Games Design and Development
Duration 2 Years
Next intake January 2022
Application deadline 08 Jul 2021
Scholarships availableBegin your application
Do you want to create your own games? Could you run your own games company?
NFTS Games aims to give you everything you need to make high-quality games across a range of styles, formats and platforms.
“There’s no other course with this kind of approach.” Graduate Ana Ribeiro, creator of Pixel Ripped.
The two-year MA course has an ‘games innovation’ ethos, giving you the opportunity to create complete games in a unique environment, collaborating with students from across the School – from composers and sound designers to marketing and distribution students – learning not only how to create games, but how to release them and promote them across indie games and Triple-A.
The course covers practical knowledge of games software development and provides the ability to experiment with evolving technologies and techniques. Every student gets access to high-spec gaming systems and related tools. They work on both solo and group projects, with plenty of opportunities to experiment, innovate and excel – with all production costs for development met by the School.
We welcome students from a range of backgrounds – recent students have included a neuroscientist, a kickboxing instructor and a copy-writer – all you need is a passion for games, a creative spark and a willingness to learn new skills. Games development experience is welcome, but by no means essential.
Students also have the opportunity to develop industry contacts through events and visits from professionals and experts.
All NFTS students can attend Masterclasses. Recent guests include David Fincher (Fight Club), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Steve McQueen (12 Years A Slave), Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag), Ben Wheatley (Free Fire), Rapman (Blue Story), Louis Theroux, Debra Granik (Winter’s Bone), Denis Villeneuve (Bladerunner 2049), Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here), Sam Mendes (1917), Asif Kapadia (Senna), Joanna Hogg (The Souvenir), Russell T Davies (Doctor Who) and Alex Garland (Enslaved: Odyssey To The West).
Recent credits and successes
What you will study
The video games industry is continually innovating and evolving, and new platforms and technologies have created fantastic opportunities for technical invention and artistic innovation. This course provides the practical skills and creative knowledge to design, devise and build games, from inception to delivery. We strive to develop the creative leadership necessary to become a leading innovator and practitioner within the industry.
Students work alongside film, television and animation practitioners, developing creative and technical skills in games design, code, art, animation, production, audio and interface. The NFTS is a uniquely creative environment, enabling students to benefit from numerous collaborative opportunities across our production studios.
In the first year students undertake a series of set projects – both group and solo – during which they also learn core games development disciplines of design, art, animation, coding and production. The modules and workshops cover 3D modelling/animation, game programming (C#/Unity), game design, character creation, producing and project management. In the second year students focus on their Final Major Project, working with students from other disciplines.
Head of Department
Head of Games is Alan Thorn, a multidisciplinary game developer, author and educator with 17 years Industry experience
Current or Recent Tutors
Mike Bithell (Creator of Thomas Was Alone), Jess Curry (The Chinese Room), Phil Harrison (formerly of Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft Game Studios), Imre Jele (Co-founder of Bossa Studios), Richard Lemarchant (Formerly of Naughty Dog), Barry Mead (Fireproof Games) and Siobhan Reddy (Co-founder of Media Molecule. Credits include LittleBigPlanet).
For their final year projects, all students create a game of their own design from scratch.
Games design and development students at the NFTS come from a wide range of backgrounds and prior experiences, and have demonstrated an excitement, aptitude, creativity and willingness to learn new skills. We actively seek a diverse and interesting group of people who have something new to bring into the games development fold. Successful applicants have come to us with previous qualifications from across the arts, sciences and humanities; and from all walks of life as far as profession and practice is concerned. Games development experience is welcome, but by no means essential.
While many applicants will have a degree from a British or overseas university, we will consider applicants who do not have a degree if they have an impressive portfolio, a creative track record or an alternative qualification.
For international students, more information about our entry requirements, including Visa and English language requirements, can be found on our What You Need To Know section of our Students From Abroad page.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.
How to apply
Application deadline:08 Jul 2021
Applicants must complete the online application form and submit the following supporting material:
- A digital portfolio of your creative work presented online (Send us a link to your YouTube videos or a Google Shared Folder or a personal website). This may show sketches, illustrations, animations, sample games, design documents, and others. The purpose is to showcase your creative skills.
Applications are now open! We are happy to receive applications until midnight of the application deadline date.Begin your application