Higher Certificate in Game Development (full time)
With the continued growth of the games industry in Ireland, Pulse College now delivers an innovative 2-Year Higher Certificate in Game Development.
If you have a passion for games, creative flair and technical aptitude, Pulse College can equip you with the professional skills required to enter this innovative, rapidly-growing industry.
Taught by practicing industry professionals, Pulse College ensure’s that you receive the very highest levels of training. A key part of the course involves producing a portfolio of work that will help you to get into the exciting and rapidly developing games industry.
Studying at Pulse College will introduce you to valuable professional workflows and teach you everything from the basics of games development through to visualisation, creative thinking, digital modelling and full 3D games programming.
This program is delivered and certified in partnership with DIT.
This course covers a wide range of topics from game production techniques to concept art, character design, 3D animation, game audio and programming, and a key part of the course involves you producing a portfolio of work that will help you to get into the exciting and rapidly developing games industry.
During the course, you will learn about:
- Dynamics of modern 3D games by looking at what goes on ‘under the hood’
- Concept art
- Construction of complex scenes
- Development of 3D game levels
- Production of realistic environments for first, and third, person games
- Camera and lighting techniques, audio design for interactive media, texturing and special effects all play a part in this immersive games development course
Whether you want to be a games designer, storyboard artist, concept artist, 3D modeller or animator, kickstart your games development career with Pulse College.
Detailed Course Content
- Developing and prototyping game concepts for a variety of platforms and player types.
- Analysis and deconstruction of popular games to gain an understanding of the fundamental elements of games.
- User testing and feedback for games.
- Using game scripting to create gameplay scenarios.
- Developing games using C# and the Unity 3D game engine.
- Integrating 2D and 3D art in games.
- Understanding the importance of narrative in games.
- Creating realistic characters and worlds through the use of interactive narrative.
2D Game Art
- Working with preliminary designs and ideas, determining the overall look of the world in which a game takes place using sketches and colour schemes and creating atmosphere.
- How and when to use reference images.
- Creating game assets in 3D Studio Max.
- Texturing and animating 3D models for use in games.
- High polygon 3D workflows for games.
- Assessing game audio requirements.
- Studio and location recording techniques.
- Game audio development workflows.
- Non-linear audio for games.
- Teamwork and management for the games industry.
- Business fundamentals for game companies.
- Regular talks from game industry professionals.
- Creating usable and believable animations for use in game.
- Bringing a game world to life with rich motion and visual effects.
- Bringing life to models with real-world images and textures.
- Learning the basics of UV unwrapping, physically based rendering and material-lighting interaction.
- Optimising UV tiles to minimise in-game resource usage and maximise efficiency.
This course is developed around the IGDA curriculum framework.
Project and practical time is held Monday-Friday and equates to 20 hours per week.
Head of Games & Animation Department
David Williams is currently involved in PhD research in Gaming Methodologies for Technology Enhanced Learning and has an MA Learning and Teaching, a PGDip Learning and Teaching, a BSc(Hons) Computing in Multimedia Systems, a BSc Computing in Multimedia Programming and a Dip IT Network and System Administration. Prior to Pulse College, David worked with project management and interactive education. In the past decade his clients have listed some of the largest corporate network and IT solution providers in the world as well as the world’s largest search engine provider. Over recent years David has worked with multiple startup companies including accounting firms, film production and a variety of retailers, providing consultation, design and development solutions.
Marc Diamond is a Designer with over 18 years experience working on International Games, educational Apps, animated elearning courses and books. (BBC, Playfirst, Nicklodeon, HMH, Folens.). He primarily leads Art teams steering production through from the initial concept stage to final release – Art Directing, writing, Designing UI and animating. Marc heads up the delivery of the 2D Game Art Module at Pulse College, bringing his mentoring skills and broad knowledge of the medium to a fun but professionally focused studio workshop setting.
Basil Lim is the Art Director at BitSmith Games in Dublin, Technical Artist for Janeious Games and holds a Masters in Creative Digital Media. He has worked on multiple titles published on various platforms both digital and physical and has received awards in Visual Design Excellence and Visual Engineering. Basil is responsible for defining and producing the art style of bitSmith Games’ projects where he is currently hard at work on their next title FrankNJohn. Basil teaches Game Design, 3D Game Art and Animation at Pulse College.
With a multimedia design academic training and background, Tiago Roldão is a UX developer working mostly in web applications. After moving to Dublin in 2013 for a Masters in Creative Digital Media, he discovered this city’s game development community. Currently a cofounder of a web service startup.
Eoghan Cowan has been working as a Concept Artist and Illustrator in the games industry for a number of years. He has worked with Clients such as Ubisoft, Square Enix, Fantasy Flight Games and Romero Games. After studying animation where he received full distinctions he went straight into one of the UKs leading AAA video game concept art outsourcing studios, Leading Light Conceptual Design. He has worked in-house in a number of studios and as a Freelance Concept artist with numerous clients around the world.
Joe Roe has been working in games and multimedia for 10+ years and is currently working both as a Senior Unity developer with Janeious Ltd and running his business, “Poke The Bear”. Prior to his current work, he was involved with various startups and spent 3 years working for Folens publishers where he designed and built games, apps and interactive educational content for both web and mobile. He graduated with an MSc in Games Design from Leeds Becket University and specialises in Game Design and Programming in various languages such as C# and C++.
Barry Keating is a screenwriter and game writer with a number of produced credits to his name, including six produced features, video games and comic books. His credits include Mamula, starring Franco Nero (Django Unchained) and Kristina Klebe (Halloween), The Rift, a science fiction horror starring Katarina Cas (Wolf of Wall Street) and Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead). Recently he has just finished writing the script for Steep, an open-world action sports title for Ubisoft due for release in December 2016. Other game credits include Gun Commando for RipStone, Gods of Rome for Gameloft and WipEout 2048 for Sony Computer Entertainment’s Studio Liverpool, as well as a number of other unannounced projects.
Pete McNally has been working in the Irish game and animation industries for over 14 years and is a Senior Technical Artist/Designer with Havok, an Emmy award-winning game technology company used in over 500 AAA video games such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Uncharted, Assassin’s Creed and Halo. He has also worked as a 3D Supervisor at twice Academy Award nominated Brown Bag Films. Pete lectures at Pulse College on our advanced game art classes where he brings cutting edge industry skills and workflows to our game development students.
Eoin is an award winning entrepreneur and graduate of Trinity College Dublin. He is the lecturer for Entrepreneurship for 2nd Year Games Development in Pulse College. Throughout his career Eoin has both partnered and consulted for various companies across a range of services including; corporate banking, hospitality and media & entertainment. Currently Eoin is writing a graphic novel detailing the life and exploits of William Lamport funded by a grant by South Dublin County Council.
Jen Carey is a game maker, filmmaker and writer. She has worked in a variety of games companies including Playfirst and Havok and currently works as an independent game developer. She tends towards analog games, and digital games with a narrative focus. As well as making games, Jen writes and directs short films and is a board member of Imirt: The Irish Game Makers Association where she works to progress and promote games made in Ireland.
Michael Moore is a game designer and course coordinator for Pulse College games faculty, currently lecturing in Game Design, Level Design, Game Psychology and Project Management. Michael is a graduate of the Pulse College Games Development and Project Management course. He has previously worked in the games industry in an independent start-up company and is currently active with solo projects and video game research. Michael also holds a Bachelor of Architecture Degree and has been published and has won awards in this field for his environment designs, both virtual and built.
Chris Colston is a game designer and developer from Falkirk, Scotland. Having spent a number of years working at larger studios across Europe, such as EA, 2K Interactive and Sega. He moved to Galway in 2011 to work as an independent developer on smaller projects and to teach in industry. Heavily involved with the local game development scene Chris is a driving force behind game dev meet-ups within the Galway games community, local game jams and game development education with Pulse College. He is helping to develop the acclaimed Darkside Detective for studio Spooky Doorway and has founded his own studio, Hot Cereal who are currently working on a variety of smaller mobile projects.
Tom Mathews is a games artist and animator that has worked on a number of titles with various games companies throughout Ireland. Since graduating from LSAD with a degree in Visual Communication Tom has been studying and working in the video game industry. Tom’s most recent major release is ‘Onikira’ from BatCat Games where he worked as lead character designer and animator for the majority of its development. Tom is forever striving to create interesting and exciting games with with strong visual styles. Tom teaches 2D art and animation at Pulse.
Mark Aherne is a game developer who specialises in software engineering. His experience includes designing and leading development of the Fantom cloud based digital sticker album platform, whose clients include Topps and Disney, and development of Universe or Nothing, a multiplayer space sim which is due for release in 2017. Mark’s teaching at Pulse College focuses on giving students a solid foundation in programming, with the skills and knowledge required to make great games.
Paddy comes from a background in videogame startups such as Open Emotion Studios, 2Paper Dolls and Time Machine Games. Paddy’s speciality lies in the business side of video game development, Narrative, user research and Entrepreneurship. Paddy is currently working on several films with his new company Celtic Badger Media, but is also working with Kahoot Studios on their game, Milky Way Meow Meow as community manager.
Mikey deals in all things audio related, holding a BA in Music Technology from I.T. Tralee, and an MA in Music Technology from University of Limerick. Although specialising in music, Mikey has gained experience in sound design, foley, audio post production, musical scoring, and how these apply to game audio. Mikey has also studied how gaming technologies can be used in music performance, such as using gestural control, via the Xbox Kinect, to control the features of Abelton Live software.
The skills gained through this course will allow you to move into a variety of careers within the games industries, as well as to progress to further study. At the end of the programme, you will have built up an extensive portfolio demonstrating expert technical, artistic and professional abilities, giving you the cutting edge needed to gain employment in this exciting and varied industry.
Graduates will be eligible for the BSc. Computer Game Development (level 7&8) at DIT
Career paths open to graduated include:
- Game Designer
- Narrative Designer
- Level Designer
- Game Developer/Programmer
- Game Artist
- Graphic Designer
- Creative Director
- PreVis Artist
- Technical Artist
- Lead Artist
- Concept Artist
- Environment Artist
- 3D Modeller
- Quality Assurance Tester
- Sound Designer
Interview Applications Now Open for September 2017!
This course is a direct application course and includes an interview. Applications are currently taken through the Application Form below. Upon receiving your application form our Admissions Team will contact you to schedule your course interview.
Please see specific information on the course requirements below:
5x O6/H7s (O6 = 40 – 55% in a Leaving Certificate Ordinary subject / H7 = 30-40% in a Leaving Certificate Higher Level subject)
To include O6 or higher in Ordinary Leaving Certificate Mathematics and either Irish or English
FETAC Level 5 in Media or similar
2x GCE A-Level, NVQ Level 2 in Media or similar
Mature applicants are advised to apply directly through the college using the ‘Apply now’ button below. Entry onto our Degree Programme is based upon a course interview. Applicants will be asked for a detailed CV. Applications should be made before the 31st August the year of the course.
For applications whose first language is not English you will be asked for an original or certified true copy of one of the following:
- TOEFL Paper based 570 with a TWE (test of written English) score of 4.5.
- Computer based 233 with a score of 4.5 in the essay.
- Internet based 90 with a written score of 21.
- Cambridge Proficiency Grade C.
- Cambridge Advanced Grade A.
- IELTS Academic Version 6.5 with no individual band below 6.
Note: Students who do not satisfy Pulse College’s English language requirements for direct entry will be required to take an English language preparatory course before commencing studies. While the College does not offer an English language preparatory course, you will find this information from the Department of Education and Science’s official listing of recognised language schools.
General Course Requirements
- A proven interest in games and/or animation, and an interest in related creative media arts
- Basic knowledge of computers (either Mac or PC) and game design software will be helpful, but not essential before starting the course
- A willingness to explore new ideas is important alongside a positive attitude towards this creative field of study
Note: Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, relevant work or life experience will also be considered.
This course requires an interview as part of your applications. Please see the FAQ’s below for commonly asked questions regarding the interview process.
Where do the interviews take place?
The interviews are held in:
Dublin – Pulse College, The Market Studios, Halston Street, Corner of Mary’s Lane, Dublin 7
Galway – 1st floor Geata na Cathracha, Fairgreen Road, Galway City.
How long will the interview be?
The interview will be typically 20–30 minutes long.
What should I bring?
Bring a C.V.. It should also include details of any groups / associations you have been a member of. It should also list your hobbies / interests. If you have a portfolio of work, please bring that too. These pieces should demonstrate your abilities as an artist, coder, programmer or designer. Please note this is not a mandatory requirement.
How many people will be interviewing me?
The panel typically comprises 2-3 people.
Apart from the minimum requirements, what do they generally look for in a candidate?
Successful candidates have a strong, proven interest in this area. They are passionate about game design and development and are prepared to work very hard towards their goals.
Total Course Fee Per Year
€6,973 per year (2 years duration)
[3% PFL Charge of €203 included in Total Fee Per Year]
Flexible Payment Option
Deposit: €800 (payable upon acceptance onto the course, following interview)
Enrolment Fee: €3,500 (payable in September)
Installments: 4 payments of €668.25 (Oct – Jan)
3% PFL Charge is included in all of total course fees above. This charge is incurred to finance arrangements required under Part 6 of the Qualifications and Quality Assurance (Education and Training) Act, 2012 to ensure protection of enrolled learners.