Video games student numbers skyrocket

By March 13, 2018 Press Releases

The number of people studying video games subjects at university is skyrocketing, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Computer game design courses saw the biggest rise in student numbers, which rose by 129 per cent from 2014/15 to 2016/17. This was closely followed by computer game design and graphics courses, which saw an 124 per cent increase in students over the same period. Meanwhile, students taking computer games graphics increased by 111 per cent.

 Growing numbers of students is accompanied by growth in the sector as a whole. The video games industry is growing at 7 per cent per annum, with the majority of new roles requiring people with university education and industry-ready skills.

Previously released figures show that the number of students who have graduated with a video games degree has risen by 116 per cent over the last 5 years. In 2016/17, the number of people who graduated with a video games degree was 1,290, a significant increase on the 595 graduates in 2012/13.

 TIGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Richard Wilson OBE said:

“It is great to see such a significant rise in the number of students studying video games courses at university. With our sector growing at an impressive 7 per cent per year, we need graduates with the right skills so we can continue to grow and thrive.

“However, it is important to remember that graduate employment in the video games industry varies depending on the university. This is why TIGA offers accreditation for video games courses, so prospective students can be confident they will receive a high quality education and stand a good chance of securing a role in the industry.

“We look forward to continuing our work with universities to ensure that the video games industry has a pipeline of talented and skilled workers.”

Please see the written question submitted by Justin Tomlinson, Conservative MP for North Swindon, below:

 Video Games: Graduates

Department for Education

Justin Tomlinson (North Swindon) (Con): To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate his Department has made of the number of students who have graduated with a degree in video game art and animation in each of the last three years.

 Mr Sam Gyimah: The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) collects and publishes statistics on enrolments and qualifications obtained at UK Higher Education Institutions. The Latest statistics refer to the academic year 2016/17.

The table attached shows the numbers of first degree qualifiers in computer game design and graphics subjects.


Academic Year Number of qualifiers in computer game design2 Number of qualifiers in computer games graphics2 Total qualifiers in computer game design and graphics
2014/15 240 45 285
2015/16 430 60 485
2016/17 550 (129%)45 95 (111%) 640 (124%)


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