Futureworks School of Media
A state-of-the-art media school that covers all aspects of the industry
“ALL OF OUR COURSE TUTORS HAVE BEEN INDUSTRY ACTIVE, AND HAVE WORKED IN MANY OF THE UK’S MAJOR STUDIOS”
Manchester’s Futureworks School of Media is housed in a bespoke building fitted with industry-standard, state-of-the-art studios and equipment across a range of media specialities. Its game tutors have all worked in the industry, and many are still active – Ben Hill, for example, co-founded Ether
One studio White Paper Games. We speak to Ken Lau, head of Futureworks’ games department, about its close involvement with the videogame industry. You have a wide range of game-related courses – what’s on offer? We offer game courses from foundation level up to undergraduate degrees and beyond, and we cover the full spectrum of game disciplines including design, art, audio, programming, production and animation. Our six courses range from flexible part-time training courses to traditional three-year degrees, and include a Foundation in Game Art, Diploma in Game Development, Diploma in Game Audio, BA (Hons) Games Design, BA (Hons) Game Art and BA (Hons) Digital Animation with Illustration. At 83 per cent, your employment rate is high – what do you think is responsible for that performance? In 2008 we launched our first game course, seeking advice from the industry to find out what they needed from graduates, and since then, all of our tutors have been industry active, and have worked in many of the UK’s major games studios in various roles. A year after we launched, we incubated a small in-house indie startup, which was great because it gave our students the opportunity to observe professionals in action on campus. And we’re very active in industry events, often as guest speakers, and you’ll find us networking and showcasing staff and student work all over the UK – some of our tutors even have their own development studios. Futureworks also teaches other media courses, such as film and TV. Do game students benefit from this? Every Futureworks course is delivered by industry professionals, and our team has been involved in a huge amount of commercial releases including feature films, videogames and albums, with sales in the millions. This has built strong links with the industry, which has led to some great guest lectures – and our student noticeboards are overflowing with opportunities for work experience. Futureworks has some of the best equipment in media education in the UK. Some tutors have their own studios – how does that affect students’ ambitions? Many of our students have formed their own indie startups while others have gone on to work for major players such as Sony, Warner Bros, Chillingo, Hello Games and Matmi. Students today have different expectations and are typically better informed about the game industry when they arrive at Futureworks – in large part due to the great work done by developers such as Mojang and Rovio.
Futureworks is housed in a purpose-built building, designed and fitted from scratch, and boasts state-ofthe-art studios and high-spec production facilities, with courses delivered by experienced professionals