Games, Animation and VFX Skills

Full name of specification

Aim Awards- Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills (NextGen Skills Academy)

Why study this course?

You will gain insight in to a broad range of skills required for the many roles within the $300 Billion games development, animation and VFX industries.

It is predicted that Britain’s entertainment and media sector is still sitting on a meteoric growth trajectory, in spite of Brexit anxieties currently plaguing the rest of the economy. The sector will be worth £76 billion by 2022, growing at a compounded annual rate of 3.2%, or £8 billion, while it will hit a value of £68 billion by the end of this year. This will see the UK hold the position of the second largest such market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), after Germany.

Over the course of the programme it is likely that you will discover a specific pathway that most appeals to you and we offer the opportunity to develop a portfolio that is personal to your own strengths and aspirations. The course will allow you to develop transferable skills that can be utilised in the Digital Sector.

Throughout the year we are supported by local and national industry partners who will help you contextualise your work within the ‘real working world’ and provide you with your initial contact network. Many of our students enjoy placements, or undertaking industry standard tasks e.g. games testing, and all of our students are offered the opportunity to enter the BAFTA Young Game Designer competition; a prestigious award one of our students proudly achieved in 2015, and shortlisted in 2019.

Trips to industry events such as EGX, networking opportunities and showcasing your work to industry professionals will give you, exposure and feedback of the highest level enabling you to develop your passion.

What can you expect from this course?

A three A-level Extended Diploma vocational course that is fast paced, and industry driven course that covers all aspects of the Games, Animation and VFX industry, which when combined with our NEXTGEN status ( will give our learners the industry kite-mark, an industry network, and digital portfolio ready for national/international job applications.

How is it assessed?

The Games, Animation and VFX course is continually assessed throughout the year through internally assessed tasks and/or project for each learning outcome.  To evidence the work produced, learners have several options (video, observations, screen capture, presentations, written, and screenshots). All types of evidence are usable and can be used as both supportive and final evidence, depending on the requirements of the brief.

Each Component and Unit of the course is Internally Verified and then Externally Verified at the end of years 1 and 2. Once marks are achieved and verified at the end of year 1 they cannot be improved in year 2.


Core Principles of Games Design Exam (20%) – Externally Assessed and Verified

Asset Development Portfolio (20%) – Internally Assessed, Internally and Externally Verified.

Written Assignment: Art Theory in Context (10%) – Internally Assed, Internally and Externally Verified.

Case Study Exam (20%) – Externally Assessed and Verified

Research Report (10%) – Internally Assessed, Internally and Externally Verified.

Synoptic Project (20%) – Internally Assessed, Internally and Externally Verified.

What are the entry requirements?

5 GCSEs at Level 5 or above Inc. English and Maths.

It is highly recommended that you also possess:

    • a Creative GCSE or Portfolio e.g. Art, Media
    • a Technical GCSE e.g. Computer Science or Portfolio

What can I do after completing this qualification?

After this course, most students continue to University, apprenticeship numbers are still small for this sector, although they are increasing .

Some students have continued onto Degree Apprenticeships; successfully applied to work for SONY as Games Testers, or setup their own games studio.

What will I study?

Year 1

H/616/9358 Art Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries

F/507/3212 Core Principles of Game Design

D/616/9360 Fundamental Animation Skills for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries

H/616/9361 Fundamental Product Programming Skills

K/616/9362 Maths and Logic Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries

M/616/9363 VFX Fundamentals for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries Y/616/9356 3D Tools: Creative and Technical 3D Modelling


Year 2

T/616/9364 Emerging Technologies/Trends in the Games, Animation and VFX Industries A/616/9365 Images and Sounds for Imagined Worlds

F/616/9366 Production Management for the Games, Animation and VFX Industries D/507/3220 Story/Playboarding Three

R/616/9369 Working in the Games, Animation and VFX Industries

Additional activities within this subject

Masterclasses from Local and National Companies e.g. BlueZoo, FrameStore, Milkytea,

Trips to events such as EGX

Opportunities to meet and talk to ex-students, who are progressing into industry

Opportunities to meet and talk to industry professionals, and ex-industry professionals.

Useful links or Apps

3D Modelling – Autodesk Suite (Educational license Free)  –

2D/3D Game Engine – Unity (Personal License Free) –

2D/3D Games Engine – Unreal

2D Games Engine – Construct  (Proof of Concept only)

Interactive C# tutorials – W3Schools

You may also enjoy studying

You cannot study another course alongside this course, but if this option is not for you, we also offer Art, Lens Base Media, Graphics, Computer Science, Physics, Scripting and Programming.


James Phillips