Bachelor's degree, part-time studies

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

muotoilija (AMK), Bachelor of Culture and Arts

  • Programme
  • Curricula
  • Implementations

Xamk - the students' university of applied sciences

The high-quality, contemporary education offered at Xamk is implemented in close cooperation with the working life. Worklife-oriented education enhances your skills of lifelong learning and you are given the competences required in developing society and the working life. You can study during weekdays (weekday-based study path) or speed up your studies by taking weekend courses or online courses (time-saving path). You can integrate on-the-job learning in your studies (work-integrated path) and also include courses that the other degree programmes on all Xamk campuses have to offer. The core competences of your degree also include entrepreneurship, digital technology and Russia studies. Personal guidance to support your studies and health care services are available on all campuses.

Employment and career opportunities

The international degree programme in Game Design aims to equip the graduates with the knowledge, skills and understanding required to work in this challenging and competitive field. The degree studies give competence through research and development assignments and helps students to become experts in specific areas of game design and other fields that use 3D-modeling and animation, such as advertising and TV production. The degree programme strives to produce graduates who can work independently and communicate with people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Students have the possibility of establishing their own company during their studies. Xamk supports this by offering entrepreneurial studies. The constant changes within this industry create new professions and work duties. The Designer BA degree and the education you will receive during the game design programme studies aim to give you the best foundation possible, so you will be able to respond to these changes and work successfully on a range of different kinds of tasks. The program aims to provide entrepreneurship competence in global game design with hands-on experience and a holistic approach to game design. Studies in Game Design enable students from different cultural backgrounds to build an international career.

Curriculum objectives

The aim of the Xamk curriculum is to guarantee that you have the updated know-how required in working life. Student-centered learning, quality, consideration of the needs of working life and flexibility are crucial aspects of the curriculum.

The core of the competence-based curriculum is the structure of degree studies which enables personal choices to build your own career path. The year-round availability of courses, online studies and integration of work and study allow a smooth progress of your studies.

Bachelor's degrees are based on the EQF (European Qualification Framework) and the NQF (National Qualifications Framework) learning outcomes (knowledge, skills, qualifications). The degree structure and qualifications comply with the objectives of the Government Regulation 546/2013.

Degree programme learning outcomes

The degree programme in Game Design is structured on the basis of the common competency requirements for all universities of applied sciences with a focus on the specific needs of the game industry.

The Game Design degree studies consist of seven core competence modules including practical training, and supplementary competencies including modules of alternative studies and a bachelor’s thesis. The core competence modules are spread across several academic years, but supplementary modules are always implemented within one academic year.

In addition to core competence, supplementary skills are necessary in the game designer’s profession. The supplementary education is focused on the game industry, development and production skills, and advanced 3D-modeling. The graduates of the Game Design degree programme have competence in game production with an emphasis on the design and development of games, and acquire a clear understanding of the game industry. They will be able to create games and interactive products to meet the needs of customers and end users. The degree studies develop competence through research and development assignments and help the student to become an expert in specific areas of game design.

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. The degree programme studies aim to provide competence in global game design entrepreneurship with hands-on experience and a holistic approach to visual game design concepts. The studies in Game Design enable students from different cultural backgrounds to build an international career.

Degree studies

The studies in the degree programme of Game Design are based on structured lessons as well as independent learning. The students must take responsibility for their own learning and give feedback on the courses they take.

The degree studies consist of core and supplementary competencies. The core competence is the knowledge and skills that are needed in developing expertise to meet the needs of the working-life. The core studies include art and design skills, design methods and the use of professional tools. The studies are focused on 3D-modeling, concept art, script writing and game mechanics. Different game design concepts will be explored in workshops and design-orientated multidisciplinary projects in cooperation with various organizations.

Your objective is to attain the core competence required in the field. The supplementary competence is built on the core competence to enhance knowledge and improve skills. You can choose supplementary studies from other degree programmes to meet your own objectives or focus, for example, on the service design industry or the Russian language and culture. In the unpredictable labour market of the future, a bachelor’s degree significantly improves your prospects of employment.


The aim of the assessment is to support and make your learning visible. The assessment focus on development of knowledge, skills and competences. These are defined in European and national framework (EQF and NQF). Xamk has an application of EQF and NQF (assessment guidelines for students' know-how and skills (bachelor's level)), which is used in evaluation of your studies. Study courses are assessed in scale Fail/1 - 15 or accepted/täydennettävä(?). Accepted level is grade 1.

The module assessment is conducted through qualitative methods. Your assessment methods can be for example self-assessment, peer- assessment or assessment discussion led by the teacher. Modules are not assessed with grades, and the aim of the evaluation is to help you to figure the comprehensive development of you competencies.

Student counseling

Student counseling supports your professional growth in acquiring the skills necessary in the working life. The counselling supports you at the different stages of your studies and improves your individual and independent learning skills. You are encouraged to make responsible and independent decisions in your studies.

Your personal study and career plans are build on the objectives of the degree programme and on the knowledge and skills acquired in the past. You will evaluate your progress and update your personal study plan at counselling meetings that take place at least once a year. In these meetings, your career plan, course options, practical raining, thesis and international studies are discussed.

You do not need to study again what you already know. In order to save time, you can demonstrate and get a recognition for the previously acquired skills, allowing you to focus on learning new skills and gaining new knowledge from your studies. Prior learning is valuable and can be made visible through the recognition process. You can apply for the recognition process if you have acquired degree-related competence in other educational institutions. If you have acquired degree-related competence at work or in your free time, you can apply for a proficiency test. It is essential that the previously acquired skills meet the aims of the degree programme and the particular course. Work experience gained during studies can also produce relevant learning. This learning can be integrated into your studies (formalisation of learning at work) provided that you have made an appropriate plan and agreed on the integration in advance. In this way, work practice and theoretical knowledge interact.

A course called Professional Growth supports your studies allowing you to discuss and reflect on the goals and progression of your studies and grow professionally by interacting with other students and teachers. Partners from the working life have a significant role to play as part of the studies are implemented by means of co-operation projects, practical training and thesis writing.

At the early stages of your studies you will be guided by tutor students. These senior students will familiarise you with the study facilities, practices and student community at Xamk and show you around the city where you are studying.

Your well-being is very important for all of us. During your studies, you have the support of the entire Xamk staff. There is a student affairs office and student health care on all Xamk campuses. Xamk is a comfortable, communal and safe educational environment.

Learning environments

Xamk offers excellent environments for your learning. Significant part of studying happens ouside the classroom. Innovation- and project environments (e.g. Xinno, Xentre, CampusIT and Logistiikkaverstas), different kinds of simulation environments and teaching restaurants, eLearning environments and working life and RDI –projects are your learning environments. You can also conduct your studies in two authentic local environments: in the forest and at the sea.

You can study either on campus where the premises are designed especially for learning, or outside the campus in different companies and organizations where students, teachers and company representatives are co-operating. This way of learning gives you good know-how on working life and its possibilities around you. It makes it easier to get a proper place for practical training and thesis work. Practical training is an important learning environment. The theses are always commissioned.

Learning environment in business management studies offer you solid know how which you can apply in practical projects. You can learn also outside the courses.

E.g. fairs and international weeks are arranged on campus. These events, student activities (tutoring and student club activity) and workgroups (for developing campus environment etc.) offer a wide-ranging way to develop your competence.

RDI projects (research, development and innovation projects) are large projects which include also external financing. It is possible for you to participate in them through a course, as a practical trainer or as a project assistant doing a thesis. These projects are focusing e.g. on large-scale customer-oriented research work, development work for the local area and national education development. All the courses – despite the way of orientation – use the basic systems of e-Campus (e.g. virtual learning environment Moodle). Doing group work and sharing documents is smooth. Also special systems and digital environments (e-books, databases, office tools, financial management systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems, business games and research work programs) required by different courses are available. Network tools, student intra called Student and social media channels increase wide-ranging and quick ways of communication and co-operation.

Design is learnt by doing. As the design and culture sector are considered skill-oriented fields, the learning is based on the student's own active participation. Studies are mostly completed in workshops with only little lecturing. Instead, all study modules contain different learning tasks and one more comprehensive assignment which incorporates all the know-how gained during the courses.

The degree programme in Game Design emphasises the importance of following and reviewing your peers’ work as much as your own. Learning together requires interaction between students and teachers. The teachers are experts in their field who guide the students, facilitate learning and provide classroom exercises to show the students new opportunities or possibilities of approaching and solving challenges.

Occasionally, assignments and RDI projects are done in co-operation with companies making learning work-life oriented. Through these assignments, students are able to create networks, and some may find their future employer.

International perspective

Since the students of Game Design degree programme come from all over the world, there are good opportunities for international interaction. One of the objectives is to improve your ability to operate in the international and multicultural game industry.

The opportunity to go on exchange or to do your training abroad promotes vocational growth and know-how. The design department cooperates with foreign partner universitites by organising workshops and projects, and participating in international competitions.

Quality evaluation and development

Quality is valued at Xamk, and the staff and all students are involved in the development process. The focus is on constantly improving the quality of teaching and councelling, keeping the learning environments interesting and the content of degree programmes relevant.

We collect a significant part of the feedback data used in the development processes with surveys targeted at our students, our staff and interest groups. As a student, you play an essential role in the development of your degree programme. During your studies, you respond to several surveys. The course feedback, both mid-term and end-term, is a part of the Quality Management System as well as the preliminary survey upon admission and the education development survey and the graduation feedback questionnaire at the end of the studies.

The staff and the students discuss the feedback on different feedback forums, where they can agree on new actions and discuss the impact of earlier development measures. These forums serve as a means to voice the students’ opinions about Xamk operations and plans for development.

You can find more information about the evaluation and development of quality on the students’ intranet, Student.

individual learning paths

Scheduled track / weekday-based study path:
In weekday-based study path, you will study according to your curricula. You will attend teaching and guidance sessions as specified in the weekly schedule and do the given homework independently or in your assigned group. If you choose the weekday-based study path, you will complete the academic degree in four years.

Accelerated learning path:
If you want to speed up your transition to working life, you can choose a learning path that accelerates your studies. You can take courses from other groups' curricula, open universities or online. This learning path is suitable for students who are self-directed learners, goal-oriented and able to work independently.

Work life integrated study path:
You can opt for an integrated learning path if you are working in the video game industry, or on a project. If you choose this learning path, you need to have a formal co-operation agreement with your employer. You can complete part of your professional studies at your work.
The acquired competence and knowledge attained during working life will be demonstrated in learning assignments or reports.
You must always agree in advance with the course teacher to complete the learning assignments.