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Computer Games Development: Design - Level 3Apply Now »

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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

As a full-time Level 3 programme, this qualification is aimed at 16 to 18-year-olds who are looking to pursue a career in the video games industry. On this course you will study a range of disciplines related to the creation and analysis of video games, including 3D art skills, 2D art skills, and the core values of game design.

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, equip you with 3D art skills, and develop your working understanding of what game engines are and how they function.

Entry requirements

All applicants should have at least five GCSEs graded A*-C or 9-4, including English Language and Maths. Alternatively, you may have an equivalent full-time Level 2 vocational qualification at Merit grade or above, along with GCSE grade 4/C in both English Language and Maths.

Importantly, a university application will require five GCSEs graded C (4) or above, including both English Language and Maths GCSE at grade 4/C or above. This is a crucial step for anyone wishing to progress to the games industry.

Course Content

The content in this programme will provide you the opportunity to explore a range of different roles within games development. The course is designed so that you can make a well-informed decision as to what area of games development you wish to progress into.

The topics covered encompass core roles in the sector, including animators, level designers, environment artists, prop artists, and game programmers.

You will cover topics such as:

  • 2D Game Scripting
  • 3D Game Scripting
  • Concept Art
  • 2D Animation
  • 3D Animation
  • 3D Modelling
  • 3D Environments

How will I be assessed?

There are no external assessments on this programme: it is 100% coursework based. Your coursework will be assessed by tutors against five key focus areas:

  • Your critical analysis and investigation skills
  • Your ability to refine and generate ideas to a given brief
  • Your technical expertise when using industry-standard software
  • Your ability to work to a professional standard both independently and as a team
  • Your understanding of how your outcome communicates with your target audience

You must pass all units and all 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.

Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to provide a good-quality USB 3.0 memory stick and a set of mini-headphones for your studies.

Whilst not compulsory, it would be beneficial to have a computer at home capable of running industry-standard software to enable you to complete coursework outside of the classroom.

Our recommended specifications are as follows:

  • Entry Level: Quad Core CPU (i3/Ryzen 3), 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB
  • Mid Level: Quad Core CPU (i5/Ryzen 5), 16GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB or NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 12GB
  • High Level: Six Core CPU (i5/i7/Ryzen 5 or Ryzen 7), 16/32GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 TI 8GB

Any other specifications are user specific, such as size of the storage disk. However, a good quality solid state drive (SSD) is recommended. The computer should also be running Windows 10.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

This qualification will form part of your basis for application to a higher education course (degree, foundation degree, HNC/HND) in a game development related discipline. This could include, but is not limited to, Game Design, Game Art, Animation for Games, or Game Programming.


Examples of potential career progression opportunities after completion of a higher education course are junior environment artist, junior gameplay programmer, junior game animator, or junior game tester.

Straight from College you will not have the experience required to go directly into employment in the games industry. However, previous students have sought and gained employment and apprenticeships in other media fields after completion of this programme.

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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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