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Best Game Design & Development

Schools in the World for 2017


Official Ranking

The Top 10 Best Game Design & Development Schools for 2017 is something we take very seriously and no external influences or payments are entered into at any point. Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process. We feel that traditional school rankings that include peer and employer reviews, faculty to student ratio, citations and other data are not adequate when ranking the best creative schools.

For a complete breakdown of how we rank the best schools for 2017 please read how we rank the best schools and how we analyse the data in the sections located at the bottom of this page.

Rank School Name Location Score
1 Howest University - Digital Arts and Entertainment Kortrijk, Belgium 135 View
The Game Assembly
Malmo, Sweden 120 View
Los Angeles, United States 85 View
University of Hertfordshire
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom 77.5 View
Ringling College of Art and Design
Florida, United States 75 View
6 Objectif 3D Montpellier, France 72.5 View
Think Tank Training Centre
Vancouver, Canada 72.5 View
8 Academy of Art University San Francisco, United States 70 View
Paris, France 70 View
3dsense Media School
Singapore, Singapore 67.5 View

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Do you want to work in film, games, VR, motion graphics, or archviz? Visit our school database to find the best school for your career path.

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The School of the Year rankings are based on schools that take the initiative to submit student work. Follow this link to get involved for next year.

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Download detailed 2017 School Rankings Report

School Statistics

The charts below breakdown how close the top school ranking for 2017 actually were. The combination of median student score and category bonus points help reinforce that top schools are very closely matched in performance. The second chart provides a little insight into how many students submitted work from different schools. The amount of entries from each school was not included in the calculation of best schools for 2017, however we feel the data is quite interesting.

Student Demographics

From the data collected by students around the globe we can see that Game Design & Development is most popular for males aged between 18-24 years old.

Student Performance

When analysing the results of all the animation students we can see a typical bell curve for student performance. The majority of students received a C ranking which means they presented some good quality work and have potential. However, they still need to improve and clearly demonstrate core skills more clearly in their portfolio.

From the entries, only 29 of the students received an A rankings which is considered to have production quality skills. This means they demonstrated skills required of digital artists at the top tier of production companies.

This production skill indicator does not mean lower ranked students are not ready for the challenges of production, but it’s a marker for the level of talent that production companies consider an ideal candidate that will transition to the workforce with ease.

The Student Employment and Application chart demonstrates the high demand that students have for furthering their education with scholarship and the desire to start their career with an internship.

The Top 10 Countries for Game Design and Development talent chart is calculated by selecting all students that received an A or B ranking and corresponding that with the country where they studied.

How we rank the best schools

Our rankings focus on the quality of students portfolios that are submitted to our judging panel which best reflect the recruitment interview process.

The reason we take this approach is because we believe the goal of each creative school is tasked with helping students learn the right creative and technical skills that mirror the requirements of industry. It is their job to train artists to a level that allows them to transition from to a professional environment with ease.

The end result for students is less about grades, it’s about creating a digital portfolio that best showcases their skills and displays an understanding of production pipelines. This is why our judges review portfolios and review student work in the same manner as a professional job application.

The rankings are based on the scores as awarded by the official judging panel. Opinions by the general public are by no means considered.

Students are judged on their creative skills, technical skills, presentation, variety of skills, complexity, raw talent, and employment potential.

How we analyse the data

Each school is awarded a final score based on the performance of each student representing their academic facility.

When analysing the average scores of each student per school there are three possible data formulas available to use: mean, median and mode.

The Rookies uses median. The median is the middle point of a number set, in which half the numbers are above the median and half are below. A median is intrinsically understandable. It is the middle number when the values are put in order.

The most important factor here is that a median is not affected by outliers. This means that schools are not penalised for incomplete entries and schools are not favoured for a single high score that is not the norm. Student scores often have outlier values and using the median is the more robust solution to determine an average.

Important details about how a school score is calculated:

  • schools with < 4 student entries are excluded from ranking.
  • incomplete student entries are removed from calculations. No penalties.
  • each student receives a performance score. Max 100 points. (Student Score)
  • median students score calculated per school. Max 100 points. (Median Student Score)
  • Each category finalist receives 10 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category runner up receives 15 bonus points toward School Score.
  • Each category winner receives 20 bonus points toward School Score.

The School of the Year Report is of relevance to both students and tutors, studios and recruiters. It has been produced to assist and enable prospective students to find a school that is best suited to their desired career path.

The report includes a detailed breakdown of all the data collected from student submissions for 2017. Included inside a further breakdowns and additional ranking for other schools that participated. We hope this report will help ensure schools continue to push their curriculums to the edge and to guide students in demonstrating learnt skills that are perfectly matched to the requirements of production.

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