Video Game Enterprise, Production and Design - MSc
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....
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.
Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
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, 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.
What's covered in this course?
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
Why Choose Us?
- The course will show you how to project manage the delivery of complex, creative and technically challenging video game products, and explain the business models available to generate income from games.
- Gamer Camp has been recognised as one of the top games courses in the UK, highlighted in the Livingstone-Hope Next-Gen report. Gamer Camp is part of the Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Academic Advisory Board.
- The course has been designed to give you an understanding and experience of game development roles in design, production, and business start-up, where you will also have a window looking how programming, art and audio design work within development.
- You will learn in a realistic game development studio environment using the School of Games, Film and Animation's facilities. You will make a number of small scale games and a large scale game, on platforms such as PC, tablet/mobile and console, in collaboration with our industry partners which include Sony London Studio, Codemasters, Rare, Exient, Natural Motion and Mediatonic.
- You will gain a real qualification, leaving with an MSc in Video Game Enterprise, Production and Design.
- As you go through the course you may find opportunities to set up your own business or work at a partner company; we will endeavour to help you to get to where you want to be in your professional career.
- Graduates have gone onto to work for companies such as Rockstar Games, Creative Assembly, Sega, Codemasters and Sony.
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:
Extra information for EU/International students
|Essential English Language Requirements|
IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands.
Fees & How to Apply
- UK students
- International students
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £9,800 per year
- Full Time
- 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
- £10,800 per year
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 1 year
- £14,500 per year
- Full Time
- 18 months (including Professional Placement - see below*)
- £14,520 per year
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.
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.
You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.
Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.
Free access to Rosetta Stone
All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.
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.
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
In order to complete this course you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 180 credits):
The purpose of this module is to engage students in the concept phase of development of features for a discrete small-scale video game, ensuring students can follow the process of design to ask questions at the start of the concept phase of product development, to follow onto the research stage, before applying ideas within a synthesis stage before refining and finally applying their ideas.. Students will work in teams to produce concepts for small-scale games, which they must present using effective communication skills.
The purpose of this module is to bring together art, code, production and design students together into a game development team and give them the opportunity to work collaboratively to produce a releasable small-scale video game. Typically this is the type of title commonly described as an ‘indie game’ which is made in a short time frame with a small agile development team. If the completed game is at an appropriate standard the game can be submitted to relevant game stores and act as a published title on a student CV.
The purpose of this module is ensure that students can experience the challenge of completing the research and concept phase of a co-ordinated yet adaptive video game project whilst simultaneously generating ideas to become a business plan which will be presented / pitched to high level stakeholders at the end of the module.
The purpose of this module is to bring together art, code, production and design students together into a game development team and give them the opportunity to work collaboratively to produce a prototype for a large-scale game on either console, PC or connected devices.
The purpose of the module is to enable you to undertake a sustained, in-depth and theoretically informed research project exploring an area that is of personal interest to you. It is important that we can support you appropriately, so you will be guided towards choosing a research topic which is relevant to your discipline and in which your lecturers have expertise. The outcome may take the form of a written dissertation or a practical outcome with accompanying reflective, critical and contextual material. The main consideration when choosing your topic is that it must be relevant to your programme and you should consider the relevance of this topic to your future academic or professional development.
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:
- PG Certificate- Semester One Small Scale Project- Mobile
- PG Diploma- Semester Two Large Scale Project- PS4 Console & Enterprise Development
- Master of Arts/Science- Semester Three Final Major Project - PS4 Console and/ or Placement/ Start up.
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.
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:
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
- Team work and communication
- Project management and delivery
- Agile project delivery and Scrum
- Critical analysis and evaluation
- Reflection and adaptation
- Client handling
- Global appreciation
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.
Feedback from Employers
"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.
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:
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.
Facilities and Staff
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.
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.
In 2006 Zuby founded SmashMouth Games (SMG), with a focus on making innovative 'pick up & play' games whilst also starting his career in Higher Education as a lecturer. Zuby has taught graduates who have gone on to have successful careers, working for companies which include Sony, Ubisoft, TT Games and Rockstar North.More about Zuby
Senior Lecturer/Technical Director for Gamer Camp and Interactive Entertainment
Zafar Qamar is a Senior Lecturer and the Technical Director at Birmingham City University’s School of Games, Film and Animation, working as part of the Gamer Camp team teaching the MA/MSc in Video Games Development and BSc in Interactive Entertainment (Games Development).More about Zafar
Deputy Head of the Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts
Oliver is Associate Director at the New Technology Institute (NTI), an industry-facing school within Birmingham School of Media that specialises in developing industry-led academic courses. He is also the Studio Director for Gamer Camp, a Masters-level video game development programme.
Oliver’s 16-year career spans product development, project management, software development, marketing, management and solution selling. He is an expert in project managing complex interactive media products.More about Oliver