Case study

Developing new professions for new business: #ThisGirlCodes

20 Mar 2017


Bath Spa University launched #ThisGirlCodes, a campaign to get more young women to enter the tech industry. Academics, students and women working in the industry say that there are a series of myths that need to be challenged around the industry, and that more action is needed so that this traditionally male-dominated sphere can benefit from more diverse recruitment as the digital economy continues to grow.

The Creative Computing course at Bath Spa University was launched in 2015. Unique in its offering, it is a three-year full-time BSc course that can be taken as a single honours degree with specialist pathway options in gaming, animation or software development, or it can be combined with a number of complementary subjects.

Emma Klasse, a Creative Computing student on the animation pathway at Bath Spa University, said: “The perception of computing and coding is that it’s complicated and maths-heavy, but that’s not the case at all – coding is more like learning a language than maths.

“My strengths were primarily in the arts, and I looked at this course as a way of learning skills that are relevant to today’s job market – it looked modern and progressive and has lived up to my expectations.”

Dr Dana Ruggiero, senior lecturer in learning technology at Bath Spa University, said: “There’s a lack of diversity in gaming in particular, but there are some amazing female role models in game design - Anna Kipnis, Sheri Graner Ray, Amy Jo Kim, Brenda Romero – we just need more in the UK!

“We lose girls from Year 8 and Year 9 in schools, due to different socialisation of girls and boys and ingrained ideas about which skills suit particular careers. Along with engineering and chemistry, computing is seen as systematic, but narrative and communication are as important as mathematics.”

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