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City College student Alex sketching on computer

What’s it like to study Digital Arts, Animation and Games Design at City College Norwich?

13th May 2019

Our Digital Arts, Animation and Games Design courses (available at Level 2 and Level 3) give you the art and design skills, specialist software knowledge and project experience for computer games design, animation and visual effects (VFX) degrees and job opportunities. 

We popped along to the Creative Arts Building to find out what’s involved in this exciting new course, which will soon have an amazing new home in our planned Digi-Tech Factory.   

Why choose Digital Arts, Animation and Games Design?

Computer games design and VFX are among the fastest growing areas within the UK creative industries, which means there are many fantastic career opportunities available.

This is an art and design course, accredited by University of the Arts London, which gives you the technical skills to bring your character creations to life on screen. You need to have studied an art and design subject previously and have a strong interest in applying your creativity in the area of computer games design and film. 

Students choose the course because they want to learn how to transform their ideas into dynamic on-screen characters and worlds. Sixteen-year-old Alex says:  

“I’ve always been into animation, and I was really into games design, even though I knew nothing about how to make a game.  I was really obsessed with making projects and creating worlds.  That’s what really interested me about this course – making a game world and making a film world through animation.”  

Combining traditional art and digital skills

The course helps you to build your technical skills for a wide range of different areas within games design/VFX, whilst at the same time helping you to develop more traditional drawing and modelling skills.  You develop your understanding of the principles of digital art and animation and learn to use industry-standard software.

Students are in college for two and a half days each week, which roughly breaks down as: one day working on traditional art and design skills; one day learning about a wide range of digital skills; and half a day applying those skills through group and individual projects.

Alex continues:

“I thought that we’d be doing digital art the whole time, but it it’s not – we’ve been doing a lot of sketch work as well as learning the more technical side of animation. I remember going through two sketch books creating different designs for the same character, and then eventually we made it digitally. It is a lot of work, but that work is extremely fun.”

“You really get to learn everything”

First year (Level 3) student Megan, 16, says:

“On this course you really get to learn everything. There’s so many different career paths, there’s so much to pick from.”

Fellow first year student Josh, 17, adds:

“So far we’ve done animation, character design, environments and structures, 3D modelling, comic books, we’ve done such a wide variety of things, and you can see yourself doing all of it in the future. It’s just about seeing what you like the most.  There’s definitely a wide variety.”

By the end of the course students have built up the skills to design their own game and be able to make something move as a 3D model on screen.

Finding inspiration and direction

Guest speakers from the industry help students understand the variety of different avenues they can pursue after college in the fast-growing areas of computer games design, animation and VFX.

Opportunities to meet and learn from employers and industry specialists is complemented by trips, which can be inspirational as well as educational.  Recounting a trip to a computer game design exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, Josh says:

“It was really brilliant because these are some of the games I love. So you go there and you see this art that you’ve never seen before, because obviously you only see the finished thing in the game, and you’re like wow that’s how they got there. And it’s like – well I can do that.” 

Find out more and apply

To find out more about Digital Arts, Animation and Games Design at City College Norwich, come along to one of our Open Events or Information Evenings, where you will be able to talk to staff from the area. You can also speak to a course advisor from our Advice Shop at any time – we are open Monday to Friday during both term time and the school holidays. 


Apply online >