Number of computer games graduates at a seven year high

By February 5, 2021 Industry News

The number of UK graduates in computer games subjects has risen for a seventh consecutive year.

Answering a written parliamentary question, the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP, quoted data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) which showed that in 2018/19 there were 1,380 computer games graduates. This figure is more than double the 595 graduates from 2012/13. Courses included in these figures include: Games, Computer Games Programming, Computer Game Design and Computer Games Graphics.

In response to these figures, Dr Richard Wilson OBE said:

“Another increase in graduate numbers with industry relevant skills is important for the video games sector. The industry’s headcount is growing on average by 8.9 per cent per annum. With the end of free movement and UK’s post-Brexit immigration system changing how companies can recruit talent from abroad, a growing cohort of skilled graduates is essential.

“As well as quantity, the quality of graduates is of upmost importance to the continued success of the UK games sector. TIGA’s Accreditation system accredits the very best university courses, enabling both prospective students and game developers to identify those courses that are producing industry-ready graduates.  TIGA Accreditation provides a supportive approach, involving recommendations to further enhance university courses. This approach strengthens TIGA Accredited courses, promotes best practice and so helps to address the skills requirements of the ever-evolving games industry.”

More information on TIGA University Accreditation can be found here.

The full parliamentary written question can be found here:

Video Games: Graduates
Department for Education
1 February 2021

Jonathan Gullis (Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many students have graduated with a degree in video games in each year since 2010.

Michelle Donelan (Minister of State): The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on enrolments and qualifications obtained at UK Higher Education Institutions. Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2018/19.

The table below shows the numbers of first-degree qualifiers in computer games subjects for each year since the academic year 2012/13. Information on the number of qualifiers in these subjects has been available since the introduction of the third version of Joint Academic Coding System in 2012/13, hence figures cannot be provided for any year prior to that.


Full-person-equivalent1 First Degree qualifiers in computer games subjects
UK Higher Education Institutions
Academic years 2012/13 to 2018/19

Academic Year Number of qualifiers in computer games subjects2
2012/13 595
2013/14 625
2014/15 690
2015/16 900
2016/17 1,290
2017/18 1,265
2018/19 1,380

Source: DfE analysis of the HESA Student Record.

  1. Counts are on the basis of full-person-equivalents. Where a student is studying more than one subject, they are apportioned between the subjects that make up their course. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 5, in line with HESA rounding conventions: in a new tab).
  2. Qualifiers in Games (principal category I6 of the Joint Academic Coding System (JACS)), which includes Games, Computer games programming, Computer game design and Computer games graphics. This code is only available since the introduction of the third version of JACS in 2012/13. More information on JACS codes can be found at the following link: in a new tab).


We use cookies on our site to track activity and visitor numbers - please help us by allowing us to use them on your visit.