From education to employment

Ranked: The Best University Courses in the UK to get into Gaming

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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:

UniversityCourse Total (out of 40)Overall Course SatisfactionEmployment Score (15 months after the course)Academic SupportLearning Opportunities
Aberystwyth UniversityComputer Graphics, Visions and Games34.
Lancaster UniversityComputer Science34.
Abertay UniversityComputer Games Technology347.598.19.4
Ulster University Games Design33.
University of SussexGames and Multimedia Environments33.
University of LiverpoolGame Design
Falmouth UniversityGame Art33.
University of LeedsComputer Science 3271087
Bangor UniversityComputer Science with Game Design31.98.388.57.1
Kingston UniversityComputer Games Programming30.56.78.587.3
University of WarwickComputer Science
Bournemouth UniversityGames Design29.75.698.76.4
University of KentArtificial Intelligence29.15.59.486.2
Birmingham City UniversityVideo Game Design28.55.588.16.9
Heriot-Watt University Computer Systems28.36.896.95.6
Brunel University LondonComputer Science (Digital Media and Games)
University of Bedfordshire Computer Games Development27.
Newcastle UniversityComputer Science (Game Engineering)
University of CumbriaGames Design27.
University of BrightonDigital Games Development

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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