Games Design (Distance learning) MA

Games Design (Distance learning) MA

School of Art, Design and Fashion


Post- graduate




Online Only

Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:


  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    eLearning, Part-time

  • Campus:

    Online Only

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:


Why study this programme?

This postgraduate Games Design course has been developed to provide part-time students the opportunity, support and guidance to fully explore the activity of designing and developing games of all types. What is particularly unique is that this MA Games Design is delivered entirely via the Internet using readily available online tools and proprietary applications. It is completely distance learning and there is no requirement for on-campus attendance.

The course team offers a rich mix of staff with current industry experience as well as practiced academic staff with significant experience in postgraduate delivery and academic research. The course seeks to encourage the inquiry into generally accepted ‘game design practice’ and strive to push the boundaries of what is achievable in this young discipline. Students are engaged through a wide ranging programme of stimulating lectures and tutorials to develop their knowledge and skills in the design of games.


Entry Requirements

Applicants must demonstrate achievement of any one of the following:

  • Receipt of a 2.2 degree, or higher from a British university
  • A high level of achievement in undergraduate studies at a university elsewhere (e.g. for North American students a minimum overall GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale)
  • Professional experience in the field or a related field in their home country Part of the application procedures for entry to the course is to establish -through a written personal statement -why candidates want to do the course, and how this relates to their personal and career development plans.

International Students are required to show competence in written and spoken English in addition to meeting the course entry requirements: International English Language Testing Service (IELTS) - minimum 6.5

Programme at a Glance

Year 1

Semester 1

  • Games Design and e-Learning

This is a 40 Credit module introducing core ideas to games design and developing student’s e-learning practice.

Semester 2

  • Issues and Methodologies for Games Design

This is a 40 Credit module that looks at the practicalities and pressures surrounding the development of games. This module also presents practical methodologies for developing and presenting game ideas.

Year 2

Semester 1

  • Dissertation Project Research 1 and 2

This is a two stage 40 credit module that supports students in planning a sustained investigation into their own research area and to develop the body of work that will support their final dissertation/project work

Semester 2

  • Dissertation Project Research 3 and Evaluation

This is a two stage 40 credit module that takes the research and development work from the previous modules and to focus that work on an outcome that links to the students identified focus. The evaluation stage allows students opportunity for revision before entering their final submission stage.

Year 3

Semester 1

  • Dissertation Project

This is a 20 credit module that is the culmination of the students work upon the course. It can take a variety of forms and does not necessarily have to be a written piece of work. The work presented might represent a single topic of study or several interrelated studies. The nature of the work might be written, visual, interactive media or a combination of all. The exact nature of the submission is developed in negotiation with staff throughout the preceding study. The final outcome will be a unique and personal piece that presents the students specialist work in the field of games design.

Further Information

All students are encouraged to pursue a unique personal line of inquiry within the broad subject area of Games Design. This culminates in the Postgraduate Project/Dissertation response at the end of the course. This activity is developed through specifically designed exercises and project briefs that promote the students' facility to analyse games and game play and formulate their own response to all manifestation of play and game types that occur.


Graduates of the course will have a sophisticated understanding of the design of games across a range of industry and theoretical standpoints. Fundamental to the philosophy of the course is the provision of an opportunity for students to explore and realise their individual aspirations and potential, creating a framework for developing more fully as skilled and informed professional practitioners. This is enabled through discussion and feedback with the course team and relevant peer groups. Reflecting the diversity of activity that falls within the boundaries of games design the course encompasses three distinct strands of activity. These are design, art and modelling. In the commercial world of game development these strands are often interwoven and the emphasis can change from company to company. Likewise these strands can vary from individual project to project within a company. To accommodate this varied field of skills the common lecture theme of the course encompasses all of these activities and an individual engaged in the course may respond in one, two or all three of the strands of activity.

cJAM: Media

Final year undergraduate and postgraduate media students have the opportunity to get involved in our annual cJAM employability event. cJAM shakes-up the traditional career fair format and gives UCLan students face-to-face time with up to 30 successful industry professionals all of whom have come to the event with the offer of valuable work placement opportunities. The cJAM event format consists of four main components:

  • Students hear from keynote industry speakers who share their personal career journey and how they got to where they are now.
  • The industry Q&A session allows students to ask questions to gain further advice and insight.
  • Informal networking opportunities during the breaks and lunch.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: N/A
Part-time: £1,125 per 20 credits (DL) (All Domiciles)

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

UK Government Postgraduate Loans Scheme

If you're thinking of studying a master's or doctoral degree you could be eligible for a loan from the Government to help you study.

For additional help with financing your studies, UCLan offers a range of Postgraduate scholarships, studentships, bursaries and the Alumni loyalty discount.

View further information

Industry Links

Learning Environment and Assessment

The MA Games Design has been specifically designed to accommodate the needs of part-time provision via distance learning. Students tend to be adults in employment who want to take the course on a part-time basis to fit around their other working commitments. We accommodate such needs by offering a clear structure of progression, balanced by flexible personal tutorials: for which you can expect to have weekly one-to-one contact with academic staff via web based visual conferencing. It is this bespoke interaction with academic staff that our students tell us they find both supportive and inspirational.

Weekly lessons are delivered electronically and the contents are discussed during video-based tutorials. Set exercises test the students understanding of each topic before moving on to the next.

Assessment is by 100 per cent coursework in the form of concise project reports or academic papers. For each of the 40 credit modules you undertake, you will have both a mid-module assignment and an end of module assignment to complete. Through weekly tutorials you will receive on-going formative feedback and guidance, but the final module mark and summative feedback is based on the end of module assignment only.


Opportunities within commercial design practice. Graduates will improve their chance of employment in the games industry with their demonstrated enhanced specialism and understanding developed on the course. Graduates will also find themselves strongly placed to develop their own practices and consultancies, or further themselves with the developing field of games design academia.