MA in Digital Games Theory and Design

Brunel University: College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences

Program Description

MA in Digital Games Theory and Design

Brunel University: College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences

About the course

The video game industry is a vastly growing sector in both the UK and worldwide and the need for highly skilled and educated individuals is in high demand across the globe. With Brunel’s Digital Games Theory and Design MA programme, individuals will engage in, and experiment with, practical game design focussing on the process of devising the gameplay experience itself, including (but not limited to) the creation of rules, gameplay mechanics, narrative, world design and user experience, among many other aspects that make up the art of game design.

Coupled with a theoretical underpinning that focuses on the formal characteristics of games and analysis as well as the social and cultural contexts that shape the development of games, players, and society, this exciting programme offers students the opportunity to develop a range of skills that are required for success in today’s competitive job market.

Our programme is staffed with seasoned games designers and internationally published scholars who bring with them an extensive understanding of the nature of the video game industry, the importance of networks and the need for scholarly engagement in order to create innovative games for the future.

"I believe this award to be the best of its kind in the country, and continue to be both impressed and envious of the quality of students it attracts."
Professor Richard Bartle, University of Essex


  • You will gain a comprehensive and sophisticated understanding of the advanced academic study of digital games and the techniques and principles used in their design.
  • You will be provided with the relevant expertise, teaching and learning environment to support your critical and creative engagement with issues at the cutting edge of analysing and designing digital games. You will contribute to the process of defining ‘game studies’ as a new academic discipline.
  • You will develop skills and knowledge to gain employment in the digital games industry and make contributions to the development of innovative games that go beyond current markets.
  • You will acquire the skills necessary to undertake doctoral level research.

Special Features

  • Students will engage in, and experiment with, practical games creation, with workshops led by designers working in the industry, as well as explore a range of theories and concepts with which to analyse the values of games, play and pleasure.
  • This programme offers a unique focus on practical games design, informed by theory that is not offered by any other university. It is not a software or graphics training programme.
  • We have a team of experienced games researchers teaching on the programme, some of whom have played a pioneering role in making game studies a new academic discipline.

Teaching and Assessment


Assessment is via a combination of practical games-making work, presentations and essays of varying length.


Upon graduating from Brunel’s MA Games Theory and Design programme, students have the potential to enter the games industry through a variety of jobs including (but not limited to) level designer, Q&A (Quality Assurance), project managers, game user research, etc. The programme may also be of interest to those already working in the industry who desire updating their creative and technical skills.

The programme also provides academic support to those who wish to continue on to doctoral studies in digital game research and pursue an academic career.

This school offers programs in:
  • English


1-year full-time; 2-year part-time

Cost & Fees

UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time

International students: £15,400 full-time; £7,700 part-time

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Last updated September 13, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
7,300 GBP
Start date Sept. 2017
United Kingdom Uxbridge, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price 7,300 GBP
UK/EU students: £7,300 full-time; £3,650 part-time / International students: £15,400 full-time; £7,700 part-time