You can now study esports at Belfast Metropolitan College

You can now study esports at Belfast Metropolitan College

30 November 2022

One of the most active and fastest growing audiences for esports in the UK is the student audience. British universities, in particular, are embracing the world of esports and its many opportunities as more and more esports-based events, programs and even degrees are being introduced. Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about Warwick University getting nominated for two prestigious Esports Awards and just before that, we announced the newest season of the Amazon University Esports competition for students teams in the UK, just to give a few examples of how esports and academia are finding ways to each other more and more often. Belfast Metropolitan College in Northern Island has now joined the growing list of academic institutions dipping their toes in esports by offering a brand-new esports foundation degree.

Foundation degree in esports

“At Belfast Met, our Foundation Degree will look at the esports industry as a whole but focusing on broadcast production. Our course sits in the creative and digital technologies department within the college which has years of expertise in esports, games, media and music. Our lecturers have incredible industry knowledge and contacts across gaming, technical events, production technology and broadcasting”.

That’s how Belfast Metropolitan College announces its very first Foundation Degree in Esports on its own website. This program, which is the equivalent to the first two years of an Undergraduate degree and often chosen by people to go alongside working to improve their job prospects, was recently launched following the success of the institution’s A-level in esports. The course was launched in 2020 and saw the number of attending students double in its second year, from 20 to 40. By introducing the Esports Foundation Degree, Belfast Met is offering these and future A-level students the possibility to continue their work in the field of esports.

Balance between academics and practice

One of the key selling points of Belfast Met’s newest Foundation Degree is that it offers an excellent balance between academic and vocational modules. In other words, students will learn research and soft skills as well as practical skills that can be immediately applied to real-life situations. The methods range from traditional lectures and seminars to active workshops, team presentations and industry visits, while students also get the chance to work on real-life projects with important players from the Northern Irish and UK esports sectors, such as Northern Ireland Esports, Ireland Esports and Wylde.

“They [the students] get taught everything in the curriculum but in a way that they enjoy”, explains course co-coordinator and former manager of Northern Ireland Esports, Michael Smyth,  “We've had students go on to do different things. They've gone on to work for Netflix and broadcasting, obviously there is a lot of TV and films filmed round here. We've had ones go into coaching and management in sport, and in esports as well. We have even had one go on to be a professional boxer”.