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Computer Games Development: Design – Level 3

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.

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Course Summary

Subject Area: Games Design and Esports
School Leaver - Vocational/Technical
Location: Joseph Wright Centre
Full Time or Part Time: FT
Level: 3
Number Of Years: 2
Interview Required?: Y
Joseph Wright Centre

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Course Information for Students

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.


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.

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

This course will be delivered on-site.

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.

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.

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.

For more information contact Derby College on 0800 0280289 or

Course Information for Employers

If you are an employer and would like to know more about the apprenticeships and professional training we deliver or how you can get involved in co-creating and co-delivering curriculum, please contact us via email on, call us on 01332 387 421 or visit our employer pages here.

Career Information

This course could lead to one of these careers...

IT Quality and Testing Professionals


IT Quality and Testing Professionals

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DCG Success Stories

Former DCG GAmes Development student Loue Marc sat on a skateboard.

Loue Marc

Rapper Loue Marc found his focus on DCG Games Design course

At Derby College I found I could focus on the side of education I was interested in and the whole experience was great.

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Former Games Development student Jordan Thorpe using a laptop computer.

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Games development is ideal course for creative gamer Jordan

The level 3 course at Derby College was great. The lessons were informative and our lecturers were really good, very supportive.

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Former Games Development student Lauren Taylor using a tablet.

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Artistic talent leads to games art degree course for former DCG student Lauren 

I liked everything about the games development course, especially the games art side.

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Games Design student William Hardy sat using a computer.

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Former DCG games development student has his sights set on Saudi

The lecturers were really nice, the course was just what I was looking for and I learned such lot.

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Course Information Last Updated On: February 28, 2024 1:51 pm