Which skills are vital to be accepted at CGL?
A very important admission requirement is an applicant’s creative academic qualification. It may demonstrate not only artistic skills and creativity, but also media and computational literacy, problem-solving abilities and a capacity for teamwork. We are well aware that not all applicants can be equally talented in all mentioned areas. We welcome applications from people with a strong talent in art and design as well as those more focused in other areas of study such as technology and media studies. Applicants’ creative academic qualifications are checked in an application procedure which takes place once a year between February and May. Furthermore, students need a good command of the English language. Applicants’ English language proficiency is checked throughout the application procedure. A formal certificate is not required.
Do I need a formal language certificate?
During the course of the application phase, the admission board tests the applicant’s English language skills. Therefore, an additional official certificate, e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, is not necessary to be accepted. German language skills are not necessary.
What kind of work samples are required?
In the first stage of the application process applicants are asked to send work samples. These do not need to be works in game design, since we do not require that applicants have previous experience in that field.
Applicants have to send works they have created in the past. We accept everything from analogue to digital works. The work samples can be sent in a PDF document, as link to a Dropbox or Google Drive folder or an online portfolio, among other options. Analogue works need to be scanned or photographed and sent in digital form.
Some CGL students have created a Discord channel to assist you with any questions about preparing your portfolios. As successful applicants, the students contributing to this group can give useful advice on how to create an impressive portfolio. Curious? – This way, please!
What are the application tasks and what do they consist of?
The application tasks are published on CGL’s website in the beginning of March.
Each study program has a particular task or set of tasks:
Applicants to the MA in Digital Games need to hand in a concept for a research and development project that they want to follow up throughout their graduate studies at CGL. It is possible to submit a group project. However, each team member needs to send an individual application detailing his or her contribution to the project as well as proposing a personal research project. Please keep in mind that this means that not all group members might be accepted.
The exact details concerning these tasks can only be disclosed with the official tasks’ document.
Which documents do I need to prepare for the application form?
Applicants need to upload a CV, a portfolio, and a high school diploma*. Master applicants need to upload their Bachelor’s degree as well. The form also requires applicants to fill in some fields with personal information and to provide a passport photo.
Are there limitations for international applicants?
International applicants need to have their qualifications pre-validated by the German academic service “Uni-Assist” before/while applying to CGL (Deadline: March 31).
What is Uni-Assist?
If you went to school or have studied outside Germany, you must not only apply to Cologne Game Lab through the form on our website, but also submit a couple of documents to the Uni-Assist service in Berlin. Uni-Assist verifies the validity of your secondary school leaving certificate and university degree (if applicable) in Germany.
For more detailed information visit the following websites:
If you have any further questions don’t hesitate to contact our International Office.
Please also check our special information for international students: Master of Arts or Bachelor of Arts.
Can I pre-check if my foreign diploma will be accepted in Germany?
You can pre-check whether your secondary school or university diploma qualifies you for studying in Germany at anabin.kmk.org (in German language).
Choose “Schulabschlüsse mit Hochschulzugang”, your country and then the diploma you have obtained in order to check if and where it enables you to study. If you have studied at a university before, you also need to check whether or not your university is accredited. To check that, choose “Institutionen” on the left, your country and then the university where you studied at. There you should see the university’s “status”. If it says “H+” your university is accredited. “H-” means it is not accredited.
More information on the formal requirements for studying in Germany can be found here.
Are there tuition fees?
There are no tuition fees for the MA Digital Games, but every student has to pay a so called “semester fee” that includes a public transport pass for the whole semester as well as different administrative fees. Currently it is 276,60€ per semester. For more information please visit the TH Website.
Where can I find information on scholarships?
The following websites offer information on scholarships:
For German students: www.stipendienlotse.de
For international students: www.daad.de/en
Are CGL’s programs accredited?
Yes. All degrees are accredited by the German Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) and granted by TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. MA graduates in “Digital Games” with 90 ECTS.
What is my qualification and job profile after graduating from CGL?
The major challenge of game design programs is to meet the demands of the constantly shifting world of the games industry in both the shorter and longer term. Job descriptions, which outline the specific competencies required for a position, vary from company to company. Whilst individual skill sets will vary according to the individual ́s blend of creative and technical skills, graduates from CGL programs will be qualified for various roles in game development, e.g.:
- Game Designer
- Game Artist
- Game Programmer
- Interactive Designer
- Concept Author
- Stage Director
- Project Manager
Furthermore, the broad interdisciplinary education at CGL might qualify graduates for game-related positions in related fields of interest such as journalism, communication, education, and applied research.
What are the differences between the MA in Digital Games and the MA in Game Development and Research?
The table below provides an overview of the main differences between the two programs. You can find further details about each program here >MA Digital Games or here >MA Game Development & Research
|Aspect||MA Digital Games||MA Game Development & Research|
|Requirements||Bachelor’s degree in game arts, game design, or game programming (or equivalent)||Bachelor’s degree (any major) and 12 months of work experience in a media-related field*|
|Duration||3 semesters||4 semesters|
|Class Attendance||Courses in two out of three game development disciplines (Game Arts, Game Design, Game Programming) as well as courses in Media & Game Studies and Economics & Entrepreneurship||Courses in Game Development (project-based), Game Design, Visual Design, Media & Game Studies, Programming (primarily Unity), 3D Animation and Professionalization (which focuses on the pitch and market data analysis, among others)|
|Project Work||Focus on one single project during the course of studies||Several projects (addressing themes such as Nonlinear Adaptation and Serious Games) in the first 3 semesters of study and a final MA Thesis Project which is the focus of the fourth/final semester of study|
|Tuition Fee**||No tuition fee||850€/semester (EU citizens) 1750€/semester (non EU citizens)|
*The 12 months of work experience count from the moment the applicant obtained their Bachelor’s degree until the start of classes at CGL in September.
**In both cases a general student fee of approximately 265 EUR per semester applies. This fee provides students with a ticket for public transportation in the area of North Rhine-Westphalia, including the cities of Cologne, Bonn, and Düsseldorf. In the case of the M.A. in Game Development and Research, this general fee is added to the tuition fee mentioned in the table.