Newcastle College is offering students the chance to study and compete in the growing video game esports industry.
The college has partnered with Newcastle United Foundation to launch one and two-year BTEC Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications that will help aspiring video game competitors turn their skills into a career.
Esports – also known as electronic sports – is a competition between video game players and can take place over a variety of games, such as first-person shooters, beat ’em ups, and sports games like FIFA.
As part of the course, students will be given the chance to represent the Newcastle United Foundation in a number of esports competitions throughout the academic year. The Foundation is the official charity arm of Newcastle United.
Professional esports player Jake Simpson will also provide advice to those enrolled on the course. Mr Simpson represents Newcastle United in the E-PremierLeague.
Steve Beharall, head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are thrilled to be extending our ongoing partnership with Newcastle College to offer young people in our region the most up-to-date and exciting opportunities to learn and work towards new and interesting careers right here in the North East.
“These new courses are truly one-of-a-kind in the region and we are excited to see what the future holds for the first cohort of students starting their journey in September.”
Along with providing students with the opportunity to compete, the course will also teach livestream event management and game business entrepreneurship and has been designed to prepare young people for employment in the sport, business, and leisure industries.
Newcastle College said the course would provide a pathway into a number of careers, including esport professional, games psychologist, livestream event organiser, sports journalist, social media manager, games designer, production crew, or even international lawyer.
Scott Bullock, principal at Newcastle College, said: “We are excited to offer this new course and hopefully help enhance the booming tech sector here in the North East.
“In 2020, Newcastle was one of only four cities to make the Smart City Index, and this innovative, creative course will help build transferable skills and multiple learning opportunities for students to take into their future academics, apprenticeships or careers prospects.
“Esports education offers a new and innovative qualification for young people to learn and develop their knowledge and skills to prepare for their own journey into a new type of career and enjoy opportunities to join a thriving games sector.”