From the autumn of 2022, the University of Agder will offer Europe’s first bachelor’s degree in academic esports. The programme has already attracted interest around the world.
“The interest is huge. This autumn alone, I received over 500 emails and phone calls from parents and students all over the world who are interested. Many consider taking an education in subject areas related to esports”, Rune Andersen says.
He leads the development of UiA’s new bachelor’s programme in academic esports. Andersen is an associate professor at UiA’s Department of Information and Communication Technology at the Faculty of Engineering and Science.
The new programme is an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Faculty of Engineering and Science, the Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, and the School of Business and Law at UiA. Esports spans more disciplines than technology. That is why cooperation across disciplinary boundaries is important.
This is an international programme with 15 places for students outside Norway. There are 40 places in total.
“We already have many applicants even without any active marketing. The submission window for applications opens on 1 February, but we have already received many applications from outside our core areas, which are Norway and the EU”, Andersen says.
Esports takes place on a digital platform and through various channels. In that way, information is spread without UiA actively doing anything.
“All information has spread by word of mouth. We look forward to welcoming the students joining us in August”, he says.
Andersen also reminds that the application deadline for applicants outside Norway is 1 March. For Norwegian applicants, the deadline is 15 April.
The programme aims to provide a broad introduction to various subjects related to the field. The goal is not to educate professional esports athletes.
“We will give students the knowledge and skills to work in the esports industry. They should get a good understanding of what needs to be in place to succeed as a professional esports athlete and as a team”, he says.
Students will learn about the physiological and psychological conditions that form the basis for training and performance as an esports athlete.
“Knowledge about nutrition is important. The students will of course be allowed to play esports to understand it, but they will also learn to see the connection between training, recovery and performance”, Andersen says.
They will also develop technical expertise by producing content for marketing and dissemination on digital platforms. Programming, network security and privacy will be central here.
Students will also get an introduction to finance, entrepreneurship and branding. Andersen points out that this will be valuable expertise when developing, organising, and managing teams and tournaments.
“We offer a broad education that may have a broad reach. That is probably why we have received a lot of interest already”, he says.
The students will choose a specialisation within esports to immerse themselves in. These are some of the fields they can choose:
There are many opportunities for work according to Andersen.
“Esports is one of the world’s biggest industries right now. The need for formal education is great”, Andersen says.