Course overview

Computing Certificate Level 3 City of Bristol College

Learn about technologies and techniques in the world of software and hardware.

This BTEC Nationals course will give you specialist computing knowledge, skills and confidence. We can help you reach your goals, such as progressing to a degree-level course, becoming an apprentice or entering the world of work.

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

Additional information

Who is this course for?

The BTEC Nationals in Computing are designed for school leavers who want to go onto university, an apprenticeship or the world of work.

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.

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.

What you'll learn

The course is provisionally a 2-year programme and is the equivalent to 1.5 A-Level. You have the option of studying for one year only and leaving with a qualification equivalent to 0.5 A-levels. There is an option for a third year to achieve a Diploma or Extended Diploma in Computing.

This qualification is designed to be an introduction to the computing sector through applied learning. The qualification supports progression to higher education when taken as part of a programme of study that includes other vocational or general qualifications.

Over the two, 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.

Year one

  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • IT Systems Security
  • Games Development (Intro)

Year two

  • Principles of Computer Science
  • Social Media
  • Website Development
  • Games Development

Course entry requirements

To join this course, you will need to have four GCSEs in grade 4 (C) or above which must include at least English and/or Maths or equivalent. Alternatively, you can hold a Level 2 Diploma at a merit grade or an NVQ/VRQ Level 2 Diploma.

How is the course delivered and 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.

Written exams

  • There are two exams only on the course, one in each year of the first two years.
  • 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 that provides a solid foundation for working life and further study.

Future career and study opportunities

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 Foundation Diploma and moving on to the third year, 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 Certificate 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 costs

As a City of Bristol College student, you may incur additional costs to attend your course. For example, it is likely you may need to pay for travel and stationery. 

Many courses offer learning opportunities that you may need to pay for. This may include things like study visits and visiting speakers. We will let you know in advance if there will be additional costs.

If you are on a limited income, you may be able to receive help from our Learner Support Funding Bursary.

  • Career Coach
    For guidance on which career path to take, to explore career options related to our courses, find out which careers are in demand, and then get the training you need.

Where to find us