Level 3 National Foundation/National Extended Diploma


Course Level

Level 3


2 years full-time


Multiple placements




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Business School
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Gain a strong foundation through focusing on developing practical computing and ICT skills

Learn from expert lecturers with a wide range of computing and ICT experience

Technology is seriously big business. Six of the world’s seven most valuable companies are technology firms and spending on Information Technology (IT) services has soared in recent years to almost $4 trillion in 2019.

Understanding of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and digital skills are now in huge demand and have become almost universal requirements in today’s job market. Jobs requiring such skills offer higher salaries too, paying as much as £8,000 a year more than roles which do not. Students taking their first steps towards a career therefore need the right blend of technical and academic abilities that employers and universities are looking for.

Our Level 3 Computing and ICT college course will help you develop today’s sought-after digital skills, giving you a BTEC National qualification widely recognised by both industry and higher education. Covering subjects from IT Systems Security and Encryption to Business Applications of Social Media, our ICT course will enable you to progress onto higher-level study or enter employment, with career opportunities ranging from technical support to database administration or even the creative industries.

You will enrol on the National Foundation Diploma (equivalent to 1.5 A-Levels) in year 1 before progressing onto the National Extended Diploma (equivalent to 3 A-Levels).

Why choose this college course?

  • BOOST YOUR SKILLS – Study computer science and systems and develop a range of digital and ICT skills, as well as high-level skills such as teamwork, presentation and creative thinking
  • WORK PLACEMENTS – Gain valuable real-life experience while you study by undertaking two work placements in each year of your course
  • RECOGNISED QUALIFICATION – Our BTEC Level 3 IT course gives you a recognised work-related qualification to open the door to higher education and professional careers
  • MOVE UP TO UNIVERSITY – Want to keep studying at a higher level? This college computer course will give you skills to support your progression to degree level

Course breakdown

Topics you will study:

Year 1

  • Principles of Computer Science
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • IT Systems Security and Encryption
  • Business Applications of Social Media
  • Human-computer Interaction
  • Digital Graphics and Animation

Year 2

  • Planning and Management of Computing Projects
  • Software Design and Development Project
  • The Impact of Computing
  • Object-oriented Programming
  • Relational Database Development
  • Systems Analysis and Design
  • Systems Methodology

You will also have an individual study programme to help you build the skills and experience you need to progress onto higher education or gain employment.

Maths and English

To help you secure your dream career, you will also continue developing your maths and English skills alongside your full-time course. If you haven’t achieved GCSE grade 4/C in English and maths at age 16, you will continue to study these through resits or taking Functional Skills at an appropriate level

How maths will support your career

  • Understanding programming languages
  • Designing computer algorithms
  • Processing of large quantities of data
  • Presenting information

How English will support your career

  • Good quality speaking and listening skills are needed when communicating with colleagues and customers.
  • Customer service requires good English skills in speaking and written communication.
  • Accurate reading is vital for following instructions, reading documents and emails, and understanding the ideas, aspirations and demands of colleagues and competitors.
  • Your use of English is important when preparing a CV and a business proposal, and for putting together advertising and marketing plans for your business.

Entry requirements

  • Normally you will require a minimum of 4 GCSEs at grade 4/C or above, or equivalent including maths, or a BTEC Level 2 Diploma.
  • Alternatively, you will require at least 2 years’ relevant work experience.
  • School applicants will be required to provide a good school report and references.
  • You should be committed, enthusiastic and have a desire to succeed.
  • If you do not have a grade 4 (grade C) or above in English and/or maths and you are under 19, you will be required to complete an assessment so we can ensure you receive appropriate support.
  • You will need to successfully complete an initial assessment.

Key information

Teaching and assessment

You will be assessed through coursework assignments and projects, some of which will involve industry-related visits and external assessment.

Our teaching and assessment is underpinned by our Teaching, Learning and Assessment Strategy 2015-2020.


of graduate employers say relevant experience is essential to getting a job with them

Work placements


Work placements offer a wealth of benefits alongside your studies, helping you put your learning into practice, develop your skills and understanding of the workplace, boost your CV for your chosen career or enhance your UCAS application for higher education. Our hired@UCB team can help find the ideal placement for you.

Each year of our BTEC ICT and computing course requires you to undertake two placements, completing ten full working days over two separate one-week blocks.

This specialist, two-year, work-related qualification with 13 units is equivalent to three A-levels and is assessed either internally or externally. There is an opportunity to develop industry standard programming skills in C# and Python, for example, as well as learn about aspects of computing such as networking, web design and cyber-security.

Edward Bird Assistant Dean of the Business School

Career opportunities

The example roles and salaries below are intended as a guide only.

IT support technician

Average Salary: £25,500

IT service engineer

Average Salary: £21,000

IT trainer

Average Salary: £30,000

Systems developer

Average Salary: £31,162

Database administrator (DBA)

Average Salary: £30,259

Project manager, information technology

Average Salary: £41,775


We are here to support your career goals every step of the way. 


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Kanwal’s Story

Kanwal brings vast expertise to this new course and is dedicated to promoting learning strengths across diverse groups of students.

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