Serious about working in games? Then enrol at the industry endorsed finishing school for games developers and artists.
MSc Video Game Enterprise, Production and Design (Gamer Camp: Biz) has been created in partnership with the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Rare and Exient. It provides experience of working to deadlines as part of multi-disciplined, project team to produce playable games to a professional standard.
You will work in a simulated studio environment over full-time office hours, four days a week, on real game briefs set with one or more of our partner developers.
It's a winning formula, with mentoring from industry veterans and support from leading game development teams. Recent graduates from Gamer Camp are employed by companies including TT Games, Creative Assembly, Ubisoft, Codemasters and Rockstar Games.
If your ambition is to work as a video games designer, games producer and/or entrepreneur, you will need serious design knowledge, and managerial and business know-how to help lead a game to its completion. Although you will not be coding or creating art assets on a daily basis, it is vital that you have a comprehensive and realistic understanding of the game development process, and how all the disparate elements operate and come together. This is what makes you an effective ‘T’-Skills candidate.
On Gamer Camp: Biz you'll get specialist training, mentoring and support from our staff who all have vast industry experience as game developers, having worked in design, production, art, programming and even running their own business. Staff come from such big-name developers as Eurocom, Electronic Arts and Freestyle Games, while Programme Director Zuby Ahmed founded his own company, SmashMouth Games. The course is delivered in a series of ‘boot camps’ followed by one-to-one support, studio based game development and project delivery.
Starting with the fundamentals of video games code, art and design, you will build upon these creative skills to teach you how game development teams are managed and how complex processes, ideas and personalities can combine to create a successful games product.
Teaching takes place in a modern production studio based in Birmingham City Centre where you’ll be provided with studio space to complete projects, with access to the facilities and software you’ll need for the duration of the course. As and where possible students are also given work experience opportunities, previously these have included studios such as SmashMouth Games, Codemasters and Exient.
“I have been in the industry for almost 2 years now and the Gamer Camp Biz course definitely helped me gain the necessary experience and understanding of the role. Following the course I was able to get several interviews including getting to the final round of the Ubisoft graduate scheme before I got my position at TT Games.” Toby Jennings, Gamer Camp Biz 2014 Graduate. Junior Project Co-ordinator at Travellers Tales Games
Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 26 April 2017, between 3 and 8pm. Come along to find out more about our courses and see our facilities.
Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.
You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,280 available for postgraduate study.
Passion for games
Confidence to run a business and / or creative technical software development team
Comfortable user of Windows or Mac OS applications
|Desired, but not essential|
Experience of web or software coding (HTML, Java, C, C++, C#)
Experience of art asset creation using Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, 3DS Max or ZBrush
Game development experience
Degree related to games, programming, art, business, management, marketing, law, economics or design.
In addition to the above, international (non-EU) students also require:
|Essential English Language Requirements|
English – IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any bands)
|MSc||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£8,900|
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.
|MSc||Sep 2017||FT||1 year||£12,000|
The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?
Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.
Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.
Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?
You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
Our courses include activities such as performance, exhibitions, field trips and production of works or artefacts which may require you to purchase specific equipment, instruments, books, materials, hire of venues and accommodation, or other items. Many of these activities are essential and compulsory parts of your learning experience.
The link below gives you an estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on your course. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course.
All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.
We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
Did you know that you will soon be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £10,000 for some courses and options?
Small Scale Video Game Research and Planning
You will experience and complete the research and concept phase of a small-scale video game project. Following the design process at the concept phase of product development to the research stage, applying ideas at a synthesis stage and finally refining and applying your ideas. Your projects will mirror industry practice and involve co-operation and team work with programmers, designers and producers.
Small Scale Video Game Development
The purpose of this module is to bring together art, code, production and design students into a game development team and give them the opportunity to work collaboratively to produce a releasable small-scale video (Indie) game. You will be taught both industry standard discipline techniques focusing on specific skills, as well as broad skills covering teamwork, communication and estimating.
Large-scale Video Game Research and Enterprise Practice
You will complete the research and concept phase of a co-ordinated yet adaptive large-scale video game project, while simultaneously generating ideas for a business plan to pitch to high level stakeholders. This process will enhance your project management framework for game development, and introduces industry approaches to assessment and evaluation. The project mirrors industry practice and requires extensive co-operation and team work within a large art team and wider development group (programmers, designers and producers).
Large-scale Video Game Prototype
Bringing art, code, production and design students together into a game development team, you will work collaboratively to produce a prototype for a large-scale (Triple A) game on either console, PC or connected devices. If the completed prototype is of an appropriate standard it can be further developed into a demo for a AAA product which will act as a powerful asset on a student CV.
Final Major Project – Video Game Production
In this module, the design and production team will be invited to assist the high level stakeholders and together with the Gamer Camp Pro students, you will originate, execute and deliver a full ‘vertical slice’ console game. Typically this is the type of title commonly described as AAA (Triple A) title. This experience will consolidate your mastery of key skills as well as engagement with current opportunities in the field.
The MSc Video Game Enterprise, Production and Design programme focuses on professional game development so that you can work as an effective team member within the remit of games design or games production. You may even wish to investigate ways of setting up your own studio with the knowledge and skills you learn from the programme. In summary, the course offers students:
Each module on Gamer Camp is dedicated to ensuring you have the understanding and skills to tackle the challenges of professional game development. The dedicated teaching weeks at the beginning of each module will give you a broad appreciation of process and methodology, combined with regular tutorials from both our industry veteran teaching staff and also where possible our external mentors from the game industry.
This is all about you, your professional development, your pursuit of perfection and your proven application of knowledge to practice through an intense game development experience that showcases your expertise, talent and professionalism.
Gamer Camp: Biz is a real studio environment. There are neither traditional exams nor lengthy dissertations, instead you'll work full-time hours (9.30am-4.30pm, Monday to Thursday) over 11 months.
As part of your study you will take part in a largely practical environment as a member of a game design team adhering to project briefs. These briefs are given to your team which you work together to achieve under the guidance of one of our staff as your mentor. Past students have created work that has been published on the iOS store.
Some of our past games include:
We are also a PlayStation First institution and a very active member of the Sony Academic Alliance.
During module sprint reviews there will be opportunities for industry guests to attend ‘milestone review’ sessions, to review and provide feedback on your work and suggest directions for further development.
During your final major project you will have a number of choices to complete a major portfolio piece, which may require you to go off-site to visit key stakeholders as and when required.
The Gamer Camp Biz course directly answers the industry call for “T-skilled” workers in thecreative media industry, (Skillset. Strategic Skills Assessment for the Creative Media Industry, London. 2009: 20). Here professional employability is defined by proficiency across disciplines and specialist expertise within them.
The course seeks to develop students into T-Shaped art professionals complete with a keenly practiced ability who can work with others in a creative and technology constrained development team. This is the type of adaptive, reflective and capable professional the industry requires.
“There is a shortage of new people in the industry equipped with ‘T-skills’ - highly specialised in one core field, but with broad skills and knowledge to utilise their specialism across teams and platforms” - Skillset, December 2009 Strategic Skills Assessment for the Creative Media Industry. London: Skillset
Broad Attributes and Knowledge developed may include but is not limited to
With this skill-set, the programme’s graduates have a huge advantage and are often employed by industry soon after finishing the course.
Typically, Gamer Camp: Bizgraduates go on to deliver professional game content in either AAA or indie game development studios.Here they continue their specialist professional development within Game Design, Production or Business & Enterprise within career-focused positions such as: Mission Scripter/Technical Designer, Publishing and more.
"PlayStationFirst works in partnership with select universities in the UK and Europe as we see the development of new development talent in the UK crucial to the continued success of our European studios and the wider video games industry."
- Dr. Maria Stukoff, Head of Academic Development at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
There are opportunities every year for students to work in game development studios. Working with our industry partners, we are able to offer a short placement* over the Easter break to selected individuals. During the final phase of your course, you’ll have the opportunity to undertake a three-month placement* as part of your Master’s by Practice.
Previous students have worked at Codemasters, Sony, Exient and Jagex, with the majority having been offered full-time positions on finishing the course.
*Please note, placements are not guaranteed and are subject to the requirements of our industry partners.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), Codemasters, Rare, Exient, FreeStyleGames, Playground Games, Mediatonic, Natural Motion, MintGames, Lab42, UKIE and Aardvark Swift (recruiters) have all endorsed Gamer Camp, with SCEE kindly supplying PlayStation4 and VITA development kits for the course in the process.
Our partners also kindly offer their time by sending staff to help deliver key discipline specific lectures, sit in on milestone reviews and help mentor students to success.
Successful students will be prepared for roles in production and design; more specifically as project managers, scrum masters and assistant producers within the games industry. They will also be able to work in product development, as product owners, as designers/scripters or in game and business analytics, and will also be confident and able to set up their own video games business.
This is so that on completing the programme students will have the opportunity to pursue careers in the following:
Previous graduates now work in roles including technical designer at Rockstar North, associate producer at Rockstar London, junior product co-ordinator at Travellers Tales Games and asset and process management intern at Nintendo Germany.
Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
Gamer Camp: Biz is defined by the diversity of its students and their continuing professional development in a constantly evolving, global game market. Our graduates come from backgrounds as diverse as Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Russia, India, Asia Pacific and the Americas. This is a mirror of the game industry itself, which has a global reach.
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
Our students come from around the world but our video game enterprise and production course is most popular with international students from:
The New Technology Institute (NTI) is a part of Birmingham City University's City Centre Campus at University House.
We help you learn a specific discipline such as digital marketing, programming or art and put that discipline into practice by offering flexible teaching space, dedicated development studios and open access work areas for group projects, as well as course-specific facilities.
Zafar Qamar is a Senior Lecturer and the Technical Director at Birmingham City University’s NTI Birmingham, working as part of the Gamer Camp team teaching the MA/MSc in Video Games Development and BSc in Interactive Entertainment (Games Development).
Graduating from University of Birmingham in the 90’s, Zafar went on to have a successful career in video games for more than 20 years working for companies including; Psygnosis, Codemasters, FreeStyleGames. Zafar has worked on several titles; Hostile Waters, Cold Winter, F1 2010, 50 Cent Blood on the Sand, Blur Overdrive. He recently joined the NTI team in December 2014 and oversees the development of game programmers on Gamer Camp and Interactive Entertainment. Currently, he is lecturing on two levels, for Postgraduates and Undergraduates and helps students focus on the skills needed to become first-class programmers.
"Anyone can play games, or download Apps on their smartphones and tablets and play on them or use them. This is analogous to reading. But how do you write? As technology exponentially develops, the gap between people being able to read and those being able to write is widening.
I’ve always loved computers since the age of 12 when my brother bought a “cutting-edge” 48K Sinclair Spectrum! I want to share my knowledge going all the way back to old-skool retro-games like Pong and Asteroids and vector-based displays all the way up to cutting-edge full HD games of nowadays."
"I love programming, I love mathematics and I love creating games and apps software. I now love sharing those skills with others and injecting my enthusiasm into them and preparing them to jump straight into the games-industry, or even becoming proficient enough to develop their own games studios."
Zafar’s role as Senior Lecturer on Gamer Camp consists of managing the numerous trainees on the course, making sure they are working at an appropriate level that is coherent across all bases. Each trainee on the course is required to meet real briefs in order to enhance their skills as a game developer. Zafar expects a high level of professionalism from all the trainees having previously worked through many games studios from Codemasters, FreeStyleGames and AppCrowd going all the way back to old veteran studios such as Sony/Psygnosis in Liverpool, and Rage Software/Swordfish Studios in Birmingham.
"I’ve had some great times in the games industry and it’s been a real pleasure working with some extremely talented and lovely people."
"In the olden days we had computers that were ‘all-in-one’ units like the BBC Micro, or Commodore64. You just plugged them into a TV. When you switched them on then after a few seconds they prompted you to start typing something in to them. This seemed quite encouraging to make the users type on their keyboards. Nowadays people switch on their PCs or MACs and start clicking things with a mouse.
If you want to learn how to program then there are literally hundreds of ways to do it, all of them requiring you to install some large application or having to go to particular websites. There are many questions from the outset:
So you can see there are many questions to answer before you’ve even started. This presents a bit of a hurdle for anyone wanting to have a ‘quick go’ at programming!"
"Here at Gamer Camp we teach great programming development methodologies based on decades of professional experience, and keep it up to date with the latest technologies, all whilst steering clear of the many bottlenecks and pitfalls that seem to present themselves around us. Work smart and hard."