The best cities to study in for a career in the UK games industry

Recent research shows that 45% of UK universities now offer game-related degrees, while Southampton tops the charts for the number of gaming-related courses on offer.

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As well as universities helping to fill this skills gap, there are apprenticeships offered in the gaming industry.

In light of this April’s BAFTA games awards, British marketplace and video game seller OnBuy has looked closely at the future of the UK gaming industry. In particular, which UK regions and cities offer the most gaming-related courses, using a map by UK Interactive Entertainment (or UKie) and compiling its data.

With industry figures revealing that the UK games market has hit a record target of £5.11 billion in spending in 2017, the demand for newer and more innovative games is certainly there.

The market has grown by 12.4% and despite having the largest mobile games workforce in the EU (with some 5,000 full-time employees), there is a shortage of domestic talent when it comes to filling UK positions in the gaming industry.

As well as universities helping to fill this skills gap, there are apprenticeships offered in the gaming industry, such as Higher Apprenticeships in games, animation and VFX skills (visual effects). 

There are currently 59 universities across the UK offering games-related undergraduate degrees, representing 45% of all universities in the UK. As of April 2018, there were a total of 235 courses on offer for subjects such as Games Tech and Art, or even Games Business Studies.

Excluding London, here are the top cities by the number of games-related courses available across universities and academic institutions:

1. Southampton – 18 courses available

2. Stoke-on-Trent – 11 courses available

3. Cardiff – 11 courses available

4. Preston – 11 courses available

5. Manchester – nine courses available

6. Dundee – seven courses available

7. Nottingham – six courses available

8. Glasgow – five courses available

9. Swansea – five courses available

10. Birmingham – four courses available
 

There are currently 59 universities across the UK offering games-related undergraduate degrees, representing 45% of all universities in the UK. As of April 2018, there were a total of 235 courses on offer for subjects such as Games Tech and Art, or even Games Business Studies.

Southampton tops the charts for the number of gaming-related courses on offer at 18 courses, 14 of which are at the University of Southampton (including courses such as Computer Games programming and Games Design and Art) and a further four at Southampton Solent University.

Game-developers-to-be may also want to consider a move to Stoke-on-Trent, where there are an impressive 11 courses available, all of which you can study at Staffordshire University. Some of the courses they offer include Indie Games Development and even Games Journalism and PR.

Not to be left behind is Scotland, which has two cities in the Top 10 list: Dundee (offering seven courses on game development) and Glasgow (five courses). In total, there are 26 different further education courses you can take in Scotland.

Regionally speaking, the South West is the capital of courses on games-related subjects, with a total of 32 on offer. Most are available from Falmouth University and the University of Gloucester. This region is followed by the South East (28 courses, most based in Southampton), the North West (27 courses, most based in Preston) and in third place is London (also 27 courses).

Upon finishing a degree, gaming graduates should consider a move to London, where there are the most gaming companies at 630 (representing 28% of all UK games companies).

 

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