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IT (Computer Programming and Software Development) 90 Credits and Extended Diploma Level 3 at Darlington College

Course description

Everyone uses computers everywhere every day. In order to carry out tasks such as obtaining cash from an ATM, buying groceries online or watching the latest TV series on a mobile phone, software is needed to run these applications. Software Development covers a wide range of careers from web design and database management to programming and games development.

The Software Development stream gives you a chance to develop skills in programming, web development, digital graphics and animation. An “all round” perspective is delivered allowing you to focus and harness your own potential to lead onto a higher education programme of study or the beginning of a successful career. This course gives you the opportunity to learn about programming and creative design. You will be given projects to complete with live clients, giving you that all-important work experience required by employers. In addition you will complete supplementary programmes to enhance your employability.  We will also develop English and maths skills as part of your curriculum. The extended diploma course is equivalent to 3 A Levels.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme.  You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course.

To develop your employability opportunities you may also be given enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation

Course content

First year - 90 credit modules

  • Communication and employability skills
  • Computer systems
  • Information systems
  • Event driven programming
  • Procedural programming
  • Software design and development
  • Digital graphics
  • Digital graphics for interactive media
  • Interactive media authoring

Second year - extended diploma modules

  • Developing computer games
  • Systems analysis and design
  • Object oriented programming
  • Website production
  • Web server scripting
  • Client side customisation of web pages
  • 3D Modelling
  • Controlling systems using IT
  • Database design

* These units are subject to change pending a revision of the syllabus for the 2015/16 academic year.

Entry requirements

5 GCSEs grades A*-C including GCSE maths or an appropriate level 2 qualification (at a merit if graded) and a satisfactory school report.
We will request a school or college report and you will attend an interview at the college.


Initially there will be a portfolio of assignments which will be developed over the course of the year. It is expected that the new qualification will include a number of externally set and marked assignments which may be a mixture of exams and written assignments.

Future opportunities

Career opportunities exist to enter the industry at junior level in many job roles, including:

  • Software programming
  • Web development
  • Social media career
  • Business analyst
  • Project analyst
  • Games programmer
  • Computer animation
  • E-commerce

We do recommend further study if you are wishing to progress within these roles. This would include progression to Foundation Degree, Bachelor’s Degree or advanced apprenticeships

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 08 March 2016
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