Key details
Award title
MA Indie Game Development (also available as PGDip)
Awarding body
Falmouth University
Level
7
Duration
MA 2 years; PGDip 14 months
Mode of study
Online, part-time
Total MA course fee
£10,900
Next start date
25 January 2021
Welcome week
16 January 2021
Application deadline
11 January 2021

Introduction

Do you have the artistic vision and ambition to create original indie games? Integrate design tools, programming languages, game engines, as well as specialist middleware and frameworks into your game development practice. Analyse the principles of the creative process, from ideation and design through to delivery and dissemination. Explore business models used by indie games studios to see how you could start up your own. If you already have a business idea, get it off the ground with help from a mentor.

The course is part of Falmouth’s Games Academy, one of the largest dedicated game development studio spaces of any UK university. In 2020 it was featured in The Princeton Review as one of the top 50 games schools in the world. The Academy is full of people working in all aspects of the games industry, creating real games and digital products every day. We primarily use Unity as our game engine, but have expertise that spans a wide range of tools.

As an MA Indie Game Development student, you'll benefit from our 'doing it for real' approach. On Falmouth Flexible’s MA Indie Game Development, you’ll:

  • Design and implement digital and non-digital games
  • 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 arts 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

Who is this course for?

This course is for anyone who wants to bring their creative and artistic skills, and aspirations to indie game development. If you want to launch your own small business which will produce and sell indie games, our Indie Game Start-Up and Major Project modules will help you innovate and develop your business idea, with mentoring made available to support you.

However, the critical thinking and research skills you learn on the course are also applicable to a range of careers, including:

  • Indie games
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Game design
  • Digital art
  • Programming
  • Production
  • Gamification
  • Creative technology
  • Immersive art
  • Education

 

Falmouth University has a track record of success in indie game publishing:

  • Get Packed by Moonshine Studio
  • Soria by Polargryph
  • SAI by Studio Mutiny
  • Roboats by Animal Puree
  • Kick Your Astronaut by SquirrelSoft
  • Karate Krab by Liquid Sapling

Entry requirements

You should have:

  • An honours degree or Level 6 equivalent qualification 
  • Proof of proficiency in English (minimum overall score of IELTS 6.5 with at least 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening or TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) with a minimum of 88 overall and at least 21 in all 4 components). 

 

We also accept a range of equivalent recognised English language qualifications. Candidates without a degree or formal qualification are still encouraged to apply.

For more information regarding equivalent international qualifications and Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) please call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 or view our handy guide: 

APL guide

Course details

What you'll learn

You will learn how to produce original and creatively distinguished games based on your own intellectual property, which clearly illustrate how they can engage an audience. You will gain the ability to critically reflect upon and evaluate working methods and find the most effective ways to collaborate on projects. You will learn how to pitch your ideas, communicating concepts and presenting artefacts visually with clarity and enthusiasm.

MA

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.

PGDip

You will need to complete four 30-credit modules (120 credits in total). All modules on the course are compulsory and must be passed in order to complete the award. A dissertation (major project) is not required.

*Please note: the order of modules may differ to that stated below.

Module one

Development Practice (30 credits)

By devising a series of small-scale creative artefacts, you will 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 will gain a broader sense of the contexts in which these practices are applied across disciplines.

Module two

Game Development (30 credits)

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 will have made a game yourself and produced a report that explains the cross-disciplinary context for your creative process.

Module three

Co-creative Design and Development Practice (30 credits)

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 will strategically manage scope, workflow, communication roles and responsibilities. At the end, you will have produced an original artefact based on your own intellectual property which clearly illustrates how you can engage an audience.

Module four

Indie Game Start-Up (30 credits)

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 on 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)

Final Major Project (60 credits)

You’ll work on a major research and development project, either independently or with others. This allows 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 a 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.

Development Practice (30 credits)

By devising a series of small-scale creative artefacts, you will 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 will gain a broader sense of the contexts in which these practices are applied across disciplines.

Game Development (30 credits)

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 will have made a game yourself and produced a report that explains the cross-disciplinary context for your creative process.

Co-creative Design and Development Practice (30 credits)

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 will strategically manage scope, workflow, communication roles and responsibilities. At the end, you will have produced an original artefact based on your own intellectual property which clearly illustrates how you can engage an audience.

Indie Game Start-Up (30 credits)

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 on 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 (60 credits)

You’ll work on a major research and development project, either independently or with others. This allows 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 a 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.

How you'll learn

With Falmouth Flexible, you access your course content, interactions with other students and tutors, and learning resources, through Canvas, an easy-to-use online platform.  

You can access the course wherever you are in the world, and you can stop, pause and rewind lectures whenever you want.  

Learning activities

Engaging learning activities will help you apply theory to practice. They could include: 

  • Concise online presentations to introduce key concepts 
  • Small group and class discussions and crits to facilitate interaction and dialogue 
  • Online critiques to test assumptions, ideas and to receive feedback from peers and tutors 
  • Individual and group tutorials throughout the course 
  • Independent study 
  • Self-evaluation and peer feedback

All modules are project-based with assessments which are designed to consolidate and test your ability to generate and appraise games.

Assessments are 100% coursework, submitted within the online virtual learning environment, and designed to reflect professional practice.

They could include:

  • Projects
  • Portfolios
  • Pitches
  • Papers

Student support

Throughout your studies, you’ll be supported by a student advisor. Their job is to answer any non-academic queries you may have, and they can be contacted via email, phone, text or WhatsApp.  

They can show you around the online learning platform, guide you through enrolment, and give advice on managing your work/life balance.  

As a Falmouth student, you enjoy an equal status to students studying on campus:

  • Your own student ID card
  • 24/7 online access to library resources
  • Students’ Union community
  • Careers advice IT services and training
  • Wellbeing advice and support
  • Access to study skills training on topics such as referencing

Teaching team

The course is part of Falmouth’s Games Academy, one of the largest dedicated game development studio spaces of any UK university.

You'll learn from a multidisciplinary team from Falmouth Games Academy with expertise across disciplines, bringing together art, animation, audio, design, programming, and writing.

"The Games Academy provided a fantastic amount of support for our ongoing projects."
Troy Atkinson, BA(Hons) Game Development graduate

Falmouth Flexible Graduation 

Complete your MA with us and you'll be invited to receive your degree certificate in person, at Falmouth University.

Find out how you can celebrate your achievement: 

More about graduation

 

Indie Game Development student working

Face-to-face events

Up to twice a year, you’ll have the optional opportunity to meet your classmates and tutors in person at face-to-face events. These allow exploration of topics related to your course content and offer a wider industry context for your learning. Dates and location of the events will vary. Events usually incorporate a weekend to accommodate busy schedules.

Find out more on our student support page.

How to apply

 

Before you apply 

Before you submit your application, please contact one of our course advisors so they can guide you through the process and ensure you submit the best application possible for entry into the course. 

Call us on  +44 (0)1326 213 827.

 

Application steps 

  • Submit an online application form
  • Submit a copy of your first degree certificate or Level 6 equivalent qualification and your IELTS certificate if English is not your first language 

Late applications may be considered if places are available. 

For free advice, please contact our friendly and knowledgeable course advisors on +44 (0)1326 213 827.


 

Fees & funding

Fees

Total course fee

£10,900 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options

One-off payment

Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period.

Payment methods

Please visit the main Falmouth University Tuition Fees page to pay your fees using the online portal.

If you have any questions about paying your fees, you can contact the Falmouth University Finance Office on +44 (0) 1326 213778.

Funding options

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Total course fee

£10,900 (including £250 acceptance fee)

Payment options

One-off payment

Six equal instalments spread over a two-year period.

Payment methods

Please visit the main Falmouth University Tuition Fees page to pay your fees using the online portal.

If you have any questions about paying your fees, you can contact the Falmouth University Finance Office on +44 (0) 1326 213778.

Application offers

We offer a range of bursaries, early application offers, and alumni discounts.

Loans

You may be eligible for funding from the UK Government.

Please visit our fees and funding page for more information or call us on +44 (0)1223 447713 to speak to a course advisor.

Why Falmouth Flexible?

Career and business development 

Watch our short video to find out how the MA Indie Game Development will help you develop the skills needed to turn your indie game ideas into a sustainable business.

 
Falmouth sign
Contact us

If you have any questions about the programme, our experienced course advisors are here to help.

You can call our friendly and knowledgeable team on +44 (0)1326 213 827. 

Indie Game Development resources