Game Design

Game Design MA

Work alongside programmers and artists to create original games.

Key details
Penryn Campus
Course duration
1 year

Course overview

Are you passionate about games and keen to make them better? On this industry-focused Game Design MA course you’ll consider what makes a game engaging and meaningful, taking your skills to the next level as you work alongside programmers and artists in a studio environment to create distinctive work.  

You’ll explore specialist areas in storytelling and design to discover new horizons in gaming, collaborating with other talented game-lovers to bring your own ideas to life in indie, AAA or board games. With help from expert practitioners with links to both industry and academia, you’ll gain the tools you need for a career in games and media.  

You will:

  • Access industry-standard facilities, including dedicated space in a well-resourced game development studio with AR and mixed reality technology, VR headsets and 3D printers
  • Learn iterative design principles and how to implement research, user testing and feedback
  • Create game design and scripting elements for live game developments   
  • Benefit from our guest speaker series, featuring professionals from across the games industry – from studio heads to level designers, design leads and producers 

Course details



On this Game Design master's course, you'll be pitching and prototyping your ideas, becoming a specialist in game design and the broader games industry context. From day one, you’ll be doing it for real; developing a game in a team using industry-standard software and following it up with a major project in the final term. This could be solo, group-based or a research piece. 


Development Practice 

You’ll deepen your knowledge of game development practices by working in interdisciplinary teams, employing specialist skills to devise small-scale artefacts. You’ll also carry out a personal reflective case study that will help to enrich and expand your practice. 

(30 credits) 

Prototyping for Games 

You’ll follow a rapid-prototyping model of game development to create a series of playable game prototypes using different tools and approaches. You will then share your work with the class and receive feedback from your peers and academic staff, which will help to inform future prototypes. 

(30 credits) 


Experimental Game Design 

In this module, you’ll adapt your existing skills to experiment with concepts and ideas that extend game design into new, experimental, or original areas of practice. 

You will undertake research and experimentation to create your own innovative game design project. Working in a chosen medium, you’ll select a new aspect of game design to explore; this could be on a range of topics, such as character design, world building, new game mechanics, custom-made interfaces or conceptual game design. 

(30 credits) 

Game Development Project 

Working in multidisciplinary teams, with peers from across the Games Academy, you’ll design a game based on an original concept. You will then implement, play-test, and refine a working prototype of your game. This process will help to enrich your knowledge of rules and parameters in structuring your game and its gameplay.  

By the end of the module, the prototype that you produce should be at a stage where it could be pitched to a commercial publisher or pitched online to raise funds through a crowdfunding platform. 

(30 credits) 


Major Project 

Working either in teams or individually, you’ll devise, develop and execute a major research and development project under the guidance of a supervisor. You can choose to build upon the material you’ve previously produced in other modules or develop a new concept. 

The work produced for this module is expected to be fully realised, polished and of a publishable quality. 

(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.

Hands holding a gaming controller in front of a computer keyboard
Games Academy student holding games controller

How you'll learn & be assessed

Through regular practical workshops, support sessions from our course team and project supervision throughout, you’ll develop your game design skills to give you a competitive edge in the industry. Working in teams that mirror a real studio environment, you’ll learn to produce a fully-realised game development project and professional portfolio, as well as to conduct cutting-edge research and development independently. You'll learn through: 

  • Demonstrations 
  • Studio practice 
  • Project supervision 
  • Lectures 
  • Seminars 
  • Practical workshops 
  • Crit sessions 
  • Tutorials 
  • Guest speakers 
  • Mentoring 

Assessment for the Game Design MA is 100% coursework. Learning is situated in an environment that mirrors the industry, helping to prepare you for what it’s like in a small game studio. 

Assessments are composed of practical activities underpinned by critical analyses of the workflows and practices applied in the module to further support your learning. 

Module leaders and supervisors will be available to guide and support you through your assessments to enhance your relevant technical and academic skill sets. 


Facilities range from:  

  • Modern i7 machines. 
  • Industry-standard hardware and software used in the games industry, including Adobe and Autodesk suites. 
  • Access to VR/AR lab and cutting-edge hardware, including Hololens, Hololens 2 and Oculus Quest 2. 
  • Dedicated space in a well-resourced game development studio, open late during term time 


You'll be taught by an expert teaching team who specialise in gameplay programming, design, worldbuilding, software engineering and research. Our industry experts have worked across the globe on titles such as Arcana and Deadhaus Sonata. 

Jeremy West

Associate Lecturer, Game Development BA(Hons)

A graduate from Falmouth's Games Academy, Jeremy has spent the last six years both studying and maki...

Jeremy West
Jeff Howard staff profile

Dr Jeff Howard

Senior Lecturer (Games)

Dr. Jeff Howard is Senior Lecturer in the Games Academy at Falmouth University in Cornwall, whe...

Dr Jeff Howard

Terry Greer

Senior Lecturer in Game Design

After starting out life as a zoo keeper at London Zoo, Terry has worked for over thirty years in the...

Terry Greer
Headshot of Tim Phillips

Tim Phillips


Tim joined Falmouth University in 2018 as a game designer in the computational creativity research g...

Tim Phillips

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


Potential career options include game or level designers, app developers, product and software designers or producers. Our graduates have progressed to teaching and lecturing roles and founded their own game development studios.

How to apply

Have a question?

To find out more about this course, how you'll learn and what funding is available, get in touch with our friendly Course Advisors using our online form:

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Ready to apply for postgraduate study? You can apply online by clicking the button below. 

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About applying to this course

To make sure Game Design is the right fit for you, we’ll interview you to talk through your suitability and look through your portfolio of appropriate work. This is extremely flexible for Game Design – you can include games/systems you’ve worked on or made yourself, ideas and world building for games you’d love to make, or any design work in other media.

We welcome applicants with varied qualifications, but typically you’ll need an undergraduate degree. Our typical applicants hold an undergraduate degree of 2:2 or above, or equivalent experience. 

We’ll also welcome your application if you have formal or 'certified' learning (such as training courses not run by universities or colleges) and learning from work experience or self-study. This is called Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) and should have been gained within the last five years and be equivalent to the learning outcomes of our minimum entry qualifications. 

APL applicants using experience to apply should note there is an application fee for entry with advanced standing or with exemption from specific modules or credit. 

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.

International applicants who require a student visa to study in the UK must take a recognised language test that is approved and vouched for by the University. Our Applicant Services Team can help with any questions you may have about study visas or suitable language tests.

Fees, costs & funding

Tuition fees for September 2024 entry

£9,200 per year - full-time UK (£250 acceptance fee payable. This is deducted from tuition fees.)

£17,950 - full-time EU/international (£500-£2,500 acceptance fee payable depending upon your status. This is deducted from tuition fees)

Tuition fees for September 2025 will be confirmed in summer 2024.

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

  • To complete your coursework, you'll require a laptop. Read about the latest laptop specifications we recommend
  • £150 approximately for recommended reading
  • £30-£150 for a headset with a microphone
  • £25-£100 for a webcam
  • Internet access with at least 5Mbps speed to enable livestreaming of content

If you need to bring other equipment or materials with you, these will be outlined in your Welcome Letter.

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.

Speak to an advisor

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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