Training Spotlight: Falmouth University

Falmouth University in Cornwall is offering an entry point into the digital creative industries with a difference. A new course, the Alacrity Falmouth programme, which begins in May 2014, focused on entrepreneurship is its answer to kick-starting a new wave of video game start-ups in the UK.

“The aims of the programme is to drive innovation and IP, creating new high growth businesses in Cornwall that enhances the UK and Cornwall’s competitive position as the producer and user of digital applications and creative content globally,” Nick Dixon, project manager of the course and a senior lecturer in Digital Games tells Develop. “We do this by building demand-driven businesses using the proven Alacrity methodology for commercialising technology and creating entrepreneurs.”

The focus here is on real projects. Students undertake a masters in Business Entrepreneurship that runs in parallel to the projects that graduates will be undertaking. Only, project work that the Alacrity students carry out is not stimulated, but real, and successful projects have the potential to become new limited companies with graduates as their directors.

Structurally, the course is after 16 graduates. They will form teams of four and will be tasked with developing a project that is assigned by a real industry partner who has identified a market-driven need. Dixon says “experiential learning” is core to the course and is built upon a student-led “learning by doing” approach.

To guide students in their learning and develop their projects towards becoming full-fledged start-ups, they receive intensive coaching sessions and support. Mentors and coaches are selected for their business, academic and management acumen.

“In total, all these provide a context rich with resources and knowledge within which to hone and apply technical proficiencies and develop enterprise ambitions,” says Dixon.

Students will also benefit from an established network of industry connections. Falmouth isn’t able to share the industry partnerships it’s secured for the course just yet, but Dixon promises that their work covers interactive drama, indie games, advances in motion capture and VR technology, space simulation and complex analytics solutions and data retrieval. “A real mix of high value projects, each of which provide a fantastic challenge for our graduates as well as fabulous business opportunities,” he comments.

Dixon wants the course to become a vanguard for a new surge of high growth, high value creative technology companies in the UK. And he says aspiring games students should apply to study on the Cornish university’s new course because it offers “real projects, real challenges, real businesses and real opportunities”.

He says: “Alacrity Falmouth will continue to grow beyond this first year, offering talented graduates exciting opportunities within the digital games sector. These graduates will go on to form highly investible businesses that offer new opportunities in turn, increasing employability, growing the UK economy and exploring brand new areas of creative innovation.”

The Alacrity Falmouth programme starts May 27th. The deadline for applications is April 25th. Visit the course website below to learn more and apply.

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