In this course, you’ll analyse the principles of the creative process, from ideation and design to delivery and dissemination. You’ll integrate design tools, programming languages, game engines, as well as specialist middleware and frameworks into your game development practice. You’ll also examine business models used by indie games studios to explore your own startup opportunities. If you already have a business idea, our mentors will help you get it off the ground.
Apply the principles of design and creativity to generate fun and playful experiences
Learn to use industry-standard platforms for making games and adapt to their technical constraints
Apply primary and secondary research methods drawn from game studies and the broader design science literature
Use methods from business and analytics to better understand how people engage with games and game companies
Adopt both technical and artistic perspectives as part of a design thinking process to deliver novel games
Collaborate across disciplinary boundaries, an increasingly important skill in the games industry
Practice game design across a range of application domains, including gamification and serious games
Keep and control the Intellectual Property (IP) of any games you produce
What our graduates do
Our graduates have worked as:
Game developers at companies such as MediaTonic, Firesprite, Creative Assembly, Project Gamechanger and Rare
Creative AI specialists at companies including Ultrahaptics, Solutionpath and Bewsign
Researchers and developers at companies such as Facebook
Further study at doctoral-level in artificial intelligence and/or data science, sponsored by the likes of Google
Our graduates have a track record of producing successful indie games. Published titles include: Get Packed by Moonshine Studio, Soria by Polargryph, SAI by Studio Mutiny, RoBoats by Animal Puree, Kick Your Astronaut by SquirrelSoft and Karate Krab by Liquid Sapling.
What you'll learn
Throughout this course, you'll learn how to produce original and creatively distinguished games based on your own intellectual property. You'll gain the ability to critically reflect upon and evaluate working methods and find the most effective ways to collaborate on projects. You'll also gain key professional skills in pitching your ideas; communicating concepts and presenting artefacts visually with clarity and enthusiasm.
Indie Game Development MA is comprised of five modules, four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). The modules have been specifically designed to be studied in a non-linear order. You'll begin the course with Module 1 and end the course with your Final Major Project (MA only). The order in which you'll study modules 2-4 will depend on when you begin the course.
You will need to complete four 30-credit modules and one 60-credit project (180 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award.
Module 1. Development Practice
By devising a series of small-scale creative artefacts, you'll use your existing ideas about development practice and then experiment with new approaches to challenge these ideas. This will enable you to create a personal case study, from which you can define how to expand and enrich your practice. Beyond the personal case study, you'll gain a broader sense of the contexts in which these practices are applied across disciplines.
Module 2. Game Development
You’ll develop and combine skills from the art, design and programming disciplines to create your own small indie game. This will help you understand how game development draws from many different disciplines and explain the different tasks involved in making games. By the end of the module, you'll have made a game yourself and produced a report that explains the cross-disciplinary context for your creative process.
Module 3. Co-creative Design and Development Practice
You'll work in a team on a problem-led creative project. This will typically, but not necessarily, be a small game or creative app. You will work together to situate, design, implement and evaluate your creative artefact. With the support of a supervisor, you'll strategically manage scope, workflow, communication roles and responsibilities. In the end, you will have produced an original artefact, based on your own intellectual property, that clearly illustrates how you can engage an audience.
Module 4. Indie Game Start-Up
In this module, you’ll design and prepare to launch a small business with a focus on indie game development. You’ll investigate and assess market opportunities in an area of your choice. This could involve exploring your audience, comparing how game businesses operate, contrasting business models, and considering how intellectual property can be managed. You’ll then decide which business opportunity your indie game is responding to and devise a business plan. You’ll consider branding, cash flow modelling, enterprise planning, incorporation, seeking further investment and interrogating routes to market. This will underpin further development and launch of your indie game.
Final Major Project (MA only)
You’ll work on a major research and development project, either independently or with others. This will allow you to expand and consolidate your skills of devising, developing and executing an extended development project. You can build upon your projects from other modules or develop a new concept. You should finish the course with a polished project of publishable quality. A supervisor will act as your mentor and adviser. If you’re planning to start your own business following this MA, your supervisor can direct you to professional services staff for business mentoring.
The modules above are those being studied by our students or proposed new ones. Programme structures and modules can change as part of our curriculum enhancement and review processes. If a certain module is important to you, please discuss it with the Course Leader.
How you'll learn
You'll learn through a blend of lectures, webinars, guest talks, tasks and discussion forums, which you'll access via our dedicated virtual learning environment. This is also where you'll find all key documentation, get course announcements and access extensive learning resources.
You'll be supported academically by Online Tutors, who will also deliver weekly webinars and facilitate the online forums. If you need assistance with anything that isn't directly related to course material, a dedicated Student Advisor team will be on hand to help. You'll also have access to Falmouth University's excellent employability service, RealWORKs.
You'll refine dynamic development practices, spending 20 hours a week working on your craft. We incorporate optional face-to-face events for all our online students. There will be up to two per year and will typically run over weekends, to fit around your other commitments.
The assessment provides the course team with a means of offering tailored guidance alongside advice on how to progress knowledge and skills in key areas that relate to the Course Learning Outcomes. The course team will identify your strengths and weaknesses as an individual and discuss them with you throughout your time on the course.
Assessments are 100% coursework, submitted in an electronic format to the virtual learning environment, and designed to reflect professional practice. Assessment methods include:
Dedicated easy-to-use virtual learning environment (VLE)
Study alongside students from around the world
Accessible online audio / visual content
Optional face-to-face events*
Invitation to attend alumni events
24/7 access to Falmouth's extensive online library of contextual books, journals and resources
Access to online software tutorials at LinkedIn Learning
Students' Union community
A Student Advisor to support you throughout your studies and access to our Student Support Services
Access to our Careers and employability service RealWORKS
*Please bear in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic may impact these events.
How to apply
An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification is desirable. However, candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply. If you'd like to discuss our entry requirements, speak to an advisor.
For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) either request information with our easy online form or read about it on our apply page.
If English isn't your first language, you'll need to demonstrate English language skills that are sufficiently developed for the successful completion of your studies. We accept a range of recognised English language qualifications that are equivalent to the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic minimum score of 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
This course has three intakes per year: January, May and September.
We are currently taking applications for September 2021. The application deadline for this intake is 31 August.
Academic start date*
20 September 2021
31 August 2021
24 January 2022
10 January 2022
1 June 2022
11 May 2022
*Virtual Welcome Week begins the week before the academic start date. During this time, our Student Advisor team will host Welcome Webinars and be in touch with practical information on how to study online.
Online tuition fees for courses commencing in 2021
Tuition fees for the academic year 2021-22 for new online students from September 2021 onwards:
MA / MSc course, 2 years part-time: £11,300 total fee (incl. acceptance fee)
PGDip course: £7,600 total fee (incl. acceptance fee)
Tuition fees are set annually and are subject to review each year. The University may therefore raise tuition fees in the second or subsequent years of a course, in line with inflation and/or the maximum permitted by law or Government policy. Students will be notified of any changes as soon as possible.
Early Bird discount
An Early Bird discount is available for early applications. The scheme offers a £300 MA / £150 PGDip tuition fee reduction if you apply by 26 July 2021.