Sunderland students among first on high-tech ‘icreative’ course

NextGen managing director Gina Jackson officially opens the NextGen Studio with the Sunderland College lecturing team Keith Lawler, Matty McGrory, Mike Jaques and Ant Cain
NextGen managing director Gina Jackson officially opens the NextGen Studio with the Sunderland College lecturing team Keith Lawler, Matty McGrory, Mike Jaques and Ant Cain
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Wearside students who are the first in the country to study a pioneering ‘icreative’ industry course are celebrating the opening of their new high-tech studio at Sunderland College.

The NextGen studio is based in the college’s specialist Arts Academy at Bede campus and has been purpose-built for the new professional and technical programme in computer games design, animation and visual effects (VFX).

The NextGen studio will provide our students with the tools and experience they need to develop their skills in games design, animation and VFX. Students will be showcasing their talents using the latest equipment and software.

Mike Jacques

Featuring professional workstations with industry standard software, a 12-foot cinema screen, cinema projector, 7.1 surround sound and conference facilities, it has been designed to replicate the real-world working environment of a commercial game and visual effects studio.

Visual arts curriculum leader Mike Jaques said: “The NextGen studio will provide our students with the tools and experience they need to develop their skills in games design, animation and VFX.

“Students will learn in a state-of-the-art setting and will be showcasing their talents using the latest equipment and software.”

Sunderland College is one of four colleges in the UK, and the only one in the region, to teach the newly-created NextGen Level 3 Extended Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX Skills.

From creating visual effects for TV or movies to developing videogames, the course will give students unprecedented access to mentors and industry briefs from across the sector.

It has been designed by high-profile companies including Sony, Microsoft, and Ubisoft Reflections to provide students with the skills and experience they need to launch a career in the industries.