This course provides the knowledge, skills and understanding for learners thinking about employment as an IT user and is focused on the key software packages used by today’s businesses.

  • Course Type School Leaver
  • Subject Area Information Technology
  • Qualification BTEC Certificate/Extended Certificate 🧩
  • Study Mode: Full Time Only
  • Course Level Level 3
  • Location Victoria House
  • Course Length 2 years

This course can be combined with two A Levels and an Extend course to make a full programme.

This course is aimed at learners who enjoy using computers and have a career aspiration that might involve IT skills.

On this course you will:

  • In your first year, learn to create systems to manage information using a MS Access database, including designing your own product to solve a real business data storage problem, ensuring your final product is professional and works efficiently. You will test and evaluate your final product, as you would if you were managing database design. This will be assessed via an examination
  • In your first year, learn to use social media in business using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Discover automation, planning and scheduling tools and use analytics tools to measure your campaign’s success – this will be assessed by coursework
  • In your second year, learn to use IT systems in a unit that looks broadly across the IT spectrum. You will study computer hardware and networking and their use in business, art, society and education and find out more about how the development of IT impacts our world and our future. This will be assessed via examination
  • In your second year, you will develop your own website using HTML and CSS which will be assessed by coursework
  • Work in a dedicated and well-equipped IT lab using specialist software that directly mirrors what is used in industry.
  • Visit companies such as BT and the Met Office. Plus hear guest speakers from places such as University of Exeter on how Social Media campaigns are implemented effectively.
  • Go on trips to places such as the European Gaming Convention and Bletchley Park, plus social trips such as Thorpe Park. You will also be taken on a ice-breaker trip to Haven Banks in the first month of your course.
  • Go on trips to places such as the EDF Hinckley Point C, European Gaming Convention and Thorpe Park

We provide a range of teaching and assessment methods in the form of written work, practical demonstrations, and guidance and support in developing your own products. On completion of the Certificate you may progress to the second year to complete the Extended Certificate in IT. External exams are in January, May and June.

Next steps: You can progress on to further studies in IT, for example, you could go on to study an HND in Applied Computing at Exeter College or you could go on to apply for employment in a wide range of roles that value IT skills from Accountancy to Technician. This course is equivalent to one A Level, so can be used for progression to university.

On completion of the Certificate you may progress to the second year to complete the Extended Certificate in IT.

Entry Requirements

You will need eight GCSEs at grade 4 or above (including English Language and Maths). In addition, learners are expected to have an interest in computers and/or IT, with a career aim in a computing-related field.


You will have access to a Learning Resource Centre (LRC) with a range of books and journals including many available electronically through Dawson e-books. The LRC also has subscriptions to PCPro and .Net magazine with articles on current developments in the computing world. Additionally there is a suite of computers that may be booked to carry out individual work and research.

The Faculty has an IT Lab with a curriculum support technician allowing learners to investigate the workings of modern PCs and networks. Practical sessions include the provision for dismantling and assembling computer hardware as well as configuring and managing local computer networks and server technologies.

As a student of the IT course, learners will have the opportunity to apply for access to free software from Microsoft to support their studies.

There is a refectory in Victoria House serving hot and cold drinks and snacks.

Additional Costs

The course is supported by two core text books, which will cost around £25 each.

In addition, learners will have the opportunity to attend a number of trips and outings which are separately costed.

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