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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

University of Gloucestershire to offer accreditated games courses...

TIGA, the games industry trade association, is pleased to announce the accreditation of the following games courses at the University of Gloucestershire:
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming
  • BSc (Hons) Computer Games Design

The recorded destinations of students graduating from both courses showed significant numbers gaining employment in the games industry and a high level of graduates using their game technology skills in future employment.

BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming, graduates 2018 – 2019
Percentage employed after 6 months: 85% (DLHE data)
Percentage of jobs in games: 60% (University data provided to TIGA)
Percentage of jobs using game technology skills: 100% (University data provided to TIGA)

The course has a strong programming focus with plenty of high and low-level programming threads to prepare students for games industry careers in this field. There is an appropriate emphasis on software engineering skills, game engines and working in teams which would equip students for working on larger indie or AAA titles.

BSc (Hons) Computer Games Design graduates 2017 – 2019
Percentage employed after 6 months: 85% (DLHE data)
Percentage of jobs in games: 25% (University data provided to TIGA)
Percentage of jobs using game technology skills: 96% (University data provided to TIGA)

This course currently embraces the industry domains of game art and game design, covering asset creation as well as level and game design. Students equipped with a broad base of skills like this would typically be well-positioned to pursue a career as an indie game developer or at a smaller game studio with smaller, less specialised teams.

The TIGA Accreditation Team was impressed by the following examples of best practice:
  • Excellent examples of collaboration and engagement with industry, with a high-level of commitment from the course teams:
  • Academic partnerships with both PlayStation and Nintendo, providing students with access to a range of console development hardware.
  • The annual WebX/GameX Industry conference which brings industry speakers from across the country to present to students on the games courses. The courses benefit from approximately 12 industry guest lecturers per annum.
  • Organised student trips to industry shows, conferences and events such as EGX, Develop, Pocket Gamer Connect and Brains Eden.
  • Interdisciplinary group projects which mirror industry practice, supported by dedicated resources and organised showcase events for student work:
  • External support from industry mentors, providing direct contact with current expertise and practices from industry.
  • Dedicated labs and community spaces for team working and an on-site lab technician for supporting students with industry technologies.
  • The annual ComX final year show run by the department to exhibit student work, which even continued virtually during lockdown!

Overall, the TIGA Accreditation Team was impressed by the enthusiasm, dedication and industry relevance demonstrated by the course teams. The team is supportive of the direction of travel for the games’ courses at the University and recognises the challenging and relevant skills that their students are able to bring the job marketplace upon graduation.
Accreditation Team
The Accreditation Team from TIGA who reviewed the courses comprised:
  • Dr Richard Wilson, OBE CEO TIGA
  • Dr Jacob Habgood, TIGA Educational Advisor (Sumo Digital)
  • Dr Mark Eyles, TIGA Educational Advisor
  • Mike Healey, Head of Programming, Rebellion

Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“The University of Gloucestershire’s games courses demonstrate best practice in a number of areas: regular guest lecturers from industry; optional work placements; and academic partnerships with industry. Encouragingly, according to the National Student Survey, 81 per cent of students are satisfied with the courses. Congratulations to staff and students at the University of Gloucester on achieving TIGA Accreditation.”

Dr Jacob Habgood, TIGA Educational Advisor said:
“The University of Gloucestershire games courses benefit from an impressive level of passion and technical expertise from staff with relevant industry backgrounds. Students get plenty of access to industry speakers and mentors and the long-term goals for the University’s games courses demonstrate a good understanding and alignment with games industry practice.”

Dr Mark Eyles, TIGA Educational Advisor said:
“The emphasis on industry relevant projects enables students to develop skills that are valued by game developers. The enthusiasm and dedication of the course team creates a productive and supportive atmosphere in which students are able to explore, identify and achieve their game development goals.”

Mike Healey, Head of Programming at Rebellion said:
“The University of Gloucestershire’s games courses have developed strong industry links including partnerships with game console platform holders allowing students to gain valuable and relevant experience. The enthusiasm and expertise of the course leaders and staff is clear and will serve students well.”

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