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Digital Games Theory and Design
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Digital Games Theory and Design

Brunel University London
London, Great Britain
On campus
 1790 Points
1 Year
Apply date
Jul 2023
Start date
Sep 2023

Program Description

The games design industry, in the UK and worldwide, is growing and there is a demand for skilled and well-educated professionals to take gaming to its next level. Brunel’s Digital Games Theory and Design MA course will give you a comprehensive understanding of digital games and the techniques and principles used in their design.

You will engage in, and experiment with, practical games design and develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the advanced academic study of games and their theoretical, artistic and technological perspectives. You will also engage in the practice of making games and explore the factors that shape the games industry.

No previous experience with programming or an art background is required for this course, just a passion for games. You will learn how to create your own practical designs, how to communicate your ideas to an audience, how to create games design documents, and you’ll also explore games studies.

You will have opportunities to make connections with other games design cohorts and industry experts. And we will encourage you to participate in extracurricular activities such as game jams and game-related networking events. These are all activities that introduce you to the broader social culture of the digital and creative world and are vital to being successful in the games industry.

The course is run by staff who are seasoned games designers, internationally published scholars and pedagogical experts. They will share their enthusiasm and understanding of the nature of the video game industry, the importance of networks and the skills needed to create innovative games for the future.

Entry Requirements

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Course Content

This exciting course teaches the creative process of games design. It focuses on the integration of the theoretical and practical aspects of making games via industry-facing content. Studying this course will help to fully equip you for your place in the games industry.

Students are expected to use the MA forum for discussions and are encouraged to participate in extra-curricular support activities such as game jams, local game related and networking events in order to practice the creative and technical skills developed throughout the programme and foster conversation and connections that are an invaluable part of the postgraduate experience.

The MA consists of compulsory modules, a typical selection can be found below. Modules can vary from year to year, but these offer a good idea of what we teach.


Teaching and Learning

The course offers a unique focus on practical design and on the theory of games. So if you’re passionate about games, and you want to understand how to design games and how to analyse and critically think about games, then this is a great course for you.

You have taught lectures in the first and second term. In term one you have a module called Critical Approaches and Games Design 1. In term two you have Socio-Cultural Contexts and Games Design 2. In the third term, which is over the summer, you’ll be studying for your MA dissertation which is based on supervisory meetings.

This is a one-year course which spans three terms. All taught sessions take place on one day a week - giving you the flexibility to work part-time or take care of personal responsibilities, as well as allowing you to complete your degree in one year.



Interdisiplinary Games Design

The module will build on your existing competencies in the areas of theory, technology, art and design, developing those skills further but more critically synthesising them into the interdisiplinary whole that is the basis for all further level 7 study of

This module delves into four areas in Games Design, namely studies, art, technology, and design, expanding on the key concepts and providing students with the opportunity to appreciate how all four relate to each other.

Art Thinking for Games: Visual Design, Creativity & Style

This module focuses on artistic considerations of contemporary games and explores art thinking, creativity and visual design. You will examine games as experimental and artistic media and consider the stylistic and aesthetic merits of visual assets.

Games Development: Prototyping Tools, Methods & Techniques

This module delves into the digital game development process utilising industry methodologies, prototyping methods and tools, collaborative practices and project management skills. You will be tasked with designing and developing a game in a small team, demonstrating your ability to contribute effectively and deliver a product.

Game Studies: Concepts, Contexts, and Analyses

The main aim of this module is to introduce you to key concepts and theoretical approaches in the field of game studies. The module will approach games from a number of perspectives including philosophy, media and cultural studies, and socio-cultural studies.

Games Design: Engagement, Experience & Iterative Practice

This module will provide you with the opportunity to develop your own design skills, putting into practise the theory of design, informed by theoretical approaches. You will create work based on differing design concepts and will present and review one another’s’ work, guided by the lecturer.

Dissertation in Digital Games

This module enables sustained engagement with the research and practice of digital games via a large scale, dissertation project. A combination of independent thought, self-reflection, critical understanding, creativity and practical skills will be required to produce written outputs and innovative designs.

You will be required to self-manage, problem-solve and work independently to produce work that is appropriate to postgraduate level of study.


Upon completing the course, you'll have the potential to enter the games industry through a variety of jobs including:

  • level designer
  • quality assurance
  • project manager
  • games user researcher

Our MA will also help develop your expertise if you are already in industry and want to update your creative and technical skills to keep up with the latest developments in the dynamic field of games design.

With confidence in their skills and their abilities, our graduates leave the course prepared to enter the games industry, and many of them have gone on to work for prestigious organisations including King, Mediatonic, Rovio, Creative Assembly, Supermassive Games, and Ubisoft.


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