Start Date: Duration: Level: Study mode: Course location: Course Type:
September 2 years Level 3 Full-Time Hartlepool Sixth Form Full-time Vocational Apply Enquire

What’s it all about?

This course has been designed by award winning employers, including Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Blue Zoo, Centroid, Double Negative, Framestore, MPC and The Imaginarium.

The NextGen Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills ensures young people are industry ready with the right skills and knowledge for the workplace. It equips students with a foundation in art, design, Maths and computing skills, which are highly desirable within industry. Sunderland College are one of only 4 colleges approved to deliver the NextGen Skills academy qualification in the UK.

This is a course for people interested in developing games. Our programme is based around practical activities, where theory is directly applied. Lecturers either have industry experience or are still actively working in the industry, with the view to make the course and the skills students study as current as possible.

You will need at least 5 GCSE's grade C/5 or above, including English Language and Maths,Plus IT skills, self-motivation and a passion for computer games, animation and VFX.

Study level Cost Additional fees
19+ please enquire You may be required to pay for stationery, art materials, trips and visits. It would be beneficial if you have a computer at home that is powerful enough to play games, however, this is not essential as you will have access to computers and technology at college. More specific information of system requirements can be provided depending on your budget.

You will be taught using a range of teaching techniques including:

- Individual mini-projects
- Large scale group work projects
- Demonstrations
- Peer learning
- Independent guided Learning
- Practical workshop sessions
- Industry workshops (Online and face to face)
- Industry feedback

You will be assessed by:

- Coursework – through an online blog
- Periodic formative feedback
- Presentations of projects
- Academic writing essays
- Mock exams
- Externally set exams

English and Maths are important life skills that will help you to achieve your best in your studies and progress to your dream career. If you have not already achieved grade 9-4 in GCSE Maths and/or English at school, we will support you to improve your skills.

You are required to have achieved a grade 4 or above in English and Maths to enrol onto this course. These skills are so crucial to the development of games, animation and VFX projects that we use on a daily basis in our practical work and presentation of work.

Work experience opportunities come up through our NextGen partners regularly and students are encouraged to engage with these. These often take a variety of forms with some being longer than others, however, all will enrich your student experience and strengthen your skills.

We have a number of links to industry including partnerships with NextGen to ensure you gain an outstanding learning experience with us and are equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to progress to a career in industry.THese include:

- Ubisoft
- BlueZoo
- Infinity 27
- Creative Assembly
- MediaTonic
- Framestore
- Sony
- Microsoft
- Zerolight
- Centroid
- WorldSkillsUK
- Hey Stephen Hey

Mon-Fri, between 9am-4pm. Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

You will study 16 hours a week in college and will be expected to take some time outside of college to develop the projects you are set further. Lecturers will set tasks and guide you so that you stay organized and continue to develop your creative and technical out comes.

The aim of the course is to develop skills and knowledge relevant to the games, animation and VFX industries. This includes art theory, 3D modelling, animation, VFX, game design, Maths and programming fundamentals.

We also develop skills and knowledge with business practices, production management, teamwork and communication. This will allow you to progress to a career in the games, animation or VFX industries due to the breadth of skills that we cover and how transferable they are across these industries.

Most students progress onto Higher Education internally or externally and then achieve jobs in the industries mentioned, however, also in wider industries such as visualization, advertising, marketing, education and more.

The industry is also evolving further with an increasing number of apprenticeship opportunities becoming available. Through our links with NextGen our students will get the most up to date and current opportunities.

You will undertake an array of modules and assessments using the knowledge you have learnt from a range of industry focused modules.

Year 1:

Assessment: Asset Development Portfolio
- 3D Tools Creative and Technical 3D Modelling
- Fundamental Animation Skills for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries
- VFX Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries
- Core Principles of Game Design
- Art Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries

Assessment: Core Principles Exam

- Fundamental Product Programming Skills
- Maths and Logic Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries
- Core Principles of Game Design

Assessment: Art Theory in Context (Essay)

- Art Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries Level 3

Year 2:

Assessment: Emerging Technology Essay
- Emerging Technologies Level 3

Assessment: Synoptic Project
- Images and Sounds for Imagined Worlds Level 3-1
- Storyboard Playboard Level 3
- Production Management for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries Level 3-1
- Working in the Games Animation and VFX Industries Level 3

Assessment : Case Study Exam
- Images and Sounds for Imagined Worlds Level 3-1
- Storyboard Playboard Level 3
- Production Management for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries Level 3-1
- Working in the Games Animation and VFX Industries Level 3

What’s next?

This is a course with multiple destinations for students but at its heart it is defined by the skills that the creative industries of games, animation and VFX need for future innovation and growth. It’s much more than just a qualification – it’s the start of a career journey.

Successful completion of the NextGen skills academy qualification, along with an appropriate grade and portfolio, will provide access to a wide range of external and internal specialist Higher Education courses and higher apprenticeships.

You could take the internal progression Higher Education Level 4 and Level 5 foundational degree in Game Design and Production with us. Once you have achieved this there is also the option to top up to our Level 6 full BA(Hons) degree.

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A fresh start

Sometimes you just need a clean break to become the person you were destined to be. Starting college is the perfect opportunity to break free and become that new person!

New people

Our diverse student community means that you will meet lots of new people of different ages, backgrounds and interests, so you can enjoy making lifelong friendships!

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Most of our lecturers are industry savvy and are experts in teaching 16-18 year olds. They have lots of valuable experience and knowledge to pass onto you.


College is a more mature and relaxed environment than school and you are treated like an adult. You’ll be on first name terms with your lecturers so no more Sir and Miss! You can also start to make your own decisions.

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Your timetable will be very different to school. You will have a lot more free time to take part in extra-curricular activities, study, or get extra money and work experience with a part-time job.

Different environment

College is a very different learning environment to school. You may even become more inspired and have a new motivation to work towards your future goal in a college environment.

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You will have the opportunity to take part in lots of different activities outside of the classroom to boost your confidence and help you develop your skills and personal qualities.

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(*Destination data for Hartlepool Sixth Form students aged 16-18, academic year 2017/18).

Why choose Hartlepool Sixth Form?

We are the College of the Year.

(*Top college nationally for BTECs, Pearson 2019)

100% pass rate in 20 A-Level subjects including Computer Science, Economics, History and Maths. 

*Summer 2019

99.1% overall A-Level pass rate

*Summer 2019

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