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How many hours per week?

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject.  Other workshops will be available throughout the year including over some holiday periods.  Students are expected to complete up to 4 hours of independent study to complete assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.

Entry Requirements

Min 5 x GCSE grades 4-9 (incl. English Language)
4.0 = GCSE Average

4 in Maths


An interest in technology and working with software applications. Commitment to working in an organised way and learning to write well-reasoned arguments.


You prefer to do a course that is a mix of exams, controlled assessment and coursework.

Exam Board

Pearson Apply for this course


Course Overview

Vocational Computing at level 3 will suit students who see themselves in a future career related to computing and are interested in the dynamic world of programming and design. Whether you decide to go on to further education, an apprenticeship or University. This course will give learners a strong foundation to build upon and is ideal for people who wish to use computers creatively and enjoy problem solving.

If you choose this course you would benefit from:

• Experienced teachers with industry experience.
• Opportunities to work on dedicated equipment for practical assessments.
• Trips to  Birmingham City University, Aston University and Coventry University. TATA consultancy services.
• Collaboration with industry guest speakers.
• Opportunities to work on projects which will be used to develop and promote computing within the community.

What will I learn?

In the first year you will study (for the extended certificate, 1 A ‘Level equivalent option):
• Unit 2 Fundamentals of Computer Systems – (Externally assessed exam)
• Unit 7 IT Systems Security and Encryption (Internally set and assessed assignment)
In the second year you will study (for the extended certificate, 1 A ‘Level equivalent option):
• Unit 1 Principles of Computer science (Externally assessed exam)
• Unit 15 Website Development –(Internally assessed Unit)

What will I be taught?

The BTEC course is very practical with plenty of opportunities to implement the theory that you learn. The course is a mixture of exams (similar to A levels) and coursework. You will also take part in a number of practical workshops which give you the opportunity explore the internal workings of a computer system and also to install and upgrade an existing hardware and software. The course will be taught by subject specialists, with Industry experience, the main elements of the course cover Hardware and Software, Networking/Cyber Security, Programming and Website Development.

Classroom activities will include:
• Installation of Hardware and Software practical assessments
• Paper based written exams
• Controlled assessment
• Reports and presentations
• Interactive online quizzes
• Group work with discussions
• Independent and flip learning

Where will this course take me?

As part of a wider programme this course provides an excellent basis for progression to many careers, apprenticeships or University courses.
Former students of this college have gone on to study Cyber Security, Networks, Business Information Technology, Computer Security, Graphics Design development and Computer Programming.

How will I be assessed?

External-Assessed units

Each external assessment for a BTEC National is linked to a specific unit. Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and a grade awarded. Learners must achieve all external units at pass grade or above. Learners are permitted to resit any assessment only once during their programme. The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the computing suite are:

Examinations – all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome. Set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task. Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information. External assessments are available once or twice a year.

Internally-assessed units
Most units in the sector are internally assessed and subject to external standards verification. This means that the college set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment of each unit, using the examples and support that Pearson provides.

Learners are assessed using a variety of styles to help them develop a broad range of transferable skills. Learners could be given opportunities to: Write up the findings of their own research. Use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations. Carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes. Demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate tools/processes etc. Lecturers will make grading decisions based on the requirements and supporting guidance given in the units. Learners may not make repeated submissions of assignment evidence.

Most of the work is carried out through projects and your work will be stored on the college network and uploaded on to Moodle for marking and assessment. The projects require you to complete real work tasks to meet milestones (deadlines) as you would for a business but within a supportive college environment.

For each unit of study you will be allocated a grade (Pass, Merit or Distinction); Your final ‘A Level grades for the course will be calculated from the total points from each unit.

Staff Contact Details

Mike Wagg