games, vr and vfx. 

Study at Bristol's leading enterprise hub

Engine Shed White.png

Level 3 Extended Diploma / Two years

This Level 3 Extended Diploma is centred around delivering real-life projects, in real working environments and often for commercial clients. On this course you’ll develop your skills across a number of disciplines including 3D modelling, rigging, texturing & animation, 2D animation, motion graphics & compositing, 2D illustration and image manipulation, games engines programming for VR and interactive media and film and visual effects. 

The course is built around projects which are designed to reflect working in the professional work place. Often you’ll be working with real clients on real commercial projects. You’ll be immersed in a creative professional environment, working in the heart of Bristol’s creative high-tech digital hub at Engine Shed with exceptional facilities and networks that can give you the competitive edge in the future.


engine shed

boomsatsuma bring a huge amount of young creativity and energy into Engine Shed. We have worked with their students on a number of projects such as 'Engine Shed on Tour' where their video production skills have created impactful results. Our building also provides a shop window into the world of enterprise and work which we hope is inspiring to the students.

marty reid

Head of Engine Shed


Engine Shed is Bristol’s leading enterprise hub and is a partnership between the University of Bristol, Bristol City Council and the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership. Its mission is to stimulate sustainable economic growth by supporting young people, startups and businesses in the West of England region.

Housed in Brunel’s original station at the heart of the Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone, Engine Shed is home to a number of tenants including boomsatsuma and tech incubator, SETsquared Bristol. It also provides coworking and private offices and meeting and event spaces for entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, students, the city and the council to work together and innovate.

Engine Shed

Station Approach

Temple Meads



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course structure.



Photoshop / Illustrator / Premiere Pro / After Effects / Unity / Unreal / Maya / zBrush / Substance Painter


iMacs / Xeon PCs 64Gb Ram 1080 TDI / Lenevo PC workstations / Oculus VR / DSLR and production video cameras / Greenscreen / Wacom drawing tablets / PS4 and Xbox One

games and vr.

Engine population and operation / C# script and code / 2D and 3D game production / troubleshooting and diagnostics / 3D character and environment creation / 3D animation / professional interactive workflows and pipelines / platform export and optimisation / simulation and immersion techniques for VR and AR / illustration and digital painting


Pre-production / filming and editing / rotoscoping / compositing / keying and greenscreen / camera tracking and match moving / object removal / 3d to 2d integration techniques / parallax and forced perspective / particles and fluid dynamics


Communication and networking / teamwork and group management / critical thinking and problem solving / pitching ideas and presentation skills / evaluation and extrapolating data / workflows and professional pipelines / remote collaboration / business and marketing strategies



We’ve highlighted some of the jobs you could go on to do with a career in Games, VR and VFX.

art and design.

3D Modelling artist / lighting artist / character rigger / 3d character artist / concept artist / technical artist / graphics programmer / animator / gameplay designer / level designer / ux/ui designer / roto artist / match mover / compositing artist / texturing artist / environment artist

programming and technical.

Generalist programmer / engine programmer / qa tester / gameplay programmer / tools engineer / physics programmer / network programmer / build engineer / artificial intelligence programmer / creature td / pipeline td / effects td / shader development td / r & d programmer

editorial and production.

Production coordinator / production manager / community manager / assistant producer / marketing executive / esports producer / producer / publisher


Audio programmer / music composer / sound designer / vo designer / audio implementer / audio lead / audio director


what's next?

On completion of this course, you will have the strong practical skills and knowledge of the working industry needed to progress to university, higher education courses, high level apprenticeships or even entry in the work place.

Students progressing to university from this course are often better equipped than students that have studied A Levels because of the time management skills that are needed to complete a diploma and portfolio based assessments.

By the time you leave us, you will have skills in collaboration, communication, creativity and problem solving. This means you are also able to apply for courses outside of Games, VR & VFX, having completed the diploma. If you decide you want to study something different, you will still be able to apply for a range of arts, humanities and social science courses. Past students have gone on to study subjects such as Business, Sociology, Fine Art and Sports Journalism.

Check out the next page for some examples of the kind of careers that exist in the Games, VR & VFX sector or take a look to our alumni pages to see what some of our past students are doing now. You can also continue your studies with boomsatsuma’s degree courses, such as BA (Hons) Game Art, and BA (Hons) Game Audio.


next step.

You can continue your studies with boomsatsuma's new (BA Hons) Degree Courses, such as:

(BA Hons) Game Art

(BA Hons) Game Audio


Level 3 Extended Diploma worth up to up to 168 Points - equivalent to 3 A* A Levels. On successful completion of the course you will be awarded an overall Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.


Two years, 15 hours a week + studio day.


Submit your application here. All candidates are interviewed and selected primarily on their creative ability. Though experience of creative and media subjects are advantageous, we are more interested in energy and commitment, and welcome your application even if you have had little or no experience.

course costs.

The course is funded for students ages 16-18 at the start of their course, however we ask for a £150 Studio Fee to cover enrichment costs. Students will be eligible to apply for a discretionary bursary to cover this and to assist with travel costs. Students will be expected to contribute to the cost of trips.

Interviews for our course start from 1st September 2020.

In the meantime...