BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing is a two year course that is equivalent in size to 3 A Levels. This computing course requires students to learn problem solving skills and to practice coding to solve ICT related problems that people as well as organisations face in today’s environment.
- Minimum of five GCSE grades 9-4 (or A*-C) including either English or Maths
- Level 2 Vocational Programme at Merit or above (e.g. BTEC/NVQ/OCR National) PLUS three GCSEs 9-4 (or A*-C) including either English or Maths.
Please Note: You do not need to have studied ICT or Computing at High School
- There are a total of 13 units to be studied, of which 7 are mandatory (67%) and 4 are externally assessed (42%).
- Units 1 and 2 are examined and Units 3 and 4 are assessed using a controlled test that is set and marked by the exam board.
- 9 units are optional and internally assessed via course work and practical tasks.
- Students are expected to be organised as this course includes external examinations, so it will be demanding.
- The course carries UCAS points like any A Level course and recognised by UK universities as meeting admission requirements for many degrees and foundation degree programmes, which can be ICT related or not.
- Students will keep a portfolio of assignments for all internal units and these will be monitored and checked by the awarding body at least twice during the 2 years.
Overview of the Units
– Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science
– Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems
– Unit 3: Planning and Management of Computing Projects
– Unit 4: Software Design and Development Projects
– Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption
– Unit 8: Business Applications of Social Media
– Unit 9: The Impact of Computing
– Unit 10: Human – Computer Interaction
– Unit 11: Digital Graphics and Animation
– Unit 15: Website Development
– Unit 18: Relational Database Development
– Unit 22: Systems Analysis and Design
– Unit 23: Systems Methodology
You will develop advanced skills Information Systems, Graphic Design, Project Management skills, to mention but a few ICT topics. You will also learn fundamentals of computer science and develop programming skills using VB.Net, Python, HTML and PHP languages.
What can I study in Computing and IT?
- BTEC Extended National Diploma in Computing (Level 3) – the
same as three A Levels
- BTEC Extended Certificate in IT (Level 3) – the same as one A
Level, you get to choose two other A Levels/BTECs alongside
- BTEC First Diploma in ICT (Level 2) – this is the same as four
GCSEs. This is a one-year course
Are BTECs the same as A Levels?
Yes, level 3 BTECs are equivalent to A Levels. They are marked Pass,
Merit and Distinction. They offer the same number of UCAS points
as an A level when applying to university.
Do universities accept the qualification?
Yes, almost all universities accept level 3 BTECs. However, entry
requirements vary considerably across institutions. Students should
always check with their chosen university to confirm their individual
entry requirements for their chosen undergraduate courses.
What can I go on to do with this qualification?
The majority of our students go on to do university degrees in the
areas of IT, Computing and Business. We have had students go on
to do things such as Cyber Security, Software Engineering,
Computer Science, Business, Games Design and HR.
Students studying the Extended Certificate often take the subject to
compliment business, media or accounting courses and go on to
study related degrees.
Do BTECs have exams?
Yes. The Extended Diploma in Computing has four exams, two in
the lower sixth and two in the upper sixth. Two of these are question based exams on Computer Science and one on Computer
Systems. Two of these are timed practical sessions on planning
computer projects and on software design and development.
The Extended Certificate in IT has two exams, one is a paper
questions exam on IT Systems and one of these is a practical timed
session creating a database.
The Level 2 First Diploma in ICT has two exams, one on the Online
World and one on Computer Systems.
Will I have a lot of coursework?
Yes. The advantage of coursework is less pressure on the exams
and your final mark will be decided by the work you do across the
two years. All assignments count towards your final grade.
What coursework topics will I do?
Extended Diploma in Computing – in the first year we are currently
teaching Web Development, Business Applications of Social Media,
the Impact of Computing upon Business, IT Security, and Systems
Analysis and Design. The second-year topics are to be confirmed. In
the past we have taught units on programming, databases,
graphics and human computer interaction.
Extended Certificate in IT– Spreadsheets and Business applications
of Social Media.
Will I have to do coding?
Yes – if you do the Extended Diploma in Computing (3 A Level
No – if you do the Extended Certificate in ICT (1 A Level equivalent)
Can I do IT and Computer Science together as options?
We do not recommend students picking both A Level Computer
Science and the BTEC Extended Certificate in IT. This is because
there is an overlap in content and because this narrows down your
future choices compared to doing three distinct subjects.
How big are the class sizes?
The approximate class size is around 20.
How big is the department? How many lessons will I have?
If you choose the Extended Diploma in Computing you will have 4-5
different teachers, each teaching you a different unit and you will
have 12-14 lessons a week. On the Extended Certificate in IT you
will have usually one teacher, or maybe two teachers teaching your
course over the four lessons per week.
Do I need to have done ICT or Computer Science at GCSE?
No. The entry requirements for the courses are the standard college
Extended Diploma in Computing – Five GCSEs at grade 4 or above
Extended Certificate in IT – two GCSE’s at grade six and four GCSE’s
at grade 4 or above.
OCR and BTEC level 2 qualifications at Merit or above will also be