Vocational qualifications are either work-related qualifications designed to enable students to gain the skills required to perform a particular job , or qualifications that may be taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
Schools and colleges may offer qualifications that are not included in the DfE performance tables, if approved for teaching to 16-19 year olds by the Secretary of State for Education in England under Section 96, where this is in the best interests of individual students.
This employer-led qualification has been designed to provide students with the broad range of skills to enable them to progress to degree level study in the three occupational areas; games, animation and VFX.
The qualification structure enables learning to encompass the development of STEAM skills; sophisticated technical skills in animation, visual effects, games design, principles of 3D design, art, maths and product programming, as well as industry working practice, project and production management and a knowledge of the ecosystem of the industries.
The content of the qualification has been supported by a number of universities and colleges as supporting entrance to appropriate degree courses. It is currently being delivered by FE Colleges across England.
Pass, Merit, Distinction
Students are assessed via:
- Maths examination
- Programming examination
- Reflective blog
- Written assignment
- Asset development portfolio
- Externally set synoptic project, showcase portfolio
- Research report
There are a number of key considerations for HEPs when reviewing vocational qualifications that are not listed on the DfE 16-19 performance tables for England:
- Some of these qualifications are occupational, and may not be designed specifically for progression to HE.
- Applicants holding these qualifications may be school or college leavers, however, some may be more mature students who are likely to have other relevant experience alongside these qualifications.
- These qualifications may have been taken as part of a wider study programme or an apprenticeship.
- If they are presented for admission to HE it is likely to be in conjunction with other qualifications.
The first cohort of students with AIM Awards Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills completed their qualifications in June /July 2017 and applied to higher education for September 2017 entry.