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 training experts on games and play. We approach games and play from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, production of games, and games in cultures. These four perspectives open up to the following four areas: analysing the meaning and form of games and play; understanding the people who play games and the game cultures they create; addressing questions relating to the creation and development of games, and making sense of the societal and cultural framing of games.
The programme 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 as an expert of games and play.
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, industry professionals, 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 Tampere University’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
Campus: City Centre Campus
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens: 12000 €
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.
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 Tampere University 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.
The tuition fee of the programme is 12000 euros per academic year for non-EU/EEA students with a scholarship system for fee-paying students.
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 game play 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.
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 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 in Tampere University.
To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have:
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 a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying to
from a recognised institution of higher education
The 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.
AND a good command of the English language for academic purposes.
Applicants in their final year of the Bachelor’s degree are eligible to apply if the degree will be completed by 31 July 2021. In this case, they would be accepted conditionally. Please see special instructions for applicants in the final year of the Bachelor's degree.
Admission to studies leading directly to a master's degree will be based on the applicant’s bachelor's degree conferred by a university or a university of applied sciences. Depending on programme-specific admission requirements, the programme may take into account skills previously acquired by applicants when considering applications.
A previously completed master’s degree will not make applicants ineligible for admission. However, applicants who are applying for admission to pursue a second master’s degree will only be admitted for particularly weighty reasons.
Programme specific eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to the Master's degree programme in Game Studies, you must have a completed, suitable Bachelor's degree or equivalent in
Game Studies, Interactive Media, Information Studies, Communication, Cultural or Art Studies, Interaction Design, Psychology, Sociology, or another relevant field 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
When applying to a Master’s programme at Tampere University, you must submit evidence of your good command of the English language for academic purposes. You have two options of demonstrating your English language proficiency: language tests or previous studies.
In both cases, you must submit a document as proof of language skills.
English language tests and the minimum result requirements:
Minimum test result for Bachelor's programmes at Tampere University
TOEFL iBT/TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition
92 overall with no section below 20
IELTS (academic) /IELTS Indicator
6.5 overall with no section below 5.5
62 overall with no section in Communicative Skills below 42
Finnish National Certificate of Language Proficiency (English)
Proficiency level 5
*The previous CAE and CPE have been renamed as C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency
It is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed particular studies listed by Tampere University that demonstrate your good command of English for academic purposes. Only studies that fulfil the criteria will be accepted so if you apply without a valid language test result, carefully examine the exemptions listed by Tampere University and how to submit documents.
20 students are admitted into the Game Studies programme.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who submit a complete application (application and sufficient 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. The complementary studies will be decided at the faculty case by case (maximum 60 ECTS credits).
The number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted. The student selection is made by an admissions committee based on the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents.
In the selection process, the following judgmental requirements are evaluated as a composite:
High enough academic performance in Bachelor degree studies.
The applicants must show strong motivation to study the key topics of the programme and interest to work in an interdisciplinary area.
Having completed the MOOC course “Introduction to Sustainable Digital Life” will be considered as an advantage. The course opens 15th October 2020 and the applicant must complete the MOOC course by latest 28th February 2021 (23:59 p.m. GMT+2). All assignments must be submitted by this date to be considered. It is not possible to submit any documents after the deadline as the course closes on this day.
How to apply
Check the general eligibility and programme-specific eligibility criteria of the programme/s you wish to apply. You are allowed to apply to three programmes at the same time.
Read through the instructions on how to apply and start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
Take a language test if required, please see the language requirements.
When the application period opens, fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload the required enclosures to the application. The application period is 9 December 2020 at 8.00 GMT+2 - 13 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2.
Upload all required enclosures and send the educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office within two weeks, by 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline and they must be delivered according to the country-specific requirements, if applicable.
Remember to apply for a scholarship, if applicable.
Wait for the admission results to be announced at the end of March 2021.
If you are offered a study place, remember to accept it by the given deadline. Pay the tuition fee if required.
Start preparing for your arrival in Finland well in advance.
Register as a student and join the Tampere University community when the studies start in August 2021!
Online application form
The online application form will be available only during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts on 9 December 2020 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends on 13 January 2021 at 3 pm (GMT+2).
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 27 January 2021 at 15.00 GMT+2. You can find the list of the required general application enclosures and further instructions on the Application documents webpage.
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 at the end of March 2021. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.