Master of Social Sciences in Game Studies
EUR 12,000 / per year *
Earliest start date
* per academic year for non-EU/EEA students
Creating a playful future
Master's Programme in Game Studies provides an in-depth view of the fundamental character of games and play.
Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.
The program is particularly targeted at training experts on games and play. We approach games and play from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, the production of games, and games in cultures. These four perspectives open up to the following four areas: analyzing the meaning and form of games and play; understanding the people who play games and the game cultures they create; addressing questions relating to the creation and development of games, and making sense of the societal and cultural framing of games.
The program will give you the academic skills needed to analyze, observe, and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude as an expert in games and play.
Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this program with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work in various professional roles, in research, the public sector, as well as in industry. The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, industry professionals, critics, and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation, and implementation of games and related fields, such as social media.
The program is founded on the long history of education and research conducted at Tampere University’s Game Research Lab. At Tampere University, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinates the Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland from 2018-2025.
This Master's Programme provides an in-depth view of the fundamental character and development of games and play. Expanding from entertainment to other areas of life, games have grown into a form of culture and human interaction that is a crucial part of our social life and current media landscape.
The program is particularly targeted at the questions of analysis, design, and application of games from the interconnected perspectives of games, game players, game developers, and game cultures. It will give you the academic skills needed to analyze, observe, and understand the developments in this field of study while also encouraging a more pragmatic involvement and hands-on attitude with games and playful design.
The program is founded on a long history of education and research conducted at Tampere University Game Research Lab. In 2018-2025, this internationally acclaimed research group coordinated a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland.
Co-operation with other parties
In addition to studies in one’s own Master's Programme, students may take full advantage of the teaching offered by the Tampere higher education community ranging from social sciences and humanities to technical and vocational studies in various fields.
The research initiatives of GS teaching faculty are organized under TRIM, Tampere Research Center for Information and Media. TRIM is a multidisciplinary research institution for basic and strategic research on the internet and interactive media, with key research themes ranging from game research and information and media practices to information retrieval. The Tampere University Game Research Lab carries out innovative research in games and play and builds bridges from research to action in its various collaborations. In 2018-2025, the Game Research Lab coordinated a Centre of Excellence in Game Culture Studies funded by the Academy of Finland.
After completing the Master's Degree you are expected to:
- be familiar with scientific thinking and capable of applying scientific working methods in your own area of specialization
- be motivated for lifelong learning
- be capable of undertaking scientific postgraduate studies
- be capable of applying the knowledge acquired and of functioning in internationalizing working life
After completing the Master’s Programme in Game Studies you will:
- be able to identify, define, and analyze games and play in their various forms
- understand and be capable of critically using the concepts and theories that relate to the fundamental character of games and the phenomena around them
- have an in-depth understanding of the forms, practices, and contexts of games as cultural, social, technical, and commercial phenomena
- be able to independently acquire scientific knowledge
- be able to communicate the results from research to different audiences
- be able to work in interdisciplinary teams as an expert in games and related phenomena (including e.g. online cultures, game production, and gamification)
Scholarships and Funding
Tampere University tuition fee scholarships
Tampere University tuition fee scholarships awarded at admission cover 100% of the tuition fees for the program duration. The program duration is
- three years for Bachelor’s degrees
- two years for Master’s degrees
- five years if the study right is granted for both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree.
Finland scholarships awarded by Tampere University are part of the national Finland Scholarship program. Applicants to Master's programs are eligible to apply. Finland scholarships are awarded at Tampere University to the most merited applicant in each Master's program.
Finland scholarships cover the program tuition fee for the first year of studies and include a 5000 € relocation grant, paid to the student's Finnish bank account after the student has arrived in Tampere and started studies at Tampere University.
In addition, Tampere University awards a Tampere University tuition fee scholarship for the second year of studies to all recipients of the Finland scholarship. The scholarship covers 100 % of tuition fees in the second year of studies.
Early bird offer
In addition to scholarships, an early bird offer is available at admission to all fee-paying students, excluding students who have been awarded a Tampere University tuition fee scholarship or a Finland scholarship at admission. The early bird offer gives a 50 % reduction on the program tuition fee during the first year of studies.
Students may take advantage of the early bird offer by accepting the offered study place and paying 50% of the first-year tuition fee within two weeks after receiving information on admission.
This offer is valid only for the first year of studies. During consecutive years of study, all fee-paying students are eligible to apply for Tampere University Scholarships awarded during studies.
Graduates typically combine the skills and knowledge derived from this program with previous studies and proficiencies that enable them to work in various professional roles, in research, the public sector as well and in industry. The need for a knowledgeable workforce is growing in the fields related to games and interactive media, but the students should adopt an active attitude in fashioning their specific areas of expertise and professional profile.
As a graduate, you can take up multiple work roles that relate to the research and development of games as well as to the application of gameplay and game design for various purposes. Working as a university-educated expert in this rapidly developing field requires solid research and communication skills combined with an active and independent mindset, and willingness to explore and innovate new approaches to understanding and applying interactive media into practice.
The possible jobs of graduates include researchers, developers, critics, and specialists working with the interpretation, evaluation, and implementation of games and related fields like social media and gamification.
Further study opportunities
This master's degree provides the required background if you wish to pursue doctoral studies in game studies and related fields, for example in Tampere University’s Doctoral Programme in Media, Communication and Performing Arts (DPMCP)