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Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Games Development - Year 1

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Course Description

The world of video games is incredibly exciting, with many different job roles and career paths. Here at Hopwood Hall College, we will provide you with a strong visual and creative base or resources.

You will have access to four industry standard PC gaming labs with facilities including; 86 game ready high spec PC’s, 3D printing, green screen, sound recording suite, over 70 Wacom Tablets and VR technology such as the Oculus Touch and HTC Vive. You are well supported with industry software including Adobe Creative Cloud, Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox, Game-Maker, Unity, Unreal Engine and much more.

From the start you will design, develop and make a range games incorporating both 2D and 3D producing all assets from the story and characters to sounds, sprites, animations, 3D models and more.

You will be encouraged to ‘play’, to experiment, understand and question the nature of games, expressing your concepts and ideas through personal project work using industry standard software and hardware all set within the framework of a games design studio. Working on tutor set and live industry briefs, you will learn all the necessary skills needed to inform your future career pathway at university and beyond.

This course is taught at our Rochdale campus, located in Rochdale Town Centre, Greater Manchester.


UAL (University Arts London) Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games Development

Entry Requirements

4 GCSEs grade C/4 or above to include English and Mathematics. BTEC Level 2 qualification, NVQ Level 2 or VRQ Level 2.


The Level 3 course is designed as a two year study programme but there is an option to undertake a year Diploma instead. Please ask for more details at your interview.

Topics on this course include:

  • Games design theory & practise
  • 2D Games engines
  • 3D Games engines
  • 3D modelling and Texturing
  • 3D Lighting and rendering techniques
  • 2D & 3D Animation
  • Concept Art and Digital Painting techniques for characters and environments, 3D and Film
  • Computer game story development
  • Cut scene development, CGI & visual effects
  • Video game sound effects
  • Video game sound track production
  • Portfolio creation and self-promotion

There will also be educational visits to enhance the learning experience including BAFTA Video Game Awards, EGX Rezzed, Leeds Armouries, National Video Game Museum, residential visits and much more.

Work Experience

Work experience is in the format of producing work for a local indie games company, with credits listed on released games. You will also undertake live briefs as well as local and national competitions, such as World Skills and Artstation Challenges.


Upon completion of this course, you can progress onto a Level 4 Higher National Certificate Diploma in Games Art or Visual Effects here at Hopwood Hall College. You can also progress onto a University Course of your choosing, into employment or onto an apprenticeship at Hopwood Hall College.

A wide variety of potential university courses await, such as; Games Art, Games Design & Programming, Visual Effects, Illustration, Sound Design, Graphic Design, Media or other related pathway.

Potential Careers include; Animator, 3D modelling, Level Designer, Games tester, Concept Artist/Digital Artist, Programmer for Computer Games, Illustrator, Sound and Music Creator, Story Writer, Visual Effects artist for the film industry.

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