IT (Software Development), Level 3

Courses starting September. Call 01539 814700 for details.

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma in IT (Software Development) is a two-year programme which is equivalent to three A-Levels. It is aimed at people wanting to study IT at an advanced level.

You will develop skills across a broad range of areas such as digital graphics, website production, programming, computer hardware, systems analysis and design, databases, human computer interaction, multimedia and project planning.

This course usually takes place over 3 days per week for two years. The two-year course is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*) or 144 UCAS points (Triple Distinction). UCAS have recently changed the UCAS Tariff from September 2017 so they could include more qualifications. The new Tariff points are lower than the original Tariff points but the value remains the same, as universities will just use lower Tariff numbers in their entry requirements than in previous years.

On this course you will take part in lively discussions about new technology and use technology such as our 3D printer. The department organises talks from employers, for example, BAE has given students an overview of project management, and Bletchley Park ran a cybersecurity workshop, which included the Enigma machine. We also organise industry relevant visits and trips, for example EGX in Birmingham, which is the UK’s biggest gaming event.

All of our learners will be given support with their English and Maths skills where relevant to their main programme. Those students who have not yet achieved a ‘C’ grade at GCSE in these subjects will continue to work towards these important qualifications at a level suited to them.

This course will be part of a wider study programme, which may also include english & maths, work placement and additional studies.

Next: What will I learn?

What will I learn?

You will study core units in:

- Communication and Employability Skills
- Computer Systems
- Information Systems

As well as specialist units, including:

- Digital Graphics
- Website Production
- Programming
- Systems Analysis and Design
- Software Design & Development
- Database Design
- Human Computer Interaction
- Multimedia
- Project Planning with IT
- Spreadsheet Modelling
- Systems Security

Next: Assessment

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed throughout the year via professional discussions, assignments, practical observation and presentations.

There are typically 3 assessments per unit and 9 units a year.

Next: Career Opportunities?

Career Opportunities

Many students progress onto the College’s Foundation Degree in Computing or a university programme. There are a huge range of possible Higher Education routes including programming, games design and business IT. Some learners prefer to gain employment in the IT industries in programming, networking or web design areas.

Next: Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You will need five GCSEs or equivalents at grades A*-C or above, including Maths and English at grade 4 or above. You should also demonstrate a keen interest in IT development.

Next: Fees

Adult fees


Please note: If you are an adult student you may be entitled to financial support to cover the cost of your course, dependent on your circumstances. Please contact Student Services on for details. More about Student Finance.

Next: Apply

Apply for IT (Software Development), Level 3

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