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New Abertay games course receives Skillset accreditation

The number of Skillset-accredited games courses has risen to 10, with the University of Abertay Dundee's Professional Masters in Computer Games Development being awarded the Skillset Tick.

The Skillset Tick is the industry-endorsed mark of excellence that is only awarded to courses and institutions that provide the most up-to-date, industry-relevant training available.

The recent Livingstone-Hope Next-Gen report on skills in the computer games industry recommended that Skillset expand its accreditation programme. It found that graduates from Skillset-accredited courses were almost three times more likely to find a job in the games industry within six months of finishing their course than graduates from non-accredited courses.

Abertay's year-long Master's course enables students to work in small specialist development teams developing innovative games prototypes, often in response to direct briefs from industry, working with new processes and technologies in a dedicated studio environment in the UK's first Centre for Excellence in Computer Games Education.

The Chair of Skillset's Computer Games Skills Council, and Life President of Eidos, Ian Livingstone, said: "Abertay's formula of ensuring that the needs and involvement of games developers is at the heart of their courses has made them a beacon of best practice in the field of computer games education. The simple fact that four of the 10 Skillset-accredited games courses in the UK are at Abertay is recognition of that fact."

Gregor White, Director of Academic Enterprise at Abertay, said: "Abertay University is delighted that the achievement of the Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games, working together with the computer games industry to make this course a success has been recognised. The course is designed to develop individuals and teams to have an immediate impact in development companies and to encourage new start-up studios. We are very excited about the future of the course and its graduates."

Skillset visited Abertay with an accreditation team made up of representatives from Ubisoft, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Codemasters, Spilt Milk Studios and Blitz Games Studios, and also examined and renewed accreditation of the BSc in Computer Games Technology and the BA in Computer Art. Industry representatives quizzed students and staff and viewed a range of games in development for mobile and PS3 platforms.

For more information about Skillset accreditation, and for a full list of Skillset-accredited computer games courses, please visit http://courses.skillset.org/pick_the_tick

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For more information about Skillset please contact Nick Sheridan (Press and PR Officer) on 0207 713 9854 or nicks@skillset.org

For more information about the University of Abertay Dundee please contact Chris Wilson (Communications Officer)– T: 01382 308935 M: 07837 250284 E: chris.wilson@abertay.ac.uk

NOTES TO EDITORS:

    <*>Skillset is the Sector Skills Council (SSC) for Creative Media, with responsibility for 60 per cent of the UK Creative Industries. This comprises TV, film, radio, interactive media, animation, computer games, facilities, photo imaging, publishing, advertising and fashion and textiles. SSCs are licensed by the UK Government and by Ministers in the devolved administrations to tackle the skills and productivity challenges by sector. They are independent, UK-wide organisations, are employer-led, and actively involve trade unions, professional bodies and other stakeholders in the industry <*>The University of Abertay Dundee launched the world’s first ever computer games degree in 1997. This postgraduate Masters course was followed by a complementary undergraduate course, and later by specialist courses in production management and game applications development. <*>Working in a studio environment is a crucial part of the new Professional Masters in Computer Games Development– a unique 12-month postgraduate course where students work in project teams to build prototype games, with continual mentoring from industry professionals - and the internationally renowned Dare to be Digital student computer games design competition. This approach was highly praised in the recent Government-commissioned NESTA 'Next Gen' report ( http://www.nesta.org.uk/home1/assets/features/next_gen).
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