The world’s first eSports degree was created in two months and by a person who has never played videogames

BY JOSEPH ARCHER

The world’s first eSports degree was created ad hoc by a person who had never played a game in her life.

Also more than 25% of the course staff do not meet the standards of university teaching, our research can reveal.

The eSports BA Hons at Staffordshire University was pushed through course planning in May 2017 after a Dean at the intuition noticed eSports was a lucrative global trend.

Associate Dean Rachel Gower at Staffordshire’s Business School, who co-wrote the degree plan in two months, admitted to us that she knew nothing about the industry until she saw it was a trend among young people.

“Nothing. I knew nothing about eSports.” — Course creator and Associate Dean Rachel Gower

In an interview with us she said this was “really rather quick for a degree” to be created so fast.

She also said interest in the £9,250 a year course was coming from young people who wouldn’t usually want to go to university.

International students will have to cough up £11,100 a year to do the course.

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Associate Dean Rachel Gower at Staffordshire’s Business School who co-wrote the degree plan in two months after hearing about esports for the first time in March 2017

Mrs Gower said they had some big names lined up to teach the course.

When we asked who they were, she looked annoyed and said she wouldn’t tell us.

You can watch our full interview with her here.

Our own research at The Gamer Bureau found only 72% of our full-time staff are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy.

Meaning 28% are below the standards of university teaching.

The course caused controversy last year when it emerged that the university would give grants to students who were the best at playing certain games such as Counterstrike or League of Legends.

Essentially meaning the university was paying students to play videogames.

These were six scholarships worth £2,000 to fund student’s “competitive career” in gaming.

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Staffordshire University is in Stoke-on-Trent, England

The course will start its first term in September 2018 and will include:

  • eSports culture and streaming techniques
  • the business of competitive gaming, event marketing and work towards organising their first eSports event with single player and multi-player teams.
  • more events management studies
  • in the final year teaching about games community management and the legal issues involved with eSports before finally creating business plans for their own eSports company

You will need A Level grades BCC or higher to apply.

Students will have also have to join one of the University’s six competitive societies: League of Legends, DOTA2, Hearthstone, Counter-Strike, Overwatch and Super Smash Bros.

Dr Bobbie Fletcher, Head of Games and Visual Effects, said: “Plans to grow the UK as an esports hub brings huge opportunities in job creation and we are well placed as a University to explore that.”

 

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