Why choose IT Level 3?

Does your interest in technology extend beyond just using your smartphone to text or shop online? Are you curious about how digital information is spread? Do you want to know more about computers and how, when and why people use them? If so, this course may be for you. This vocational course is for students who prefer to study IT in a context that allows them to learn and be assessed in ways that are practical and relevant to the IT sector. You will develop your knowledge and understanding of the principles of IT and global information systems and learn to use IT to communicate effectively. You will also make yourself attractive to employers looking for people who are able to help them develop their systems or the systems for their customers and to use IT as a tool to analyse data and develop applications.

Resources and Facilities

  • Enthusiastic and highly experienced teachers
  • Industry standard software
  • Well-equipped teaching rooms suitable for both teaching and individual research
  • Visits to relevant local organisations e.g. Resource Group

Teaching and Learning Styles

Learning activities will reflect the structure of the units and allow you to
gain a real feel of what it is like to work as an IT professional. They will

  • Discussion
  • Presentation
  • Practical work
  • Individual research group projects

Extra-Curricular Activities

Students are invited to attend a visit at Bletchley Park, once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers where Alan Turing created the first computer. In addition students are encouraged to attend the Cyber Club an enrichment activity that teaches students Cyber Security following GCHQ's Cyber Discovery Program. Following the program students have the potential to access Bursaries for university and Higher Apprenticeships.

Progression Opportunities

Many of the students who study with us progress to a career in business or the IT industry or enter work-based training such as Higher Level Apprenticeships. A large number also opt to go on to study for a degree or HND in ICT, Computer Science, Information Systems or other related subjects.

The course teaches students all the required skills to set up as independent freelancers. By the end of year 1 they will be able to create a social media marketing plan, websites, databases and low complexity programs to industry standard.

Assessment & Course Content

The Certificate in IT (equivalent of 0.5 A Level) is assessed by 2 mandatory units. Unit 2: Creating Systems to manage Information teaches students to create databases using Microsoft Access. This unit is externally assessed, in January a 10 hour practical assessment takes place where students work in exam conditions over a week.

From January until the end of the year Students complete Unit 3: Use of Social Media in Business. This unit is coursework, students will be asked to create a fictitious business and create a marketing plan to promote products or services.

The Certificate in IT can be followed in the second year by the Extended Certificate which gives you the equivalent of one A Level. In January students sit an external exam, it is 2 hours in length and covers Unit 1: Information Systems. This unit covers the use and implementation of IT systems in business. In the second part of the year students either take Web Design or Data Modelling which is a coursework unit.

The Foundation Diploma in IT (equivalent of 1.5 A Levels) is assessed by six units of which four are mandatory and two of those are externally assessed. In year 1 the Foundation Diploma Students do Unit 1: Information Systems, Unit 2: Databases, Unit 3: Social Media, Unit 4: Programming and either Unit 5 Data Modelling or Unit 6 Web Development.

In year 2 Extended Diploma (3 A-level equivalent) students will perform a practical assessment for Unit 11: Cyber Security and Incident Management and Unit 14: IT Service Delivery. In the second part of the year students complete 7 additional coursework based units.

Entry Requirements

Essential QualificationsOther Desirable Qualifications / CombinationsSkills & Attributes Required for SuccessGuidance on Costs or Commitments
Please see ‘General Course Entry Requirements’GCSE Maths and English at grade 4 or above, otherwise will be added to your programme of studyGood awareness of IT applications. A desire to gain an insight into the fast moving IT industry, encompassing data use, programing, business, web and security issues.Students will be required to back-up their work. All students will be required to back-up their work. A MicroSoft Account will be required for this course.

Qualification Levels & Enrollment Options

Qualification NameA Level EquivalenceDurationAwarding Body
Certificate½ A Level (1 Block)1 yearPearson BTEC Nationals
Extended Certificate1 A Level (1 Block)1 year (studied after successful completion of Certificate)Pearson BTEC Nationals Technicals
Extended Certificate1 A Level (2 Blocks)1 yearPearson BTEC Nationals
Diploma2 A Levels (2 Blocks)1 year (studied after successful completion of Extended Certificate)Pearson BTEC Nationals

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