International Programmes 2022/2023

Game Development and Research (Master of Arts) Game Development and Research (MA)

TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) • Köln

Master of Arts in Game Development and Research
Teaching language
  • English

Courses are held in English (100%). Participants have the opportunity to join a free German course offered by the Language Learning Center of TH Köln.

Programme duration
4 semesters
Winter semester
Application deadline

Please check the "How to Apply" section of the individual TH Köln programme websites for current application deadlines.

Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

850 EUR (EU citizens) / 1,750 EUR (non-EU citizens)

Combined Master's degree / PhD programme
Joint degree / double degree programme

The Master's programme in "Game Development and Research" is designed for anyone who wants to conceptualise and create innovative games and related non-linear interactive products - professionals from the gaming, film and TV industries but also designers, artists, writers and journalists as well as graduates and talented creatives from other related disciplines.

Course organisation

The Master's programme "Game Development and Research" is a compact course. By striking a balance between traditional learning models and independent project work, it is designed to accommodate those students who want to study whilst continuing to work in the industry.
The theoretical modules of the course will develop core academic competencies such as methodology, systematics, research, experimentation, interpretation, and criticism. Students will also develop their ability to express themselves and their ideas verbally, in writing, visually, and audiovisually.
During the project work stage of the course, students will receive intensive and individual support to help them develop original aesthetic and narrative solutions for nonlinear audiovisual formats. Goal-oriented tasks, specific budget requirements and team members from a wide range of professional disciplines will create opportunities to develop key workplace skills such as communication, leadership, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, and technical competencies.
Lectures, tutorials and discussion groups will look at the projects and their aesthetic results from an interdisciplinary perspective and explore their (inter)cultural impact. Games influence how we perceive reality and shape our ideas about the world and other people. Students will also be required to reflect on their responsibilities as creators. By doing so, they will learn to give new aesthetic inputs into game development and have a positive influence on the social impact and acceptance of games.

Thematic focusses are:

  • game design & storytelling
  • 3D-modelling & animation
  • prototyping
  • sound design & composition
  • game- & media theory
  • media research & media education
  • media law & media business

The average workload is approx. twelve contact hours per week (not including project work and self studies).
CGL's (Cologne Game Lab) academic week consists of one core-day where courses are scheduled from 10am to 9pm and a secondary day with two evening courses. Self-studying time varies but should be estimated at a minimum of twelve additional hours whilst planning a side job. From experience we highly recommend not to exceed 24 job-hours per week.

A Diploma supplement will be issued
Course-specific, integrated German language courses
Course-specific, integrated English language courses
Tuition fees per semester in EUR
Additional information on tuition fees

850 EUR (EU citizens) / 1,750 EUR (non-EU citizens)

Semester contribution

Approx. 290 EUR per semester

Included in the semester fee is the semester ticket* for public transport for the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

*Students enrolled in programmes parallel to professional employment (i.e., Master of Arts in Game Development and Research) are no longer eligible for the semester ticket. Exceptions are only possible for students who work less than 20 hours per week.

Costs of living

The cost of living for your stay largely depends on your personal needs. When planning your stay, you should calculate monthly costs of approx. 800 to 1,000 EUR.

Funding opportunities within the university
Description of the above-mentioned funding opportunities within the university

International students are eligible to apply for the "Deutschlandstipendium". The scholarship holders receive approx. 300 EUR per month for the duration of one year.

Academic admission requirements

The application consists of two parts:
A) Academic requirements: in order to apply, candidates must have a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) as well as a minimum of twelve months' work experience in a relevant industry. Free creative projects may also be considered.
B) Creative skills: among other tasks, candidates have to submit a letter of motivation and a concept for a digital game project. As tasks vary each year, please visit the CGL website to download the current application tasks.
In addition, international students have to apply via uni-assist to verify their academic entry requirements.

Language requirements

Applicants must provide proof of their English skills in the oral exam which is part of the application process.

Application deadline

Please check the "How to Apply" section of the individual TH Köln programme websites for current application deadlines.

Submit application to

If you are a prospective international student, the way to apply is determined by your citizenship, your desired degree programme and your previous academic qualifications.

Further information on how to apply:

Possibility of finding part-time employment

Taking on a part-time job while studying has lots of benefits. Students can earn some extra money and gain valuable professional experience, and they might even take a first step up on the career ladder. Gaining a first insight into the German corporate world is especially beneficial for international students.
Many students partially fund their studies at TH Köln by taking on a part-time job in or outside the university.


Being Germany's fourth largest city, Cologne is a highly attractive place to live. The increasing influx of people can make the search for adequate accommodation quite difficult. Dozens of apartment hunters often compete for one single apartment. This is why we strongly recommend that you start looking for a place to live as soon as possible.

Cologne's most convenient and economical housing option is often a student dormitory. A public student services association called "Kölner Studierendenwerk" (KSTW) operates 88 student dorms offering roughly 4,800 rooms. The seemingly large number of dorm rooms is misleading; as the dormitories are open to the roughly 80,000 students enrolled at all Cologne universities, they are in extremely high demand. Please be aware that TH Köln does not allocate the rooms in these dorms. Please apply directly to the KSTW: You do not yet need a letter of admission in order to apply.

The fierce competition on the private housing market has resulted in above-market rents – particularly in proximity of the city centre. We therefore encourage you to be flexible. Try to look for apartments outside the centre or share an apartment – and the cost of rent – with other students.

Support for international students and doctoral candidates
  • Buddy programme
  • Tutors
  • Accompanying programme
  • Cultural and linguistic preparation
  • Visa matters

TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)

Content Bild
Main building, Südstadt campus, TH Köln © TH Köln

Technische Hochschule Köln – abbreviated as TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences – sees itself as a university of technology, arts, and sciences. With its disciplinary and cultural diversity and openness, TH Köln's activities are aimed at cultural and technological breakthroughs of high societal relevance. Thus, TH Köln contributes substantially to resolving social challenges. As a community of faculty and students, we see ourselves as a learning organisation forging new paths. For instance, TH Köln is one of the pioneers in the field of development and formation of concepts for higher education didactics.

Our subject range includes the fields of applied natural sciences, architecture and construction, information and communication, computer science, engineering, culture and society, and social sciences as well as business studies. More than 100 degree programmes are offered as full-time programmes or, in some cases, as career-integrated or part-time programmes. As a place where research-based learning and academic education take place, the university nurtures prospective scholars through cooperative dissertations. Annually, about 6,500 students take up their studies at TH Köln. Overall, 27,000 students from about 120 different countries along with 440 professors and 2,000 staff members apply their potential.

Research mainly focuses on future-related issues, including climate change, energy supply, health, and food safety as well as demographic changes. While developing solution strategies for the most important questions of our time, researchers offer their professional expertise in interdisciplinary interaction. At the same time, they collaborate closely with local, national, and international cooperation partners, including 350 international institutions of higher education. The university offers its researchers an attractive sphere of activity. The quality seal "HR Excellence in Research" awarded by the European Commission certifies that TH Köln meets international standards in the field of human resources development.
TH Köln’s campuses are located in Cologne, Gummersbach, and Leverkusen.

27,000 Number of students
4,000 Number of international students

University location

Its metropolitan vibe, diverse student scene and a cityscape abounding with cultural and historical treasures make Cologne one of Europe's prime university cities. Cologne's origins date back to the Roman Empire more than 2,000 years ago. Today, Cologne is Germany's fourth largest city with a population of just over one million and has evolved as an economic and cultural metropolis at the heart of Europe. The city's characteristic landmark and source of pride for every inhabitant is without a doubt the magnificent Cologne Cathedral, locally known as the "Kölner Dom". Towering over the quaint Old Town of Cologne at 156 metres, this masterpiece of Gothic architecture is the world's third-highest cathedral and attracts around six million visitors a year, making it Germany's most popular tourist attraction. Visitors from all over the world are bound to feel at home immediately, as Cologne is a true melting pot of cultures. Close to one-fifth of its inhabitants have an international background. Cologne's economy is characterised by its amalgamation of different industries and trades. Home to the country's most influential television and radio stations, Cologne is unquestionably Germany's media capital and host to some of the continent's biggest trade fairs. Quite a few of the world's most renowned enterprises call the metropolitan region their home, in particular, corporations operating in the automobile industry, biotechnology and life sciences, chemicals and pharmaceuticals as well as commerce and banking.

Please note that TH Köln also has two remote campuses outside Cologne, which are located in the towns of Gummersbach and Leverkusen.

Gummersbach is a town with 50,000 inhabitants located 55 km east of Cologne, surrounded by a hilly landscape which is a recreational area for residents from Cologne and other cities nearby. The campus can be reached in a few minutes from Gummersbach train station. A train ride to Cologne, which is the largest city in the region, takes one hour and ten minutes and will be covered by the semester ticket, which is included in the semester fee. Students will be able to find affordable accommodation in Gummersbach and focus on their studies in the great environment of a modern campus.

The Leverkusen campus is located 15 km north of Cologne in the CHEMPARK in Leverkusen, which is one of the largest chemical parks in Europe. Global players from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, such as Bayer and LANXESS, are located there. With 160,000 inhabitants, Leverkusen is a smaller industrial city that has plenty of opportunities for relaxation, thanks to its location in the foothills of the Bergisches Land region. In Leverkusen, you can find urban buzz and village-like tranquillity in close proximity. The campus can also be reached with TH Köln's semester ticket.