Studying esports: Bachelor programmes around Europe

Finding their way into everyday pop culture and innovative business models, esports has been facing an explosive growth from a small niche to a full grown industry with a $1.1B revenue in 2019 ¹. With "gaming" being recognized as professional sports and competitive industry, the need for graduates and professionals with fundamental knowledge of esports is evolving as well.

While there have been several programmes in the US for years, esports is finally also an upcoming matter for european schools, with Bachelor and Master degrees popping up in 2019 and 2020 in Germany, France, UK and Finland.

If this is a career path interesting for you, here's 9 schools where you can study esports.

Germany

Medienmanagement at HS Mittweida

Overview

  • Field of Study: Media Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Mittweida, Saxony, Germany
  • Duration: 3 years (6 semester)
  • Language: German

Content

The HS Mittweida is the first (and at the moment only) state school in Germany offering a possibility to study esports - not as a main course though. In Mittweida, students studying media management can deepen their studies at esports and game marketing from the third semester on.

In four semester, students learn the whole process of creating esports business models, with a main focus of the development process and marketing of games and events.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.me.hs-mittweida.de/studienangebote/informationen-fuer-bewerber/medienmanagement.html [DE]

esports Management at HAM (Hochschule für angewandtes Management)

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Munich | Berlin | Dortmund | Hamburg | Vienna (Austria)
  • Duration: 3,5 years (7 semester)
  • Language: German

Content

Officially, the first school to offer an esports diploma in Germany, HAM created a esports business degree with practical orientation. The focal points of the program are:

  • esports event management
  • management of esports teams
  • esports marketing
  • digital innovation of gaming industry

The degree program is offered semi virtual, so it's split between online and on-site courses. That's a big advantage for the flexibility: Next to studying full time, HAM also offers the possibility to study in part time or as a dual study.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.fham.de/studiengaenge/bachelor/esports-management/ [DE]

esports & Game Management at Macromedia Fachhochschule

Overview

  • Field of Study: Media and Communication Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Munich | Cologne | Hamburg
  • Duration: 3,5 years (7 semester) incl. exchange semester
  • Language: German

Content

The degree course at Macromedia might be the most extensive one in regard of esports business principles in Germany. It targets students who would like to achieve a management position in esports, whether it's for leading game development, athletes or events.

The six main contents are:

  • empiric research & statistics
  • principles in sports communication & sports sciences
  • athletes management & sports marketing
  • principles in esports & games management
  • esports & games business
  • esports event management

Read more on the school's website: https://www.macromedia-fachhochschule.de/bachelor-studium/medienmanagement/esports-und-games-management.html [DE]

UK

The private education system in the UK is probably the perfect playground for students interested in digital & esports relative subjects. Financing themselves with higher tuition fees, the schools have the opportunity to provide high-end equipment which brings their courses to a next level in hindsight of practical insights into (gaming) soft- and hardware. If you can afford about 13.000£ for your diploma, we recommend taking a closer look at the following schools.

esports BA (Hons) at Staffordshire University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Stoke-on-Trent | London
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: English

Content

With subjects like Games Arts, Cultures and Design and a digital institute in London, the Staffordshire University has established itself as a "Games university" in the UK. Expanding their offer with a BA in esports was just the next logical step.

True to a hands-on approach, students will learn about the esports business in practical projects from hosting single & team player events and athlete management to a full marketing experience of broadcasting, video editing, content creation and analytics. For this, Staffordshire university is equipped with pro gamer training facilities, an esports arena, a control room with high-tech computers for editing, mixing and co.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/course/esports-ba

esports BA (Hons) at Chichester University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management / Media Sciences
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Chichester, West Sussex
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: English

Content

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vN3U98SR68&

Summing it up in one sentence, the esports degree at Sheffield Hallam University teaches fundamental business and media skills for the esports industry for running events, managing teams and reporting on competitions.

The necessary skills and knowledge are transmitted via a mix of lectures, seminars, exercises and practical activities in their radio room, TV room and newsroom.

As a final project at the end of the programme students will work together with clients from the esports industry to host a live event.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.shu.ac.uk/courses/event-management/ba-honours-esports/full-time

esports BA (Hons) - Event Management at Sheffield Hallam University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Event Management & Media Training
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Duration: 3 - 4 years
  • Language: English

Content

Unlike other business management programmes, Chichester University has a more scientific approach in teaching about esports. While still taking a look at event production, promotion, sponsorship, game play and co, the courses are also built around sports science, psychology and ethics - transferable skills for other postgraduate studies or jobs in various industries.

However, the practical side is not being neglected either with skills development sessions for gamers, staging competitions and work placements.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/course/esports-ba

France

Specialising your studies on esports in France is only possible when attending a private school. Interesting enough, most, if not all of them, are a result of the partnership of the IONIS Group with XP, the international esport & gaming school.

XP, the international esport & gaming school

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Paris | Lille | Lyon | Bordeaux | Marseille | Rennes | Strasbourg
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: French

Content

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcuGQ9I0hY

The XP courses focuses deeply on event management & marketing. By starting with teaching the fundamentals of the esports industry, the students will quickly gain the insights to deepen their knowledge in practical projects. The main pillars of the XP program are:

  • Master the fundamentals
  • Consolidate knowledge to put it into practice
  • Master the skills and develop your own projects

After graduation, careers await in creating events and tournaments, digital marketing and community management.

Read more on the school's website: https://xp.school/Le-Programme/Cycle-Bachelor/ [FR]

esport & Gaming at ISEFAC Bachelor (IONOS Group)

Overview

  • Field of Study: Communication Management
  • Degree: Certifie par I'État Niveau II (Bachelor)
  • Where: Paris | Bordeaux | Lille | Lyon | Montpellier | Nantes | Nice
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: French

Content

A classic subject of communication & business management with a focus on the esports industry. The programme is a mix of communication, marketing and event management with basics in psychology, social sciences and accounting. Thus, the diploma at ISEFAC prepares you for jobs in the gaming sector in management, communication and event organisation.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.isefac-bachelor.fr/bachelor/esport-et-gaming/ [FR]

Finland

esports Business at KAMK University of Applied Sciences

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Where: Kajaani, Finland
  • Duration: 3,5 years
  • Language: English

Content

This course aims at giving an all-round insight into the operations of esports as a business. The focus of this degree lies on management and leadership, as well as event management and international operation.

A nice plus for Gamers is the university's aim of keeping their hobbies alive during their studies. For this purpose, Kajaani provides high-performance gaming computers at the campus to use by students outside of lesson times.

Read more on the university's website: https://www.kamk.fi/en/Applicants/International-Degrees/Bachelors-Degree-in-Esports-Business/c0b4b339-642a-43b5-a527-6fbbd7363de4


Sources:

1 https://www.businessinsider.com/esports-ecosystem-market-report?r=DE&IR=T


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The future is now: eSports industry is growing

According to Business Insider, people spend more and more of their time watching eSports. In 2016, spectators watched professional competitions for a total of six billion hours. Who scores these times? The audience is about 300 million people worldwide, hopefully reaching more than 500 million spectators in the next 3 years. The viewing takes part mostly online, brought to audiences by broadcasts and especially reaching younger markets. The fame is offering the game industry a complete new way of growing by giving options for advertising and selling the viewing rights of their events. Last year, for example, Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends, scored a landmark 2-year exclusive broadcasting agreement with BAMTech valued at $300 million. 
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„To put in perspective how big eSports is becoming, a Google search for "lol" does not produce "laughing out loud" as the top result. Instead, it points to League of Legends, one of the most popular competitive games in existence.“ (Business Insider)