North American students aspiring to a career in computer game design will soon have the option to study for the prestigious MSc in Computer Games Technology offered by the University of Abertay, Scotland.
Hosted by Canada's Algoma University College, Ontario, the programme will be the first MSc in this field to be offered in North America, and the first Masters level degree in computer games technology to be offered in Canada.
The University of Abertay's MSc, which was the world's first degree in computer games technology, was launched in 1997. Combined with the University's 'Dare to be Digital' competition, an annual event which challenges students to design and develop games and applications, the course has achieved great success and several graduates have since taken on games development and design roles within the industry.
Students on the course will receive ongoing instruction and support from Abertay's highly experienced academic staff in Dundee via state-of-the-art video-conferencing technology. Unlike other Masters degrees in the field, the course will take place over three terms, covering 12 months, including two terms of lectures and laboratories, and one term of team-based practical project work that involves designing and testing a prototype game.
Students will be given the opportunity to meet with North American game development experts and publishers, and the first intake is expected to begin the course in the summer of 2007.
Algoma University College president Dr Celia Ross commented: "The MSc Computer Games Technology offers an international experience, opening a window to European and North American enterprise. I am delighted that the programme will provide students with an exceptional opportunity to work up a personal portfolio to showcase their knowledge and skills in the computer game arena. We know the industry is hungry for these graduates and I look forward to watching their successes in the future."
"The prospect of the development of computer games companies that might contribute to the local economy, as has been the case in Abertay Dundee is very exciting and the partnership between Algoma U and the Innovation Centre's IT Business Incubator will accelerate the process," added Dr Arthur Perlini, academic dean of Algoma University.
Industry professionals are said to be looking forward to the opportunity of acquiring new staff with the knowledge, skills and experience offered by the new Masters degree. Dr Greg Zechuck, joint CEO of Knights of The Old Republic creator Bioware, commented: "The announcement that Algoma U will be the first Canadian University to offer the Master of Science in Computer Games Technology is thrilling for us as we look forward to recruiting from that pool of top talent."