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Video Games Art and Animation: Creative - Level 3Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Advanced Video Games Art and Animation: Creative Pathway has been specifically designed for students wishing to study a single creative subject plus work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

This qualification is designed for students aged 16 years or over who wish to pursue a career in the video games industry by studying the core principles of video game art, video game mechanics, animation and design.

While centred on video games, the content 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 give you a solid foundation in understanding how the games industry works, provide you with the essential drawing skills required by any games artist, and equip you with 3D art skills and a working understanding of what a games engine is and how it functions.

You will understand and be able to apply the animation and VFX techniques used in industry, and enhance your creative thinking when developing your own concept art and levels within your own game.

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

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.

In addition to these entry requirements, you may be asked to attend a taster activity where your practical skills and potential will be assessed.

Course Content

All of the units in this qualification are mandatory and will provide the core video game arts, mechanics and animation technical knowledge and skills required for progression towards working as a games artist, games designer or a games animator in the video games sector.

You will cover topics such as Business for Video Games, including the essential elements involved in setting up or working within a business in the video games industry.

In 2D Games Art you will develop the essential drawing skills required by a games artist, covering the use of mixed media and the various visual styles achievable through the language of drawing.

Concept Art provides the essential digital drawing skills required by a games concept artist.

3D Environment Art will explore key construction methods for environment art, focusing on modelling and texturing pipelines required for the creation of a city building.

Games Animation and VFX explores key principles of animation, focusing on the development of character and environment animations for games, together with an introduction to visual effects for games engines including particle systems and dynamics.

Games Mechanics explores the fundamental ideas behind games design, why we play games and how games are designed.

How will I be assessed?

This qualification contains one externally examined, one externally assessed and four internally assessed units. Internally assessed units are externally quality assured by the Awarding Body.

  • Business for Video Games: external examination
  • 2D Games Art: internally centre assessed
  • Concept Art: internally centre assessed
  • 3D Environment Art: externally set and marked assignment
  • Games Animation and VFX: internally centre assessed
  • Games Mechanics: internally centre 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.

Internally assessed work is assessed by tutors against grading criteria provided within each unit. Externally assessed units are assessed by the Awarding Body 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?

Further Study

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


Examples of potential career progression opportunities are 2D games artist, concept artist, graphic designer, level designer, technical artist, games designer, games animator, and environment artist.

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This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

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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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