Full Time

Subject Area

Art, Design, Crafts and Photography







Course Level


Home / Course / NextGen Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills (19+)

Who is this course for?

This industry focused, specialised course is perfect for anyone with a strong desire to work in Games, Animation or VFX. If you are looking for the opportunity for a new career, or to change your future, the Next Gen Level 3 Diploma has been designed by industry specialists including Sony, Ubisoft and Pinewood studios and ensures learners are industry ready with the right skills and knowledge for the workplace. It equips students with a foundation in art, design, maths and computing skills, which are highly desirable to industry.  Sunderland College are one of only 4 colleges approved to deliver the NextGen Skills academy qualification in the UK.

What do you need to apply for the course?

You’ll need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language and Mathematics. You’ll also need strong IT skills, self-motivation and a passion for Computer Games, Animation and VFX.

What are the key things you'll learn?

As well as the delivery of relevant and up to date course content, written by industry to replicate today’s real-world work environment, you will have unprecedented access to industry mentors and industry-designed live briefs; set and assessed by a group of leading companies from the sectors being studied.

Learners will build portfolios relevant to industry needs and as preparation for either working in these sectors or as a progression to higher education or higher apprenticeships.

How you will learn

Replicating the studio work environment and project based learning working on industry based briefs. Learners work as teams on project briefs and game jams designed to develop team working, communication and critical thinking skills. Maths and coding are taught, not as stand alone subjects, but in the context of the art, design and the creation of Games, Animation and VFX. This is vocational education supported by industry and delivered by elite colleges, selected by an industry panel with an excellent track record of academic achievement and working collaboratively in partnership with industry.

Where could this course take you?

This is a course with multiple destinations for students, but at its heart it is defined by the skills that the creative industries of Games, Animation and VFX need for future innovation and growth. It’s much more than just a qualification – it’s the start of a career journey.

Successful completion of the NextGen skills academy qualification, along with an appropriate grade and portfolio, will provide access to a wide range of specialist University courses and Higher Apprenticeships.

You can find out more at

What costs will you incur?

You will need to provide a memory stick and sketchbooks. The course will also include optional visits to EGX (The NEC, Birmingham), Animex (Teesside University), Warner Bros Studio Tour (Leavesden) and Disneyland Paris.

If you are aged between 19 and 23 years old (on the first day of your course) and do not already have a full Level 3 of higher qualification, you will not have to pay course fees. This may be different for learners studying on a course in the workplace.


If you are aged 19 or over, on the first day of your course, studying at Level 3 or above, you are able to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the costs of your course, similar to arrangements for higher education students.