Creating a playful future
Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.
The programme is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design and application of games from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, game developers and game cultures. It will give you the academic skills needed to analyse, observe and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude with games and playful design.
Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this programme with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work in various professional roles, in research, public sector as well as in industry. The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation and implementation of games and related fields, such as social media.
The programme is founded on the long history of education and research conducted at the University of Tampere’s Game Research Lab. At Tampere University, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinates the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland in 2018-2025.
Extent of studies
Tuition fee for non-EU/EEA citizens
After completing the Master's degree you are expected to:
- be familiar with scientific thinking and capable of applying scientific working methods in your own area of specialization
- be motivated for lifelong learning
- be capable of undertaking scientific postgraduate studies
- be capable of applying the knowledge acquired and of functioning in internationalizing working life
After completing the Master’s Degree Programme in Game Studies you will:
- be able to identify, define and analyse games and play in their various forms
- understand and be capable of critically using the concepts and theories that relate to the fundamental character of games and the phenomena around them
- have in-depth understanding about the forms, practices and contexts of games as cultural, social, technical and commercial phenomena
- be able to independently acquire scientific knowledge
- be able to communicate the results from research to different audiences
- be able to work in interdisciplinary teams as an expert of games and related phenomena (including e.g. online cultures, game production, gamification)
More about the language of instruction
The programme is offered in English.
This master programme provides an in-depth view to the fundamental character and development of games and play. Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.
The programme is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design and application of games from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, game developers and game cultures. It will give you the academic skills needed to analyze, observe and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude with games and playful design.
The programme is founded on long history of education and research conducted at the University of Tampere Game Research Lab. In 2018-2025, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinates a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland.
Structure of studies
For more information, see the Curriculum. Please note that the Curriculum for Master's degree programme in Game Studies is updated later in spring 2019.
Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this programme with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work various professional roles, in research, public sector as well as in industry. The need for knowledgeable workforce is growing in the fields related to games and interactive media, but the students should adopt an active attitude in fashioning their own specific area of expertise and professional profile.
As a graduate you can take up multiple work roles that relate to the research and development of games as well as to the application of game play and game design for various purposes. Working as a university educated expert in this rapidly developing field requires solid research and communication skills combined with an active and independent mindset, and willingness to explore and innovate new approaches to understanding and applying interactive media into practice.
The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation and implementation of games and related fields like social media and gamification.
Co-operation with other parties
In addition to studies in one’s own degree programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from technical to vocational studies in various fields.
The research initiatives of GS teaching faculty are organized under TRIM, Tampere Research Center for Information and Media. TRIM is a multidisciplinary research institution for basic and strategic research on internet and interactive media, with key research themes ranging from game research and information and media practices to information retrieval. The Tampere University Game Research Lab carries out innovative research in games and play, and builds bridges from research to action in its various collaborations. In 2018-2025, Game Research Lab coordinates a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by Academy of Finland.
Postgraduate study opportunities
This master's degree provides the required background if you wish to pursue doctoral studies in game studies and related fields, for example in Tuni’s Doctoral programme in Information Studies and Interactive Media.
Eligibility criteria in the Master's degree programmes consist of two parts: Tampere University's general eligibility criteria, and programme-specific eligibility criteria, which specify and/or add information to the general criteria. You must meet both to be considered eligible. Applicants who do not meet both the general eligibility and the programme-specific eligibility criteria will not be selected.
General eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to a Master’s degree programme at Tampere University, you must have:
- a completed university-level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in the field of the desired Master's degree programme or in a closely related subject AND
- a good command of English for academic purposes. For more information, please see Language requirements.
A Bachelor’s degree completed in a university outside Finland must provide eligibility to university-level master’s degree studies in the country in question.
Programme-specific eligibility criteria
To be eligible to apply to the Master's degree programme in Game Studies, you must have a completed, suitable university-level Bachelor's degree or equivalent in Information Studies and Interactive Media, New Media, Game Studies, Communication, Cultural or Art Studies, Interaction Design, Psychology, Sociology, or other relevant field for studies in interactive media.
Please note that a pure programming degree (e.g. one in Engineering or Computer Science) does not alone qualify applicants for this programme, but if such studies are combined with studies and special competencies that relate to the content and use of Interactive Media (e.g. Game Studies, Information Studies, Interactive Media or Hypermedia), also applicants with a programming or game development focused background can apply.
The number of eligible applicants annually exceeds the number of students that can be accepted. The student selection is made by an admissions committee on the basis of the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all eligible applicants can be admitted.
Applicants who are in the final year of their Bachelor's degree
You are eligible to apply in the final year of your Bachelor’s degree if the degree will be completed and you are able to send an officially certified copy of the degree certificate and final transcript of records by post by the given deadline (around end of July, exact date to be given later). In this case, you can be admitted to a Master's programme conditionally. If you do not submit an officially certified copy of your degree certificate to Tampere University by the given deadline, your conditional admission will expire.
Language skill requirements
You must submit evidence on a good command of English for academic purposes. There are two ways of indicating English language proficiency: language tests and previous studies.
English language tests
The minimum English language test result requirements:
C1 Advanced/CAE: C
In all Tampere University Master’s programmes it is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you have completed certain studies.
In the Tampere University Master’s programmes it is possible to be exempted from submitting a language test score if you completed your secondary education and/or have taken a higher education degree in English in Finland or other EU/EEA country, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. You must have resided in the country while studying.
In the Master's Degree Programme in Game Studies, also the following studies exempt you from submitting a language test score. Please note that you may fit into several of the categories. Please choose the one you feel is most appropriate.
- A Bachelor’s degree completed in a Finnish university or university of applied sciences in Finnish or Swedish. The compulsory foreign language course included in the degree must be completed in the English language.
- Applicants who have taken their pre-university education (yläaste/lukio) in the Finnish language are not required to submit an international language test score but they must submit a copy of their yläaste/lukio certificate and provide evidence of their English language proficiency in their CV (for example information on studies conducted in English or work experience with English as the working language). It is possible to take some exams and complete the Master's thesis in Finnish.
Please note that in addition to assessing your previous studies in terms of eligibility, we assess them also to determine the level of your English skills based on the grades. If you feel your grades do not give the right impression of your English skills, we strongly recommend that you take a language test to indicate your proficiency in English.
A maximum of 20 students are admitted into the programme.
Students are selected to the programme from those applicants who fulfil the official eligibility criteria. Candidates for admission should be well qualified and capable of benefiting from the study programme in question.
The student selection is made by an admissions committee on the basis of the academic qualifications and merits shown in the application documents. Please note that not all applicants fulfilling the requirements can be admitted.
We recommend that applicants with a Bachelor's degree from a Finnish AMK university of applied sciences have a thesis graded no less than 3/5.
Students admitted to a Master’s degree programme may be required to complement their earlier degree with complementary studies. For more information on the complementary studies, please contact the programme coordinator of the degree programme.
How to apply
- Check the admission criteria.
- Start preparing your application documents as early as possible!
- If required, book a time for the language test.
- Fill in the online application at Studyinfo.fi during the application period and upload required enclosures for the application.
- Send the officially certified copies of your educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office by 30 January 2019. The documents must reach the University by the given deadline.
- Wait for the admission results.
- Accept the offer of admission by the given deadline.
- Pay the tuition fee, if required.
- Register as a student and join the Tampere University community!
Application process in detail
Select the Master's degree programme you wish to apply to. Carefully read through the general eligibility criteria and programme-specific eligibility criteria and see whether you meet them. Applicants who do not meet the general and programme-specific eligiblity criteria will not be selected.
Check which application documents you are required to submit and make sure to obtain them in time. Remember to check if there are any country-specific requirements for your documents. Please note that some documents may be required to be sent separately by a third party. Make sure also these documents are delivered in time.
When applying to the Master’s programmes you usually must demonstrate your proficiency in English with an internationally recognised academic language test report. We advise all 2019 applicants needing an international language test score to book for a test date well in advance, as test dates are filling up fast in the autumn and it may take several weeks for the test result to reach Tampere University.
Online application form
The online application form will be available during the application period only at Studyinfo.fi. The application period starts 4 December 2018 at 8 am (GMT+2) and ends 23 January 2019 at 3 pm (GMT+2).
Some application enclosures are the same in all Tampere University Master’s programmes while some are programme-specific. There are seven Tampere University general application enclosures.
You will need to upload all application documents online at Studyinfo.fi. In addition to uploading the application documents on the application, you must submit the officially certified copies of your educational documents to Tampere University Admissions Office by post. You must send the educational documents by post to Tampere University Admissions Office so that they arrive by 30 January 2019.
You can find the list of the required enclosures and further instructions on the Application documents webpage.
Please give the name, organisation, position and contact information including e-mail address for two academic/professional persons who can provide recommendations. If needed, we may contact them.
In addition to the seven Tampere University general application enclosures, for the Master's Degree Programme in Game Studies you also need to submit:
8. Regular photocopy of yläaste or lukio education degree certificate (only from those applicants who wish to indicate their English language proficiency using their yläaste/lukio studies). There is no need to send the certificate by post.
Country-specific requirements for application documents
Applicants whose degrees have been awarded in certain countries need to pay special attention to the documentation before submitting it. In addition to the standard document requirements, educational documents from certain countries must be submitted in a particular way. Note that the degree awarding country may be a different one from the country where the studies are taken. These country-specific requirements must always be followed first and foremost, prior to any regular requirements for attesting documents.
More information on the country-specific requirements for educational documents.
Admission results and appeals
Admissions results will be announced by early April 2019. All applicants will be informed about the admissions results.
Please see Tampere University's general instructions concerning rectification procedure.