19 May 2017 - 13:50

Staffordshire is the first UK university to offer a degree in esports

You can now apply for the course, which will start in September 2018.
News Writer
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Image via Riot Games

Staffordshire University has become the first university in the U.K. to offer an esports degree.

The course aims to focus on the business side of esports. Students will be taught how to create events in the industry around esports titles such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone (which the University comically called "Half Stone" on it's official website), Counter Strike, Overwatch, and Smash Bros.

The esports course is the only one of its kind in the U.K. and will give students a chance to learn how to organize their own events and market them over a three-year course.

In the first year, students will be introduced to the industry and learn how to stream on platforms such as Twitch. They'll be tasked with organizing their first esports event for solo games, such as Smash Bros. or Hearthstone.

In the second year, students will develop a team-based esports event, presumably around games such as League of Legends and Counter Strike, and will learn how to cast matches effectively.

In the final year of the course, students will work with the university to develop a large-scale commercial event around esports. The students will make their own esports company, which will teach them hands-how about effectively running a business in the industry.

The course hopes to provide a basis for all students to hone their skills and prepare them for a bright esports future.

The British Esports Association is in talks with Staffordshire University and is helping them link up with people in the esports industry to develop the course.

This is not the first university to offer an esports degree, however. Colleges in the United States have also been offering esports degrees and scholarships for years, beginning with Robert Morris University in 2014. Now more than a half-dozen universities offer scholarships. UC California Irvine, for instance, offers scholarships for League of Legends players to cover tuition expenses for in-state students up to around $5,500. Riot is also funding the Irvine program, which includes building a new PC cafe on the University's campus.

Update May 19 2pm CT: Additional information from the British Esports Association added.

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