Course overview

Computing Certificate Level 3 City of Bristol College

This BTEC computing course will give you specialist computing knowledge, skills and confidence. We can help you reach your goals, such as progressing to further Level 3 courses to help you reach a degree-level course, becoming an apprentice or entering the world of work. 

A typical pathway for our students is – Certificate in Computing > Extended Certificate > Diploma. 

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

Dates and applications

Please hover over the ‘i’ button to find out more about course fees and applications.

Computing Certificate Level 3 College Green Centre
Course Code
09/09/2024 - 20/06/2025
1 years
Date/Day(s) Being Finalised
Hours per week
Start Time
College Green Centre
This course costs £941. If you are aged 16-18 and looking to study full time; you will not pay any tuition fees. If you are aged 19 or over, you may also be eligible to study for free. Please contact us to discuss your options or visit our Financial Support page.
Course Code Dates Duration Days Hours per week Start Time Location Fee
LGF1874C01-1 09/09/2024 - 20/06/2025 1 years Date/Day(s) Being Finalised Enquire 09:15 College Green Centre
This course costs £941. If you are aged 16-18 and looking to study full time; you will not pay any tuition fees. If you are aged 19 or over, you may also be eligible to study for free. Please contact us to discuss your options or visit our Financial Support page.

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 1-year programme, and 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 second or third year to achieve an Extended Certificate or 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 year, the following units and projects will be undertaken, with a clear vocational scenario and focus, designed to simulate working in the industry and provide the knowledge and skills needed to succeed. 

Year one 

  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems 
    • Hardware, Software, Systems Architecture, Binary, Transmitting of data 
  • IT Systems Security 
    • Security threat types, Cryptographic principles, Strategies to protect systems  

Alongside the Computing Certificate, if required, you will complete your GCSE Maths and English to help you progress onto further studies. 

Course entry requirements

To join this course, you will need to have four GCSEs at grade 4 (C) or above, which must include at least English and/or Maths at grade 3 (D).  

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?


  • 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 is only one exam as part of the course
  • 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. 

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

Typical pathway for our students: 
Computing Certificate > Extended Certificate > Diploma > Higher Education/Apprenticeship/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