Pearson has partnered with The British Esports Association, the not-for-profit organisation established to promote and support grassroots esports, to create the world’s first qualification of its kind for a career in esports.
The new BTEC qualifications in esports are skills-focused and are a major step forward in supporting the creation of long-term careers in the growing esports industry both in the UK and internationally. The esports industry is projected to generate revenues of $1.1 billion in 2020, a year-on-year growth of 16%, with the total esports audience set to rise 11.7% to 495 million individuals.
View the qualification specifications
How will esports help my learners?
Esports is already massively popular with young people. As such, the esports industry is being driven by a demographic of under-35s and their increasing engagement with, and immersion in, the digital world.
- 81% of 12 to 15-year-olds play video games, on average, for nearly 12 hours per week - Ofcom
- 49% of girls aged five to 15 play video games, up from 38% in 2018 - Ofcom
Esports is an exciting, team-based activity that engages a wider demographic of young people than traditional team activities such as sport, music, art or drama – including, but not limited to, those who are not ‘into’ these activities.
When done in moderation as part of a balanced lifestyle, esports is also a beneficial alternative to watching passive media, like TV, or using social media. It has explicit links to computing education, STEAM subjects and the development of business and enterprise skills, digital skills, cyber skills and digital literacy. It also promotes character development in the same way that traditional team-based activities do.
Participating in esports...
- promotes leadership skills and teamwork
- boosts social and communication skills
- develops problem solving, decision-making and multitasking abilities
- improves cyber, digital and other transferable skills
- develops friendships and communities
- improves reaction times, dexterity and concentration
- increases perceptual and cognitive skills
- improves resilience through winning and losing
- can act as a motivator to improve attendance and behaviour
Careers in esports
As the industry continues to grow around the world, more jobs and career pathways are being created in esports, creating a demand for people with specific skills.
Here is a snapshot of some of the different roles within the industry:
- Coach – including fitness trainers, nutritionists, psychologists
- PR/Marketing executive
- Sales/partnerships manager
- Business management
- Production crew
- Shoutcaster / host
- Journalist/content creator
- Product Manager
- Community/Social Media Manager
- Event Manager
- Professional esports player
In partnership with the British Esports Association
The British Esports Association is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 2016 to support and promote esports in the UK.
As a national body, its aims are to foster future British talent, increase the awareness of esports and provide expertise and advice. It’s focused on grassroots (amateur) esports.
British Esports helps educate the masses – including parents, teachers, media and government – around what esports is and what its benefits are. It runs the British Esports Championships for schools and colleges and other similar projects with young people. The Association is a member of Ukie, the Sport and Recreation Alliance the Welsh Sports Association, the European Esports Federation and the Global Esports Federation.
Its three goals are to Promote, Improve and Inspire:
- Promote esports in the UK and increase its level of awareness
- Improve the standard of UK esports
- Inspire future talent
The Founder and CEO of the British Esports Association, Chester King, sits on the International Olympic Committee’s Esports and Gaming Liaison Group and is the Chairman of the Education, Culture and Wellness Commission of the Global Esports Federation.
What is esports?
Esports is organised, competitive, human-versus-human video-gaming where people play against each other online and at live spectator events.
Esports is played by both amateurs and professionals and is open to all, regardless of gender, physical or mental ability.
Esports can be played on PCs, consoles and mobiles. Depending on the game, the format can be 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, 4v4, 5v5, 6v6 and so on. At the top level, leading global teams and players can earn significant sums in wages and prize-money each year.
Esports can be team-based and is always played against another person or people, therefore it is more social and more beneficial than the stereotypical perceptions of solo video-gaming.
In the UK, esports is classified as a game, like chess and bridge, not a sport. In some other countries around the world, where ’mind’ games are classified differently, esports is recognised as a sport.
“As of September 2019 at Barnsley College, we have 36 learners enrolled onto a Full‐Time Esports study programme, who next year will be progressing onto the new Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Foundation Diploma in Esports along with our new intake of Esports learners for 2020‐2021.
"Esports education is providing a brand new, creative, digital learning environment where students are exceeding expectations, achieving high grades and developing personally, socially and holistically to become more confident individuals who are employment ready with the added opportunities for learners to progress onto Higher Education and University.
"The Esports qualifications allow us as educators to continue to realise our vision for our learners in order to transform lives, ensure learners have a great time, achieve their aims and progress onto their chosen destination in employment or Higher Education."
Curriculum Lead, Barnsley College
“It’s fantastic to have been part of the process in developing an engaging, contemporary and above all, educational qualification that will enhance the digital skills of all students involved and also prepare them for the ever‐changing world beyond college.
"Our students are very excited to see how the biggest growing industry in the UK has been structured into a subject that deals with business development, mental and physical well‐being, creating events and creating their own online brands.
"The students at QMC played a huge part in shaping this qualification, along with esports experts outstanding teachers, and we can’t wait to see them develop and grow over the two year course with us."
Director of Learning, Queen Mary's College
“We all understand and know sport and its benefits and the impact on the health, personal development and inter-personal and employability skills for learners and believed that esports offered those similar opportunities, albeit in a totally different way.
"I‘ve spent 20 years of my career to date looking at learner groups and how we develop them and help learners to succeed. In that time I can honestly say that nothing, not even our successful Sports Academy, has brought learners together as quickly as this study programme."
Programme Manager, Barnsley College
"Pearson have provided us with all the support we need to teach BTEC qualifications."
"BTEC’s help prepare learners for university and a future career as each subject and unit contains industry relevant knowledge and skills that are embedded into the course."
"The scope and variety of courses and units within BTEC makes learners stand out from the crowd as they use industry expert and teachers to frame relevant subjects."
Sixth Form teacher, Queen Mary's College