MOC = mock, at some point someone important must have gotten it wrong and we have an emperors new clothes situation where no one wants to say it to him/her.
Hmmm their college doesn’t do games design but a nearby rival does eh, I’m sure they were completely impartial there.
To be honest I’d sit down and have a good think about what I want to do within games design. If I can learn those skills well in a general course then I’d go for it, its just safer in a job security sense.
I want be a games designer, that is I want to (at the height of my career) be coming up with the concepts for games and designing (broadly) every aspect of it, before handing those areas over to specialists (lead programmers, lead artists, lead sound techs, level designers, marketing and EVERYTHING else that benefits from specialised knowledge) while I make sure the overall project stays true to its design. I don’t believe that can be done without knowing a little about every area at the least. Thats why I went for a games course. If I wanted to be a dedicated programmer I would have done computer science/applications to a degree level. Sound I would have trained as a sound engineer, art maybe NCAD or Dun Laoghaire.
I also have to put thought to how I’ll get to that position in my career. Very few companies will let you walk in as a graduate designer to an important position like the one I described. I will likely work in level design, quality assurance, concept development or a junior administrative position for years before I get my break.
What I’m trying to say is:
What do you want and how will you go about it?