I'm interested in getting into Games Design, I'm almost 21 and have no real experience asides from growing up with games. I'm not certain what courses I should be looking into, I've found a lot of varied courses but they all seem the same to me. A friend of mine keeps telling me to study a programming course and then get a certificate or something similar in Design so my major focus would be programming but I'm not interested in making a career in programming. I know I'll have to study and work with programming which is fine I don't want to focus on it though.
What I'm asking is for any links or reference material on good games design courses, personal experience or anything from people that're already in the industry, I'm having a hard time finding anyone in Games Design, I only know programmers.
Thanks for your time,