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Computing at Priestley College

Course description

If you have a keen interest in understanding how computers work and wish to achieve high levels of technical competence, then BTEC Level 3 Computing is the right course for you. You can take this qualification studying a varying number of units, either BTEC Extended Certificate (4 units) or BTEC Foundation Diploma (6 units), BTEC National Diploma (10 units) or BTEC Extended Diploma (13 units). If you know you want to work/study within a Computing field this course provides a balance of breadth and depth.  It gives students a range of transferable skills that are useful for both university and employment.

Course content

All qualifications share a common core of Computing knowledge to motivate and inspire students.  There are a range of mandatory units, between 3 and 7 depending on which route you take.  Mandatory units include the Principles of Computer Science and IT Systems Security and Encryption. Other units delivered may include Digital Graphics and Animation, HCI, Computer Games Development.

This National Diploma course, if studied alongside level 3 Mathematics and the Extended Project qualification, will give the students a Tech Bacc qualification.

Entry requirements

You need to have a genuine interest in Computing and technology. You should enjoying working in teams and problem solving. You will need to enjoy and be good at maths. No prior knowledge is assumed but a desire to learn and absorb new information within a range of technical areas is a great advantage. You will learn and develop a variety of skills in addition to technical skills including working collaboratively, working independently and the ability to create solutions using technology.  A minimum GCSE grade of C/4 in Maths and English is required together with an ability or interest in Computing.


Students are assessed with both internal and external assessments.  Internal assessments are completed by the student and set, marked and graded by the teacher.  External assessments can be a written exam or a task completed by the student which are set, marked and graded by the exam board. Students may have one resit attempt for the externally assessed units.

Future opportunities

Many students go on to study Computing in university for example a Degree in Computer Science . Alternatively this qualification has support from the BCS with regard to progression to such roles as software engineer, business analyst, web developer. The course enables students to gain specialist knowledge and skills. Students will grow in confidence and have in depth experience with a wide and varied range of technological solutions.

Further information

The Curriculum Area organises lots of extra activities for students including trips and visits to local industries and universities. You will be able to take part in national competitions such as Apps for Good and the British Informatics Olympiad.  In addition you can take part in a National Cipher Competition organised by Southampton University. We have strong links with Barclays Bank and provide students opportunities to participate in a local competition – Barclays Tech Innovation.  We have visits from organisations offering apprenticeships including Barclays Bank, RAF and QA apprenticeships. In addition there are visits from local Website developers and App developers to inspire our students.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 10 October 2016
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