TIGA Press Releases

TIGA encouraged at uptake of maths and physics at A-level

Publish Date: Thursday 16th August 2012

TIGA, the trade association representing the UK games industry, welcomed the news concerning the uptake of maths and physics by students, according to the latest A-level results.

Dr Richard Wilson, CEO of TIGA, said the games development sector would be encouraged by the fact that entries for mathematics and further maths at A-Level had increased this year by 3.3 per cent and 7.6 per cent respectively. Physics rose by 5 per cent. He said:

"Time and time again, developers have told us of the importance of maths and physics and it is highly encouraging to see a rise in the number of students taking these subjects at A-level. Many developers continue to emphasise the need for highly skilled programmers, who need to have good degrees or the vocational equivalent in computer science, mathematics, physics, software engineering or games programming.

"Artists, animators, designers, programmers, sound-designers, testers, and production managers all have a role to play in developing games. We hope that many of today’s students who have A levels relating to these subjects will proceed to further and higher education and training and ultimately look for opportunities to work in the videogame industry.”

This year also saw a seven per cent drop in the number of students accepted on to university courses. A total of 357,915 applicants had had their places confirmed at midnight last night, down from 384,649 at the same point in 2011.

Some of TIGA’s university members have also been reacting to the A-level results and commenting on the importance of a well-educated workforce.

Prof Carsten Marple, Pro-Vice Chancellor - Research & Enterprise, at the University of Bedfordshire, said:

"A number of students will have an anxious wait come to an end as they receive their A-level results today. There is concern however that seven per cent fewer students have been accepted onto University courses this year compared to last year. A well-educated workforce can advance an industry, and this is especially true in the rapidly-evolving games industry. We hope that those awaiting decisions get a swift positive response and those still undecided will make the decision to go to University. The Clearing process means there are still a number of places available on very good courses."

Dr Christos Gatzidis, Senior Lecturer in Creative Technology at Bournemouth University, said:

"The preferred subjects for entry at the BSc Games Technology degree at Bournemouth University are Computing, IT, Maths, Physics, Science, Technology. An A-level in disciplines such as maths or physics in particular, especially for a degree such as this one where a large part of it consists of programming, is invaluable as it provides a very solid foundation for some of the content covered more or less from day one. Increased capability can often be noticed amongst the first year students joining us who have such a qualification(s) and we can only encourage those interested in a career in games development, particularly on the technical side of it, to favour them over other subjects."

Dr Graham Raddings, the programme leader in BA Games Design at University Centre Grimsby said:

"If students are looking to enter the games industry following A-Levels then I would suggest strong computer science, maths and physics skills would be hugely beneficial. Related creative subjects such as such as art & design and media are equally important. It very much depends on what kind of job they want within the industry. The games industry moves fast, and more often than not you need to be ready to hit the ground running when you start with a new company so practical game making skills are highly desirable. Create a portfolio of work and and get experience using any of the great free game engines out there. Show them what you can do!

"If the intention following A-Levels is to further specialise at degree level, then a good combination of academic and creative A-Level subjects or something like the BTEC Level 3 in games development are great foundations for entry onto a specialised degree. The key here is to prepare for the difference in the academic requirements between A-Levels and degree level study as this often catches students out."

Prof William Latham, co-Founder of the MSc Computer Games and Entertainment Course, Goldsmiths, University of London, said:

"Given the broad spectrum of roles in the games industry,Maths, Physics and Chemistry A Levels are great if you want to go into the technical areas of games development. Hands on A Levels such as Art and Design and. Media Studies are very useful if you want to go into art and game production, and if you are canny, English, Classics, Psychology, Performing Arts and Politics A Levels can help you get into sales, marketing and management. Ultimately A Levels, though valuable, are only part of the story and students will need to follow through and obtain a degree and develop a strong portfolio of personal work to be picked up by the games industry."

Dr Rupert Ward, Head of Informatics at Huddersfield University, said:

"For computer games programming courses we expect good grades in mathematics and physics courses, for games design courses we expect an art or design background. We continue to see high demand and increasing interest in mobile gaming. It is clear that applicants see these as good degrees to study and provide a breadth of employment opportunities, either in the games industry or the broader creative industries."

Notes to editors:

About TIGA:
TIGA is the trade association representing the UK’s games industry. The majority of our members are either independent games developers or in-house publisher owned developers. We also have games publishers, outsourcing companies, technology businesses and universities amongst our membership. Since 2010, TIGA has won 12 business awards and has been nominated a finalist for 9 other awards. In 2010 TIGA won two business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum. In 2011, TIGA won eight business awards including ‘Trade Association of the Year’ from the Trade Association Forum, ‘Outstanding Organisation’ from the Chartered Management Institute and two Global Business Excellence Awards, including ‘Outstanding Marketing Campaign’. Richard Wilson won the ‘Leadership Award’ from the Trade Association Forum and the ‘Outstanding Leader’ award from the Chartered Management Institute. In 2012, Richard Wilson won the IoD’s East of England Director of the Year Award. TIGA is an Investors in People organisation. Also in 2012, TIGA won a Global Business Excellence Award for its ‘Outstanding Public Relations Campaign’ for Games Tax Relief.

TIGA's vision is to make the UK the best place in the world to do games business. We focus on three sets of activities: political representation, generating media coverage and developing services that enhance the competitiveness of our members. This means that TIGA members are effectively represented in the corridors of power, their voice is heard in the media and they receive benefits that make a material difference to their businesses, including a reduction in costs and improved commercial opportunities.

For further information, please contact Dr Richard Wilson, TIGA CEO on: 07875 939 643, or email: richard.wilson@tiga.org.

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