Esports has become one of the world’s fastest growing industries with millions being invested in competitive gaming.
As a result, more and more colleges across the UK are now offering BTEC courses in this subject area – with the University of Sunderland responding to an increased demand in the gaming industry and the lucrative domain of managing these events, to launch an Esports Event Management Bsc(Hons) degree.
Drawing on the experience and expertise of the University’s well-established events management and computer-based degrees, the three-year programme launch is timely, as the north-east is becoming an esports trailblazer with the national esports body, the British Esports Federation, set to open a performance and education campus in Sunderland. The campus will provide access to training, equipment and investment, as well as a base for the Great Britain Esports team.
Dr James Scott, Head of School (Law and Tourism), said:
“There is certainly a significant growth for the skills involved in running esports events, which has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world.
“Esports events are packing out thousand-seater stadiums regularly, which requires a huge amount of event planning. This is where our new degree course comes in. Students will explore the world of competitive gaming and learn what makes a successful esports event. They’ll delve into the production and management of esports events and develop an understanding of the technologies associated with organising these events.”
The potential career opportunities available in the industry are wide ranging, not just confined to hosting events, students will develop transferable skills in areas such as technology, digital innovation, business and marketing, operations and analytics.
The University, which already has a popular Video Game Society (VGS) established through Sunderland Students’ Union, is investing up to £1million transforming parts of the Sir Tom Cowie campus into bespoke areas dedicated to both the degree and social aspect of esports, such as the cinema in the Media Centre used to stream esports events and games labs.
Academics also believe the programme will not only draw in home students, but also will be attractive to the international market, in particular East Asia and the Americas, where esports has been booming in recent years.
Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Academic Dean, Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism, says: “Esports is part of the digital leisure growth phenomenon, and requires professionals to deliver and develop the sector to meet the rapidly expanding global demand.
“The skills required to plan, promote and execute largescale esports events within this digital format are highly technical, challenging and also transferable into other commercial fields. As such, this exciting new development should prepare graduates for an exciting career ahead.”
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