Creating a playful future

Master's Degree Programme in Game Studies provides an in-depth view of the fundamental character and development of games and play.

Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.

The programme is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design and application of games from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, game developers and game cultures. It will give you the academic skills needed to analyse, observe and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude with games and playful design.

Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this programme with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work in various professional roles, in research, public sector as well as in industry. The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation and implementation of games and related fields, such as social media.

The programme is founded on the long history of education and research conducted at the University of Tampere’s Game Research Lab. At Tampere University, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinates the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland in 2018-2025.

Information about studies

  • Type: Master's degree
  • Degree earned: Master of Social Sciences
  • Planned duration: 2 years
  • Extent of studies: 120 ECTS
  • City: Tampere
  • Campus: Central Campus
  • Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 12000 €

Study objectives

After completing the Master's degree you are expected to:

  • Be familiar with scientific thinking and capable of applying scientific working methods in your own area of specialization.
  • Be motivated for lifelong learning.
  • Be capable of undertaking scientific postgraduate studies.
  • Be capable of applying the knowledge acquired and of functioning in internationalizing working life.

After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Game Studies you will:

  • Be able to identify, define and analyse games and play in their various forms.
  • Understand and be capable of critically using the concepts and theories that relate to the fundamental character of games and the phenomena around them.
  • Have an in-depth understanding of the forms, practices and contexts of games as cultural, social, technical and commercial phenomena.
  • Be able to independently acquire scientific knowledge.
  • Be able to communicate the results from research to different audiences.
  • Be able to work in interdisciplinary teams as an expert of games and related phenomena (including e.g. online cultures, game production, gamification).

More about the language of instruction

The programme is offered in English.

Study contents

This master programme provides an in-depth view of the fundamental character and development of games and play. Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.

The programme is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design and application of games from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, game developers and game cultures. It will give you the academic skills needed to analyze, observe and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude with games and playful design.

The programme is founded on a long history of education and research conducted at the University of Tampere Game Research Lab. In 2018-2025, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinates a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee of the programme is 12,000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.

Career opportunities

Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this programme with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work various professional roles, in research, public sector as well as in industry. The need for the knowledgeable workforce is growing in the fields related to games and interactive media, but the students should adopt an active attitude in fashioning their own specific area of expertise and professional profile.

As a graduate, you can take up multiple work roles that relate to the research and development of games as well as to the application of gameplay and game design for various purposes. Working as a university-educated expert in this rapidly developing field requires solid research and communication skills combined with an active and independent mindset, and willingness to explore and innovate new approaches to understanding and applying interactive media into practice.

The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation and implementation of games and related fields like social media and gamification.

Co-operation with other parties

In addition to studies in one’s own degree programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from technical to vocational studies in various fields.

Research focus

The research initiatives of GS teaching faculty are organized under TRIM, Tampere Research Center for Information and Media. TRIM is a multidisciplinary research institution for basic and strategic research on the internet and interactive media, with key research themes ranging from game research and information and media practices to information retrieval. The Tampere University Game Research Lab carries out innovative research in games and play and builds bridges from research to action in its various collaborations. In 2018-2025, Game Research Lab coordinates a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by Academy of Finland.

Postgraduate study opportunities

This master's degree provides the required background if you wish to pursue doctoral studies in game studies and related fields, for example in Tuni’s Doctoral programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media.

Eligibility criteria

Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected as students at Tampere University.

General eligibility

To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have

  1. Bachelor’s degree - nationally recognized first cycle degree
    • Which corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study
    • From the relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
    • From an accredited institution of higher education
  2. AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.

A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility for university-level master’s degree studies in the country in which it was awarded.

Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2020. In this case, they may be accepted conditionally.

Applicants with a Master’s degree may be admitted only well-founded reasons and only if they are able to show that the new degree at Tampere University provides the applicant with significant new knowledge and skills.

Programme specific eligibility criteria

To be eligible to apply to the Master's degree programme in Game Studies, you must have a completed, suitable university-level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in

  • Game Studies, Interactive Media, Information Studies, Communication, Cultural or Art Studies, Interaction Design, Psychology, Sociology, or other relevant fields for the study of play and games.

Please note that a pure programming degree (e.g. one in Engineering or Computer Science) does not alone qualify applicants for this programme, but if such studies are combined with studies and special competencies that relate to the content and use of Games and Interactive Media (e.g. Game Studies, Social Media Studies, or Internet Studies), also applicants with a programming or game development focused background can apply.

Language skill requirements

All applicants must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.

The minimum English language test result requirements

Test name & Minimum test result

  • TOEFL iBT: 92 overall, with no section below 20
  • IELTS (academic): 6.5 overall, with no section below 5.5
  • PTE (academic): 62 overall, with no section below 42
  • C1 Advanced: C
  • C2 Proficiency: C1
  • Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English): Proficiency level 5

*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency.

Previous studies

It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University. Only these studies are accepted. If you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions.

Intake

A maximum of 20 students is admitted to the Game Studies programme.

Admission procedure

Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and application documents by the deadline) and fulfil the official eligibility criteria.

The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.

Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies.

How to apply

Application step-by-step checklist
  1. Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply three programmes at the same time.
  2. Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
  3. Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
  4. When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application. Application period 4 December 2019 at 8:00 GMT+2 - 15 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2.
  5. Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post, according to the country specific-requirements if applicable. Documents must reach Tampere University Admissions Office by 31 January 2020 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
  6. Wait for the admission results to be announced in early April 2020.
  7. If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline.
  8. Pay the tuition fee, if required. Start preparing your arrival in Finland.
  9. Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Online application form

The online application form will be available during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 4 December 2019 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 15 January 2020 at 3 pm (GMT+2).

Enclosures

You will need to upload copies of all required documents as enclosures on the application form. In addition to the general application enclosures, some programmes have listed additional programme-specific enclosures that are needed when applying to these programmes.

You will need to upload all required enclosures on your application form online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading, you must submit officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation and documents from these countries must be submitted in a particular way. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to the regular requirements.

Applicants must post the educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 31 January 2020.

There are no programme-specific enclosures when applying to this programme.

However, there are programme-specific questions on the application form and you will be asked to provide:

  • Contact information for two academic/professional persons who can provide recommendations for you. Please give the name, organisation, position and contact information including an e-mail address that if needed, we may contact them.
  • Skype contact information. Please note that only a selection of applicants may be interviewed.

Admission results and appeals

Admissions results will be announced in early April 2020. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
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Last updated October 4, 2019
This course is Campus based
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Duration
2 years
Full-time
Price
12,000 EUR
per academic year for non-EU/EEA students.
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Master's Degree Programme in Game Studies