The Northwest is home to a growing digital arts industry and key production studios for animation, games production and cinema visual effects, which means big employers are always looking for fresh talent!

Based in our digital arts department, you will explore everything from character design, concept art and animation to digital painting and 3D modelling, enabling you to develop a diverse skill set to launch a successful career in the industry.

Course tutors

The course is led by Robert Hinde, a digital arts and games educator, with over 11 years of experience in teaching and curriculum development. Working within the digital arts department at St.Helens, Robert has acted to establish and develop digital art, game art and animation courses at levels 2 & 3, teaching essential traditional and emerging techniques for concept art and digital asset creation. After training as an Image Retoucher and working for a number of commercial studio's across Merseyside, Robert retrained in 2D and 3D applications including Maya, various digital painting packages and After Effects, specialising in pre-visualisation and concept art.

Graham Williams is a course tutor with subject specialist knowledge in 2D graphics, motion graphics and animation, illustration and multimedia arts. He has over a decade of teaching experience across both further and higher education in St Helens College and University Centre St Helens.

About the Course

The Games, Animation and VFX sectors are academically stretching but vocationally focused. The NextGen / AIM Qualifications Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills teaches the fundamental up-to-date skills and knowledge identified by employers as necessary to succeed in these industries.

Industry engagement is the foundation of the NextGen course, it is written and overseen by world leading Games, Animation and VFX studios. The curriculum has been created and is updated by these employers to meet their current and future industry skills needs. Students learn directly from industry through inspiring masterclasses with professionals, industry set tasks and work experience, special events, and through real industry feedback on their project work.

NextGen students have access to a comprehensive library of online masterclasses, as well as using, learning, and mastering industry standard software. The course prepares learners with the knowledge, technical, and soft skills needed to excel in the next stage of their career path and is the tried and tested route of getting into the creative skills pipeline.

Progression routes

Knowing they have the sought-after skills and knowledge these dynamic industries demand, graduating students of the NextGen AIM Extended Diploma go on to Higher Education, Industry Apprenticeships, or Employment.

Course duration

2 years - Full Time