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Networking & Systems Support BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma at Macclesfield College

Course description

This course provides an excellent and varied programme giving you access to Higher Education and to a wide variety of IT careers. You will develop skills, knowledge and understanding in IT and apply your learning in a practical and realistic way. 

The CCNA Routing and Switching curriculum will provide you with an understanding of the basics of routing, switching and advanced technologies to prepare for the CCENT and CCNA certification exams, networking related Degree programmes, and entry-level careers.

Course content

During this course you will study a total of nine units. The core units will provide a general foundation and specialist units will introduce you to particular topics in more depth.

Core units:

  • Communication and employability skills for IT
  • Computer systems
  • Information systems
  • Managing networks
  • Computer networks
  • IT technical support
  • IT systems troubleshooting and repair

Specialist units may include:

  • e-Commerce
  • Software design and development
  • Database design
  • Spreadsheet modelling
  • Computer animation
  • Computer games platforms

Vendor units include:

  • Cisco Certified Network Associate 1
  • Cisco Certified Network Associate 2

Alongside your main programme of study you will also study either GCSE or Functional Skills in English and Maths if you have not achieved a GCSE grade C or above. If you have achieved a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths, you will engage in extending these skills through a Directed Study Programme.

Entry requirements

For this course you will need to have achieved one of the following:

  • A minimum of 4 GCSEs Grade A*-C, ideally to include English Language and Mathematics 
  • A Level 2 qualification (e.g. BTEC Level 2 Diploma) at Merit grade or above with Functional Skills English and Mathematics at Level 2 or above 

On receipt of your application to study this course you will be invited to attend an admissions interview with a member of the teaching team to discuss the course and its requirements further. 


The BTEC Level 3 Diploma units are assessed through project work, assignment work and internal or external examinations. Each unit is graded Pass, Merit or Distinction and then an overall grade of Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction* is awarded on completion. 

GCSE and Functional Skills qualifications are assessed through external examination and portfolio work.

Financial information

You will have the opportunity to undertake work experience and to take part in educational and industrial visits during the course. Possible visits may include MOSI, Old Trafford Football Ground, The Bradford Media Museum, local businesses, university and UCAS events, most of which will incur an additional cost which will be discussed at interview.

Future opportunities

On successful achievement of this course you may wish to:

  • Apply to study at Higher Education to undertake a Higher National or Degree in IT
  • Pursue career opportunities in Business Systems Management, E-Commerce, Management Information Systems or Database Management as the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma is valued by employers 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Macclesfield College directly.

Last updated date: 26 October 2016
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