module specification

SM7032 - Games and Gamification (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Games and Gamification
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 270
70 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
164 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   A critical report (2,000 words)
Coursework 60%   A Portfolio of design documents for a digital game or a gamified experience
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module introduces students to the role of digital games in the digital media industry. It explores various applications of digital games in entertainment, education, business, marketing and advertising, analysing gamification practices as well as key game design practices and game design theories.

The module addresses issues in game ethics, game genres and gaming cultures, the evolution of technologies and delivery platforms, and the impact of the games industry on interaction design practices. Students will explore current trends in game design and game research, gamification approaches and applications.  They will evaluate game designs and gamification methods in relation to specific applications. Students will apply these principles and theories to the design and conceptualisation of an interactive game or a gamified experience.

Module Aims

  • To enable students to evaluate the ethical, technological and theoretical frameworks in game design and gamification theory and practice.
  • To enable students to plan and conceptualise a digital game or a gamified experience.

Prior learning requirements



The syllabus covers current trends in game design and game research, gamification approaches and applications, the evaluation of game design and gamification tools and production techniques.

Students will apply game design and gamification principles and theories to the design and conceptualisation of an interactive game or a gamified experience.

An indicative outline of syllabus will cover:

  • History of the gamification movement.
  • Key elements of digital games and gamification.
  • The game design and gamification industries, an overview of the main players and the market for games and gamified experiences.
  • Ethics in game design and gamification.
  • Game genres, cultures and audiences.
  • Game design theory and language.
  • The role of narratives in game design and gamification.
  • Current trends in game and gamification studies research.
  • Serious games - for education, health, political and business applications.
  • Game tools and game production techniques.
  • Planning and conceptualising a game production or a gamified experience.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Teaching methods include lectures and on-line interactive learning material, tutorials, seminar discussions and computer lab sessions. Students will be expected to attend lectures and take part in on-line activities as well as comment on their readings. A blended learning strategy will be employed to enhance the learning experience. The VLE will be used as a platform to support online discussions and situated learning experiences and to facilitate formative assessment and related feedback as well as a tool to integrate useful online learning materials provided by professional organisations and other relevant sources.

Learning outcomes

LO1 Critically analyse interactive game design traditions and technologies with respect to game design and gamification theories.

LO2 Evaluate, select and analyse best practice in game design and gamification.

LO3 Implement the planning and conceptualisation of a digital game or a gamified experience.

Assessment strategy

Assignment 1 is a written analytical report on a theme in games or gamification. The given topic will vary, and personal interests can be discussed and agreed with the tutor. For example, the brief might require a comparative study of two educational experiences (such as museum tours) one real and one virtual, with specific reference to the gamification elements; students would be expected to analyse and comment on these.
This assignment addresses LO1 and LO2.

Assignment 2 is an opportunity to showcase game design skills, as applied to a game or to a gamified experience. Students will demonstrate their understanding of game design and how design choices influence the motivation of the players/users by explicitly explaining their design choices. The main output is a designed artefact, accompanied by relevant documentation. The final piece will draw on students’ existing skills and can be expressed in a range of media. Students are not expected to develop a complete working game, but a professionally executed prototype that demonstrates design ideas.