Computer Games Development (Art) MA

Postgraduate ( full-time, part-time)


September 2017

Course duration: 12 months full-time, 24 months part-time.


Channel your creativity and join a multi-skilled team to develop the next generation of video games. On our arts-based MA, you’ll join the vibrant games and technology community based here in Cambridge that includes Guerrilla, ARM, Frontier Developments, Jagex and Ninja Theory.

Untitled Page

Your course will have a new home in Compass House, which will extend our campus along East Road. You’ll have the latest technology at your fingertips and be able to collaborate with other students on innovative projects to hone your skills.

Full description


Our MA gives you the chance to specialise in the design and technical implementation of computer games, whether you already have a games-related degree, or you're a recent graduate of a non-games-related degree who's looking to move into this area. Our course is also suitable if you work in another creative industry and are looking to move into games design and creation.

The skills you'll learn on this course are relevant to other forms of games - including board games and educational games - allowing you to consider a number of career options.

Interactive computer games is a relatively new medium; as the industry grows, you’ll find more and more opportunities to use the computing and creative skills you'll hone while studying here.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Process and Practice as Research
    You will engage with the relationship between research and production. In particular you will explore the process of designing a research project for Art and Design students at Masters level. Lectures and seminars will introduce you to methodology, ethics and exemplars of research methods from a broad range of art and design disciplines. The specifics of designing a research project, such as dealing with failure and evaluating success, will be considered as fundamental aspects of research design. Lectures and seminars will be delivered on a cross-school platform and you will begin to consider alternative paradigms of practice and engage with ideas from outside your own discipline. Using the initial lectures as a starting point, you will be asked to design and undertake a practice-based, self-contained pilot project which tests the scope and limits of a specific research method or methods. Through the research design process you will write a proposal, identify milestones, deliver an outcome and evaluate your pilot project. In group critiques and tutorials within a specialist subject area, you will discuss and support the ongoing progress of each other’s pilot projects.
  • Games Development 1
    Games development is a multidisciplinary endeavour, requiring input from artists, audio technicians, programmers and designers, to produce an entertaining, polished product. On this module you will apply your existing skills to complex inter-disciplinary projects, testing games design theory in a developmental framework that will allow you to collaboratively plan successive games projects. In the process, you will gain hands-on experience of how your particular discipline relates to the demands and requirements of professional games development. Rapid project prototyping will lead you to critically evaluate and assess the games design and highlight areas that you could improve in the development process. Your final assessment will take the form of completed game development projects and your critical report, which will provide a reflective commentary of your development process, a contextual analysis and an evaluation of your projects.
  • Games Development 2
    In this module, you will plan and develop a games project that focuses on creating an innovative games experience. You will be encouraged to focus on engaging player experiences, not necessarily limited to traditional video game platforms. You will be challenged to develop projects with a target platform, audience and reward strategy in mind, and to reflect professional, legal and ethical issues in your game design. The projects you will undertake can either be a complete game development project, or an experimental prototype for the exploration of new ideas, which you can potentially continue in your Major Project. You will collaboratively construct a schedule of development that considers the prioritising of the various skillsets, thus developing your project management and time management skills. You will also work collaboratively, ensuring that you plan and develop the project in consideration of the demands and influences of other team members’ subject specialisms. Your formative assessment will take place at several stages within the module: (i) at pitching sessions; (ii) in two peer assessment sessions; (iii) in one-to-one tutorials. Your summative assessment will take the form of a game development project and a critical report on your game project that includes an analysis of your development process and project in relation to industry practice.
  • Digital Arts - Experimental Practice
    On this module you will create and develop a body of work related to your chosen area of computer games and undertake a learning programme to gain the skills you need for further study on the course. You will collate a sustained body of self-directed visual and technical research, supported by supervisory tutorials, peer group learning and seminars, and complete a statement of intent that will inform your programme of practice-based enquiry, supported by theoretical research. Through direct experimental research, you will test and develop the ideas outlined in your statement of intent, with the specific content and mode of work being dependent on the research direction of your individual project proposal. Your work will be analysed in the context of your specific field of research, which you will be asked to evaluate in relation to current digital art practice. You will be supported by seminars on particular technologies relevant to student project topics, as well as contextual issues relevant to the computer games industry. Weekly computing laboratory sessions will also guide and monitor your progress, with an emphasis on supporting appropriate learning activities rather than delivering content. Your assessment will be based on the research, process, documentation, implementation and evaluation of the work outlined in your project proposal. Where group work is specified, your individual contributions will be assessed separately. You will be encouraged to adopt a professional and real world approach, allowing you to undertake work for third party clients and practitioners of the industry, agreed on with your module tutor.
  • Master's Project: Art and Design
    The Masters Project represents the culmination of your learning on the programme, and giving you the opportunity to develop and resolve a major area of enquiry. This is a self-directed visual project negotiated with the staff team and peers. You'll need to negotiate, manage, co-ordinate and bring to successful conclusion a complex, practice-based project within your field of art, media or design. You'll start by formally presenting your research proposal to staff and peers, and will be expected to build on your previous modules to identify a complex area for investigation and enquiry, as well as research methods appropriate to the project. Following negotiation with staff, peers and, where appropriate, outside agencies, you'll then submit a written research proposal. Your project may involve external engagement alongside a personal exploration of themes and concepts in your specialist field. You'll need to show your ability to innovate, think strategically and be sensitive to changing cultural and social climates. You'll be assessed by portfolio (a body of work comprising a written project proposal, and developmental and final visual work) and a 1200-word reflective commentary. This commentary will specifically outline the methodological and ethical considerations relevant to your portfolio work, and evaluate your final visual work.


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written and practical work, carried out individually and as part of a team.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

Untitled Page

Cambridge School of Art has been inspiring creativity since 1858 when it was opened by John Ruskin.

Engaging with current debates surrounding contemporary practice and with the state-of-the-art facilities, Cambridge School of Art houses light, bright studios, industry-standard film and photographic facilities, and 150-year-old printing presses alongside dedicated Apple Mac suites. Our digital art gallery, the Ruskin Gallery, exhibits both traditional shows and multimedia presentations, from national and international touring exhibitions and our own students.

We are the only university in Cambridge offering art and design courses at higher education level. A tight-knit community of artists, academics and over 900 students, we collaborate across our University, the creative industries, and other sectors. Cambridge is a centre for employment in the creative industries and there are rich opportunities for collaboration with the city’s entertainment, technological, scientific, arts and heritage industries.

Our graduates have a history of winning national and international awards and an excellent employment record. They include Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett and Dave Gilmour, Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law, and illustrator Ronald Searle, the creator of St Trinian's.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Untitled PageFacilities

Based at the new Compass House Computer Games Centre, a three-minute walk from our main Cambridge campus, you’ll have 24-hour access to a hub space with group work naturally forming a part of your studies.

The centre includes a start-up lab for small games companies, supported by Games Eden, the Cambridge Computer Games industry network. This will give you excellent opportunities to work in an entrepreneurial games environment.

All students on our Computer Games courses – undergraduate and postgraduate – have access to industry-standard PCs running Maya, 3DS Max, ZBrush, Mudbox, Motion Builder, After Effects, Unity 3D, and UDK. You’ll be able to use motion capture equipment, 3D monitors, VR equipment, graphics tablets, a render farm, HD cameras and digital SLRs (for HDRI capture).

Links with industry

Cambridge is home to nearly 20% of the UK’s computer games industry, including Sony’s Guerrilla Studios, ARM, Jagex, Ninja Theory, Frontier, Geomerics and a host of smaller indie developers.  Our Computer Games Art department is a member of TIGA, the Business & University Games Syndicate, and a partner of the Global Science & Technology Forum, giving you access to cutting-edge research materials.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year part time)


International students, 2016/17 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year)


UK & EU students, 2017/18 (per year part time)


International students, 2017/18 (per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

You won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to attend, but you must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter/financial guarantee. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
Untitled Page

Funding for UK & EU students

There's no statutory funding for postgraduate study. However, we offer a number of scholarships and we've put together guidance on where to start researching funding options.

Students taking up a place on this course are eligible to apply for the Mark Wood Art and Design Scholarship. This is a financial award to recognise and encourage excellence. For more details and the application form, please visit our Making a Difference website.

Untitled Page
Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

Loading... Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

Untitled Page

Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Untitled Page
International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

Untitled Page
English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Untitled Page
Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

Suggested courses that may interest you

Computer Games Development (Computing)

Full-time, part-time postgraduate ()


September 2017

Computer Science

Full-time postgraduate ()


January 2017, September 2017

Illustration and Book Arts

Full-time, part-time postgraduate ()


September 2017

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online