MA Games Development

Want to take your career to the next level? Raise your game with our Master’s in Games Development. Designed to build your understanding of advanced game development techniques, extend your knowledge of the games business, and enhance your transferable skills, this course is the ideal next step for ambitious games graduates.

Games Development

Key information

Award:

MA

Mode of Study:

Full-time

Duration:

1 year

Location:

The University of Bolton

Start date:

21/09/2020

Course Details

Games are serious business. The industry needs professionals with in-depth technical games knowledge and creative vision combined with business know-how and marketing expertise. The University of Bolton’s MA in Games Development offers you the chance to grow your skills and confidence in all these areas, gaining experience as a developer, and graduating with at least one credit on a published game to your name.

Designed around team-based development projects, the course involves you working with other students to form and run ‘indie’ style teams. Our highly-experienced games team will support and encourage you as you learn to plan, design, develop and publish games.

We will work to further extend your already substantial understanding of game development concepts and production methods, helping you master an arsenal of advanced tools and techniques to create compelling and inventive experiences.

Alongside these games-specific skills, we offer commercial and business knowledge for the creative sector; for instance, business planning, client negotiation, pitching for projects, responding to project briefs, intellectual property licencing and marketing campaign planning. Our academic team will provide critical support while helping you hone your project management and other transferable skills, ready to progress your career in the industry.

Highlights
  • You will have opportunities to create and publish games for a variety of platforms including mobile, desktop, VR and console, building an impressive portfolio as you gain experience creating and running an indie studio.
  • All the games staff at Bolton have worked on published games and most have experience working at or with publishers and developers – collectively, we have over seventy game credits on published titles.
  • We offer focused teaching based on the latest research and industry trends and you will be encouraged to apply your new knowledge immediately in your projects.
  • Our projects are flexible and designed to offer appropriate challenges based on you and your development team mates’ skills, competencies and interests.
  • Industry experts from the leading games studios in the UK, along with Bolton graduates now successful in the sector, are regularly invited to give guest lectures on aspects of games development.
Key Features
  • University of Bolton games graduates have been enjoying careers in the games industry for longer than most – we were one of the first UK universities to offer games courses and we now offer specialisms in Games Design, Games Art and Games Programming.
  • We share your passion for games. Our dedicated games tutors offer a vast range of industry experience, a wide network of contacts in the games industry, and knowledge of the latest games research and developments.
  • This course offers intensive practical experience in an environment designed to emulate conditions in the industry – you will be expected to spend approximately 30 hours per week in our development studio.
  • Our well-equipped, dedicated games studios feature high-specification hardware and industry-standard software, along with modern and vintage consoles.
Professional recognition
We have Sony PlayStation First accreditation.

  • You should have a Second Class UK Honours degree (2:2) or above, or an equivalent qualification, in an appropriate games-focused subject area that included significant game creation content.
  • You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.
  • If English isn’t your first language you’ll also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.

Want some reassurance or advice? Speak to one of our advisors. Email us at enquiries@bolton.ac.uk or call us on +44 (0)1204 903 903.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.


You will gain extensive experience of designing and creating computer games, working in small teams and independently. You will develop clear and demonstrable skills in project management, team working, communication, leadership and negotiation, and utilise industry-standard tools and techniques including HTC Vive and the Apple iOS Developer Programme. You will graduate with at least one personal credit on a published game. You will also be exposed to running an indie company, developing your entrepreneurial skills and business knowledge which will support you as an independent developer or to support your career in a larger games development studio. Moreover, the emerging field of ‘gamification’ – using game elements, design and principles in fields such as business, education and healthcare – offers enormous potential for games graduates with a flair for introducing fun into mundane tasks.

What can I do with this qualification?

The games developer job title covers a broad area of work and there are many specialisms within the industry. These include: games programmer (with various specialisms such as network, engine, toolchain and artificial intelligence); games artist (including concept artist, technical artist, iu/ux artist, animator/rigger and 3D modeller with further specialisms in characters, vehicles, environments, weapons and prop creation); games designer (ui/ux designer, level designer, technical systems designer, gameplay scripter and narrative designer) producer and quality assurance tester.


Course fees
Home EU Fees Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/22
2020£6,840-£6,840
International Year of study Total
Entry year2020/212021/22
2020£12,450-£12,450

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The university is currently awaiting government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2021/2022.

Bursaries

Click here for more information on our 2020 Master's Bursaries.


You may apply directly to the University using the University's online application form. Please select your chosen start date from the list below:

You should have to hand:

  • Details of the educational establishments you attended and dates

  • Your certificates for the qualifications you are using to gain entry to the course – you will need to enter the completion date and upload copies

  • Details of any employment history including name, address, dates and role

  • Personal statement – this can be either input into the relevant field or uploaded separately

  • Details including e-mail addresses of two referees, at least one of which should be someone who can provide an academic reference

Please make sure any documents you wish to upload in support of your application are in pdf or jpeg format. Personal statements may be word documents.

Please ensure your data is correct at each stage of the application before you proceed to the next page. If you use the back button at any time during the application, you should check the validity of the data you have already input.

If you experience difficulties during the application process, contact the Admissions Team on 01204 903394 or admissions@bolton.ac.uk

The University welcomes applications from international students from all over the world. We try to make the application process as simple and as fast as possible for our international applicants.

How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

  1. Apply direct to the University. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click the link which will direct you to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
  2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
  3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only – visit www.ucas.com.

Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email international@bolton.ac.uk


Overall, the course is project-based and intensely practical in nature. You will be expected to take part in various types of projects that are appropriate to a small group of independent video game developers, working in groups with your peers. Throughout your studies, you will have access to the various members of our games team, so you can benefit from a range of different help and advice. Where new material, concepts and techniques are being introduced, we will offer teaching and learning support to help you absorb those new ideas.

Normally, you will be expected to work full-time on one project at a time. By undertaking projects sequentially, you will have opportunities to reflect on the outcome of each project by means of a ‘post-mortem’. This might take the form of a viva or written report or both. Our games tutors will then be able to consider and address any issues you experienced before defining the content and scope of your subsequent projects.

During your time on the MA Games Development course, you’ll have regular support from the Programme Leader. A weekly one-to-one drop-in session with your Personal Tutor is also available, so you can discuss any issues you’re experiencing.

Our assessment strategy is designed to be flexible; where possible, a student who fails to achieve a learning outcome on one project will be given the opportunity to achieve that learning outcome on a subsequent project. The projects form the basis of the assessment for this course. In particular, you will be asked to provide your reflection on the outcomes of each project. The form of this reflection will vary, but will typically involve a report and a viva.

Modules

The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Specification and professional practice
  • Work for hire project
  • Console Development Project
  • Exhibition Project
  • Dissertation project
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 94%, Practical exams 6%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 7%
Level twoScheduled learning and teaching activities 93%

Disclaimer

The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Andrew Williams
Programme Leader

A.Williams@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903839

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton

enquiries@bolton.ac.uk

+44 (0)1204 903903

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