Course information

Department

Computing

Length

1 year full-time or 2 years part-time

Scholarship information

Funding available

Course overview

This MA is tailored for people who want to start a career in the game industry. One of the only programmes in the UK taught by actual game developers, it will teach you game design, art & animation, and game programming, and has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and business.

As a fast-growing 150-billion-dollar business, the game industry offers countless professional opportunities. The MA Computer Games: Art & Design is right for you if you want to make game development a sustainable career and to work in this creative and rewarding industry. 

This is also one of the only programmes taught by actual game developers, designers, and artists with years of experience in the game industry.

Why Study MA Computer Games: Art & Design at Goldsmiths

  • Learn to design and develop games using state of the art tools and game engines from actual game developer and industry veterans
  • Focus on which skills you want to learn, through a selection of option modules you can choose from
  • Collaborate with colleagues from other courses, including the MSc Computer Games Programming and the MA Independent Games and Playable Experience Design
  • Build your portfolio through practical coursework
  • Access state of the art game labs and facilities
  • Get your first internship in the game industry (or work on a research project instead)
  • Take part in the many events and game jams we organise every year, and be part of the creative and diverse environment that surrounds Goldsmiths
  • Access the strong UK community of publishers and creators with innovative voices creating ground-breaking titles

Who should apply

The MA Computer Games is the perfect fit for anyone who is – or wants to be – in one of the following positions: 

  • People who want to find a job in the game and entertainment industries
  • Game designers who want to learn how to code to bring their ideas to life
  • 3D Artists, riggers, and animators who want to master state-of-the-art modelling software
  • Character artists and concept artists and who want to create assets for games
  • Game developers who want to improve their programming skills
  • Creative folks who want to use interactive technologies for their projects

There are no technical prerequisites for the MA, as the course will cover the basics of modelling, animation, and programming in the first week. However, a creative background is strongly recommended, and any experience with 3D modelling software or game engines is very welcome.

MSc Computer Games Programming

If you are more interested in developing game-related technical skills such as advanced programming, mathematics, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and shader coding, you may want to read about our MSc Computer Games Programming.

You will be working alongside the MSc students, and if you are unsure which programme is for you, you may be able to switch between them in the first two weeks of the course.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the programme leader, Alan Zucconi.

What you'll study

For 2020–21, we have made some changes to how the teaching and assessment of certain programmes are delivered. To check what changes affect this programme, please visit the Programme Changes page

You will study five compulsory modules which will deepen your skills in games design, art, and animation, in addition to teaching you the fundamentals of game programming and entrepreneurship.

There are no exams on this programme. Every module is assessed via coursework only, which also gives you the unique chance to develop a portfolio.

Compulsory modules Module title Credits
  Introduction to Modelling and Animation 15 credits
  Business and Practice 15 credits
  Introduction to Programming for Games 15 credits
  Game Design and Games Analytics 15 credits
  Advanced Modelling and Animation 15 credits
  Computer Games Final Project 60 credits

You will also take 45 credits of modules from a list made available by the department, allowing you to focus your study on subjects you are interested in. The following is an indicative list of option modules available on this programme.

Option modules Module title Credits
  Approaches to Play 1 15 credits
  Approaches to Play 2 15 credits
  History of Computer Games, Art and Animation 15 credits
  Narrative and Interactive Fiction 15 credits
  Advanced Programming for Games 15 credits
  Programming for Game Engines 15 credits
  Mixed Realities 15 credits
  Introduction to Virtual Reality 15 credits
  Data and Machine Learning for Artistic Practice 15 credits

Download the programme specification. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

What our students say

Michael Kirby

I was able to make connections to professionals from the industry, gain new friends, have insightful discussions with my tutors and became a more confident person.

During my time at Goldsmiths, I learned a lot and was always pushing myself to do better with my work, I have always enjoyed making video games and it has been my life long passion since I was 4 years old. I took a big jump of faith joining my course at Goldsmiths and I wouldn't take it back for a second. I was able to make connections to professionals from the industry, gain new friends, have insightful discussions with my tutors and became a more confident person. My favourite moments on my degree was the work I did on my game projects and learning the fundamentals of game engines such as Unity and Unreal. Overall I learnt a lot about myself and the industry as a whole.

A few months after I graduated from Goldsmiths I started my first job in the games industry at Roll7 as a Junior UI Designer. I am enjoying the opportunity I have been given and I am making new connections and working on some amazing stuff. I was able to get this job because of the skills I learnt and because of the connections I made on my course.

My future is looking pretty good, I have managed to get my foot through the door into the industry of my choice. I have no major plans set in stone, but I look forward to what the future brings my way.

The Computing department classrooms were my favourite part of studying at Goldsmiths, if the rooms were free I would use the computers to catch up and improve upon my work and skills, at times I would meet with my peers or teammates to discuss the lessons and practice group presentations.

Zipeng Cheng

‍The MA Computer Games Art & Design course is the main reason why I choose to study at Goldsmiths which provides me with a good chance to study and enhance my skills further with other brilliant students and teachers with different backgrounds.

‍The MA Computer Games Art & Design course is the main reason why I choose to study at Goldsmiths which provides me with a good chance to study and enhance my skills further with other brilliant students and teachers with different backgrounds. Before this course, I worked as a 2D game artist making concept designs and illustrations. So the most surprising experience about my studying here is that this course provides various content for students, not only involving the artistic part of game development but also programming, project management, and other areas. It is a very good chance for a student who is interested in the game development industry to find out what is the best position for you in a development team.

‍I am working as a Technical Artist now. Because My studying experience in Goldsmiths made me interested in the technical part of game art-making which I did not know a lot before. After I got in touch with the game engines and DCC tools through this course, I started to understand the interesting points of work as a Technical Artist and the possibility of this job. So I changed my mind and focused on how to deliver amazing digital artworks from a technical perspective. It is changing and interesting at the same time.

‍As an international student, studying life in South East London is fresh to me, which gives me a chance to feel the local’s life in London. Not the stereotype of London, but more daily lifestyle experience. It is a very precious experience in my life.

Entry requirements

You should have (or expect to be awarded) an undergraduate degree of at least second class standard in a relevant/related subject, such as Game Design/Development, Art, Design, 3D Modelling, Animation or Computer Science.

You might also be considered for some programmes if you aren’t a graduate or your degree is in an unrelated field, but have relevant experience and can show that you have the ability to work at postgraduate level.

A portfolio of relevant work (such as programming samples, art-based/sketchbook, games assets, or games programmed/designed) will strengthen your application. If you have worked on other, non-games related creative projects, you are welcome to show that in your portfolio, as everything that can show your creativity and commitment is welcome.

In some instances, we may ask to see more of your work or to conduct a short interview.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.0 in writing to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Annual tuition fees

These are the fees for students starting their programme in the 2021/2022 academic year.

  • Home - full-time: £10870
  • Home - part-time: £5435
  • International - full-time: £16120

If your fees are not listed here, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

It’s not currently possible for international students to study part-time if you require a Student Visa, however this is currently being reviewed and will be confirmed in the new year. Please read our visa guidance in the interim for more information. If you think you might be eligible to study part-time while being on another visa type, please contact our Admissions Team for more information.

If you are looking to pay your fees please see our guide to making a payment.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Scholarships

BAFTA scholarship

UK students offered a place on this MA are eligible to apply for the BAFTA Scholarship Programme.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Before submitting your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your education history, including the dates of all exams/assessments
  • The email address of your referee who we can request a reference from, or alternatively an electronic copy of your academic reference
  • personal statement – this can either be uploaded as a Word Document or PDF, or completed online

          Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

  • If available, an electronic copy of your educational transcript (this is particularly important if you have studied outside of the UK, but isn’t mandatory)

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline. 

Selection process

Admission to many programmes is by interview, unless you live outside the UK. Occasionally, we'll make candidates an offer of a place on the basis of their application and qualifications alone.

Find out more about applying.

Facilities

Talks, Events, and Conferences

We encourage all MA Computer Games: Art & Design students to work closely with their fellow MSc Computer Games Programming colleagues. We strive to provide an ideal environment for teamwork on games development projects and assignments, better preparing students to face a job in the game industry.

Students also have access to the Computing Department VR Studio containing HTC Vives, Oculus VR headsets, and a multi-camera motion capture studio for development work.

On top of that, each year we bring guest speakers to Goldsmiths from the game industry. This is one of the ways we create more links with the industry and can offer our students help in getting internships in various games studios during the summer term.

Seminar Series: Games & Entertainment Industries

A series of talks organised by Prof William Latham and Richard Leinfellner, bringing key figures from the creative industries all around the world. The list of previous speakers includes:

Games Library Night

A biannual event taking place during Reading Week and organised by course leaders Alan Zucconi and Federico Fasce, which celebrates the more independent side of the game industry. We use these opportunities to showcase students' games to the public and give space to underrepresented voices in the industry. The list of previous speakers have included:

Global Game Jam

The Global Game Jam is a yearly event in which people from all over the world work on making a small game over the course of a weekend. For three years in a row, Goldsmiths has been proudly hosting the largest GGJ site in London. Thanks to the support of the Hacksmiths, we offered space, food and even beds to all students and developers who took part in the jam.

We also run a series of workshops and talks, which have included:

Other events

Here at Goldsmiths we also organise other inter-departmental events. This includes several "Tea & Testing" sessions during the year, which give students a safe space to playtest their games. We also run occasional career fairs opened to all postgraduate students at Goldsmiths.

Student work

Pivot by Michael Kirby

A screenshot of student work

For his first project at Goldsmiths, Michael and his cohort were tasked with creating a vertical slice of a 2D game: "I had some experience with working on 2D games, so I wanted to take the opportunity to push myself further. In the end, I was able to create Pivot my 2D game inspired by the game Fez. I was able to recreate that game's mechanics and apply them to my own. I was able to achieve something I had never done before and was able to learn from it. This thought process would be applied to my way of working throughout the course."

Play and find out more about Pivot.

You can see some of the games and projects our students worked on as part of their studies on the GamesAtGold page on itch.io.

Zipeng Cheng

Zipeng Cheng created this Unreal Engine 4 project from scratch, producing a finished game demo.

Read more

Careers

Industry Placements & Career Paths

As part of the MA, students may choose to do an internship with a games-related company. Over the years we worked closely with industry leaders and game studios to offer industry placements.

Many internships result in permanent positions, and almost 100% of our graduates find work four to five months after finishing the programme. Some have gone on to work in major studios like EA, Ubisoft, Sony, Creative Assembly, Microsoft, Cinesite, Framestore, Splash Damage, Rebellion Studios, Mediatonic, Frontier, Supermassive and Roll7, as well as getting funded for start-ups such as Terrardhard.

Company Testimonials

The following are some quotes from companies who have liaised with us to offer industry placements to MA and MSc Computer Games students.

Supermassive Games

"Following two years of successful placements at Supermassive Games, which resulted in full time jobs, we are looking forward to inviting Goldsmiths students to take part in our internship assessment day again this year."

Jonathan Amor, Director of Technology, Supermassive Games

Ubisoft Reflections

"We are delighted to announce that Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, will be taking on two Goldsmiths MSc Computer Games Programming students for Internship."

Dr Chris Jenner, Expert Programmer

Rebellion

"Having now placed four interns from Goldsmiths here at Rebellion, two of which have gone on to become permanent members of staff, we are very much looking forward to future applications from talented and creative Goldsmiths MSc Computer Games students.”

Jason Kingsley OBE, CEO and Creative Director of Rebellion

The Creative Assembly (SEGA)

“Following two continuous years of The Creative Assembly (SEGA) successfully taking Goldsmiths MSc Games Programming Students on placements we are pleased to announce that we have reserved a minimum of three placements for Goldsmiths MSc students starting the course in September 2013, on site during the period May to September 2014. Subject to interview/portfolio process”.

Martin Servantes Director of Operations & Finance

Jagex Games Studio

"Jagex Games Studio in Cambridge is looking forward to receiving applications from Goldsmiths’ talented MSc Computer Games students for their summer internships in 2014”.

Sue Stather, Graduate Recruitment Specialist, Jagex Games Studio

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths.

Staff

Similar programmes

MSc Computer Games Programming

This MSc is tailored for people who want to work in the game industry. You will learn multi-platform game development and gain a solid foundation in programming to help you develop your own skills. The MSc has a strong focus on business and entrepreneurship, including the possibility to work with industry partners as part of your internship.

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