Esports Leadership at Barnsley College

Esports Leadership at Barnsley College image
Esports pupils at Barnesley College sit at a computer while a teacher stands behind watching what they are doing.

Barnsley College offers students aged 16-19 a full BTEC programme in Esports, providing a broad curriculum in the industry. Enzo Guarini, course leader for esports at the College, explains why they chose to add esports leadership to their programme.

“One of the main reasons for us delivering the esports leadership course is the additional UCAS points that the students can achieve as they can really help them get into university.”

Before delivering the course, we had some concerns about the students managing the workload, but we wanted to add the esports leadership qualification to their programme because we know how valuable the UCAS points are to them. As the course offers 16 points it was a no-brainer for us as it helps to separate the esports students and it shows that they’re going above and beyond.

The students study the level 2 or Level 3 qualification in esports, then in addition they’ve got internships or work placements, so it was more a case of looking at the content and seeing if it was relatable to what we’re currently teaching now, which it was. Traditionally, our level 2 learners study maths and English while at college so having something like an additional level 3 qualification, it was important to make sure they weren’t overwhelmed.

We’ve managed to blend both together, to the point where it’s not an additional burden or workload for the students. Due to the nature of how it fits in with the Pearson specification and the esports units we teach, it all fits together really easily, in all honesty.

The students work on evidencing the results of their work on building leadership skills and we try to put as much as we can on social media to show what they are doing and how they use their skills.

For example, we’ve created a range of podcasts on topics that are relevant towards the units such as cybersecurity or health and well-being, teaching them the importance of staying fit and the mental, physical and social aspect of esports that’s inspired them to pursue things further.

It means that students are increasingly engaged in the physical activity elements of the programme as well as developing their communication skills and leadership skills.

A student sat in front of a computer.

There’s also the nature of them having to deliver and plan, such as in Unit 6, where we worked well to create a demonstration with Barnsley Football Club. We got the club’s scholars and our esports students to hold a gamification, esports and coaching event, which was excellent and helped them experience working in collaboration.

It’s a really effective bridging of the gaps or a stepping-stone for our students. It helps them with the skills they learn at Level 3 to articulate everything regarding the esports industry, then step into our Level 3 qualification confidently, while it traditionally might have been a bit of a gap.