Digital Learning Games
Are you interested in creation of educational games? Digital Learning Games is an interdisciplinary curriculum combining expertise in Design, ICT, Pedagogy and Psychology. The programme offers a uniquely multifaceted approach to learning games. Our goal is to bring together people from different backgrounds, form heterogeneous teams, and make games that tackle educational and societal issues. After completing this programme you can work as a game developer and designer. Also whether you would like to work in education, pursue a research career, or join the game industry, you will find courses in the programme that can support you along the way.
What do we do?
At its core, DLG is a game design programme. It offers courses on game design, game studies, asset creation, game development, and project management. What makes us different from other programmes is that we focus on learning games and so-called serious games: games that can be used in education and training, raise awareness about social issues, improve players’ physical and mental health, and so on. To that end, the programme also covers psychological and pedagogical aspects related to games.
While game design forms the core of the programme, DLG students can choose between two specialisation tracks: game development (coding) and educational psychology. Whether you would like to work in education, pursue a research career, or join the game industry, you will find courses in the programme that can support you along the way.
Who are we looking for?
Game creation requires different skills and is usually a team effort. People from diverse backgrounds can contribute to this process, and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds. It is easier to find a place in a game team if you have skills in one or more of the following:
- Programming: software development, using game engines
- Visual art: 2D or 3D art, animation
- Audio: sound design, music composition and production
- Education: instructional design, educational technology, teaching
- Research: psychology, sociology of education, design theory, etc.
We do not require applicants to have pre-existing programming knowledge or familiarity with game engines. If you wish to learn these skills, the programme will provide an opportunity to do that. If you already have them, you will certainly be able to put them into practice. And if you would like to focus on other aspects of game creation (design, asset creation, etc.), you are welcome to do so.
Why Digital Learning Games?
- Hands-on teamwork: Our philosophy is that the best way to learn is by doing, which is why many courses in Digital Learning Games are structured as team projects focused on producing a tangible outcome. By working as part of a heterogeneous, international team, you will be able not only to practice what you have learned in the course, but also improve your communication and teamwork skills
- Interdisciplinarity: Digital Learning Games integrates game design with education sciences and psychology, offering a uniquely multifaceted approach to digital games. With a century-old tradition as a teacher training institution, Tallinn University is ranked by QS among the top 300 universities in the world in the field of Education and Training.
- Intercultural community: DLG brings together people from different parts of the world (we have had students from over 25 countries so far). We offer a diverse and enriching environment for study, collaboration, and social life.
- Innovation-centred environment: Estonia is one of Europe’s innovation hubs, having the most start-ups per capita and being the world’s first nation to introduce e-government. You will be able to take part in hackathons, game jams, and ICT events both at and outside of Tallinn University.
- Project opportunities: We have worked on various international and national research and development projects related to creating games and using them in education and training. The best DLG students get an opportunity to contribute to these projects.
How is this programme structured?
Digital Learning Games is a two-year programme taught in English. At the core of the programme is the Game Design Module, which includes the following courses:
- Introduction to Digital Learning Games
- Design of Game Logic
- Game Studies
- Level Design
- Design and Integration of Game Assets
- Learning Game Design
- Agile Project Management
- Research Methods
In addition, DLG students can choose between two specialisation modules.
The Game Development module focuses on programming and includes such courses as Math and Physics in Games; Graphics and Sound Programming; and AI Programming.
The Educational Psychology module focuses on the pedagogical and psychological aspects of game design and includes courses such as Psychological Aspects of Game Design; Games as Learning Environments; and Learning Analytics.
Please note that from the academic year 2023/2024 it is not possible to choose Interaction Design module.
Students can also choose from a variety of elective courses: 2D Graphics for Games; 3D Graphics for Games; Game Industry; Gamification Design; Interactive Storytelling; and others.
At the end of their studies, students will produce a research-based Master’s thesis, which may focus on designing and testing a digital game or gamified tool; using game-based approaches in educational and work settings; and other relevant topics.
Digital Learning Games curriculum
(Note that the programme is subject to change.)
- 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 (will be done via Internet, e.g. using Zoom, 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
See the admission and application requirements for Master's level applicants
Study Counsellor and Specialist of the programme
visit usNarva mnt 29, 10120 Tallinn, ruum A-431
call us(+372) 640 9384
For additional guidelines regarding admission procedure please contact the international admission specialist.
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