The Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) has launched a new National Progression Award (NPA) in esports for schools and colleges in Scotland.
The one-year course aims to provide an overview of the esports industry, with topics such as game performance and event management highlighted in the announcement.
NPA’s are a part of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). All in all, there are 12 levels with SCQF level seven typically the starting point for higher education frameworks. SQA’s new NPA in esports will be provided at SCQF levels four, five and six. This course is available for schools, colleges, and training providers across Scotland and aims to be a starting point for learners interested in esports industry careers.
According to SQA, the course’s development comes after colleges expressed an interest in awarding the topic. The authority noted that 88% of SQA centres surveyed agreed that esports is an ‘emerging and growing industry’ that has interest from learners. Before its official launch, the esports NPA was trialled at Dunoon Grammar School in Argyll and Bute for the 2022-2023 academic year.
The NPA in esports will feature a mixture of theory and practical work, whilst also looking to provide transferrable skills outside of the esports industry. Such skills noted include video editing, social media marketing and teamwork.
Esports’ placement within education is a widely discussed topic, particularly when it comes to creating qualifications for the space. In 2020, esports federation British Esports partnered with British educational company Pearson to create an esports BTEC, which has since expanded into other qualifications. However, the integration of higher education esports courses, such as esports degrees, has also become a cause of debate with sections of the esports community questioning their validity.
Bobby Elliot, Qualifications Manager for Technology, Engineering and Construction at SQA, commented on the new NPA: “This qualification is the first of its kind offered by SQA. It’s designed to engage and motivate learners and deliver a wide range of current digital knowledge and skills.
“We offer a variety of computing and gaming qualifications, which are designed and developed with subject experts and industry to ensure they meet the skills needs of the sector. Going forward, we’re keen to look at plans to offer learners further articulation routes into further study.”