Learning through play in HE

We have been learning through play from infancy. Discover how lecturers in business and law use simulations to increase understanding and employability.

Simulations and employability

You can’t physically transport students to every single context, but you can go some way to getting the atmosphere and challenges of those contexts through simulation

- Prof Nigel Slack, University of Warwick

Learning through simulations and gameplay scenarios allows students to apply key theory in a practical environment.

Many students will have no work experience to draw upon in order to help them understand concepts, especially at undergraduate level. As well as offering a context in which to apply and understand theory, simulations provide students with a safe place in which to gain professional practice. 


In this video Nicki Newman, a teacher from the University of Sheffield, highlights the soft skills her students gained from team simulations. These students referenced their group work and leadership experiences gained in gameplay on job applications. In this and other ways, simulations can help to increase employability.

Simulations also serve as an opportunity to increase student engagement: in  these scenarios, students immediately 'become' what they are studying to work as: a corporate strategist, a marketing manager, a lawyer. 

Just look at the way that kids learn. They learn by pretending. And what is a simulation except a pretend?

- Prof Nigel Slack, University of Warwick

Plan, implement, evaluate

Senior lecturer and course director Jason Evans wrote this teaching guide to help you plan, implement and evaluate the success of teaching and learning with simulations. 

Try it for yourself

If you lecture in marketing, come and try our MyMarketingExperience simulation for yourself. Join other lecturers for a game play day at Newcastle University Business School. Sign up for the event in Newcastle on 27 February 2018

Missed the event? Fill in this contact form to receive details of future events.

If you lecture elsewhere in the business school or law faculty, you can learn more about our simulations in law, strategy and operations management

About the author 

Chimaechi Allan is passionate about education for social mobility, and manages content marketing for the higher education division at Pearson.