University profile: Trinity College Dublin
- Founded 1592
- Location Dublin
- Employees 2,500
- Key staff Dr Patrick Prendergast, provost; Dr Michael Manzke, lecturer
- URL www.tcd.ie
The 400 year old Trinity College comes 50th in the Times Higher Educational World University Rankings, and makes the top three in Ireland. Its Interactive Entertainment Technology master’s degree offers students an academic grounding in important areas such as mathematics and physics while also offering exciting hands-on projects and weekly seminars from technology providers.
The one-year master’s course was initially set up by Havok and Swrve co-founder Steve Collins, whose first company was spawned from Trinity’s research group (along with other start-ups including Demonware) several years earlier. In between starting up middleware companies he’s even found the time to lecture, though Swrve is his current focus.
Lecturer Dr Michael Manzke; Trinity College’s extensive library
“We’re not a gaming degree per se, we really try to be a bit wider than that,” lecturer Dr Michael Manzke tells us. “But what we do is very applicable to [games] and should be useful. We don’t want to train people on specific products, it’s about giving a bit more foundation at an academic level than purely training people for the gaming industry.”
Alumni are installed in companies such as PopCap, EA, Microsoft, Jagex, Double Negative, Climax and SCEE. And during our visit to PopCap’s European HQ, which is located, quite literally, just across the road from Trinity, we discover that a group of students working on a project were responsible for Bejeweled Live.
Trinity’s close industry relations means that ideas for projects and even dissertations regularly come directly from developers such as PopCap, lending students’ invaluable industry experience. In fact, PopCap tell us that most of the students who worked on projects with them during their masters are now employees.