The UK has a consistent and a high-quality pipeline of games industry talent. Some 160,000 UK computer science and engineering students graduated in 2011, alongside 176,000 creative and design graduates. Although only a fraction of these will enter the games industry, these statistics illustrate the depth of the talent base constantly being refreshed in the UK.
The quality of the education and training being delivered is exceedingly high. The UK is home to three of Europe’s top five technology universities and produces 9 per cent of the world’s scientific papers, with a citation share of 12 per cent - second only to the USA.
Some of the UK’s leading visual effects, animation and video game companies have also joined forces to create a new skills academy. The consortium, which includes James Bond producers Pinewood Studios and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, secured almost £6.5 million from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES).
The Next Gen Skills Academy, which will be led by Amersham and Wycombe College and leading motion capture company Centroid, will help develop the next generation of talented animators, games designers and visual effects artists.
It will offer a range of courses from new entry level qualifications to higher level apprenticeships, as well as short courses and online learning.
A regional network of further education colleges will be established across England, delivering more than 1,300 qualifications, including 150 apprenticeship starts and more than 1,000 online courses.
Fifty six universities provide 141 video games development courses throughout the UK. Creative Skillset, the UK’s skills organisation for the creative industries, awards special status to the best games courses nationwide. They are currently as follows:
■ BA Game Art Design, De Montfort University, Leicester
■ BA (Hons) Games Art and Design, Norwich University College of the Arts
■ BSc (Hons) Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University
■ MSc Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University
■ MComp Games Software Development, Sheffield Hallam University
■ BA (Hons) Computer & Video Games, Southampton Solent University
■ BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming, Teesside University
■ BA (Hons) Computer Arts, University of Abertay, Dundee
■ BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay, Dundee
■ MSc Computer Games Technology, University of Abertay, Dundee
■ MProf Computer Games Development, University of Abertay, Dundee
■ BA (Hons) Computer Animation, University of Glamorgan - Cardiff School of
Creative and Cultural Industries
■ MSc Games Programming, University of Hull
■ BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology, University of the West of Scotland
For more information on games training and education, visit Creative Skillset.