Course overview

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

The 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 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.

If you’re aged 19+ and this will be your first Level 3 course, it could be free for you under the government’s National Skills Fund (NSF) scheme. Get in touch to find out more.

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
13/09/2023 - 02/07/2024
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 13/09/2023 - 02/07/2024 1 years Date/Day(s) Being Finalised 12.50 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 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.

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 GCSEs at Grade 4 (C in old grading system) or above which must include English and Maths or equivalent (Level 2 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 (Level 2 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.

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. 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.

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