Computing, Level 3

Course start date:
04 Sep 2017
Course end date:
29 Jun 2018

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in Computing is a two-year programme which is equivalent to three A-Levels. It is designed to offer you an in-depth experience of computing topics that will enhance your progression to higher education in computing-related disciplines or employment in this sector.

You will study the new BTEC Computing specification which incorporates the most up-to-date knowledge and skills. Its content follows the current industry practice used in computing and related occupational disciplines.

Over the course of two years, you will have the opportunity to develop knowledge of computer science and computer systems, as well as develop a range of computing skills such as managing networks, designing and developing databases, websites and mobile applications.

This course usually takes place over 3 days per week for two years. The two-year course is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*) or 144 UCAS points (Triple Distinction). UCAS have recently changed the UCAS Tariff from September 2017 so they could include more qualifications. The new Tariff points are lower than the original Tariff points but the value remains the same, as universities will just use lower Tariff numbers in their entry requirements than in previous years.

You will have the opportunity to attend talks and seminars with employers and take part in industry relevant visits and trips organised in the department.

All of our learners will be given support with their English and Maths skills where relevant to their main programme. Those students who have not yet achieved a ‘C’ grade at GCSE in these subjects will continue to work towards these important qualifications at a level suited to them.

This course will be part of a wider study programme, which may also include english & maths, work placement and additional studies.

Next: What will I learn?

What will I learn?

The core units for the BTEC are:

Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science
Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems
Unit 3: Planning and Management of Computer Projects
Unit 4: Software Design and Development Project
Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption
Unit 8: Business Applications of Social Media
Unit 9: The Impact of Computing

The optional units which form the remainder of the qualification will link to various sector areas such as creative media, computer science, networking support systems and business systems.

Next: Assessment

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed with a range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in this sector.

Two of the units, Unit 1 and 2 are assessed by an external examination during the first year. Unit 3 and 4 are assessed through a task set and marked by Pearson.

The reminder of the units will be assessed internally and subject to external standards verification. Most appropriate assessment styles will be chosen according to the learning set out in the unit and may include:

- writing up the findings of your own research

- use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations

- carrying out projects for which you have a choice over the direction and outcomes

- demonstrating practical and technical skills using appropriate tools/processes

Next: Career Opportunities?

Career Opportunities

This qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements of many relevant courses. The combination of the mandatory content and the optional units enables you to explore a range of areas for further study, for example:

- MSci or BSc (Hons) in Computer Science

- BSc (Hons) in Information Technology Practitioner

- BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems

- BSc (Hons) Computer Systems and Networks

The qualification is supported by BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT and is recognised as being fit for purpose with regard to progression towards a professional career in roles such as a software engineer, business analyst, systems analyst, network engineer, technical consultant, web developer and software tester.

Next: Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You will need a Level 2 Diploma in ICT (at Merit or Distinction grade) or five GCSEs at grades A*-C (Level 4 or above) including Maths and English. You also need a Level 5 either in GCSE Maths. You should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in IT/Computing at your interview.

Next: Fees

Adult fees


Please note: If you are an adult student you may be entitled to financial support to cover the cost of your course, dependent on your circumstances. Please contact Student Services on for details. More about Student Finance.

Next: Apply

Apply for Computing, Level 3

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