Grads in Games is a set of, industry backed, educational initiatives run by award-winning recruitment agency Aardvark Swift. The initiatives have been running for almost a decade and have the dedicated aims of:

  • Increasing discussions between education and industry
  • Helping improve the teaching of games related courses
  • Helping prepare students get their first break in the industry
  • Giving them insight into the industry, games development and what is expected and required

The current initiatives include:

Get in the Game

This series of careers talks tours universities across Europe each year offering detailed CV and portfolio advice, workshops with hints and tips to increase employability, and informs graduates what skills they will need to land a job in the games or tech industry.

With direct support from the games industry Grads in Games visited 66 Universities in 2016/2017 including 48 Computer Science, 15 Games Art, Animation & VFX, and 13 Computing courses.

Talks and workshops are based on feedback from studios and are designed to highlight the benefits and reality of a career in video games development, giving students the guidance they need on how to prepare themselves and improve their employability.

Guest speakers on the tour have come from companies including:

  • BossAlien
  • Playground Games
  • nDreams
  • Red Kite Games
  • Autodesk
  • Rebellion
  • Outplay Entertainment
  • Inertia Game Studios
  • Futurlab
  • Preloaded
  • Dovetail Games
  • BetaJester
  • Framestore VR Studio
  • A Little Red Panda

You can find the full list of 2016/2017 Guest Speakers here.

Search for a Star & Rising Star

Search for a Star is the Grads in Games flagship initiative. This yearly set of challenges are designed by leading studios and developers and aimed, primarily, at students in their final year and those on Masters courses.
The challenges are designed to mimic a standard industry recruitment process. Programming, 3D art, animation and VFX students are invited to test their skills by creating the impressive games and polished game-ready assets which studios want to see in standout applicants.
Everyone who submits work receives tailored feedback and advice from industry experts in their field; the opportunity to win, generous, prizes donated by industry and the opportunity to win an interview with a leading studio!

The challenges take place over Winter with a Finals Day event held in early Spring. Finals Day not only includes awards and interviews but also a range of talks by industry experts and a chance for lecturers and students to talk directly with studios.

The Importance of Search for a Star:

Sumo Digital Rising Star-

Rising Star was launched to give talented First and Second year university students the chance to show off what they can do.

Programming, 3D art, animation and VFX students are judged separately from third-year student and receive all the same feedback and a chance to win an interview for an internship with a leading studio to help nurture their skills!


Building on the lessons from Search for a Star & Get in the Game, Catalyst is an initiative for aimed at students in Further Education just starting their journey into the creative industries. Created in partnership with industry professionals Catalyst is intended to develop, challenge and showcase the abilities of students with particular focus on VFX, animation and games.

The aim of Catalyst is to nurture new talent whether they are looking to continue to university, go straight into work or an apprenticeship. It is an opportunity to get their skills showcased and make a big impression in front of some of the UK’s leading studios & universities.