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, participatory arts and arts practice and performance.
This qualification will provide you with a solid foundation in understanding how the games industry works. It covers the essential drawing 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.
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.
In addition to these entry requirements, you may be asked to attend a taster activity where your practical skills and potential will be assessed.
All of the units in this qualification are mandatory and will provide the core video game arts and mechanics technical knowledge and skills required for progression towards working as a games artist or designer in the video games sector.
You will cover topics such as:
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:
You will need to provide a memory stick and a set of mini-headphones for your studies.
Students who achieve this qualification will have a range of options, as studying this qualification does not restrict future progression into one particular role.
Examples of potential career progression opportunities are 2D games artist, environment artist, graphic designer, technical artist and games designer.
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.
Former Media Studies learner James Radford is revelling in his first job with a creative agency. He has secured a role as a Production Assistant with Derby based Matchstick Design.
His main responsibility is to help ensure smooth work flow in the studio – taking briefs, dealing with suppliers and seeing jobs through to delivery. He’s also preparing images for use in wide ranging projects and assisting with research.
With further experience, he aims to take on a more senior role on the creative side of the business.
It’s my first job and I’m sure my time at Derby College helped me to get it. My studies gave me skills, confidence and knowledge of film, which helped a lot.
I would definitely recommend the Media Studies course to other people interested in a career in the creative industry. It was the right choice for me: the standard of teaching was good and we covered the subjects I’m most interested in.