Top quality teaching and facilities have earned De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Game Art BA (Hons) recognition from world-leading industry giant, Epic Games.
The American video game and software developer famous for its Unreal Engine – the game engine and real-time 3D creation tool used across industries to deliver immersive virtual worlds – has added DMU to its Unreal Academic Partner Program.
As one of Epic Games’ 51 academic partners worldwide, only eight of which are in the UK, DMU is recognised for its commitment to providing high quality teaching thanks to its experienced academics, proven curriculum, and excellent facilities and resources, including Unreal Engine.
The recognition will allow DMU to continue to prepare its Game Art students for an evolving and competitive job market, now with access to exclusive training sessions, information about internships and hiring events, and promotion through Epic Games’ online channels.
Heather Williams, programme leader for Game Art at DMU, said: “This partnership is testament to our industry-focused curriculum. Thanks to regular input from external experts and final-year briefs in collaboration with industry, we know that what our students are learning is relevant and current.
“That’s especially important when we’re preparing students for such a fast-paced industry. With real-time 3D technology expanding beyond traditional video game design and into disciplines like architecture, engineering, automotive design, film and so many more, employers are looking for designers, developers and artists with very specific skills.
Lucy's vampire autopsy in response to a brief set by Rocksteady Studios
“One way our students are developing these skills is by using Unreal Engine as a key part of our degree. Game artists need their work to be interactive and dynamic. It has to work in a real time environment, so creating truly immersive content is what makes our graduates so employable.
“The recognition from Epic Games doesn’t just mean more opportunities for our students, it also means that our teaching staff can apply for grants to do research using Unreal Engine, which in turn will have additional benefits for our students. It’s just such great kudos for us in every aspect.”
When final-year student Lucy Peters was researching degree options, Game Art at DMU stood out to her for its industry connections and graduate employability rates.
The 21-year-old from South East London said: “Most students are looking for a course that prepares them for work – employability is a big deal. When I heard about the kinds of companies that DMU graduates go on to start their careers with, I took that as a big indicator of the quality of teaching.
“Being able to add the Epic Games partnership to my CV will help me stand out when I apply for jobs. It shows employers that my degree has a focus on game-readiness and that I’m prepared for roles that require me to work in real time.
“As well as all the valuable software experience and skills, my degree has also taught me resilience. Studying Game Art is an intense experience, but I wouldn’t change a thing because it’s set me up for a lot of difficult things in life now.”
Shay's entry to the annual Grads in Games competition
Second-year student Shay Palmer chose to study Game Art at DMU because the course offers everything she wanted to focus on as an artist, combining 3D modelling, digital art and traditional skills.
“I came from a fine art background but was able to pick up 3D skills really quickly because our tutors are so good. They’re also well-connected which is really helpful when you’re looking and applying for internships,” said the 19-year-old from South London.
“As well as all of the support that we get, we're encouraged to be curious about the industry and to do our own research outside of what we’re taught, giving us the freedom to create work that we're proud of and allowing us to be our own art directors.
“The other thing that has helped is learning to use Unreal Engine in our first year – it’s the main software used in industry and companies look to hire people who already know how to use it. Now that Epic Games has partnered with DMU, hopefully employers will take it as another sign that we really know our stuff.”
Posted on Thursday 28th January 2021