Course overview

Computing National Foundation / Extended Diploma Level 3 City of Bristol College

This is the computing qualification to get you into university / an apprenticeship / employment.  

It has been developed for students who are leaving school to further their studies in the area of computing. 

The course explores the latest technologies: 

Year One

  • Software Development 
  • Hardware and Security Principles 
  • Responsive Website Development 
  • Game Development (yes you will be developing your own games) 
  • Social Media 

Year Two (Optional) 

  • Mobile App Development 
  • Human-Computer Interaction 
  • Programming 
  • Virtualisation 
  • Research Project 
  • Software Development Life Cycle 

You will be assessed through a combination of assessment styles (assignments, practicals and exams). 

Many of our students go on to university to complete degree courses, such as Game 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 National Foundation / Extended Diploma 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 £3345. 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
LGF1141C01-1 09/09/2024 - 20/06/2025 1 years Date/Day(s) Being Finalised Enquire 09:15 College Green Centre
This course costs £3345. 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?

This course is for anyone aged 16 to 18 school leavers. 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.

What you'll learn

Year one

  • Principles of Computer Science 
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems 
  • IT Systems Security
  • Social Media
  • Website Development 
  • Game Development

Year two

  • Planning and Management of Computing Projects
  • Software Design and Development Project
  • Mobile Apps Development
  • The Impact of Computing
  • Virtualisation
  • SDLC
  • Human Computer Interaction

Course entry requirements

5 x GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including English Language, and Maths.

For STEM subjects can be more specific e.g. Engineering – 4 x GCSE’s at grade C/4 or above including English Language, Maths and science. Science and/or maths must be grade 5.

Alternatively, a BTEC Level 2 in Engineering (overall Grade Merit) with Merits in the Mathematics and Science units, and GCSE grade C/4 in both English Language and Mathematics.

We will invite you to a course information meeting event where you will receive information, advice, and guidance about the course you have applied for. This will be an opportunity for you to gain valuable information about the course and give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

You will need to provide a copy of your last school report and / or a reference from an employer or relevant professional, this will include attendance. This is to ensure we can support you to be able to achieve well on the course.

Applicants with 85% or below attendance will have been deemed not to have met this criteria. All applicants are given an opportunity to discuss any evidence- based mitigating circumstances that may have affected the reference / school report.

We are firmly committed to finding the right course for you to ensure that you can flourish.

Talk to us today if you have any concerns about the application process, we are here to help take you to the next level.

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.


  • There is 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.

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 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 costs

The course is free to anyone between the age of 16-18 at the start of the programme.

There is no formal kit list for consumables, but financial support is available through the learner support fund

  • 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