University of Huddersfield
Blurring the lines between industry and university
“As a student, I’m working at near-professional level and producing content for real-world clients and the wealth of practical skills that I’ve gained is phenomenal. I’m able to go to an employer with real-world experience, rather than just being another graduate that needs experience.”
Wesley, final year Computer Games Design student
The University of Huddersfield has a long history of working with partners across many industries including engineering, computing and technology sectors. Employer engagement is essential in informing the design and delivery of its courses.
As the creative industry continues to grow, internationally renowned games companies including GameRepublic, were important partners in the early development of degree programmes in Computer Games. The University and its students continue to benefit from their support and involvement.
Recognising an opportunity to further equip students for working in the games industry, staff at Huddersfield set up an in-house computer games company, Canalside Studios. One of the first contracts was to develop for Microsoft Xbox LIVE Arcade providing the student and staff team with the skills and experience to develop the studio into a sustainable enterprise.
The studio provides work placement opportunities for up to eight students a year on the BA Computer Games Design degree and BSc and Computer Games Programming degree. With a greater understanding of the industry and employer needs, lessons learnt from the studio have been fed back into the course ensuring that Huddersfield students are better prepared for work. Testament to the valuable experience and skills gained though these opportunities, students have gone on to secure jobs in this very competitive industry after graduation.
Going through the full games development cycle from design concept, development, quality assurance, localisation into several languages and distribution to market has enabled the student and staff team to gain a better understanding of the complexities of the industry. It also helped them to develop greater awareness of the diversity of work within the games industry and of employer needs. This approach has been extremely successful and has resulted in Huddersfield games graduates being represented in many of the major games companies across the UK and internationally.
To find out more, visit www.hud.ac.uk