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Extraordinary talent of Northern Regional College students recognised during first NextGen Graduate Showcase in Northern Ireland

Northern Regional College lecturer Timothy Cathcart pictured with Level 3 Digital Games student and Industry Choice Awards winner, Andrew Coleman.

Northern Regional College (NRC) @NRCCollege students were recently recognised for their talent in Games, Animation and VFX at the inaugural NextGen Graduate Showcase in Northern Ireland, held in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen.

18 students from NRC were invited to the showcase, which serves as a testament to their achievements over their two years studying Digital Games Development. The event, hosted at The Pixel Mill in Belfast, marked a significant milestone as it highlighted the impressive work of the first cohort of graduates from Northern Ireland that have been supported by NextGen’s industry-engagement across games, animation, and VFX.

Industry professionals were invited to engage with students from Belfast Met, Northern Regional College, and Southern Regional College as they showed off an array of impressive projects, including playable games, VFX sequences, animated short films, and portfolios, all reflecting their progress and dedication throughout their studies.

PJ Hart, NextGen’s Engagement Manager in Northern Ireland, expressed pride in the accomplishments of the students:

“The first NextGen Graduate Showcase in NI has been an incredible success! The students demonstrated outstanding creativity and technical skills, and it’s been inspiring to see them connect with industry professionals. Thank you to all the students, colleges, and professionals who attended. This event truly underscores the continued growth of Northern Ireland as a vibrant hub for creative talent, and we look forward to continuing to celebrate and support the incredible talent emerging from the region.”

The bustling event provided an excellent platform for networking and talent spotting, fostering valuable connections between graduates and industry leaders, who offered invaluable guidance and inspiration to students as they pursue their career ambitions.

Another highlight of the event were the Industry, Tutor, and Student Choice Awards. These awards recognise exceptional achievements in creative collaboration as they are voted on by industry professionals, educators, and student peers.

A huge congratulations to Andrew Coleman from Northern Regional College who walked away with the esteemed Industry Choice Award for his impressive game project Gravi-T.

Jonathan Shields, coordinator of the Level 3 Games Development course at the College’s Newtownabbey campus, commented: “Andrew has developed several game projects worthy of recognition during his two years at the College. Gravi-T is a fine example of his high-level design, animation, and programming skills. The project has attracted interest from companies intending to publish it on Steam and Nintendo Switch, a remarkable industry endorsement of his talent and professionalism. Our students have excelled this year under the instruction of our programming and animation lecturers, Timothy Cathcart and Seana Leech. Each one has proven they deserve a place in the creative industries.”

Robert Wilsdon, Curriculum Area Manager in Creative Industries at Northern Regional College added, “Participating in the NextGen Showcase event has been ranked by our students as one of the key highlights during their studies at the College.  The event provided an excellent opportunity for them to showcase their talents and learnings over the past two years.  It also allowed them to interact with their peers from other colleges and engage and connect with industry experts.  And to top it off, our digital game student Andrew Coleman picked up the Industry Choice Award, in recognition of his exemplary talent.  Well done to all participants.”

Go Further at Northern Regional College

You can join the next generation of creative talent in Northern Ireland, we’re now taking applications to start studying in September 2024.

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