Btec Level 3


You will study the Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Computing. This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the computing sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in the computing sector. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.


A minimum requirement of grade 5 in GCSE Mathematics and, if studied, 5 grade in Computer Science or any related subject, is highly recommended in order to apply your knowledge and understanding at this level.
The content of the BTEC Computing is designed to be:
Demanding, through internationally benchmarked standards, encouraging deep learning and measuring higher-order skills.

  • Rigorous, through setting and maintaining standards over time, developing reliable and valid assessment tasks and processes, and generating confidence in end users of the knowledge, skills and competencies of certified students.
  • Inclusive, through conceptualising learning as continuous, recognising that students develop at different rates and have different learning needs, and focusing on progression
  • Empowering, through promoting the development of transferable skills.


The objective of this qualification is to provide learners with access to subject knowledge and skills in computer science and computer systems, enabling learners to progress to further study of the sector or other sectors.
Initially, learners study three core units:

  • Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science – (Synoptic)
  • Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption.

The qualification includes a choice of optional units, including:

  • Unit 11: Digital Graphics and Animation
  • Unit 15: Games and Website Development.
  • Unit 17: Mobile Apps Development


When taken alongside other Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels, this qualification provides an opportunity to progress to higher education to study a BTEC Higher National in a computing discipline, a degree in a computing discipline or a degree where computing-related skills and knowledge may be advantageous, such as business studies. This qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses. As the mandatory content is equivalent in size to one A Level, higher education representatives have confirmed that it is appropriate to allow learners to choose their optional units from a wide range so that they can explore their own choice of areas for further study.
The qualification supports entry to, for example:

  • BSc (Hons) in Food Science and Technology
  • BSc (Hons) in Information Management for Business
  • FdSC in Business Computing
  • BSc (Hons) Business Information Systems.


There will be two course work and two external written exam papers:

  • Unit 7: IT Systems Security & Encryption
  • Unit 14: Computer Games Development.

External Exams:

  • Unit 1 – Principles of Computer Science and
  • Unit 2 – Fundamentals of Computer Systems.

Note: This is equivalent in size to one A Level.  4 units of which 3 are mandatory and 2 are external.