Computing National Foundation / Extended Diploma Level 3





Awarding Body




About the course

The new BTEC Nationals in Computing are designed for students leaving school and wanting the opportunity to go onto University / Apprenticeships or the world of work.
The course incorporates new relevant technologies and techniques to allow the student to experience them in the world of software and hardware.

The new BTEC Nationals in Computing use a combination of assessment styles to give students the study skills needed to continue their learning and also the confidence to apply their knowledge in the workplace.

Many of our students go on to university to complete different degree courses, such as Games Development, Software Engineering, Computer Science and Network Security.

Benefits for Students

As a student of City of Bristol College, you will have free access for to:

The Latest Adobe Creative Cloud Applications, including Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, After Effects, Premier, Dreamweaver, Animate and many many more. You will also have access to Adobe Online and use of Adobes online platforms and cloud storage space for all your work and resources. This would normally cost you £15 per month but is absolutely free as part of your course

Microsoft Office, which includes Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint, as well as access to Office 365, which gives you online access to the web-based applications and 1TB of personal cloud storage space.


  • Between the ages of 16-18 you do not need to pay tuition or exam fees for your course.
  • If you are between the ages of 19 and 23 and have not achieved a full Level 2 or Level 3 qualification before, you will not need to pay tuition, exam or material fees using the Level 2 or 3 Entitlement.
  • If you are aged 19 or over, studying a Level 3-6 and a Level 3 Entitlement does not apply, you will need to pay the full cost of the course. You may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to help with the fees.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 (C in old grading system) or above which must include English and/or Maths or equivalent (L2 Functional Skills), a Higher Diploma (which is equivalent to 7 GCSEs at grade 4-9 A*-C), NVQ 2 or Level 2 Diploma at merit grade with ideally GCSE English and Maths at minimum Grade C or equivalent (L2 Functional Skills).

You will be enrolled on the Foundation Diploma, which is a one year course. Upon successful completion of year one, you can progress onto the Extended Diploma in year two.

What will I do on this course?

The course is provisionally a 2-year programme and is the equivalent to 3 A-Levels. Students have the option of studying for 1 year only and leaving with a qualification equivalent to 1.5 A-levels. Over the 2 years, the following units and projects will be undertaken, with a clear vocational scenario and focus, designed to simulate working in the industry and provide knowledge and skills needed to succeed.


  • Principles of Computer Science 
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems 
  • IT Systems Security
  • Social Media
  • Website Development 
  • Systems Analysis and Design


  • Planning and Management of Computing Projects 
  • Software Design and Development Project 
  • Mobile Apps Development
  • The Impact of Computing
  • Virtualisation
  • Object-Orientated Programming
  • Human Computer Interaction 


Who is it for?

This course is for anyone aged 16 to 18 school leavers or 19+ adults returning to education. If you have an interest in studying Computing and IT, and wish to pursue a career in this industry then this is the right course for you. You will experience more than you will have covered at school and it will help prepare you for working or studying further in this are

By studying on this course, you will also learn to work as part of a team and to feel confident about your ability to work in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

How to apply

Please click on the 'Apply' button below or complete an application form.

You will be invited to an interview where you will meet staff and see our facilities. Please bring with you a report from your school if you have one available. At your interview, you will be given an opportunity to discuss your personal progression route and given impartial advice and guidance on how to achieve your goals.

If you cannot attend your interview, you can contact the college to re-arrange. If getting to the college for an interview is not possible, we can arrange a Skype interview.

Call: 0117 312 5000 Email: 

How Is this course assessed?



  • The majority of the units taken are assignment-based.
  • Students complete a series of activities set in a work-related scenario which may be tailored to local industry needs.
  • Students generate relevant evidence, drawing on their knowledge, understanding and skills to complete an assignment over a period of time, working either individually or in a team.


  • There are two controlled assessments in year two.
  • Students complete, in controlled conditions, a task tackling an everyday challenge; some tasks also draw on pre-released information.
  • Students show they can apply their learning successfully to situations they could encounter regularly in the workplace or on a higher education course.

Written Exams

  • There are two exams only on the course, both in year one.
  • Students draw on essential information to create written answers to practical questions in test conditions.
  • Students can confidently recall and apply technical knowledge, a skill which provides a solid foundation for working life and further study.
What could I do next?

The world of High-Tech is rapidly growing, and in the West of England, it is a key priority area. More jobs are being created in these fields, and students completing courses in Computing are best placed to take advantage of this high-growth area.

By completing the 2-year Extended Diploma, you will have the option of studying further at Higher Level in the form of a Foundation Degree or a BSc (subject to grades and UCAS (Points).

Completion of just the year 1 Foundation Diploma will still allow students to access further study and gain employment. 

The course adequately prepares learners for employment and many students have moved straight into the industry. 

There will also be the option of higher level apprenticeships or degree apprenticeships for those who have shown the have successfully completed a level 3 programme.

As part of the programme, you will support you in searching and applying for the best progression routes for you.

Additional cost

The course is free to anyone between the age of 16-18 at the start of the programme. If you are 19-23, there may be funding available if you have not completed a Level 3 qualification. Anyone who is not eligible for funding or is over 24, can apply for an Advanced Learning Loan, which will pay for tuition and will be wiped if you enter Higher Education the year after completing your course. More information can be found on our page

There is no formal kit list for consumables, but financial support is available through the learner support fund. Applications can be made through the college's Learner Services team.


You will need an interview for this course to discuss your past education and also to help you identify if this is the right pathway for you. You will be contacted after making an application with an arranged date. If the date and time are not convenient, you can contact to rearrange.



How old will you be when the course starts?

16-18 19+
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