TIGA, the games industry trade association, is pleased to announce the accreditation of the following games courses at the University of the West of England:
- BSc (Hons) Games Technology
Re-accreditation – awarded
- MSc Commercial Games Development
Accreditation – awarded
The recorded destinations of students graduating from both courses showed significant proportions gaining employment and a high level of graduates using their game technology skills in future employment.
BSc (Hons) Games Technology
Percentage employed after 15 months: 70% (Graduate Outcomes survey data from 2017-18).
Percentage of jobs in games: 27% (University data for 2018-19 provided to TIGA ignoring unknown students).
Percentage of jobs using game technology skills: 100% (University data for 2018-19 provided to TIGA, ignoring unknown students).
The course has a strong programming focus with plenty of opportunities to develop the skills students will require for technical careers in the games industry. 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) MSc (Hons) Commercial Games Development
Percentage of jobs in games: 50% (University data from 2017-2020 provided to TIGA, ignoring unknown students).
Percentage of jobs using game technology skills: 100% (University data from 2017-2020 provided to TIGA, ignoring unknown students).
This course provides a commercially focussed finishing degree for graduates of the BSc alongside students from a wider range of creative backgrounds. The opportunity to work on small client/research projects alongside interdisciplinary development teams should equip students well for roles in indie development teams or setting up their own studios.
The TIGA Accreditation Team was impressed by the following examples of best practice:
- The BSC (Hons) Games Technology course demonstrates a well thought out course structure with technical C++ programming skills embedded throughout the degree. This technical emphasis prepares graduates well for employment in programming roles in the games industry.
- The UWE has the PlayWest game studio which provides an excellent example of practical engagement with industry practice, providing industry-relevant “workplace simulation” to the students on both accredited courses. It has realised an impressive range of projects for different clients providing an authentic body of commercial work for students to learn from. Since 2015 the studio has engaged with 2-5 commercial projects a year, employing 10-20 students from each final year cohort.
- Students have access to excellent resources, including Games Technology Labs, which include 35 dual monitor higher spec PCs with industry-standard software and a group working space in the TEAL design layout with PS4 Dev-Kits.
- The course has produced an impressive collection of four student-formed companies (aPriori Digital (founded 2013); Foggybox Games (founded 2017); Big Goose Games (founded 2016); Tidy Games (founded 2018), which is testament to the business enterprise support offered to UWE students:
- The Foundry: A £2m investment in an industry-facing student enterprise zone at the heart of Frenchay campus and UWE Bristol, hosting hackathons and technology outreach.
- Launch Space: providing free desk space and business support for graduate start-up businesses in the heart of UWE’s University Enterprise Zone.
- Student Ventures: Support to get students’ business ideas off the ground. With physical space, business support and funding to help students pursue their entrepreneurial journey.
- The provision of match-funding for graduate internships is excellent and making this available at all levels (including for graduates) is particularly impressive. This should position UWE well for obtaining even higher graduate employability rates in the future.
- There was a high-level of commitment from the course team for supporting industry engagement. In the last year this included organised networking opportunities at games conferences as well as seven industry guest lectures from studios including Creative Assembly, Playground Games and The Polygon Loft.
Overall, the TIGA Accreditation Team was impressed by the enthusiasm, commitment and industry engagement demonstrated by the course teams and the support they have from the department of Computer Science and Creative Technologies.
The Accreditation Team from TIGA who reviewed the courses comprised:
Dr Richard Wilson, OBE CEO TIGA
Dr Jacob Habgood, TIGA Educational Advisor (Sumo Digital Group)
Chris Kingsley OBE, CTO Rebellion
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“The University of the West of England’s games courses are providing their students with industry relevant skills. Significantly, the UWE offers students: workplace simlations via its PlayWest game studio; match-funding for graduate internships; and business enterprise support. Impressively, according to the National Student Survey, 93 per cent of students are satisfied with the BSC (Hons) course. Well done to the staff and students at the University of the West of England on achieving TIGA Accreditation.”
Dr Jacob Habgood, TIGA Educational Advisor said:
“UWE’s Games Technology course benefits from a strong technical programming focus which reflects the title of the degree programme. Both courses provide students with invaluable opportunities for commercial experience through the PlayWest studio and there is a clear commitment from the university to support student start-ups through a wide range of infrastructure and schemes.”
Chris Kingsley OBE, CTO at Rebellion said:
“TIGA is delighted to re-accredit UWE’s Games Technology course, and to accredit their Commercial Games Development Course. These are courses that fit students’ and industry’s needs, producing quality graduates who are successfully finding employment in UK games companies.”
Lloyd Savickas, Senior Lecturer at the University of the West of England, said:
“We are thrilled to have receive confirmation of our undergraduate reaccreditation and equally proud to have our Masters programme recognised for accreditation. With our internal studio PlayWest and the growth of our programme in terms of student recruitment and state-of-the-art resources, we are excited to plan for our future whilst developing stronger industry links, and to continue to support the next generations of game developers and creative industries in UK.”