Postgraduate study
Computer Games

MA Games Development

Casual games studios now make up a high percentage of the UK games industry, producing games that are easy to pick up and play through websites, social networking sites, mobile phones, tablets and games consoles. Subject matter is typically non-violent, and gameplay often incorporates puzzle solving or an exciting twist on a simple mechanic.

Course information


  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

January 2018 entry

September 2018 entry


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information

  • Facilities

    Computer Games

    Teesside has fantastic state-of-the-art facilities for games students including high-end computers with dual screens and where appropriate Wacom graphics tablets. Highly specialised facilities include a motion capture studio, Kinect lab, a dedicated games lounge equipped with an array of consoles and life drawing studios.


This games design course gives you the business, theoretical and practical skills needed to succeed in this rapidly growing industry. You learn to develop compelling games with exciting mechanics and strong gameplay, both as an individual and as part of a team. While the main focus is on casual games design, the skills we teach also apply to roles within the broader games industry. As well as developing core theoretical and practical design skills, you also develop your entrepreneurial abilities to equip you for work as an independent developer in the social, casual and mobile games field.

There are two routes you can choose from to gain an MA Game Development:

  • full-time - 2 years with advanced practice (September start)
  • full-time - 1 year (September start) or 16 months (January start)

You advance your knowledge and understanding of business, design theory and technical issues within the field of computer game design and related industries. In lectures and seminars you examine the specialist skills necessary to design and construct strong games pitches, demos and prototypes, as well as advanced creative and business solutions to the problems involved in independently developing computer games.

Course structure

Core modules

Game Development

You experience working as a member of a games development team. We simulate the working criteria and mix of development skills that are required to produce a computer game and offer a critical insight into the planning and production procedures within a games team.

Assessment is via a group assignment in which team members design and develop a working game, product specification and individual report.

Game Mechanics

You are introduced to the core concepts and theories involved in game design. The pre-production stages of game design are examined with a strong focus on game mechanics and their role in designing an engaging and immersive gaming experience.

You are assessed through the development of creative game design pitches which communicate concept, mechanics, gameplay, interface and user experience with clarity and as visually as possible. These pitches are developed into proofs of concept to be built upon later on in the course.

Game Prototyping

You concentrate on the prototyping aspects of computer games development within a contemporary game engine and focus on the principles of art, design and animation. A variety of methods of how to create, design and develop interactive content specific to modern gaming platforms are covered.

The module consists of studio based practical sessions, seminars and team work. In small teams you develop a working game from concept through to fully demonstrable prototype.
You are assessed individually and as part of a team through the in course assessment, which has weighted individual and team based aspects to it.

Master’s Project: Games Development

You undertake a major, in-depth, individual study in an aspect of your course. Normally games production master’s projects are drawn from design and games industry based problem areas. The project involves you researching and investigating aspects of your area of study and then producing a major deliverable, for example as a casual game, prototype or highly visual proof of. You also critically evaluates your major deliverable, including obtaining third party evaluation where appropriate.

The major deliverable(s) are presented via a poster display and a product demonstration/interactive game pitch. The research, project process and evaluation is reported via an accompanying written narrative which contextualises the creative output. The written report, the major deliverable and your presentation of the product are assessed.

The project management process affords supported opportunities for goal setting, reflection and critical evaluation of achievement.

Rapid Application Development

You learn about Rapid Development Tools (RAD) through the process of analysis, design and implementation of a web or mobile app. A range of RAD tools are studied, such as Mendix, MS LightSwitch and WaveMaker. You learn one of these tools in depth in order to explore more fully the capabilities of the tool.

Assessment: two in-course assessments. For the first assessment you design a RAD system. The second involves the implementation in your chosen tool. Short reflective essays and an advanced research topic also form part of the assessed work in both components.

Studio Development

You concentrate on the business and marketing aspects of the computer games industry and focus on how to setup, manage and sustain a successful games development studio as well as how to turn a seed game idea into an attractive business proposal. A variety of methods of how to establish, and maintain a busy studio work environment are explored, together with researching new trends and business models in the contemporary world of digital games publishing.

This module consists of studio based practical sessions, seminars and individual work. You develop a comprehensive new business proposal complete with a product pitch for a new concept. You are assessed individually through 100% in course assessment.


Modules offered may vary.

How you learn

You experience a number of different approaches to learning and teaching including:

  • lecture sessions
  • tutorial and practical sessions
  • workshops and studio sessions
  • freelance sessions and workshops
  • online and blended delivery
  • self-directed study

Critical reflection is key to successful problem solving and essential to the creative process. To develop your own reflective practice at an advanced level, you test and assess your solutions against criteria that you develop in the light of your research.

How you are assessed

The programme includes a variety of assessment methods including presentations, peer review, critique, reports and production of artefacts.

Career opportunities

From the beginning of your programme, we prepare you for a career in industry. In addition to your taught classes, we create opportunities for you to meet and network with our industry partners through events such as our ExpoSeries, which showcases student work to industry. ExpoTees is the pinnacle of the ExpoSeries with over 100 businesses from across the UK coming to the campus to meet our exceptional students, with a view to recruitment.

Advanced practice

There are a number of internship options, including:

  • Vocational internship – spend one semester working full-time in industry or on placement in the University. We have close links with a range of national and international companies who will offer you the chance to develop your knowledge and professional skills in the workplace through an internship. Although we cannot guarantee internships, we will provide you with practical support and advice on how to find and secure your own internship position. A vocational internship is a great way to gain work experience and give your CV a competitive edge.
  • Research internship – develop your research and academic skills by undertaking a research internship within the University. Experience working as part of a research team in an academic setting. Ideal for those who are interested in a career in research or academia.

Entry requirements

2.2 degree (or above) or significantly documented relevant industry experience.

For additional information please see the entry requirements in our admissions section

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

Course information


  • within 1 year (September start), 16 months (January start) or 2 years with advanced practice (September or January start)

More full-time details

January 2018 entry

September 2018 entry


  • Not available part-time

Contact details

Further information