As a multi-billion-dollar industry bigger than movies and sports combined, gaming is undeniably one of the most successful forms of entertainment of the 21st century. \r\n\r\nSocial distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic saw an accelerated level of interest in gaming, and with an endless range of possibilities from smartphone apps to virtual reality, it’s no surprise that it’s become a popular career choice for those with a passion for playing games. In the United States alone, the number of employees in the gaming industry reached over 273,000 in 2021. \r\n\r\nThe requirement for technical expertise in roles such as game developers, software testers and audio engineers means that a degree in computer science remains a solid choice for those looking to break into this highly competitive sector. \r\n\r\nSo which computer science degrees prepare students for a potential career in the gaming industry? Using the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022, we’ve compiled a list of top universities for computer science which also offer specialisations in game development and design. \r\n\r\nYou can find out more about the methodology used to produce the rankings here. \r\n\r\n\r\n\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tQS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Top computer science programmes for careers in gaming \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tSubject rank \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tSchool \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tLocation \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t6 \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tNational University of Singapore \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tSingapore \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t12 \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tUniversity of Toronto \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tCanada \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t20 \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tColumbia University \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tUnited States \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t28 \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tUniversity of Texas at Austin \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tUnited States \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t44 \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tMcGill University \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\tCanada \r\n\t\t\t\r\n\t\t\r\n\t\r\n\r\n\r\nMcGill University \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe School of Computer Science at McGill offers a variety of courses and directions to specialise in, whether students want to do game research, find a job in the gaming industry, or just want to understand games better. \r\n\r\nStudents can either enrol in the new Major in Computer Science – Computer Games option, a special version of the Computer Science Major with an emphasis on Games, or students can include relevant courses in any of the Computer Science and Software Engineering major programmes. \r\n\r\nThe programme’s core and complementary courses either focus on games or develop techniques that are considered essential to computer game development. Examples of courses include Modern Computer Games and Fundamentals of Computer Graphics. \r\n\r\nThe school’s location in Montreal, which has several local game companies and branches of larger companies, makes it an ideal hub for career opportunities. Graduates have gone on to work for renowned companies such as EA and Ubisoft. \r\n\r\nMcGill University is ranked 44th for computer science, making it the fourth-highest university in Canada. \r\n\r\nUniversity of Texas at Austin \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nThe undergraduate programme at the University of Texas at Austin (UT) offers a concentration in Game Development, serving as a launchpad for students to take on compelling roles in the game development field. \r\n\r\nAs part of the Game Development concentration, foundation courses will be taken in Computer Graphics, Game Technology and Game Programming Paradigms. The concentration also features capstone courses in 2D and 3D development where students will design, develop and evaluate computer games. Classes are collaborative as teams will consist of students from other disciplines such as film, radio and fine arts, giving students a feel of the environment and practises that are used in professional game studios. \r\n\r\nTexas has the second largest concentration of game studios in the United States, and Austin has more game studios than the rest of the state combined, indicating promising career opportunities for graduates who wish to work in industry. \r\n\r\nUT ranks 28th for computer science and 13th in the United States. \r\n\r\nColumbia University \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nColumbia University’s upper-level curriculum in computer science is organised into tracks of electives that allow students to select one of five major areas for study in greater depth. One of those tracks is the Vision, Graphics, Interaction and Robotics track, designed for students interested in vision, graphics and advanced forms of human-computer interaction. \r\n\r\nStudents can choose courses such as Computer Vision and Computer Animation, in addition to further electives in Special Topics in Computer Science (Video Game Technology and Design) and Computational Techniques in Pixel Processing. \r\n\r\nFor those eager to get involved in research groups, Columbia’s Computer Vision and Graphics center aims to make a fundamental impact on the way visual information is captured, manipulated and experienced. Their work is motivated by applications to many areas, including games. Recent research includes low latency input for virtual reality and reducing motion sickness through dynamic field of view adjustments. \r\n\r\nColumbia University ranks 20th for computer science and 11th in the United States. \r\n\r\nUniversity of Toronto \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBeyond programming, students enrolled in the Computer Science Specialist programme can tailor their degree to focus on game design and have this specialisation added to their transcript, highlighting their skills to employers. Professor Steve Engels, who teaches the Introduction to Video Game Design course said: “The course helps students understand everything about the game design process, from coming up with an idea, pitching and producing a first playable prototype to presenting a final demo in front of an audience. \r\n\r\n“For every one of those milestones we bring in a panel of industry guests to give students feedback. We sample from all the game studios in Toronto from large ones like Ubisoft and EA to indie studios. By the time students have finished the course, they’ve had exposure to dozens of industry experts, giving them varying feedback to help make their games better. \r\n\r\n“We’ve had students hired straight after finishing this course as a result of working with industry panels. Our alumnus, Adam Robinson-Yu, started his own game studio and made a game called A Short Hike which is doing really well. \r\n\r\n“We also run video game design research. For example, I have fourth-year students who are working on designing video games to help diagnose math anxiety. I work with other game design professors and run programmes such as the Level Up Showcase, which is a big event to show off student talent in Ontario. \r\n\r\n“We have an incredibly strong computer science programme that a lot of people respect and we’re able to give students those transferrable skills and pursue that in the context of game design”. \r\n\r\nThe University of Toronto is ranked 12th for computer science and is the top university for computer science in Canada. \r\n\r\nNational University of Singapore (NUS) \r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nProfessor Lee Wee Sun, Head of the Department for Computer Science said: \u0022Undergraduate students who are enrolled in the Computer Science programme are required to study a focus area in depth, and Computer Graphics and Games is one of the focus areas that they can select. Students doing this focus area can choose to take courses in graphics, animation, as well as game development. These include project courses where they develop games (for example, the Game Development module). Furthermore, they can opt for courses in related topics such as artificial intelligence, multimodal processing, mobile platforms, interaction design, user interface development, and virtual and augmented reality.\r\n\r\nNUS alumus, Dominic Chong, who graduated from the programme in 2021, said: \u0022The two project-based Game Development modules were the most demanding, interesting, and also fun modules in the Focus Area of Computer Graphics and Games. Taking two demanding modules that push you to create an incredible project, driven by your passion to make your creative ideas come to fruition and have others (including those who are not into game development) appreciate the game - this was a very fruitful experience.\r\n\r\n\u0022The Graphics modules were also eye-opening. We do not usually think much about how our beautiful games are visualised on a flat screen at high frame rates, and in real time. Studying graphics makes me, as a Computing student, think deeply about the performance of our day-to-day programs and how capable our machines are.\u0022\r\n\r\nCommenting on the practical nature of the programme, Lionel Lim, a third year NUS student currently completing the degree, said: \u0022I love how there is a lot of focus on practical work, as most of our assignments are project-based. I get to immediately apply what I have learned in a meaningful way, and I also gain valuable practical experience from each project. Best of all, I get to share cool and fun games with my friends.\r\n\r\n\u0022One of my proudest works would be CULLinary (https://angryeggplant.itch.io/cullinary-2). It was a year-long project to develop a game together with seven other group members. This project was awarded first place twice in a project showcase organised by NUS Computing. I have learned a lot from this project and it is definitely one of the highlights of my university life.\u0022\r\n\r\nThe National University of Singapore is ranked sixth globally for computer science, as well as being the top university for computer science in Singapore.