A Teesside University scholarship supported by a major games studio is inviting applicants for the third consecutive year.

For the last two years, the Creative Assembly Scholarship programme has supported under-represented and disadvantaged students to begin a career in the games industry.

Currently, there are four students at Teesside University under the CA Scholarship Programme, representing two years of successful cohorts. The first students to benefit from this scholarship programme will shortly be entering their final year of study.

These students benefit from financial support each year (£3,000 per student per year of study), and expert mentoring with a game developer.

The scholarship is specifically open to under-represented or disadvantaged individuals to address existing cultural and socio-economical barriers which may limit their chances of success.

Applicants must enrol on Teesside University’s BA (Hons) Game Design and meet at least one of the following criteria: demonstrate clear financial need in their application, identify as female, identify as being from a minority ethnic background.

Giselle Stewart, Studio Director at Creative Assembly North, said: “To be able to offer financial support and mentorship to future game development talent, especially considering the economic environment we are in, is life changing.

“Creative Assembly is proud to sponsor this programme and to level the playing field for disadvantaged students in the games industry.

“Social mobility and diversity are so interwoven that we need to look at a range of factors that act as barriers to higher education, and therefore potential industry careers. We believe that careers in the games industry should be accessible to everyone no matter socio-economic status, gender or ethnicity.”

Teesside University enjoys an excellent reputation in the field of computer games with courses covering all aspects of games development, ranging from the highly creative area of concept art to the technical discipline of games programming.

In 2021, the University signed an official Memorandum of Understanding with Creative Assembly as part of a joint venture to engage in partnership working and provide additional opportunities to students and graduates.

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Business Engagement) in Teesside University’s School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, said: “Creative Assembly has been involved with several modules on our computer games degrees this year, providing feedback sessions and specialist industry talks which have been greatly received by our students.

“One of our joint aims was to explore ways to encourage more under-represented groups into the games industry, and to have this scholarship available is a fantastic endorsement of our commitment to widening participation. There should be no barriers to a career in the games industry and we are looking forward to helping students from under-represented groups reach their ambitions.”

Ellie-Mae Mellish, 19, from Southampton, decided to apply for the Creative Assembly Scholarship, after it was recommended to her by one of the tutors on her course.

She said: “It’s been really helpful.

“There’s the financial support which has made a real difference, but, for me, the key thing is the connections it has brought me.

“If I feel I need some support in a particular area, I just let them know and they will schedule a meeting with someone who works in that area and they will give me all the help I need and then follow up to see if I need anything further.

“It’s given my work a real boost and also pushed me to try harder at everything I do and really helped me to improve myself.

“Working in the games industry is all about the connections you make, and I think this has been fantastic in that respect.

“For anyone thinking about applying, I’d encourage them to go for it. It’s been nothing but positive for me.”

Creative Assembly won the GamesIndustry.biz Award for Best Education Programme for the third time in 2022 for their work to break down existing educational barriers within the games industry. This scholarship programme represents an extension of that work.

Apply for the Creative Assembly Scholarship: https://www.tees.ac.uk/sections/fulltime/scholarships_creative_assembly.cfm