Bachelor's degree, full-time studies

Degree Programme in Game Design
Bachelor of Culture and Arts, 240 ECTS

muotoilija (AMK), Bachelor of Culture and Arts

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations
Course Structure Diagram


The degree programme studies aim to provide competence in global game design industry with hands-on experience. The studies cover a wide range of different study subjects with an emphasis on 3D modeling, game art and game design.

The students develop their design skills and learn to use professional tools through working on their own game projects. During these projects different game design concepts and prototypes are explored with the aim of improving the aesthetic, production, design thinking, visual communication and team working skills and know-how of the students.

Graduates of the Game Design Degree Programme are able to create games and interactive products to meet the needs of customers and end users. The graduates are aware of the potential of gamification and game development opportunities within markets, including the public and private as well as the entertainment sector.

Degree programme description

The Degree Programme in Game Design consists of six core competence modules, including practical training and thesis, as well as complementary competences, including alternative studies. Your knowledge as a game designer increases and the content of studies follow certain themes:
- In the first year, you become familiar with the principles of game design, tools and software as well as project-based work.
- In the second year, you further develop skills in pre-production, character and environment design as well as game production.
- In the third year, you adopt knowledge and enhance your game design skills, and understanding of game business and development practices through a development project.
- In the fourth year, you develop personal competitiveness through practical training and thesis.

The core competence of the degree programme covers 105 ECTS credits through the following modules:
- Working life skills: you develop your skills in studying, communication and languages as well as in acquiring employment.
- Foundation studies: you become familiar with the basic techniques of drawing and painting and develop your skills in game design.
- Tools and software: you learn the basic tools and software required in game design.
- Games in context: you advance your knowledge of game business models and the cultural context of games. You develop and fine-tune your digital portfolio.
- Thesis: you further your knowledge and knowhow of a specific area of game design or game art through an independent research and development project.

The complementary competence of the degree programme covers 90 ECTS credits through the following modules:
- Pre-production skills: you develop your skills in level design, script writing and game design research through developing your own game concept as a member of a team.
- Environment design: you learn different aspects of environment design from mise-en-scene and concept art to 3D modeling through developing your own game environment.
- Character design: you advance your skills in character design from character development to drawing and animation and 3D modeling through developing your own character.
- Game production: you advance your skills of development platforms, user interface design and project management through your own development project.
- Game development: you gain a better understanding of scripting for game engines, 3D modeling and 3D animation that you can utilize in your own game project.
- Advanced game project: you develop your own game in a team from start to finish.
You will deepen your practical skills and theoretical knowledge of game mechanics and the key areas of your professional interests.

Practical training 30 ECTS credits
- The objective is to promote professional growth by increasing the students’ awareness of the field-specific work tasks and by supporting the students to work as a part of a work community.

Optional studies 15 ECTS credits
- Optional studies provide the opportunity to develop your own entrepreneurship, specific areas of game design or deepen your understanding of other fields: you can study courses from other degree programmes to meet your own objectives or focus.

Implementation of studies and flexible learning tracks

You can study Game Design both as blended learning (part-time) and daytime (full-time) studies. In both options the aim is to gain approximately 30 ECTS every semester. Please read more about the options below.

Blended learning (part-time) studies

This is an option for you if you need to incorporate your studies with work or if you are not able to live near the campus. Students come to the campus approximately every three weeks for two days (Thursday and Friday from 9am till 6pm). The rest of the studies is independent work in your own time. Most of the teaching takes place at Meduusa Studio, Kouvola. The town has good train connections, and the campus is located a 20-minute walk from the train station. It takes approximately an hour and half by train from Helsinki to reach the campus.

During your contact lessons at Meduusa Studio, you are able to utilize the software and hardware available at the campus but for the work outside the university premises you are expected to have your own device.

Daytime (full-time) studies

Students work at the campus from Monday to Friday. This is for you if you value peer support and the network of your classmates on a daily basis. You are able to utilize the software and hardware available at the Meduusa Studio where most of the instruction takes place. The facilities are available for students to use also outside the classroom time in the evenings and during the weekends. This means that there is no requisite to have your own device.

Possibilities to speed up your studies

If you are able present evidence and demonstrate your prior learning, you can apply for recognition of prior learning for studies completed at universities or skills acquired through work. This allows you to concentrate on learning new things and makes it possible to speed up your studies.

Study support

At the beginning of your studies we will do a personal study and career plan (PSP) that will support you in your studies, practical training, thesis and exchange plans.
Study guidance provides you with important information and guidance during the various stages of your studies. The starting point for studying and study guidance is that you take responsibility for your own studies. However, you will be supported by student representative and tutors that help you with the study environment and study practices.

The services of the local health care centre, counselling psychologist and student well-being adviser are there to support you with your studies as well.
Read more about student well-being services.

Tuition fees

The tuition fee for non-EU/EEA students is 6000 euros per academic year. In addition to the tuition fee, you must independently cover your study materials and your own living expenses.

Scholarship scheme at Xamk

Students whose studies progress well (completes 55 ECTS credits during the academic year), will be refunded 50% of the paid fee.

Career opportunities

Studies in Game Design enable students from different cultural backgrounds to build an international career. The degree gives you competence through research and development assignments to become an expert in specific areas of game design, which that supports your own career plans. During your studies, you devise your own game projects with the aim of building your own design portfolio that helps you with your employment in the future.

As a Bachelor of Culture and Arts you can become:
• game designer
• game artist
• 3D modeler of assets, characters and environments
• level designer
• user interface and/or user experience designer
• entrepreneur in game design

RDI and cooperation with world of work

At Xamk you have an opportunity to work in projects used as learning environments which combine students, teachers and representatives of the world of work. Previously, students have, for example, created game assets, art and design for several research and development projects carried out at the university as well as pitched their game ideas and created games for various companies and organizations.

Through research and development projects you adopt an analytical, critical, research-oriented and reflective approach in the field of game design. You learn to use different methods of qualitative, quantitative and design research and can implement them in your own study. You are able to:
- creatively and critically apply your knowledge in a game design process
- set targets, define the research question and the frame of reference for your project
- choose the appropriate research methods for the project
- analyze how the chosen methods help answering the research question and draft a report with references.

Besides skills, competences and attitudes gained during project work, attending events and working with industrial partners provides you with opportunities to develop your networks. You can achieve references, make connections and get to know the industry, companies and stakeholders, which is essential for the future. For example, at Meduusa Studio we are hosting a yearly Theme Park – a digital art rally – seminar and workshops where industry professionals and students are able to meet, network and learn from each other. Learn more about Theme Park on Facebook and on Theme Park Finland website.

Learning environments

Our Meduusa Studio presents students with up-to-date equipment which enable the development of new projects for various platforms. In addition to traditional classrooms facilities, we have a studio with a motion capture facility and rooms for independent project work.

Students are able to borrow drawing tablets, digital cameras, game consoles and VR equipment for testing purposes and for their own development projects. All the software and hardware needed is at the campus which means that Game Design students do not need to bring their own computers to the campus.

The studio is also a great location to run game jams, LAN parties and seminars. In addition to the studio space, there is a sauna at Meduusa Studio that students have utilized during these events.

A lot of the study material is also available online which makes it possible for you to study in your own time as well.

Outside Meduusa Studio, we collaborate with the Degree Programme in Information Technology, located in Kotka, which focuses on game programming.