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IT and Computing Level 3 Extended Diploma

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Key information

Qualification type


Course code


Career Pathway

IT and computing


Level 3


2 years


Blackbird Leys,
Cuddesdon Way,
Oxford, OX4 6HN

New and returning learners:

Please note that due to special measures we have put in place to make our sites COVID safe, we are asking all learners to enrol with us online. If you are unable to do so we can support you over the phone, simply call 0800 612 6008. Please do not enter our college sites without a prior appointment as we are managing the number of people on site at any time to comply with social distancing measures.

See information about the measures we are taking to keep learners safe while on campus.

Progress to higher education in computer science or prepare for IT-related careers such as IT support, web design, graphical animation and systems analysis.

The use of IT is transforming the way we do business, access recreation and enjoy culture. The Computing Level 3 National Extended Diploma will prepare you for careers in the specialist IT world, or for moving on to higher education studies. You will learn a mixture of business, technical, interpersonal and project skills needed in modern IT and telecommunications roles. With a broad spectrum of units on offer you can choose the areas that you excel in and enjoy the most. You can progress to higher education in computer science or prepare for IT-related careers such as IT support, web design, graphical animation and systems analysis with the Extended Diploma in IT.

We do recognise that there are different streams of learning IT professionals and would like to follow and offer flexible qualifications, allowing us to offer distinct pathways including:

  • “Networking and System Support” for those that want to become network administrators and technicians
  • “Software Development” for those that chose to go either the route of web design/development or any job in software development

What I'll learn

You work on a series of individual and group projects which cover subjects such as:

Core units include:

  • communication and employability skills for IT
  • computer systems
  • information systems
  • networking and systems support
  • managing networks
  • computer networks
  • communications technologies
  • IT technical support
  • IT systems troubleshooting and repair

Software development:

  • software design and development
  • systems analysis and design
  • event driven programming

Complemented by:

  • website production
  • client side customisation of web pages


How I'll learn

The Computing Level 3 National Extended Diploma, has strong links to industry, reflected through guest speakers and outside clients. The course team invites industry practitioners for master classes and there is a strong element of online learning. Your independence will grow in line with your subject knowledge and technical skills.

As part of your programme, you will also have to do work experience and work to improve on your English and Maths where necessary. We do offer the opportunity of working in our own IT or ILT Learning Companies. All students are expected to work a minimum of 4 days a week on their course.



How I'll be assessed

Formal assessment is set at regular intervals throughout the course and includes: 

  • assignments - testing your theory knowledge
  • live brief projects - for instance, some students make websites for real clients
  • presentations - to panels of experts and your peers
  • practical assessments - of your own work

The Computing Level 3 National Extended Diploma is assessed through coursework, there is no exam element for this programme but additional qualifications in areas such as English or maths are assessed by an external exam.

Networking may also have an element delivered through online Cisco units. Individual learning targets are set and reviewed each term with your tutor and you receive regular feedback on your progress in meeting these targets.


Entry Requirements

You will need five GCSE grades A* - C including English language and maths, a Higher Diploma at grade C or above, or Merit grade in a BTEC Diploma with Functional Skills at Level 2.

You will be interviewed and must show the maturity and self-motivation to cope with the course and a career in the world of IT.


How to Apply

You can apply for this programme online. Click on APPLY NOW and follow the steps below:

  • Register for our online service and verify your account
  • Log in to our website and click APPLY NOW on your chosen programme’s page to complete your application

As part of your application, you will be asked to provide us with your contact details, how your chosen programme fits with your future plans and if you require any extra support (for example, because of a disability, medical condition, learning or language support needs). 

Please include full details of your qualifications from your own country, as well as details of any English Language tests you have taken.

Printed application forms are also available.

Please contact our Careers team if you need advice and guidance to help you choose the right programme for you.