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IT (OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma) at Wath Comprehensive School: A Language College

Course description

360 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) – equivalent to one A Level in terms of size.

2 x 90 and 3 x 60 GLH units – at least two externally examined units and three further units which are either examined or centre-assessed and then moderated by OCR.

The IT Infrastructure Technician pathway will be followed.  Typical job roles within this pathway include IT technical support, database administrator, field technician and network technician.

Course content

The two larger units are:

Unit 1 - Fundamentals of IT     90 GLH

1 hour 30 minutes written paper

Section A comprises multiple choice questions.

Section B comprises short answer and extended response questions.

OCR set and marked.

Topics covered in this unit include:

  1. Understand computer hardware - Computer hardware; Computer components; Types of computer system; Connectivity methods; Communications hardware; Hardware troubleshooting, Units of measurement; Number systems; Number conversion.
  2. Understand computer software - Types of software; Applications software; Utility software; Operating systems; Functions; Benefits and limitations; Communication methods; Software troubleshooting; Protocols.
  3. Understand business IT systems - Types of servers; Virtualisation; Networking characteristics; Connectivity methods; Business systems.
  4. Understand employability and communication skills used in an IT environment - Communication skills; Communication technology; Personal attributes; Ready for work; Job roles; Professional bodies; Industry certification.
  5. Understand ethical and operational issues and threats to computer systems - Ethical issues; Operational issues; Threats; Physical security; Digital security; Safe disposal of data and computer equipment.

Unit 2 - Global Information     90 GLH 

1 hour 30 minutes written paper

Section A comprises short answer and extended response questions based on a pre-released case study.  A new case study is released for each examination series and will include research prompts which learners will need to respond to prior to the external assessment.

Section B comprises short answer and extended response questions.  These questions will not relate to the pre-released case study.

OCR set and marked.

Topics covered in this unit include:

  1. Understand where information is held globally and how it is transmitted - Holders of information; Types of information storage media; Types of information access and storage devices; The internet; World Wide Web (www) technologies; Information formats; Advantages and Disadvantages.
  2. Understand the styles, classification and the management of global information - Information styles and their uses; Information classification; Quality of information; Information management.
  3. Understand the use of global information and the benefits to individuals and organisations - Data versus information; Categories of information used by individuals; Categories of information used by organisations; Stages of data analysis; Data analysis tools; Information system structure.
  4. Understand the legal and regulatory framework governing the storage and use of global information - UK legislation and regulation relating to the storage and use of information; Global information protection legislation and regulation; Green IT.
  5. Understand the process flow of information - Information sources and data types; Data flow diagrams (DFDs).
  6. Understand the principles of information security - Principles of information security; Risks; Impacts; Protection measures; Physical protection; Logical protection.


The three smaller units are:

Unit 4 - Computer Networks     60 GLH

This unit will give you the practical ability to plan, implement and maintain computer networks building the key skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to job roles in this field.

Topics covered in this unit include:

  1. Understand the concept of networks - Network interfaces; Network types; Network components; Network topologies; Network protocols; Networking models; IP versions; Network addressing; Network data units; Network security; Network virtualisation.
  2. Be able to plan computer networks to meet client requirements - Network configuration; Network services; IP configuration; Testing tools; Network specification; Network plan.
  3. Be able to present network solutions to clients - Solution proposal; Performance benchmarking tools.
  4. Be able to plan maintenance activities for computer networks - Maintenance plan; Maintenance issues; Troubleshooting; Disaster recovery; Software/hardware updates; Performance management (benchmarking).

Unit 16 - Developing a Smarter Planet     60 GLH

In this unit you will consider how the evolution of technology has impacted on everyday life and why the Smarter Planet is important for a global society.  You will investigate the evolution of the Smarter Planet in a variety of contexts, including the impact it is having on society.  You will consider potential Smarter Planet developments and put forward a business proposal for a Smarter Planet concept to potential stakeholders, revising the business proposal as necessary following their feedback.

Topics covered in this unit include:

  1. Understand what is meant by a Smarter Planet - Evolution of a Smarter Planet; Importance for a global society; Impacts; Business sectors; Sectors with applications of a Smarter Planet.
  2. Be able to propose ways to extend the scope of the Smarter Planet - Features for extension to Smarter Planet developments; Feasibility study; Concept proposal.
  3. Be able to present, refine and evaluate Smarter Planet concepts - Present concept proposal; Refining concept proposal; Evaluation of concept proposal to sustainability of the Smarter Planet.

Unit 18 - Computer Systems – Hardware     60 GLH

The aim of this unit is to enable you to understand how the components of computer systems work together.  You will develop the skills needed to recommend appropriate hardware systems for various purposes.  Using the skills developed you will build/upgrade a full computer system with a view to testing and considering preventive maintenance procedures.

Topics covered in this unit include:

  1. Understand the components of a computer system - Computer hardware components; Storage.
  2. Be able to propose a computer system for identified business requirements - Understanding business requirements; Design considerations; Backup storage recommendations; Load balancing; Methods of presentation of proposal.
  3. Be able to build or upgrade computers - Health and safety considerations; Configuration; Preventative maintenance.
  4. Be able to test and evaluate the functionality of computer systems - Test plan/table for accuracy and functionality; Diagnostic software; Benchmarking.

Future opportunities

This short course offers you a specialist qualification for working in areas of Information, Communication and Technology . It could lead onto other vocational qualifications such as a BTEC National Certificate or Diploma in ICT or an NVQ or Apprenticeship programmes in IT Practitioners. With further training, you could go into a job related to ICT such as a IT Technician or Software Developer. You will also find this qualification useful for entering a range of careers. The course also provides you with the basic ICT knowledge, understanding and skills that many employers are looking for.

Further information

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 18 July 2017

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 or 2 years

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