Master of Science in
Games

The Programme

Playing can be a form of communication, of learning, of social interaction, as well as entertainment. From video games to user experience design, from e-sports to gamification, our world is full of games and playfulness. With an MSc in Games, you create the future of play.

Based on a solid foundation of creative, technical, social, and analytical competences, you will realize the playful experiences of tomorrow. By understanding the complex creative process of game production, and how professional development teams work together, you will be able to make a difference in any project that uses game technology or playful design elements.

 

The MSc in Games is as much about making as it is about understanding. It provides you with practical and theoretical knowledge on how computer games are made, how they create meaning, and how they impact our social interactions and communities. You will work with some of the world’s leading games researchers, explore cutting edge technologies for their playful potential, and become an expert in how to realize creative projects in interdisciplinary teams. You will learn how to use design methods, technical experimentation, analytical tools, critical thinking, and scientific research to drive innovation.

The programme has an international perspective and is taught in English. There will be used cases and examples from both Danish and international organisations.

Non-curricular events at the university can be held in Danish.

 

Meet some Games students

The Technology Track

Carolina tells about studying Games at ITU. 

The Design Track

Martin is a student on the Games Design Track. Hear what he likes about the programme here. 

Who studies Games?

As a student of Games, you want to be an innovator in the field of games and play. You are not afraid of getting your hands dirty when learning the applied skills of game design and programming. You bring curiosity in games as a cultural phenomenon, and you are ready to have your view of what can be done with games and playfulness radically expanded. 

You have a university bachelor’s degree or a professional bachelor’s degree and are either already able to write code or ready to learn the competence of programming while studying in the programme. There is a great deal of group work on this programme, so you should be motivated to collaborate with other students, especially across disciplines.

Programme Structure

The foundation of the Games Programme is to provide a solid understanding of the design and development process of games, their technical basis, and their individual and cultural impact. Through extensive project work, you will learn to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams. You will also realize several of prototypes of games and playful experiences. You can choose between two tracks in the programme:

  • The Technology Track
  • The Design Track
 

The IT University is in continuous dialogue and collaboration with the games industry, so the skills you learn in this education are highly applicable within and outside the games industry. While both tracks allow you to work in the development of games and playful experiences, the Technology Track provides additional skills needed to implement game-specific technologies and requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science  or equivalent. The Design Track on the other hand focusses on exploring playful design methods and requires no prior programming skills but the readiness to acquire those.

See the curriculum for MSc in Games.

Course of study for MSc in Games
1st semester Games & Culture
7,5 ECTS
Game Programming*
7.5 ECTS
Making Games
15 ECTS
Programming for Designers**
7.5 ECTS
2nd semester Data-Driven Design and Development
7,5 ECTS
Elective
7,5 ECTS
Elective
7,5 ECTS
Specialisation
Graphics Programming
*
7,5 ECTS
Specialisation
Psychology of Play and Games**
7,5 ECTS
3rd semester Elective
7,5 ECTS
Specialisation
Algorithms for Game Development*
7,5 ECTS
Specialisation (including Thesis Prep)
Deep Learning for Games and Simulations*
15 ECTS
Specialisation
Advanced Topics in Game Studies**
7,5 ECTS
Specialisation (including Thesis Prep)
Play Lab**
15 ECTS
4th semester Thesis
(30 ECTS)

* The Technology Track 
** The Design Track



Mandatory courses

The mandatory content is distributed on the following courses:

  • Games & Culture: A course conveying the necessary tools for analysing games from a comprehensive variety of angles, ranging from classic play theories and semiotics to transmedia.
  • Game Programming/Programming for Designers/Introduction to Programming: These courses teach programming for computer games on different levels.
  • Making Games: In this course you learn the basics of game production as a design and software development practice by making and testing a game in a multidisciplinary group.
  • Data-Driven Design and Development: This course teaches an analytical toolset for evaluating design decisions and techniques for developing analytical tools.
On your second semester, you will begin your specialisation.
 

Electives and Master's Thesis

The electives and the master’s thesis offer an opportunity to shape your own profile. You can choose between a number of courses offered at the IT University at master level for electives, or even take electives at a different Danish or international university. The master’s thesis can be done in groups or individually.

The course list offers descriptions of all courses offered at the IT University.


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Specialisations

Each track offers a particular specialisation for its students. A specialisation consists of three courses about a specific area of the field of games and prepares you for the master’s thesis.

The Technology Track specialisation aims at introducing students to different concepts, methods, and algorithms within the area of Artificial Intelligence. These are all connected with and applicable in game production. You will learn to implement state of the art AI algorithms and how to use them to improve the gaming experience. You will also learn graphics programming and other techniques that are fundamental to game engineering.

The Design Track specialisation teaches you how to be creative with play design methods. From playfully exploring the potential of new technologies to the psychology of why and how we play, it provides a practical toolset and theoretical grounding for creating innovative interactive experiences. 

All Games students can apply for taking part in DADIU in the third semester. DADIU (The Danish Academy of Digital, Interactive Entertainment) is a programme training you in making computer games. The programme is coordinated by the National Film School of Denmark and is a joint collaboration between a large number of universities and art schools in Denmark.

You are free to apply for an individual specialization that fits your own goals. Another interesting option, especially in the third semester, is to study abroad (see below)

 

The Technology Track specialisation aims at introducing students to different concepts, methods, and algorithms within the area of Artificial Intelligence. These are all connected with and applicable in game production. You will learn to implement state of the art AI algorithms and how to use them to improve the gaming experience.

The Design Track specialisation teaches you how to be creative with play design methods. From playfully exploring the potential of new technologies to the psychology of why and how we play, it provides a toolset and theoretical grounding for creating innovative interactive experiences. 


All Games students can apply for taking part in DADIU in the third semester. DADIU (The Danish Academy of Digital, Interactive Entertainment) is a programme training you in making computer games. The programme is coordinated by the National Film School of Denmark and is a joint collaboration between a large number of universities and art schools in Denmark.

You are free to apply for an individual specialization that fits your own goals. Another interesting option, especially in the third semester, is to study abroad (see below).


Follow @itustudent on Instagram and meet more ITU students

Thesis example

 Phillip Phoelich and Óscar Losada.

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We wanted to see if we could make a realistic VR hand that doesn’t enter objects, without losing the player’s experience of being present inside the virtual world.

Óscar Losada og Phillip Phoelich, MSc in Games

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Thesis example

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We wanted to do something different with VR. Playing a VR game can feel very isolated, and interacting with people outside the game is difficult. So we decided to investigate what would happen if we created a game where one player is inside the VR experience and the other player is outside.

Elisa Marchesi, Martin Thomsen, Fran Avilés and Sonny Dalheim, MSc in Games

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Tell Me What You See.

Activities for students on Games

Game Jams

The Games Programme regularly hosts game jams, for example Level One Jam and Global Game Jam. These events have been the starting point for commercial games, friendships, and entire companies.

Level One Jam is a yearly game jam that takes place at ITU. Lvl.1 is inclusive and beginner friendly. It is an entry level jam that is ideal for anyone who has never attended a game jam before. Lvl.1 gives the game jam experience to beginners and experts alike. The event does not just consist of the jam, but also have talks and workshop during the weekend.

The Global Game Jam is the world's largest game jam event taking place around the world at physical locations. It is the growth of the idea that in today’s heavily connected world, we could come together, be creative, share experiences, and express ourselves in a multitude of ways using video games – it is very universal. Every year, the ITU traditionally hosts a Global Game Jam location. Games students usually help running the event but also take part.

We also occasionally run student-only game jams with companies such as Lego or Unity.

Study Lab

The Study Lab is a weekly meet-up for both cohorts where students meet to help each other. Facilitated by teaching assistants, it’s a place to meet fellow students from other tracks and cohorts, to team up and solve challenges of studying together. 

Playtest Thursday

Every second Thursday, the Games Programme hosts a demo session, where unfinished prototypes get showcased and played together.

Summer and Winter Games

Every semester, the IT University runs an exhibition of games made by you and your fellow students. We invite international guest speakers and enjoy an afternoon of play. The event started out as a physical exhibition but moving it online proved to be super successful because games are really well suited for streaming.

Student Exchange

You have the opportunity to take a part of your programme at a university abroad. Especially the 3rd semester is well suited for an exchange stay. This is a chance for you to further specialise your education and have the experience of working in a new environment in a new country. The IT University has exchange agreements around the world, for example:

 
 

Teaching

The teaching methods include lectures, group projects, individual projects, and exercises. Your teachers will be some of the world’s foremost experts on computer games, mainly from the Center for Computer Games Research. Through research-based teaching you will be exposed to contemporary games research.

The IT University has a close collaboration with the business community and the games industry, and the programme is designed to give you the opportunity to collaborate with private companies. This means you will be able to work with current real-world challenges, and you will have an opportunity to make a network in the games industry even before you graduate.

As a Games student, you will become part of a dynamic and creative environment. You might experience that your studies become a lifestyle. After all, lectures, teaching and workshops are only half of student life.

The programme is taught in English. However, there will be used both Danish and international cases and examples in classes.

Career

The competencies you acquire during your MSc in Games are highly applicable both within and outside the games industry. You will be able to seek a career in Denmark or internationally. Your profile is suited for a wide range of jobs in private companies as well as public institutions.

Your profile is also suited for a wide range of jobs in application development, consultancy, and in public institutions as well as for entrepreneurship.

If you choose the Game Technology track you will be qualified to apply for programming and data-science related jobs like:

  • Game Programmer
  • Gameplay Programmer
  • Engine Programmer
  • AI Engineer
  • Data Analyst
 

Examples of positions you can be qualified for after graduating in the Game Design track include:

  • Game Designer
  • Gameplay Designer
  • Level Designer
  • Producer
  • QA-manager
  • Game researcher

Additionally, independent of your track you will be able to work e.g. with:

  • Gamification – designing and developing educational tools, public services or applications
  • Interaction Design – working on any engaging and highly interactive digital product or service
  • Analog games – aside from PC games and apps you can focus on the playfulness of board games, escape rooms, etc.
If you are interested in applying for a PhD at the IT University please see here.

Are you interested in studying at the IT University of Copenhagen, please contact The Study and Career Guidance.


Email: studievejledningen@itu.dk