Course Type / Attendance

Full Time, Skills & Qualifications

Subject Area

Games Design

Start Date

September 2018




16-18 Year Olds, Adult



Course Level


Home / Course / NextGen Computer Games, Animation and VFX National Extended Diploma Level 3

Who is this course for?

The design of the course has been led by award-winning employers including Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Blue Zoo, Centroid, Double Negative, Framestore, MPC and The Imaginarium.

The NextGen Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills ensures young people 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?

This course is suitable for 16-18 and 19+ learners. You’ll need a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C/4 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.

Over two years, students will build specialist 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

You will work across our five specialist NextGen studios, each replicating a commercial studio work environment, with the focus on project based learning. You will complete industry based briefs and contribute towards commercial games on Android, iOS, PC and PlayStation. Over the two years you will work as part of a team on project briefs 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. You will also have access to our VR lab, and will have the opportunity to develop experiences for Oculus Rift, Gear VR, HTC Vive and PlayStation VR. 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 also includes optional visits to EGX (The NEC, Birmingham), Animex (Teesside University), Warner Bros Studio Tour (Leavesden) and Disneyland Paris.


Previous Student Experience

"The course has great staff and amazing industry links, and has given me confidence as well as developing my skills in Unity 3D, Maya, Unreal Engine, VR and After Effects."

Marc Logan – NextGen Level 3 Extended Diploma