BSc (Hons) Video Game Development student
What types of projects did you get involved with during the first year of the course?
During the first year of the course, we started by exploring solid foundations about how video games work. The first few modules were simple projects just to get us into the flow. Then we got to Unity Engine and that's when the real fun began. During our summer modules, all three video game fast-track courses (Video Game Development / Digital Art / Design and Production) got together in teams and worked 9 to 5 on different video game projects, which were either decided by an academic or by a course industry-partner. Working alongside the designers and artists in these teams was really cool because we got to focus on our specified field and get a better feel of what it's like to actually work in the industry.
Have you had any opportunities to work with people from the gaming industry?
This year we're having a Film, Sound & Gaming Careers Fair where we’ll be able to meet local employers and apply for live opportunities! I'm really looking forward to this.
What do you enjoy most about your course?
The best thing is you're doing this for yourself. The lecturers and staff across the School act as good sources of orientation and inspiration, but if you want academic and professional success, the effort has to ultimately be yours. By enrolling in this course I was able to pursue my dream career and in order to do so successfully, I am required to put in time and focus. We have few classes, a very light weekly schedule, but we're expected to continuously work on our assignments throughout the week. This is not a school where you can simply rush it 24 hours before it's due. Programming itself is very self-taught, and with the lack of encouragement or objectives it can get stale rather quickly... However, with the coordination and help from the tutors, there's no limit to what you can achieve, and if this truly is your passion, work doesn't feel like work, it just feels like fun.
Have you had any work experience / placement opportunities?
By the end of the year, industry recruiters come to BCU looking to interview new talents. Our lecturers recommend their best students to these companies - for example Rockstar Games, Codemasters, etc. Studying on this course should feel like your first job, we don't have tests or exams, we focus on productivity and industry simulation. By being as professional as you can during classes and outside them, you're likely to get employed by the end of the second year. The more proactive you are, the better!
What is the community like?
The community is filled with inspiring, open-minded, innovative people. The primary goal of the Student's Union is that every student feels welcome and integrated in this community. I wanted to engage more and join the Student's Union somehow, so I applied for the role of Student Academic Leader. We gather feedback from the class and feed it to the Programme Leaders and Head of School during meetings. Since the School is relatively small, it's easy to communicate any issues or suggestions that you might have. It's also fairly easy for you to make new friends, because the school is filled with like-minded people.
Are there many social events for students / clubs / societies to join?
Be it video games, table top gaming, anime and manga, everyone in the School has their own interest. Thankfully, the university is big enough to accommodate all of these and more. My favourite society is the BCU eSports Society. It organises events with the utmost exotic thematics that really spark my interest! Plus, we have our Discord server, you can hop in and play some casual games with fellow students or compete in NUEL and NES, the eSports national leagues.
What one piece of advice would you give to a student about to start your course?
The best advice I can give you is take every opportunity you get. Make use of what's given to you. Work as hard as you can, because you'll only get to be here for a couple of years. The experiences you gain here will last you a lifetime, so make sure they're good ones.