Who are we looking for?
Since most of the games are created in teams, people with any background can find a role in the game design and development team. Everybody who is interested in making games and learning game design is welcome to join. It is easier to find a role in the game design team if you have one of the following backgrounds:
- Developer (programming)
- Artist (2D and 3D graphics, animation, sound)
- Teacher (instructional designers and educational technologists)
Julius is from Lithuania and graduated from the Digital Learning Games (DLG) Master´s programme in 2017. Read his story!
- You can study in one of Europe’s innovation hubs. The birthplace of Skype, Transferwise, and Taxify, Estonia was the world’s first nation to introduce e-government and produces more startups per capita than any other country in Europe. Our students can take advantage of numerous startup incubators and game jams taking place in Tallinn.
- Interdisciplinary curriculum combining expertise in design, ICT, pedagogy, and psychology. The programme offers a uniquely multifaceted approach to learning games.
- We offer project-oriented teamwork: many of our courses involve teams with different competences (designer, programmer, writer, educator etc.) working on projects aiming to address real problems in education and society at large.
- Our multicultural environment brings together different nations and cultures - We offer a diverse and enriching environment for study and collaboration.
This curriculum is also unique because of its interdisciplinary nature. It integrates expertise from the following domains:
- Design (conceptual and graphical design)
- ICT (user experience design and software development)
- Pedagogy (instructional design)
- Psychology (engagement design and emotioneering)
In order to cover a wide range of game design aspects this curriculum is provided in cooperation with 4 different institutes within Tallinn University:
- School of Digital Technologies
- Baltic Film, Media and Arts School
- School of Educational Sciences
- School of Natural Sciences and Health
By the end of their studies, you will be able to design games, learning activities and gamified products and services (such as web pages).
Tallinn University (TLU) is the only university where game design is taught with a focus on digital learning games. We emphasise the engaging and educational aspects of games while others deal with business or technical aspects. Because TLU, in general, has a strong teacher-training history and the School of Digital Technologies has a long track record in teaching technical development, this provides a unique environment for teaching and making games.
Learning games design activities are integrated with other research, design and teaching activities on many levels throughout Tallinn University:
- TLU is a partner in international serious games design projects such as: Time Mesh, siLang (si-lang.net), Melang-e (www.melang-e.eu; htk.tlu.ee/melange), Employ, Language Games, Eu-Do-It and Leap. Students are welcome to join project teams and experience game design in a multicultural environment.
- Game designs created by one study group are provided as development and testing activities to others. In this framework several local serious game projects are executed: EcoHouse, RGB Color Space, World Facts Quiz. DLG students have a possibility to interact with other students in through different study projects.
- Game and gamification design results are presented in scientific papers (etis.ee). Students are involved in design-based research.
- TLU is providing gamification service to SME-s and larger organizations (adapter.ee). Students have an opportunity to participate in customer needs analysis or gamification design sessions.
- TLU, together with other partner organizations (including IGDA Estonia and Gamefounders), organises hackathons and game jams. Students can participate in short but intensive workshops in order to test their abilities, network and learn new things.
- Completed Bachelor’s degree or the equivalent
- Proof of English Proficiency
Please see the complete overview of general admission, application requirements and deadlines for Master's level applicants
- Letter of Motivation
- E-portfolio of previous works (not mandatory)
- An interview with the admission committee (can be done via Internet, e.g. using Skype but in this case, a web-camera is required)
E-portfolio is not mandatory but will give a better overview of applicants background. Feel free to present Your previous work like games, game recordings, graphical design elements, photos, audio recordings, sounds, texts etc. Recommended format is web-based (easy to share and view) but all other formats are also acceptable (PDF, video, ZIP etc.). The portfolio and CV can be submitted by e-mail to email@example.com, as a PDF file or as a web link.
Application Procedure and Deadlines
Classes take place on working days in the evenings, starting at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The average school day is 4 hours.
Digital Learning Games programme is divided into the following main modules:
- Game Design
- Interaction Design
- Developmental and Cognitive Psychology
Game Design is the main module of the Digital Learning Games programme. It covers game design related subjects such as:
- Basics of Game Theory and Design
- Design of Gameplay and Core Mechanics
- Design of Game Assets
- Learning Game Design
- Transmedia Storytelling Theories and Methods
- Research and Design of Educational Games
- ICT Based Learning Games in Learning Environment Formation
All subjects combine theory and practice of game design. The outcomes of the courses are design documents, prototypes, and smaller games. Larger scale games (bigger teams, richer functionality, comprehensive research) are created during the Interdisciplinary (ELU) project and as part of the master thesis.
Game Design module has elective courses such as:
- Basics of Game Development
- Motion Graphics Design
- Creative Entrepreneurship
They can be selected based on students’ personal learning goals.
Students can also select between the modules of Interaction Design or Developmental and Cognitive Psychology depending on what competences they want to acquire during their studies.
If you would prefer a more practical approach in order to get familiar with this domain you are welcome to participate in the Tallinn Summer School course of Design of Serious Games.
School of Digital Technologies
The Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) programme at Tallinn University is a multidisciplinary curriculum that emphasises technology for the benefit of people.
School of Educational Sciences
The Educational Innovation and Leadership master's programme is all about improving what matters the most – education. And doing it not according to some inner feeling, but on the basis of evidence and research. We believe that education is the foundation of everything, may it be citizenship, economy or governance. Our students are expected to be the co-creators of their learning process, if not the main leaders of it. Because they are the leaders of the 21st century, the leaders of the future!