We have been given a grant, in partnership with London College of Communication (part of the University of the Arts London (UAL)) of £158,354 from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to develop a games design curriculum.
The Games Fusion Project will combine the strengths of Queen Mary with UAL, and involve a range of professional bodies and industry partners to create an industry-driven framework for an undergraduate computer games curriculum, with the aim of nurturing graduates who are ready for world leading creative industries.
The proposed curriculum developments would bring together the design and computing expertise of students on Queen Mary’s two creative technology/engineering degrees with UAL’s BA Games Design degree.
Currently the second year Creative Computing students from the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science and the Design Innovation & Creative Engineering students from the School of Engineering and Materials Science undertake a ‘Creative Group Project’. The aim of the HEFCE funding is to explore how to develop this project module so that students from both schools, working with the BA Games Design students from UAL, can develop work according to a production pipeline that more closely models the games industry.
Students from both universities have already started engaging on games development, as part of a Games Jam to celebrate Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Professor Simon Lucas, Head of the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science said: “This funding gives us a fantastic opportunity to shape a new model for games design education that specifically targets the skills gap currently found in industry. We are looking forward to getting started and seeing the benefits our students will reap from working across schools and universities. Furthermore, students graduating from the programme would be well prepared for further study, for example for an MSc or an MA in Computer Games."
Larra Anderson, London College of Communication’s Dean of Screen, added: “The work we will be able to do with the support of HEFCE, our partnership with Queen Mary University of London, and the guidance of industry partners will have a truly positive impact on our students. We are delighted to have been recognised for our commitment to designing a curriculum that is innovative, career-focused and relevant for students entering the UK creative industries.”
The project funding comes from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund programme which distributes a share of £6.1 million to more than 30 universities and colleges in England to develop new and enhanced higher education courses which align with the Government’s Industrial Strategy.
The investment aims to enhance graduate outcomes and employability, and upskill the workforce - providing the key skills that industry and employers will need and contributing to UK productivity in the longer term.