Certificate and Master's in Transformative Game Design

The words "Certificate: Transformative Game Design" with an abstract watercolour image

The Transformative Play Initiative at Uppsala University’s Department of Game Design is offering a Master's Programme in Transformative Game Design, 60 ECTS credits from Autumn 2024-Spring 2026.

This programme focuses on the applied use of analog role-playing games as vehicles for personal and social change, whether facilitated in-person or in online environments. The courses are online at half-time pace.

Anyone with a Bachelor’s degree and the required proficiency in English can apply for the programme and participate from anywhere in the world.

Year 1: Certificate

Year 1 of the programme contains four (4) fully-online, half-time courses in Transformative Game Design. These courses build on each other and you will need to complete a certain percentage of the first courses to be eligible to begin the later ones. The first year provides a total of 30 credits and culminates in a Certificate in Transformative Game Design.

Note: Unlike in previous years, starting in Autumn 2024, we are only offering these first courses to students enrolled in the new Master's programme in Transformative Game Design. To stay enrolled in the programme, you must take the courses in sequential order starting wih Year 1.

To read more about applying, see the Application section below. To read more about the specific courses of the programme, visit the full programme description:

YEAR 1, SEMESTER 1 (Autumn)

YEAR 1, SEMESTER 2 (Spring)

All courses are online and run at half-time pace (50%) at the Master's level. Half-time pace means that students should expect to set aside twenty (20) hours per week to work on: extensive reading and watching videos; engagement in written asynchronous discussion forums and peer reviews; writing journals, maintaining professional documents, and academic papers; and meeting synchronously over video conferencing with their playtest groups for a minimum of three (3) times per course.

For non-EU/EEA applicants, there is a fee for the programme, as well as a fee for applying. For more info, see below under Payment.

Year 2: Master's Degree (60 credits)

In Year 2 the programme concludes with students writing and defending a Master's thesis in formal academic language based upon skills developed throughout the programme. 

The courses in the second year of the programme are: 

YEAR 2, SEMESTER 1 (Autumn)

YEAR 2, SEMESTER 2 (Spring)

​Note: Students who have obtained the Certificate previously may join Year 2 courses in Autumn 2024. If interested, contact the Department's study counsellor at gamedesign@speldesign.uu.se before April 15, 2024.

About the Application to Begin Studying Autumn 2024

Application periods are either October 16-January 15 -or- March 15-April 15

The first application period for an early notification for the Master's programme in Transformative Game Design (60 cr.), starts on October 16, 2023 to January 15, 2024.  Read more about the process with this application guide.

Please note that any supporting documents are due February 1, 2024, e.g., transcripts, diplomas, or proof of English proficiency. We recommend preparing all documents well before the applications close.

Admission results for this period will be sent on March 30, 2024. 

The second application period for a later notification for the Master's programme in Transformative Game Design (60 cr.), opens on March 15 to April 15, 2024. Most of the instructions are only available in Swedish, but you can obtain a guide from our study counsellor to help you make an application in this period at antagning.se .

Admission results for this period will be published on July 11, 2024 and will require your reply before July 19, 2024. 

Before applying online: Create your own user account in the English version of the online application: universityadmissions.se

There is a list per country with specific requirements.


Non EU/EES citizens must pay the application fee, 900 SEK. Invoices are sent to your email address in your profile in either May (if you applied in the early period) or in August (if you applied in the second period). The fee is due before you can register onto the first course. Follow the instructions in the invoice.

If you have further questions, please contact our study advisor, Stephanie Noroozy at gamedesign@speldesign.uu.se.

Other Logistical Information

Make sure you have access to the required technology for the duration of the programme.

Courses require stable access to the Internet. While most activities take place in our Learning Management System, Studium, you will also need to design and playtest games with your classmates using video conferencing software. We recommend Zoom, which is supported and offered by the University and has many useful features. You may also use other services such as Discord. Some students coordinate over Slack or Facebook Messenger. Doodle polls are also free and useful for planning scheduling.

Whatever mode of communication you use, make sure you are able to connect with your group members early and often.

You will not need or receive a Swedish residency permit to take these courses.

All courses take place online. Therefore, travel and residency in Sweden is not necessary. Acceptance into the Master's in Transformative Game Design (60 cr.) programme does not grant you a Swedish residency permit.

Swedish universities require homework to be assigned and completed over the Winter break/Holiday Hiatus in December.

A short break from scheduled courses will take place between mid-December and the first week of January. While courses are usually not held during this period, students usually are required to complete and submit assignments. Make sure to plan accordingly.

If you have further questions, please contact our study advisor, Stephanie Noroozy at gamedesign@speldesign.uu.se.

Graphic design by Liliia Chorna.

Click here to learn more about the Transformative Play Initiative.


“The Transformative Game Design program has had profound impact on my professional work. Individual change is difficult; culture change is even more so. This is especially true for a large, complex company with globally distributed teams. By infusing my design and strategy work with transformative play concepts, I’ve been able to influence mindset, perspective, and behavior shifts at scale. I can imagine all kinds of exciting applications to transform change management and organizational development initiatives using a more human and playful lens.” 

— Gabe Sopocy, 2022-2023 Certificate Track

Last modified: 2023-10-17