Brock launches Canada’s first Master of Arts in Game Studies

Applications are now open for Brock University’s new Master of Arts (MA) in Game Studies — the first program of its kind in Canada.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch this new program,” says Jason Hawreliak, Director of Brock’s Centre for Digital Humanities (CDH). “People have been doing graduate work in games for years, but it’s usually in departments like English, Cultural Studies and Computer Science. This program allows students to fully focus on games.”

The MA in Game Studies is an interfaculty and interdisciplinary program designed to provide students with a high-quality venue for studying and designing games in all their forms. The two-year program offers students opportunities to engage with scholarly and professional literature, exploring the key debates within the discipline.

“Since Game Studies is such a diverse field, the program is designed to offer students a lot of flexibility, whether they’re interested in the scholarly or technical aspects of games,” says Hawreliak. “Students looking to study something like representation in games will be working alongside those interested in game-based learning, or others interested in improving their 3D-modelling skills.”

The new MA offers two streams for students: a Major Research Project, which allows students to pursue either scholarly or technical projects, and a thesis stream for those looking to pursue a PhD.

“Whichever stream they choose, students can gain both scholarly and technical competencies throughout the program,” says Hawreliak.

The program will have a special focus on “games for education, health and persuasion,” which explores how game design can be used in non-gaming fields like education, public policy and health care. It will prepare students for both doctoral studies and careers outside of academia.

Suzanne Curtin, Vice-Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies, says the program offers a new avenue for students looking for further education in the field of game design.

“To be able to offer students the opportunity to study game design at the master’s level is very exciting,” she says. “As the only program of its kind in Canada, Brock’s reputation as an academic and industry leader in this field will continue to grow. I’m excited to meet our first cohort of students in the Fall of 2022 and congratulate them on their involvement in this groundbreaking program.”

The MA program invites applicants from a wide variety of backgrounds, including recent university graduates and mid-career professionals.

“We can’t wait to welcome the first cohort of students to the CDH next year,” says Hawreliak.

The MA program is a logical next step following the success of the joint undergraduate GAME program with Computer Science at Brock and Niagara College, first launched in 2016.

Inquiries about the program can be directed to Hawreliak at

Funding and application information can be found through the Faculty of Graduate Studies website.

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