The new BSc (Hons) in Games Design and Development reflects the growth of video games as the largest entertainment market in the world and will build the critical digital skills needed to support the creative industries in the Northwest. Offered as both full and part time study, the programme provides students with specialist knowledge and experience in designing, developing, and programming gameplay experiences using industry standard tools, software languages and practices associated with making games and following a career as a technical creative.
Due to welcome the first cohort of students on the course in September 2023, Director of the Screen Academy, Professor Declan Keeney explained,
“From Call of Duty or Subway Surfers, PlayStation or X-Box, mobile or virtual reality, video game development is a significant growth sector. Game Designers and Developers are a critical part of the pipeline in the global success of the games industry and so this new degree is designed to give students the skills and knowledge to follow a career in this thriving sector, across games development and programming.
“We’re delighted to offer this course in a city that has such a creative heart and digital pedigree, and which is already home to some leading companies in the games development industry. Industry partners will be working with us to offer practical insight into career opportunities and to shape the learning experience for our students.”
One such company is Kippie, an award-winning social enterprise helping people from all backgrounds and all abilities create their own computer games based in the city.
Katherine Rowlandson, Co-Founder of Kippie commented:
"This is brilliant news for the North West, and for our students. Game development in Northern Ireland is a rapidly growing industry, and one that can showcase the wealth of talent and creativity of our young people that we have seen first hand. We wholeheartedly welcome this development from Ulster Univeristy.
“This degree will give local students so many opportunities and will attract young people from elsewhere, which can only be good for our city and for the creative and technical skill base here in the North West. It's a very exciting time for games in Derry~Londonderry and we're delighted to be part of it."
With the 2022/23 academic year well underway in the city, the University has welcomed its first group of Criminology and Criminal Justice students who join the new programme alongside established disciplines at Magee including Law and Social Work, to broaden existing expertise and support the continued development of a vibrant student community learning together. Students are taught by research-active experts in core and emerging areas of criminology and will progress to careers in probation, youth justice policing, voluntary sector, social justice and social policy, gaining transferable skills by working on real life case studies and with external partners.
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