thumbnail Students take gaming to the next level

Students from Newcastle University are on track for career success after being taken on full-time after an internship at a major North East computer game developer.

Jack Taylor, 22, Jordan Wise, 22 and Sam Collier, 23 are all just about to finish the final year of their MSc in Video Game Engineering and had the opportunity to work at video game developer Reflections, a Ubisoft studio, as part of their studies. They impressed the company so much that they have now been given permanent contracts to start work this month.

The three programmers are all working on new games, including Just Dance 4 (Xbox 360 + PS Move), which was only announced in June at the E3 entertainment conference in the United States.

The internship was a chance for them to put the skills learnt in the lecture theatre to the test in the real world.

Jack, from Four Lane Ends, said: “I’ve learnt so much in just the short period of time I’ve been here. It’s a real eye opener. It’s interesting to find out how companies operate within the teams, for example, we work directly with an artist on the part of the game we are working on. I’m delighted to have been offered the job permanently.”

Jordan, from Keighley in Yorkshire, said: “I would recommend a placement in industry to anyone who is considering it. It just makes everything you learn come together clearly. We work with Ubisoft studios all over the world and you are aware that if you make a mistake you will be wasting a lot of people’s time. You learn fast when the pressure is on!”

Reflections based at Newcastle Business Park, employs 140 staff and has created and collaborated on a huge selection of award winning video games, including the multi-million selling Driver series, Just Dance 3 (Xbox 360 and PS Move) and Ghost Recon Future Soldier.

Michael Troughton, Director of Technology at Reflections, said: “We have been very impressed with the level of the students. They have brought a lot of fresh ideas to the company and it’s great to see, that is why we decided to hire them full-time.

“It’s important for them to get a close look at the real world of computer game design and to learn how to operate as part of a team, so the internships are something which benefits us and the students.”

Latest official Government statistics show that last year 93% of Newcastle University graduates were in employment or further education six months after finishing their studies. We are also in the top twenty of universities which are targeted by graduate employers.

Nick Keeley, head of the Careers Service at Newcastle University said: “We encourage and help students to undertake work placements as it is known they can both enhance graduates' employment opportunities and also increase their academic performance.

“This is why Newcastle University is investing so seriously in collaborating with regional and national employers to enable more and more of our students to do a placement during their studies. It also helps to explain why the University does so well in national employment league tables.

“It is great news that these three have had such a great start to their careers.”


published on: 13th August 2012

Key Facts:

  • Newcastle University is a Russell Group University
  • Ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2014)
  • Ranked 16th in the UK for global research power (REF 2014)
  • Ranked 10th overall in the UK and 3rd for quality of staff/lecturers in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015
  • Winner: Outstanding Leadership and Management Team and Outstanding Procurement Team, Times Higher Leadership and Management Awards 2015
  • Amongst our peers Newcastle is:
    • Joint 6th in the UK for student satisfaction
    • Ranked 1st in the UK for Computing Science research impact, 3rd in the UK for Civil Engineering research power and 11th in the UK for Mathematical Sciences research (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 8th in the UK for Medical and Life Sciences research quality (REF 2014)
    • Ranked 3rd in the UK for English, and in the top 12 for Geography, Architecture and Planning, and Cultural and Media Studies research quality (REF 2014)
    • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) top 20 strategic partner
  • 94% of our students are in a job or further training within six months of graduating
  • We have a world-class reputation for research excellence and are spearheading three major societal challenges that have a significant impact on global society. These themes are: Ageing, Sustainability, and Social Renewal
  • Newcastle University is the first UK university to establish a fully owned international branch campus for medicine at its NUMed Campus in Malaysia which opened in 2011
  • 90% Satisfaction level from our international students (ISB 2014)
  • Newcastle University Business School is one of 20 Triple Accredited Business Schools in the UK