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Video Game Development - MA / MSc

Currently viewing course to start in 2023/24 Entry.

Gamer Camp: Pro (which includes both MA and MSc Video Games Development course) has been created in partnership with the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Rare and Exient....

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City Centre
  • School School of Games, Film and Animation
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media


Gamer Camp: Pro (which includes both MA and MSc Video Games Development course) has been created in partnership with the likes of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Rare and Exient.

We aim to help you become the perfect recruit for development studios within the game industry, uniquely combining professional, multidisciplinary game development practice with the latest industry insights and tools.

Our postgraduate course is a winning formula. With mentoring from industry veterans and support from leading game development teams, our graduates are prepared for success. Recent graduates are employed by companies including; Creative Assembly, Ubisoft, Lab42, Pixel Toys, Rockstar, Flix Interactive, Codemasters and other developers.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

On Gamer Camp: Pro, you'll eat, sleep and breathe game development, receiving intensive tuition from industry pros with experience at big-name developers like Travelers Tales, Electronic Arts and Codemasters.

The course was developed in partnership with the industry to provide a ‘finishing school’ that produces work-ready graduates with the practical skills they need to be successful. Many companies recruit directly from the course, giving you access to jobs that you would not come across elsewhere.

You will get specialist skills training, mentoring and support from leading game developers, the chance to develop a working game that can be published, and experience every stage of the game development cycle. You will receive real game briefs, training and mentoring from industry partners such as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Exient, Rare and Codemasters.

Working in teams in your own game development studio at NTI Birmingham, you will be provided with all the software you need for the duration of the course. You will create a fully working game for a series of platforms, culminating in the development of a working PlayStation4 game prototype for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

My tutor at Gamer Camp drew from a wealth of industry experience and he provided a level of insight and guidance which was nothing short of excellent. This, coupled with an unparalleled dedication to his student’s success, helped me to gain my first job in the game industry.

Simon Foster, Character Artist at Sega Hardlight Studio, Gamer Camp graduate 2011 - 12

Why Choose Us?

  • One of the only courses of its kind in Europe, designed to produce ‘work-ready’ graduates for the games industry. We were also one of the first five courses in Europe to be given PlayStation4 development kits, and we are proud members of the Sony Academic Alliance and PlayStation First scheme.
  • You will receive real game briefs, training and mentoring from industry partners such as Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Rare, Exient, Natural Motion and Mediatonic.
  • You will gain a real qualification, leaving with an MA/MSc in Video Games Development, depending on whether you focus on artwork or programming.
  • Your finished games will be submitted for publication, providing another opportunity to attract the attention of industry and get your name known.
  • You will spend eight months producing a ‘vertical slice’ on PS4, in collaboration with Sony London Studio, using Sony hardware and software.
  • Graduates have gone on to work for companies such as Rockstar Games, Creative Assembly, Sega, Codemasters and Sony.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.


Join us for an on-campus Open Evening where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. Booking for the next event isn’t open yet. Register your interest below and we’ll email you as soon as booking goes live.

Next Event: Wednesday 26 April

Register Your Interest

Entry Requirements

Gamer Camp Pro is open to applicants who fit either of the following programmer or artist criteria:

Programming applicants should have, and be able to demonstrate:

Object-orientated programming skills, preferably C++

Experience working with Windows, Mac OS or Linux API's

Degree in computer science, mathematics, physics or related discipline is desired but not essential.

We'd like to see a real-time demo and its source code.

What we're looking for from your demo

We want to see an interactive demo that is representative of your best work

We'd like to see both a finished executable and source code in order to help us make our decision.

In an ideal world we're looking for a sensibly structured object oriented architecture

Clean, clear, well laid out code that is easy to follow

Appropriately documented by use of comments.

This is in your best interest after all; the easier it is for us to see how good you are, the easier it is for us to be confident in your abilities.

Don't have a demo?

Your demo doesn't necessarily need to be earth-shatteringly clever or innovative - we just want to see a real time interactive demo that you've written yourself using C++.

If you're stuck for inspiration, why not make a clone of a simple retro arcade game - for example breakout, or Space Invaders.

We suggest using the free and open source game library Cocos2dX.

Games artist applicants should have, and be able to demonstrate:

Ability to draw (eg character design, environment design, concept boards)

2D and ideally 3D design skills

Animation skills

Degree in art, design, graphic, visual communications, animation or related discipline is desired but not essential

International students
International (non-EU) students also require the following:

IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.

Programmers should also have: BE or BTech at 55 per cent or 50 per cent from a 5 star University from a four-year degree in either; Computer Science Engineering (CSE), Information Technology (IT), or Bachelor of Computer Applications.

Artists should also have: BA in Visual Communications, Art and Design or any relevant art subject.

International Students

Entry requirements here

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £10,000 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £11,000 in 2023/24

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £10,000 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £11,000 in 2023/24

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,870 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £18,557 in 2023/24

Award: MSc

Starting: Sep 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,870 in 2023/24
  • Full Time
  • 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
  • £18,557 in 2023/24

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

*Professional Placement option

The Professional Placement version of the course is optional and is offered as an alternative to the standard version of the course.

This will allow you to complete a credit bearing, 20 week Professional Placement as an integral part of your Master’s Degree. The purpose of the Professional Placement is to improve your employability skills which will, through the placement experience, allow you to evidence your professional skills, attitudes and behaviours at the point of entry to the postgraduate job market. Furthermore, by completing the Professional Placement, you will be able to develop and enhance your understanding of the professional work environment, relevant to your chosen field of study, and reflect critically on your own professional skills development within the workplace.

You will be responsible for finding and securing your own placement. The University, however, will draw on its extensive network of local, regional and national employers to support you in finding a suitable placement to complement your chosen area of study. You will also benefit from support sessions delivered by Careers+ as well as advice and guidance from your School.

Placements will only be confirmed following a competitive, employer-led selection process, therefore the University will not be able to guarantee placements for students who have registered for the ‘with Professional Placement’ course. All students who do not find a suitable placement or do not pass the competitive selection process will be automatically transferred back to the standard, non-placement version of the course.

Personal statement

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:

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

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.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

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.

Relevant academic or work experience

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.

Course in Depth

MA modules (Games Artists)

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

MSc modules (Programmers)

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):

Professional Placement

In order to qualify for the above awards with Professional Placement, a student must successfully complete all of the Level 7 modules listed above as well as the following Level 6 module:

Download course specification

Download now

Course structure

You’ll be split into two groups - programmers and artists, and provided with industry-crafted training throughout the course, tailored to your discipline.

You will learn the fundamental skills used every day in the games industry. Programmers will study topics such as C++, maths, debugging, coding standards and source control, while artists’ training will cover topics including the concept design process, using Maya for game assets, Z Brush and retopology, plus the correct use of source control and project management. Programmers and artists will be placed together to learn in teams, but will be assessed as individuals.

Gamer Camp: Pro is divided into three sections on two game development projects:

  • PG Certificate- Semester One
  • Small Scale Project- Mobile
  • PG Diploma- Semester Two
  • Large Scale Project- PS4 Console
  • Master of Arts/Science- Semester Three
  • Final Major Project - PS4 Console

Within each phase, you'll learn the skills you need to create games as a programmer or artist for each platform from our in-house game development veterans and external mentors from the game industry.

You will work in teams to produce a mobile game and a PlayStation4 console game. This will simulate both the indie and AAA game development experience.

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.

Classroom activities

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. 

Student work

Some of our past games include:


Enhancing employability skills

The Gamer Camp: Pro courses directly answer the industry call for “T-skilled” workers in the creative 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.

With this skillset, the programme’s graduates have an advantage and are often employed by industry soon after finishing the course.

Typically, Gamer Camp: Pro graduates at work are delivering professional game content in either AAA or indie game development studios. Here, their choice of MA or MSc award, their final Masters-by-Practice project and continuing specialist professional development will have directed them towards their end career goal:

  • MSc graduates are C++ programming specialists and the course will have helped shape their core discipline within this field.  Whether that be tools, graphics, physics or framework, each programmer will have the skills necessary to work within the highly competitive game development industry.
  • MA graduates as art specialists are frequently employed within a multitude of industry-specific roles.  These range from concept, environment, character and GUI artist positions. The course ensures that each art student focuses on a core art discipline, which ensures they are ready to work within the highly competitive game development industry.

Feedback from Employers

"Gamer Camp is great preparation for a career in games. The opportunities students have gained through the programme are endless."

David Stephen, Managing Director of Feral Interactive Limited

"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

Graduate jobs

 Freddie Pitcher

Freddie Pitcher
Junior 3D Artist at Holosphere VR

“If there’s anything potential employers look for most, it’s experience. GamerCamp provides the environment that emulates real-world game studios and offers an opportunity to work within a multi-disciplinary team of Coders, Designers, Artists and Producers.

What I enjoyed most about GamerCamp was the hands-on attitude to the work involved. The best way to learn about the complexities of game development is to simply make games! GamerCamp throws you into a room full of other like-minded individuals with varying specialisms and tells you to make a game.

What you learn as a direct result of the maelstrom that follows is invaluable to anyone wanting a career in game development. I'm currently working as a Junior 3D Artist at a VR company based in Birmingham called HolosphereVR. It's a great place, the work is always interesting and the people are awesome!”


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.

Links to industry

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.


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:

Additional information

Gamer Camp: Pro is defined by the diversity of its students and their continuing professional development in a constantly evolving, global game market. Every continent and culture are represented in every cohort of our graduates: Europe, Middle East, Africa, Russia, India, Asia Pacific and the Americas. This is a mirror of the game industry itself, which has a global reach.

Facilities & Staff

Parkside and Curzon Buildings

Our School of Games, Film and Animation is based in the Curzon Building, a £63 million development, located on our City Centre campus.

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.

The School of Games, Film and Animation expressly reserves the right to change the technology, hardware and software used on its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes wholly or partly, at any time and without giving notice.

Our staff

Zuby Ahmed

Programme & Creative Director Video Game Design & Production

Zuby is a seasoned game developer and manager, with a career spanning over 20 years, 15 years of which have been focused within the Games Industry. Starting as a freelance writer for Edge, Zuby went onto work for Digital Image Design, Warthog Games, and EA Games. In 2006 Zuby founded SmashMouth Games (SMG), with a focus on making innovative...

More about Zuby