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Games design course gains accreditation from video games trade association TIGA

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Brunel University London’s BA (Hons) Games Design course has been accredited by TIGA, the trade association representing the video games industry.

Half the graduates from this course find work within the games industry, and over 70% find work either in the games industry or other industries where they use skills they developed on the course.

“The TIGA Accreditation system enables students and developers to find great courses that are educating great graduates,” explained TIGA’s CEO, Dr Richard Wilson OBE.

“TIGA is confident that the game design course at Brunel University London delivers a range of skills at an appropriate depth and breadth for the games industry. Further, TIGA is confident that Brunel is playing an important role in graduating game designers to support game development in the UK.”

The innovative course enables students to choose different pathways, according to their career aims, right from the first year. They are able to graduate with one of the following BA (Hons) Game Design variants, clearly signalling to future employers where their talents lie:

  • BA (Hons) Games Design
  • BA (Hons) Games Design (Art)
  • BA (Hons) Games Design (Technology)
  • BA (Hons) Games Design (Studies)

Sense of community

Dr Mark Eyles, Educational Advisor to TIGA, said: “There is a palpable sense of community within the BA (Hons) Games Design course at Brunel University London.

“Lecturers are extremely supportive, putting on additional activities like the board game evenings to ensure students reach their full potential. The dedication of staff and students has resulted in an exceptional course that prepares students for future industry roles, especially as game designers.”

Brunel’s games design lecturers are very happy to be part of the TIGA community. “Games are a collaborative medium that bring together such a wide range of disciplines and talents,” said Chris Cox – Course Leader, Division Lead for Digital Arts, and Senior Lecturer in Games Design at Brunel. “It’s something we embrace within our course, and being part of this wider collaboration is extremely positive.

“TIGA is another way in which we can support our students’ education and opens up a range of new opportunities and options for partnerships in the future.”

Dr Justin Parsler, Associate Dean (QA) and Senior Lecturer in Games Design at Brunel, added:

“TIGA has a great understanding of how the games industry and games education interact without preferencing either or focusing solely on code or visual art.

“Effective Games education has become truly transdisciplinary over the last few years, something we fully embrace here at Brunel and which TIGA helps to support and spread best practice.

“There is a clear understanding within TIGA that education is not just about training students for industry (though that is important), but also about a rigorous education that serves a student for life.”

Exceptional good practice

The following areas of exceptional good practice were identified by the accreditation team:

  • The gender balance on the course is excellent, with around a 40/60 female/male student mix. This compares extremely well with other HE courses within the UK. Taking an active role in the university’s Athena SWAN equality initiative has supported this. The course’s support for diversity is excellent.
  • The regular Wednesday evening board game nights, where students and staff play a very wide range of board games old and new, and also old video games on original consoles are exemplary in building a deep knowledge of games and gameplay. This is indicative of the sense of community that exists between staff and students of all years.
  • The staff offices are next to the students’ game development area. The open office hours policy operated by staff, through which they are available to assist students, is an important way in ensuring that students are able to get the very best from their course.
  • The course collaborates with the Octopus 8 publishing studio, whose aim is to help people new to industrial game development by recognising talent and helping to nurture with it. The studio runs projects with games students, mentoring them and showcasing their work, and also with graduates and experienced professionals alike to aid with everything from design decisions and direction to project management and publishing. With the Octopus 8 project, the course seeks to replicate as closely as possible an authentic industry development project. This is an excellent aspect of games education at Brunel.
  • There is a thread of ‘preparing for industry’ throughout the course, from the first to the final year. Students questioned by the TIGA Accreditation Team during the Accreditation Site Visit all had a very clear idea of the roles they would like to pursue in industry, and also had plans for how to achieve their goals.
  • The sense of community and the practice of the staff and students working together on exploring and developing games are key features of the design games course at Brunel University London.
  • The 2017 NSS results were exceptionally high, with 100% satisfaction across many areas.

Find out more about Brunel's BA (Hons) Games Design.

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