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First Masters Level Degree in Computer Games Technology in Canada & First Master of Science Degree I


Aspiring computer games designers in North America are being offered the chance to study for one of the world’s most prestigious degrees in the subject.

Algoma University College, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada, is set to become the exclusive host in North America for the MSc Computer Games Technology offered by the University of Abertay Dundee, Scotland.

This is the first Masters level degree in computer games technology to be offered in Canada, as well as the first MSc in this field in North America. Students in the program will be located on the Algoma U campus in Sault Ste. Marie, and receive instruction from the University of Abertay Dundee’s highly experienced and authoritative faculty in Dundee via state of the art video-conferencing technology.

The program achieved a key milestone today when Mr. Chris Bentley, Ontario Minister of Training, College and Universities, declared his intent to approve the program. Ontario Ministerial endorsement will allow Abertay to complete its own internal procedures, with the first students expected to begin their studies in the Fall.

In contrast with other Masters level degrees in this field, this program runs for three semesters over 12 months. This includes 2 semesters of lectures and laboratories, followed by one semester of team-based project work involving the design and test of a prototype game, and concluding with a Masters dissertation. The first graduates from the course are expected in summer of 2007.

During the first two semesters the students will have the unique opportunity to meet with visiting experts from the game development and publishing industry from across North America.

The University of Abertay Dundee’s MSc was the world’s first degree in computer games technology when it was launched in 1997, since then several dozen high quality graduates have gone on great success in the rapidly-growing computer games industry worldwide

Abertay has also developed the unique ’Dare To be Digital’ annual international computer games competition for student teams looking to design and develop quasi-commercial computer games and digital products. Several graduates from the MSc and related degrees have passed through Dare To Be Digital and gone on to great professional and personal success. Algoma U’s Futureplay conference and its North American computer games competition builds on this expertise.

Professor Lachlan MacKinnon, Head of the School of Computing and Creative Technologies at Abertay, said “Ministerial approval for this course will be a very welcome and important achievement which allows us to move ahead with our quality assurance processes - vital for maintaining the high standing of our MSc within the industry.”

“The MSc Computer Games Technology offers an international experience, opening a window to European and North American enterprise. I am delighted that the program will provide students with an exceptional opportunity to work up a personal portfolio to showcase their knowledge and skills in the computer game arena, ” states Dr. Celia Ross, President, Algoma University College. “We know the industry is hungry for these graduates and I look forward to watching their successes in the future.” she said.

“The prospect of the development of computer games companies that might contribute to the local economy, as has been the case in Abertay Dundee is very exciting and the partnership between Algoma U and the Innovation Centre’s IT Business Incubator will accelerate the process. Moreover, this new program puts Sault Ste. Marie on the map as a Centre of Excellence for advanced study in computer games,” explains, Dr. Arthur Perlini, Academic Dean, Algoma U.

“Consistent placement in both Canada’s Top 100 Employers and the Deloitte Canadian Technology Fast 50 emphasizes BioWare’s core values of quality in our products and quality in our workplace,” says Dr. Greg Zeschuk, Joint CEO of BioWare Corp. He added, “The announcement that Algoma U will be the first Canadian University to offer the Master of Science in Computer Games Technology is thrilling for us as we look forward to recruiting from that pool of top talent.”

The program is intended to begin in September 2006 pending the Ontario Ministerial approval and approval from UK Quality Assurance, which are expected in February 2006.


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