Birmingham City University Games Course Achieves TIGA Accreditation
TIGA, the trade association representing the UK video games industry, is pleased to announce the accreditation of the following games course at Birmingham City University (BCU):
- BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology Accreditation – awarded
The BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology course provides a three-year programme of study. There are typically 35-40 undergraduates in each year of the course. Students gain the skills required by programmers in the games industry. They not only gain skills required for using high level tools and game engines, but also have a solid understanding of programming fundamentals and low-level coding. Students also gain a range of useful transferable skills such as team working, problem solving, communication and so on.
These are the known destinations of BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology graduates from the last three academic years (2017-18, 2018-2019, 2019-2020):
- 36% work directly in the games industry.
- 45% are working in either the game industry or an industry using real-time 3D skills.
- 76% are working in sectors employing transferrable skills learned on the course.
- 10% are in further study.
This destination data shows the course is delivering skills that are of use to industry. In addition to games industry careers there was an impressive proportion of graduates who were using game development skills in related industries. Graduate jobs include web developer, software engineer, manager, support technician, technical evangelist, QA tester, data analyst, front end developer and visualisation engineer.
The TIGA Accreditation Team noted the following examples of best practice:
- Modules such as ‘Game Studio Production’ give students the opportunity to have industry like game development experiences, including working in teams.
- The course benefits from engagement with industry. For example, representatives from Excalibur Games, Kwalee and Rare teach aspects of certain modules on the course and Game Dragons provides advice on course content.
- There is good coverage of programming fundamentals and in particular of C++ on the course. These skills are vital for graduates seeking work in the games industry.
- The frequency of game jams, such as Jingle Jam and Global Game Jam, are indicative of the rich game development culture that surrounds the course.
- Typically between 6% and 20% of students take up industry placements each year.
- The Curzon Software House initiative gives students authentic industry experiences. This provides paid work experience to students across summer months, encouraging skill utilisation and practice, whilst working on real projects delivering tangible benefits back into business partners.
- The Graduate+ and co-curricula awards framework ensure graduates from the course will stand out from the crowd by both extending and reflecting on their skillsets.
- The industry, researcher and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships involvement in setting briefs for individual projects at level 6 lends relevance to students’ work.
Overall, the TIGA Accreditation Team is confident the BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology at Birmingham City University delivers programming skills at an appropriate depth and breadth for the games industry.
The Accreditation Team from TIGA who reviewed the courses comprised:
Dr Richard Wilson, OBE CEO TIGA
Dr Mark Eyles, TIGA Educational Advisor
Chris Kingsley OBE, CTO Rebellion
Dr Richard Wilson OBE, TIGA CEO, said:
“BCU’s BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology course equips students with programming and transferable skills that are required by the games industry and other high technology sectors. Students on the course benefit from strong links with industry, including Excalibur Games, Game Dragons, Kwalee and Rare. Students have the chance to participate in game jams, industry placements and stand out from the crowd through initiatves such as Graduate+. Congratulations to the staff and students of BCU on your successful accreditation.”
Dr Mark Eyles, TIGA Educational Advisor, said:
“BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology lecturers give students challenging, industry-like game development experiences throughout the course. These projects ensure students develop valuable programming skills sought after by the games industry. The course also delivers an excellent range of transferable skills, such as problem solving, team working, and communication. The graduate destination data clearly show a high proportion of graduates finding work both in the games industry and related industries.”
Dr Carlo Harvey, Associate Professor, Director of Future Games and Graphics and the Course Leader, School of Computing and Digital Technology, BCU, said:
“The course team are delighted to see our offering acknowledged via this accreditation platform. TIGA have really helped illuminate and crystallise the benefits of industrial relationships in our course structure and design. The reciprocal relationship between education and industry sees courses such as ours act as a bridge to longitudinally improve our creative economy, so it is vital that they are reviewed and kept skills-aware and current.”