IFoEC, the education partner of The International Federation of Esports Coaches, and the University of Portsmouth have announced the Esports Coaching & Performance BSc undergraduate degree. The programme will be delivered online from September 2021.
The course aims to provide students with ‘in-depth and first-hand knowledge of the performance side of the esports industry and equip them with tangible skills to fulfil a variety of leadership and support roles in esports, as well as other health and performance domains’, according to a release.
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The course has been developed over the past year and draws from the expertise and experience of a team of academics, practising esports coaches, and sport performance professionals.
The course will be taught by lecturers from the University of Portsmouth and associate lecturers from IFoEC. Graduates will be the first to hold a BSc (Hons) in Esports Coaching and Performance. It came about through a partnership between IFoEC and the University of Portsmouth.
The course will take three years to finish — although students may elect to add a sandwich year in industry or study elsewhere — and students will study modules worth a total of 120 credits.
Those modules range from introductory such as Introduction to Esports, Foundations of Esports Coaching, and Sport & Exercise Psychology, to more applied modules in the second and third years, like Esports Performance, Applied Esports Coaching, and Strategic Esports Development. There will also be modules focused on non-esports skills, such as Preparing Research, Innovation or Enterprise Projects, and Professional Development.
Player and coach Neyas ‘Raizins’ Guruswamy said on the announcement: “Having proper guidance from a structured course would help a lot of people I know in the industry save years of their lives not having to find their own way and figure everything out for themselves. Hopefully one day we can see a new generation of kids who fill out their applications to university esports degrees knowing that they will receive a top-tier education and have real prospects of a career in this world. I know I wanted that!”
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The students that complete the course will be able to take on a number of esports jobs, the University of Portsmouth explains. Jobs mentioned range from esports coaching and performance staff to team-managing tasks and careers in other performance domains. The opportunity to take a year-long work placement after the second year will also help students gain real-world experience in esports, according to a release.
Esports Insider says: The addition of an institutionalised esports degree is a welcome step towards taking esports into the mainstream. This three-year programme aims to provide the students with knowledge required to take their first professional steps in the esports industry. While some UK esports degrees have received a fair bit of criticism for not providing enough value to students, specialising in a topic seems an appropriate step for the IFoEC and University of Portsmouth.
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