The value of the UK video game industry was worth over seven billion in 2021 – an increase of 2% from the previous year.
Over 73,000 people in the UK are also employed in full-time roles in the gaming industry, including designers, software developers, audio engineers, animators, artists and programmers.
With the industry booming, many young people are looking to get into video game development professionally. However, many positions (such as audio engineers or developers) require a degree to get into the field.
With that being said, the team at online gaming platform Spades Challenge have revealed the top gaming university courses in the UK by analysing over 600 related courses on UCAS – The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.
The research reviewed the following:
- Overall Course Satisfaction – Calculated through National Survey Results by students during 2020-2021
- This combined the quality of teaching, assessment and feedback, organisation and management, learning resources, learning community and student voice.
- Employment Rate – Collected by survey results from Graduate Outcome Surveys from students graduating in 2019 (students in a position 15 months after graduating)
- Academic Support – Collected through the National Student Survey in 2021
- Learning Opportunities – Collected through the National Student Survey in 2021
The following courses received the highest total scores:
|University||Course||Total (out of 40)||Overall Course Satisfaction||Employment Score (15 months after the course)||Academic Support||Learning Opportunities|
|Aberystwyth University||Computer Graphics, Visions and Games||34.6||8.2||9.5||9.2||7.7|
|Lancaster University||Computer Science||34.3||8.1||9.5||7.9||8.8|
|Abertay University||Computer Games Technology||34||7.5||9||8.1||9.4|
|Ulster University||Games Design||33.5||8.1||8.6||8.7||8.1|
|University of Sussex||Games and Multimedia Environments||33.1||7.5||8.7||8.9||8|
|University of Liverpool||Game Design||33.1||7.3||8.9||8.6||8.3|
|Falmouth University||Game Art||33.1||7.9||7.9||8.4||8.9|
|University of Leeds||Computer Science||32||7||10||8||7|
|Bangor University||Computer Science with Game Design||31.9||8.3||8||8.5||7.1|
|Kingston University||Computer Games Programming||30.5||6.7||8.5||8||7.3|
|University of Warwick||Computer Science||30.2||6.2||9.5||7.7||6.8|
|Bournemouth University||Games Design||29.7||5.6||9||8.7||6.4|
|University of Kent||Artificial Intelligence||29.1||5.5||9.4||8||6.2|
|Birmingham City University||Video Game Design||28.5||5.5||8||8.1||6.9|
|Heriot-Watt University||Computer Systems||28.3||6.8||9||6.9||5.6|
|Brunel University London||Computer Science (Digital Media and Games)||27.9||5.5||8.7||7.5||6.2|
|University of Bedfordshire||Computer Games Development||27.8||5.1||9||6.5||7.2|
|Newcastle University||Computer Science (Game Engineering)||27.6||4.5||9.5||8||5.6|
|University of Cumbria||Games Design||27.1||6.3||8.5||5.6||6.7|
|University of Brighton||Digital Games Development||26.8||4.8||8.7||7.7||5.6|
With an overall score of 34.6 out of 40, Computer Graphics, Visions and Games at Aberystwyth University took first place as the best university course for gaming. The course received the highest total figure and also scored the highest on academic support, with a score of 9.2 out of 10. It also scored highly on employment and overall course satisfaction.
In second place, with a score of 34.3 out of 40, isComputer Scienceat The University of Lancaster. This course scored highly on employment for graduates, with a score of 9.5.
With a score of 34, third place went to Computer Games Technology at Abertay University which received the highest score for learning opportunities, with a score of 9.4.
Fourth place goes to Games Design atUlster University, with a score of 33.5, whilst Games and Multimedia Environments at the University of Sussex took fifth place with a score of 33.1, tied with Game Design at the University of Liverpool and Game Artat Falmouth University.
The course which received the highest score for employment was Computer Science at the University of Leeds which saw 100% of graduates in a job 15 months after the course ended.
Computer Sciencewith Game Design at Bangor University received the highest score for overall course satisfaction, at 8.3.
With many courses to choose from, UCAS has offered some advice on how to get onto a degree of your choosing. UCAS said:
“While many universities would like to see maths and computing on your list of qualifications, to help with the coding and programming element of a games design course, they’re not essential. Other subjects like physics, IT, media studies, and design technology will be useful.
“More important is your character, so pay close attention to your personal statement. You should demonstrate both the technical (analytics, data handling, and programming) and creative (curiosity, artistic direction, and innovation) qualities that make up a successful games designer.
“The A-Level entry requirements range from CCD to BBB – most commonly asking for BBC.”
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