Course Teachers

The course is Led by James Bennett-Hill who is the Curriculum Team Lead for the Games, Animation & VFX Department at the Sheffield College, overseeing Level's 1-5. James has worked in education for over 6 years, with a drive for the effective management and consistent development of this creative curriculum. Over his time in education, James has also focused on building a close relationship with Industry, in order to build as much industry engagement on the courses, and making sure the students are developing the right skills and experience. James has also taken part in various national events, such as guest speaking at the Games Education summit 2019, highlighting the importance of FE's relationship with Industry and employers. He has experience teaching a wide range of digital subjects, specialising in 3D Modelling, Animation, and 3D game engines. Since graduating his Modelling & Animation Degree, he has also been a freelance artist 3D artist as well as providing private tutoring for Games & Animation.

Gavin Saxton Initially worked as a CAD Designer where he gained a wealth of experience working on large scale 3D CAD/Visulisation projects such as London Olympia, Greenwich Millennium Dome and the V&A Museum. He has worked a 3D artist/Animator for the past 12 years, during this time being joint owner of a highly successful local Animation company. He has worked on an array of projects from local short films, idents, product visualisations and QR projects to global TV advertising campaigns for companies such as Fellowes and the Curtain Bar. He has extensive software knowledge of using the Autodesk entertainment suite, Adobe Creative Suite and compositing software including Nuke.

Jonathan Francis has been teaching FE games development for over 7 years. He has a wealth of experience in all facets of game development and delivers on the programming, games engines, art and visual effects units. Jonathan has lots of industry experience and has helped create several games for IOS and Android, Xbox One and Steam. He has done Quality Assurance for companies such as Roll 7. Jonathan Francis studied at Sheffield Hallam in media production and worked doing post-production freelance and running before studying his PGCE to go into teaching. He brings this experience into the classroom to help give students the best practical teaching and learning opportunities.

The Sheffield College also offers a Level 2 Games Development Course for those who might not be ready to start Level 3, this is a great opportunity to start progressing towards the NextGen course.

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