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.

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. B.A. applicants should send works relevant to the specialization of their choice. 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.

Our students have created a Facebook-group that’s going to help you with the preparation of your portfolios. As successful applicants, the students running this group can give useful advice on how to create an interesting portfolio. This way please! (please read the group description carefully!)

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 B.A. in Digital Games receive a practical and a theoretical assignment. For the practical assignment they are asked to create a game concept based on a topic provided by us (previous year’s topics include “empathy” and “Lampedusa”). To this end applicants can use any tools and techniques at their disposal, keeping in mind that they should be relevant to the chosen specialization.

The theoretical assignment entails writing a short text. With the application tasks we provide a quote from a book, a link to a video lecture, or some other source. Applicants need to answer a question concerning this material in 100-150 words. They are expected to do some research on the topic at hand.

Applicants to the M.A. in Game Development and Research receive an assignment to do a practical task concerning non-linear audiovisual media. Together with this task, applicants need to provide their motivation and share their thoughts with us by completing three other written assignments.

Applicants to the M.A. 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.

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. At this stage Bachelor applicants also choose their specialization (Game Art, Game Design, or Game Programming), so it is important to decide to which one to apply before filling out the form.

*Those who won’t obtain their diploma before the March 31 deadline can apply with the last school report card (Schulzeugnis in Germany). They have time till July 15 to send the final school diploma.

International applicants need to have their qualifications pre-validated by the German academic service “Uni-Assist” before applying to CGL. Non EU students should be aware of higher tuition fees.

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.


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

The following websites offer information on scholarships: For German students: www.stipendienlotse.de For international students: www.daad.de/deutschland/en 

Yes. All degrees are accredited by the German Accreditation Council (Akkreditierungsrat) and granted by TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences. B.A. graduates in “Digital Games” are credited with 210 ECTS, M.A. graduates in “Digital Games” with 90 ECTS, and M.A. graduates in “Game Development and Research” with 120 ECTS. 

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.

The table below provides an overview of the main differences between the two programs. You can find further details about each program in the following links:




M.A. in Digital Games
M.A. in Game Development and Research


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*


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.