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Typically for the MSc\PGDIP courses in Scotland and MSc Hull their entry requirements are a 2.1 or 1.1 degree with a signifciant element of computing to it. It is true that some of the guys from these course have found places in the industry (mostly as programmers as thats what these courses focus on, programming). Note also places are limited to a few each year (as a side note congrats to gizmo here, he recently got into Abertays one ;)).
As for the HND in Ballyfermot I’m not sure it prepares you enough for this sort of role, typically I think these guys specialise more in game design and art areas (AFAIK perhaps im wrong, either way theres a few of those guys on here who can expand more, probably even a lecturer or two).
As for your background Kennyd6 it seems you went down the programming route so far(4 years of it.lol), so its logical you can become a game programmer (if you chose that, if not you’ll probably have to get other qualifications etc as i cant see a company taking you into design without a portfolio or experience or a qualification in this particular area).
If you do decide its programming you want, then you’ll have to forget java unfortunately (unless its mobile games your into) and focus entirely on your C++ and get a kick ass demo together to get noticed by a company.
Another option is to go do a masters degree by research specialising in graphics, networking, ai etc. Use this research time to tone your programming skills and become really good at one area of games programming. This I think will help you get noticed easier (theres alot of ppl with degrees within the industry, few with msc and even fewer with phd’s, although that is changing every day). IMHO companies are alot more likely to consider you if you have further qualifications to post-grad level. Why have a grad with a bsc when you can have a grad with a phd! lol
Trinity and Blanchardstown college’s have research groups in graphics, both with some impressive work being produced. Some of those guys went on to work at game studios in rendering roles and\or returned from industry to research and teach to the new breed of grad. Personally, this is the route I chose (specialising in AI applied to real-time games at 4C research group in U.C.C.) and it got me in the door. But everyone is different.