BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology

“Pursue a career in computer science or simply to gain a better understanding as a background to working with computers in other professions.”



Awarding Body


Course Specification (PDF)

Who to contact for more information about this course


Queries should be directed to Mr Sukumaran

Years taught

Year 12 and Year 13

About this course


Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science


This unit will allow learners to explore the logical and structured ways that computer systems process data to develop programs, processes and systems that solve specific problems. Learners will examine the features of effective computer programming and apply accepted computing and programming paradigms. Learners will also analyse, develop and evaluate algorithms and computer code, and propose and apply solutions to ensure that computer systems are fit for purpose.


Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems


This unit will allow learners to explore the relationship between hardware and software as part of a computer system. Learners will examine the way computer components work both individually and together to store and process data, and the way in which data is transmitted and used in computer systems. Learners will also explore the impact that computing systems have on organisations and individuals.


Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption


In this unit, learners will investigate the many different types of security attack, the vulnerabilities that exist and techniques that can be used to defend the IT systems of organisations. Many organisations run complex IT networks and need them to be secure while providing a safe environment for their employees to work, sharing some data and keeping other data private. Learners will also learn about the complexities of configuring and supporting these networks. Learners will also explore how encryption can be used to protect data. Learners will plan and apply suitable protection to an IT system and test it to ensure the protection is effective.


Unit 14: Computer Games Development


In this unit, learners will investigate the technologies used in the computer gaming industry and the implications they have for users, developers and organisations. Learners will analyse how user needs and preferences impact on game design and how target technologies affect the design and development of a computer game. Finally, learners will design, create and review a computer game to meet requirements and reflect on the skills and understanding applied during the design and development process.


How this course is assessed


Year 1: Unit 2 is an externally assessed written exam. Unit 7 is internally assessed coursework.

Year 2: Unit 1 is an externally assessed written exam. Unit 14 is internally assessed coursework.

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