Development student Richard has launched an innovative new game on Steam: Stream Que...

Games Academy student spots gap in the market
Serious Games
Serious Games

Falmouth University Provost releases ‘Serious Games’ book

27 November 2020

Professor Minhua Eunice Ma, Falmouth University Provost, Professor of Games Technolog...

Falmouth University Provost releases ‘Serious Games’ book

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.

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

Get in touch

To find out more about this course, how you'll learn and what funding is available, get in touch with our Course Advisors. Click below to submit a form and we'll get back to you as soon as we can. 

Request information

Apply now

Ready to apply for postgraduate study? You can apply for the next intake of MA Indie Game Development (Online) below. To join us in January 2023, click here for MA and here for PGDip.

Apply for MA

Apply for PGDip

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
19 September 2022 30 August 2022
23 January 2023 5 January 2023
29 May 2023 8 May 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 / £150 PGDip tuition fee reduction if you apply by the Early Bird discount submission deadline:

Early Bird discount submission deadline* Academic start date
25 July 2022 19 September 2022
28 November 2022 23 January 2023
3 April 2023 29 May 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 (£150 off PGDip 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

£11,300 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - 2 years part time - MA/MSc course

£7,600 total fee (incl. acceptance fee) - PGDip course

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

£7,865 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.

Early Bird discount

An Early Bird discount is available for early applications. The scheme offers a £300 MA / £150 PGDip tuition fee reduction if you apply by the relevant deadline.

For information on fees, get in touch using our online form.

Find out more about our Graduate Loyalty Discount for Falmouth alumni, which offers a reduction in course tuition fees.

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. 

Online study funding

There are loans, awards and alternative funding sources for postgraduate studies. Read about them on our online study funding page.

Find out about funding
Falmouth University students listening and laughing on their headphones

Ask a student

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

From course details, to our online community and managing your study time around work commitments, 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.

Chat to our students

Similar courses

Game Design Ma 2022
Game Design Ma 2022

Game Design MA

Are you passionate about games and keen to make them better? Do you feel curious about what makes a ...

Game Design MA
Game Art Min
Game Art Min

Game Art MA

Are you an artist with a passion for games? Do you want to develop your skills to meet the challenge...

Game Art MA
Three people standing in a dark space framed by lines of light
AI for games 2022 resized

Artificial Intelligence for Games MSc

Are you fascinated by artificial intelligence? Do you want to explore the applications of AI in game...

Artificial Intelligence for Games MSc

Request information

You can submit our simple online form and a Course Advisor will get in touch with you. They'll be able to answers questions about how you'll study, what to expect from the course, and the next step to take on your application journey.

Get in touch
Students in Falmouth campus cafe talking and looking at laptops.