A career in computer games design beckons for the first recipients of a new scholarship created by a leading games development studio in partnership with Teesside University.
The Creative Assembly Legacy Scholarship has been awarded to Daniel Gething and Rebecca Arachchiae, both first year BA (Hons) Computer Games Design students. Daniel and Rebecca will receive mentorship and £9,000 financial support each during their degree.
Daniel, 31, from Horden, County Durham, said: “Gaming provided an escape and became a coping mechanism for me when I was younger, as I suffered from depression for a time. My grandad also really inspired me.
“I lived with my grandparents when I was growing up and my grandad is really interested in computer games and it’s something we still do together. He even went to college to do a computing course when he retired from his job as an electrician.”
As a mature student, Daniel had an unconventional route to the degree, having “gone from job to job” after previously studying sports science course at college and working as an IT apprentice.
He said: “The time is now right. I have the maturity now to completely focus on my studies. I am really looking forward to building relationships with the mentors and having someone to provide guidance and offer a glimpse of working in the industry through the scholarship.
“The games design course at Teesside is perfect for me, as it allows me to focus on the specific areas of the computer games industry that I want to work in.”
Rebecca, 18, from Gateshead, also has a passion for games design and applied for the degree to help achieve her ambition to work in the industry.
She said: “I have been interested in games design since I was a teenager. I not only enjoy playing video games, but I have always been fascinated by bringing ideas together to create something amazing.
“I am interested in the different areas of games design which the course at Teesside covers and also because of the links the University has to the industry.”
She added: “I took part in a games school event when I was a teenager, which provided a good grounding in basic knowledge before I went on to college to study games design.
“The scholarship will definitely help me to pursue my educational and career goals and pursue my passion for games design. I am really interested in creating costumes for games characters also learning how to create assets for games. My ultimate career aim is to work for one of the major well-known games companies.”
Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in the University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, said: “It is fantastic for the University to be able to work alongside Creative Assembly in helping to break down barriers to the games industry and create more opportunities for our students and graduates.
“The Creative Assembly Legacy Scholarship, which has been offered for the first time, will help to make a significant difference to young people’s lives. The financial support and mentorship will make a huge difference to them.
“Daniel and Rebecca are deserving first recipients and we predict great careers for them in the games design industry.”
Emma Smith, Head of Talent at Creative Assembly, said: “We are delighted to see the first year of recipients of our scholarship and we hope that this support, alongside mentorship from our experienced developers, will see Daniel and Rebecca go on to have lasting and successful careers.
“The global games industry is growing and within the UK it employs around 27,000 individuals, yet we continue to struggle to find talent with the necessary skills.
“Through our scholarship we aim to remove some of the existing barriers to education, increase diversity within our rich industry and see more passionate students reach their potential. I can’t wait to see what Daniel and Rebecca achieve in the future.”
Creative Assembly is involved in shaping the curriculum and degree programmes to ensure students are learning the requisite skills for a successful career in the industry, providing student access to mentors and guest lectures and expanding opportunities for disadvantaged people to work in the games industry.
Find out more about the Creative Assembly Legacy Scholarship
Find out more about studying Computer Games Design https://www.tees.ac.uk/undergraduate_courses/computer_games/ba_(hons)_computer_games_design.cfm