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Games design

Access to Higher Education: Games Design and Development Level 3 Full-time

In Brief

Start Date / Duration

This course starts in September 2024 and runs for one year. Dates and times are to be confirmed but you will study for 12 hours per week.

Entry requirements

  • You will need to be 19 when the course commences in September
  • Entry to the course is by interview. We take a strong interest in previous experience and would love to see or hear recent written work, computer-based or online materials
  • Level 2 English is desirable

You will achieve

Access to Higher Education Diploma Level 3 (Computer Game Design and Development) Awarded by Gateway

Course overview

The Diploma allows you to undertake study related to computer game design and development. You will have the opportunity to develop skills which will enable progression to a range of degree level programmes within the sector. You will explore areas of industry from game engine design and level layout to 3D modelling and animation.

The core progression pathway for this Access to HE course is for games design, development and animation. You will learn to work with Unreal Engine 5, Maya, Blender, and other various industry leading software.

This course is currently subject to approval from the awarding Body and updates being made to the course specification by the awarding and governing body (Gateway/QAA)

Course content

The course is made up of various units that will run independently and combined throughout the year. Pathways have been chosen to best suit a wide range of games design and development areas that each learner will undertake and complete. 

The units include computer games design and game engines as 2 of the core units and 3D modelling and animation as example of some of the other units. These units will support progression onto your desired degree programme, including our progression to a level 4 HNC with Barnsley College University Centre, and incorporate a range of new skills. Learners will have the opportunity to research an aspect of one of these subjects which interests them. 

The units are designed with balance which allow you to keep your options open until you have fully decided on your preferred route at degree level. They have been chosen to support both progression into higher education and to allow you to develop skills relevant to the subject area e.g., Academic Writing Skills and study skills for games design and development. 

All units are currently subject to curriculum changes due to an update of specification being made. 

  • Computer Games Design 
  • Game Engines 
  • 3D Games Models 
  • Games Design Storyboards 
  • Games Project 
  • Graphics and Animation 
  • Introduction to Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality 
  • Practical investigation Project for Gaming (Research based project) 

Core knowledge and understanding is acquired via lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, computer assisted learning, case studies, video, and other multi-media presentations.

You will be taught through lectures, practical sessions, and independent learning. We foster a culture of independent learning and decision making that will develop your problem solving and analytical skills.

You will complete project-based assessments which will combine several units to give you an employment-based assessment. The teaching will reflect the project approach and will include aspects of teamworking.

You may need pen, paper and other stationery. All other equipment will be provided

SciTech Digital Innovation Centre
Falcon Street
S70 2EY

ome examples of pathways relevant to this Access course –  

  • HNC Level 4 Creative Digital Media Production (Barnsley College) 
  • BA (Hons) Animation 
  • Creative Digital Practice (Games Development) FdA 
  • Computer Games Design: Story Development BA (Hons) 
  • Computer Games Enterprise BSc (Hons) 
  • Computer Games Design BSc 
  • Computer Games Design and Development BSc (Hons) 
  • Computer Games Art BA (Hons) 
  • Computer Games Programming BSc 
  • Computer Games Technology BSc (Hons) 
  • BSc (H) Software Engineering 
  • BA (Hons) Digital Content Creation 
  • Animation BA (Hons) 

How much does the course cost?

Course fees: £3384. You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to pay for this course. If you are aged 19-23 and this is your first full level 3 qualification then you may not have to pay for the course.  

Extra information

This course may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan. Contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk. about eligibility and how to apply. You can also visit the Advanced Learner Loan page.



If you’re undertaking an Access to Higher Education (HE) course and then go on to complete an HE qualification, the outstanding balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off, once you have fully completed both courses.

For further information please contact our friendly Information Team on +44 (0)1226 216 123 or email info@barnsley.ac.uk

Barnsley College has a range of sports opportunities for all students to take part in, gain professional training and compete nationally and internationally. We also have a state-of-the-art fitness village, Honeywell Sports Village where students can make use of our fitness suite, spinning studio and classes for competitive rates. You don’t have to be studying sport to get involved in the Sports Academy.

Our Additional Learning Support team can provide you with the support you need. Please contact them on +44 (0)1226 216 769.

Please note we reserve the right to change details without notice. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Access to Higher Education: Games Design and Development Level 3 Full-time

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