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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

This qualification is aimed at 16 to 18-year-old students who are in a full-time Level 3 education programme and who wish to pursue a career in the video games industry by studying the core principles of video game art and video game mechanics.

While centred on video games, the content of this course means it is suitable for other creative media roles in which gaming techniques are applied more generally, including e-learning, visualisation and product design, visual effects and web design.

This qualification will provide you with a solid foundation in understanding how the games industry works. It covers the essential skills required by any games artist plus a working understanding of how games are designed and how a games engine functions. It also includes an introduction to visual scripting.

You will study the course as part of a learning programme that could also include other subjects, but which will help you to develop the skills and knowledge that are needed in the fast-moving video games industry.

This qualification could also be taken alongside a Level 3 Maths qualification or compatible IT qualification, including the Advanced AQA Tech-level IT: Scripting and App Programming.

Entry requirements

Typically, you will have at least five GCSEs graded A*- C, including English Language and Maths. Alternatively you may have equivalent intermediate qualifications at Merit grade or above, along with GCSE grade 4/C in English Language and Maths.

Importantly, a university application will probably require five GCSEs graded C (4) or above, including both English Language and Maths GCSE at grade 4/C or above.

Course Content

The units in this qualification will provide the core technical knowledge and skills required for progression towards working as a games programmer, technical artist or designer in the video games sector.

You will cover topics such as:

  • Digital Games Production
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Modelling
  • 3D Animation
  • Games Engine Scripting
  • 3D Environments
  • Games Testing
  • Fundamental Principles of Computing
  • Website Technologies
  • Computer Programming
  • Mobile Applications Programming

How will I be assessed?

You must pass all units and all transferable skill requirements to achieve the qualification.

Performance in all units is graded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. These unit grades are then converted into points and added together to determine the overall grade for the qualification.

Assessment entails both:

  • Internal assessment: work is assessed by tutors against grading criteria provided within each unit
  • External assessment: units are assessed by the examining board using a marks-based scheme

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to provide a memory stick and a set of mini-headphones for your studies.

What can I do after this course?

Students who achieve this qualification will have a range of options - as studying this course does not restrict future progression into one particular role.

Examples of potential career progression opportunities are games programmer, technical artist, games designer and games artist.

This qualification could also form part of a basis for application to a higher education course (degree, foundation degree or HNC/HND) in a video games related discipline.



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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Former BTEC student Helen leads Derby innovation showcase

A company director who studied BTEC multimedia at Derby College is spearheading a key event showcasing ideas and innovation in the city. Helen Clark, 32, attended the former Wilmorton site on a two year course when she was just 16. She is now a director with city-based Clark CX, a website conversion rate optimisation consultancy, which was founded by her husband Pete. Helen said Derby College gave her a crucial insight into the workplace and the course was broad-based enough to allow her to choose in which direction she wanted to take her career. After college she took a graphic design degree in Norwich, which led to design roles in Bath, Mansfield and then Derby. Pete separately attended Derby College on an art foundation course, and Helen joined his business two years ago. They are now putting together TEDxDerby 2016 at QUAD on May 21. The event is a forum which will showcase creative and innovative ideas from speakers predominantly based in, or connected, to Derby.

Helen said: "The BTEC course was like an introduction to the real world and how people work in the industry. We covered a wide range from illustration to graphic design and video work, which helped me to decide which field I wanted to go into."

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