Weiyi Qi, MA Games Design, UCA Farnham

MA Games Design - UCA Farnham

Games Design MA


Course overview

Explore different perspectives on game-play, develop compelling and exciting new work and expand your understanding of the games of tomorrow on UCA's MA Games Design degree course.

This course will challenge you to investigate the context of contemporary games and games culture and examine audience engagement, while also considering games in other contexts. This includes Applied Games (also known as Serious Games), as well as research, education and healthcare, together with how games can inform other creative disciplines like film and architecture.

We want you to apply your skills beyond just creating entertainment, to explore other areas such as avant-garde and games with a purpose. You'll expand your knowledge of game mechanics of interaction and immersion, employ new technologies and creative approaches (such as Expanded Reality - XR), and build on your existing digital design and technical skills. We will also encourage you to take part in UCA Game Jams and to attend external events and festivals.

You will be taught in outstanding studios, with dedicated industry hardware and software. You will also have access to VR development facilities, allowing your games to be deployed to a variety of platforms, and have access to our unique library of consoles, PCs, board and card games.

Delivering the course is a team of lecturers with experience in games development and related creative and research fields. You will also benefit from talks by visiting lecturers from high-profile gaming companies and backgrounds.

The South East of England, where UCA Farnham is located, is home to a significant proportion of the UK games industry – including Rocksteady Studios, Supermassive Games, EA, Rebellion, Fireproof Games, nDreams, Two Point Studios, Gears For Breakfast, Supergonk, Failbetter Games and Weather Factory – offering many opportunities for off-site visits and trips, games networking events and other cross-course activities.

The campus is only 20 minutes away from Guildford – dubbed the Hollywood of computer games – and just 55 minutes from London – a stone's throw from two of the three largest games industry hubs in the UK, as well as up-and-coming Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) industry. Studying so close to Guildford and London will also give you access to the UK’s largest technology incubation and games industry start-ups.

A one-year course of advanced study for furthering your research skills and specialising within your discipline.

A year-long preparatory course of study to ready you for your Master’s, developing your specialist skills, research acumen and confidence in working autonomously.

A year-long preparatory course of study to ready you for your Master’s in the UK, developing your English speaking and writing together with your specialist skills, research acumen and confidence in working autonomously.

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Accredited by:

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Course details

Course details

The content of the course may be subject to change. Curriculum content is provided as a guide.

Get ready for your chosen postgraduate course with this preparatory year of specialist study. With a mix of online and face-to-face learning, UCA’s Integrated Pre-Masters is designed to give you insight into the study skills required to complete a Master’s, within the context of your creative subject. You’ll build skills in autonomous learning, forming your own targets and goals, honing your research skills, time management and professional practice.

For our students coming from a non-UK educational background, UCA has launched an Integrated International Pre-Masters year. On this course you’ll prepare for postgraduate study with a mix of online and face-to-face learning that will give you the study skills required to complete a Master’s, and you’ll also improve your English for academic study.

Thinking, Prototyping and Practice
You will examine advanced, specialist tools, methods, concepts and processes relevant to games, and develop your interactive development skills in order to prototype games, while exploring the interplay between concept and outcome. You will be encouraged to explore and challenge the expanding discipline through a range of practice-based projects.

Narrative and Play
You’ll learn about the application of traditional story and narrative design and how it applies to games design and gameplay. This unit gives you an introduction to the art and craft of producing interactive fiction and storytelling techniques and structures for innovative games. It will provide you the opportunity to develop unique narrative and playable experiences for to expand the possibilities for gameplay using the tools and approaches available through Games.

During term two you will experiment and develop game experiences with VR and AR technologies, exploring different prototype outcomes and, begin developing your MA project.

Real and Virtual Worlds
This unit examines the relationship between the real and virtual world and you will use different tools, methods, concepts and process to create your own virtual or mixed reality world. You will design unique and fully immersive and spatialised experiences specific to chosen audiences and consider the transition between worlds.

Audiences and Experiences
Through seminars, projects and supporting workshops, you will critically examine gameplay, rules and mechanics and design experiences for specific audiences, having evaluated contemporary games culture in reference to a specific audience, their needs and interests. These experiences might entertain, educate, inform, augment or challenge your audience, with some of the themes explored through this unit being further developed later in the course.

In the third term of the course, you will apply the knowledge gained through your research to create a final body of work and exit portfolio.

Realisation and Dissemination
This unit is the culmination of your studies and an exposition of the skills, understanding and creative approach you have developed through your MA. It leads directly from the previous unit, through which you have already defined your interests, tested your ideas, and planned the production of a body of work for this unit. Through this unit you will demonstrate your in-depth subject knowledge, understanding of context, creative independence, applied ideas and innovation, technical skills, resolution (appropriate to your intended audience) and personal strategy for presenting work.


Tuition fees - 2022 entry

UK students:

  • Integrated Pre-Masters course - £10,500
  • MA course - £10,500

EU students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)
  • MA course - £10,500 (see fee discount information)

International students:

  • Integrated International Pre-Masters course - £17,500
  • MA course - £18,000

Additional course costs
In addition to the tuition fees there may be other costs for your course. The things that you are likely to need to budget for to get the most out of a creative arts education will include books, printing costs, occasional or optional study trips and/or project materials. These costs will vary according to the nature of your project work and the individual choices that you make. Please see the additional course costs for 2021 entry. The details for 2022 entry will be available here in due course.

Further information
For more detailed infomation about our course fees and any financial support you may be entitled to please see our fees and finance pages.

The fees listed here are correct for the stated academic year only. Costs may increase each year during a student’s period of continued registration on course in line with inflation (subject to any maximum regulated tuition fee limit). Any adjustment for continuing students will be at or below the RPI-X forecast rate.

To support our students and alumni to progress to the next level of study, we have developed a new range of fee discounts across a range of courses.

Course specifications

Please note, syllabus content indicated is provided as a guide. The content of the course may be subject to change in line with our Student Terms and Conditions for example, as required by external professional bodies or to improve the quality of the course.


Our outstanding computer games studios have high-end PCs dedicated to games design with games systems and interactivity software including Maya, Photoshop and Substance, and Unity and Unreal games engines. There are also sound production studios, a Foley studio and pro tools suites. There is a modern library with a wealth of books, journals, special collections and online resources.


Games studios, UCA Farnham


Games studio, UCA Farnham


Sound studios, UCA Farnham


Library, UCA Farnham

Explore our Gradshow

Visit our 2021 grad show site to see the incredible work created by our graduating students

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

MA course

  • An honours degree or equivalent qualification in the subject or a related discipline


  • Relevant work experience, demonstrating your ability to study at postgraduate level.

Consideration will also be given to applicants who can make a strong case for admission in relation to a particular project and can demonstrate their potential to satisfactorily complete the course.



MA course with Integrated Pre-Masters course
MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

A recognised bachelor degree or 3 year diploma with a strong portfolio in a relevant subject.

To view the equivalent entry requirements for your country please select it in the list below.

Don't meet the international entry requirements or English language requirements?

You may be able to enter the course through the following entry courses:

Pre-sessional English courses in the UK or China

UCA International Foundation courses

The UCA International College

MA course
MA course with Integrated Pre-Masters course
MA course with Integrated International Pre-Masters course

For these courses, we’ll need to see your visual or written portfolio for review. We’ll invite you to upload your portfolio online via your Applicant Portal – further information will be provided once you have applied. If you would prefer to meet the Academic Team in person for a review of your work on campus, this can also be arranged for you.

More portfolio advice

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