The National Space Centre is launching a brand-new Immersive Academy with NSC Creative. In partnership with Leicester College, the new facility will offer the next generation of 16-18 year-old students a qualification in immersive storytelling. This will allow them to progress either into the creative media industry or higher education across a range of subjects including computer games, visual effects, animation, computer science and virtual reality.
The Immersive Design & Development BTEC Diploma Level 3 qualification will be delivered by NSC Creative and Leicester College, bringing together a world-leading immersive production studio and an established city centre design and media educational provider.
Students will be granted access to cutting edge technology to craft digital environments and experiences in virtual, augmented and mixed reality as well as the chance to learn all about game engine programming, XR design, 3D modelling and even the ability to project video onto planetarium domes. Learners will explore a vast range of immersive design from art-based concepts through to production of a range of extended reality computer applications.
The course will offer a wealth of experience across the full field of immersive media development, offering the chance for students to learn skills and techniques with guidance and critiques from industry veterans. They will also have the chance to display their work to the thousands of National Space Centre visitors.
Students will spend time at both the Leicester College campus and at the National Space Centre’s new Reality Lab. The space is kitted out with the latest XR technology to provide access to leading edge hardware and software to empower users to experiment and think big. Featuring the latest VR, AR and MR devices along with a 3m Stereoscopic 3D Projection Dome, green screen depth capture and mixed reality stage, students will be getting hands on with cutting-edge technology.
This new Immersive Academy complements the National Space Centre’s mission to enhance the science and engineering skills pool in the UK currently spearheaded by the National Space Academy by highlighting new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) career pathways. These new programmes will act as a catalyst for young people to consider design, visualisation, computer science, games development, filmmaking and animation which are all specialist, high demand sectors in the UK and beyond.
Paul Mowbray, Director at NSC Creative, said: “The NSC Immersive Academy will be a place for students to explore storytelling via emerging immersive technologies. It will equip the next generation of creators and makers with the skills to shape the future of virtual, extended and mixed reality experiences and products. Our inspiring new Reality Lab, access to a world class production team and partnership with Leicester College will create opportunities for local Leicester students that are unavailable anywhere else in the world .”
Kully Sandhu, Vice Principal Adult, Higher Education and Community at Leicester College added: “We’re delighted to form this exciting new partnership with the National Space Centre, leading to this unique national opportunity for students. The NSC Immersive Academy will offer a great opportunity for creative learners to work with the College’s established digital media department, and the industry professionals and cutting-edge facilities of NSC Creative to gain valuable industry insight and experience.”
Additional, future programmes will be added to the Immersive Academy that give local young people aged 11-16 an opportunity to get hands-on experience and work alongside National Space Centre teams to co-create new immersive experiences. Participants will build confidence and literacy in emerging technology and collaborative, digital working practices. Creating these unique opportunities will open up new possibilities and aspirations in local communities.
The creation of the NSC Immersive Academy and Reality Lab is supported by the Inspiring Science Fund – a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Wellcome, as well as the Local Growth Fund from Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, The Garfield Weston Foundation and Fidelity UK Foundation.