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UPDATE 15.30pm 01/07/2022: Online Applications Update
We are currently experiencing an intermittent availability issue with online applications for full-time courses, apprenticeships and part-time courses. If you are trying to make an application or if you are having trouble logging in, we kindly ask that you try again a few hours later

*This issue does not affect applications for University Centre Colchester Degree level courses

Computing (Computer Science) Level 3

A Level 3 BTEC Extended Diploma is a nationally recognised qualification combining practical and theoretical study. This challenging programme will introduce you to a range of areas needed in a career as an IT professional. This advanced Computing Extended Diploma programme allows you to learn through a variety of methods including assignments and practical activities that are based on workplace situations. You will develop your existing skills in order to prepare you for an exciting career within the IT and Computing industries. Delivery is through practical work, classroom activities and group teaching.

I really benefited from the interactive learning – online resources are easily accessible on the student portal. We were also given the opportunity to undertake an internship; this has been invaluable and gave me a feel for the work environment.”Tanesha Brett - Computing Level 3

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022.

If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.

Course Info
Do I have to pay a fee?
How to make an Application
Other courses in this area
What Will I Learn?

You will study units equivalent to three A Levels. This course will help you develop the skills you need in order to understand the variety and complexity of the IT industry. Delivery is through practical work, classroom activities and group teaching. Each unit is individually assessed through coursework. There are 2 external examinations per year.

In addition to your main study programme you will also engage in activities to develop your English, Maths and employability skills.

You will study the Foundation Diploma in year one and the Extended Diploma in year two.

Course Content

Computing BTEC Foundation/Extended Diploma Level 3 modules may include:

Year 1

  • Principles of Computer Science (Written exam)
  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems (Written exam)
  • IT Systems Security and Encryption
  • Business Applications of Social Media
  • Computer Games Development
  • Website Development

Year 2

  • Planning and Management of Computing Projects (Controlled Assessment)
  • Software Design and Development Project (Controlled Assessment)
  • The Impact of Computing (Mandatory)
  • Mobile App Development
  • HCI
  • Computer Networking
  • Virtualisation
Entry Requirements
  • 5 GCSEs (9-4) including English and Maths, or satisfactory results (Merit/Distinction) in a relevant Level 2 qualification
  • An interview.
Career Opportunities

Students may go into careers in many IT related disciplines in a wide variety of businesses. Areas of employment may include: Network Engineering, IT User Support, Software Engineering and Testing, Games Development, Cybersecurity, Project Management and Web Development.

Course Progression

Successful completion of the Extended Diploma will enable entry into many Universities, Degree Apprenticeships and Apprenticeships and also enable entry onto other degree programmes at Colchester Institute.

All students aged 16-18 on the first day of their course will have their course fully-funded by the government.

Costs of studying

If you are/will be aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August in the calendar year when you begin a programme of study, you DO NOT pay tuition fees, College registration fees or examination/board registration fees. However, there are some courses which have additional costs which could include:

  • equipment costs – such as uniforms, kits, boots, etc.
  • trips and enrichment activities
  • DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)

For students with an identified low household income, there may be financial support available. Bursary awards can help with your course related costs such as travel, books and equipment and much more.

19+ - Do I have to pay a fee?

The information in this section applies solely to this course and the criteria for a fee waiver is not transferable to any other course offered by the College.

You will not pay tuition fees if you are:
under 19 on the 31st August 2022
aged 19-24 on the 31st August 2022 and have an active Education, Health and Care Plan
aged 19 – 23 and have not already achieved a full Level 3 qualification* (In some cases, if you need to first enrol on a lower level course, before progressing to a Level 3, this may also be fully funded by the government)  

* This means that you have not previously attained a full Level 3 or equivalent (2 A Levels or 4 AS Levels, or QAA Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma at Level 3, or a Level 3 Tech level or applied general qualification (e.g. BTEC)).
You will pay tuition fees if you are:
aged 19 and over at the start of this course and have previously achieved a full Level 3 qualification
Learners required to pay tuition fees can either self-fund (whereby you or your employer pays for the course) or apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover all, or part, of the tuition fees for this course.   The minimum loan you can get is £300, but the maximum will depend on how much the fees are and the type of course you take.

Advanced Learner Loans

Am I eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan?

To qualify for an advanced learner loan to cover the fees for this course you must be:

  • 19 years old or over on the first day of your course (there’s no upper age limit)
  • A UK national or have ‘settled status’ (this means there are no restrictions on how long you can stay)
  • Living in the UK on the first day of your course, and have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for three years immediately before this

Most learners that fall into this bracket will be eligible, it doesn’t depend on your household income and there’s no credit check!

If your nationality or residency status is different to the above, then please contact the national Advanced Learner Loan helpline on 0300 100 0619 or check the Advanced Learner Loan website where you will be able to find further information on eligibility.

How do I apply for an Advanced Learner Loan?

Once you have applied and been offered a place on the course, the college will provide you with a ‘learning and funding information letter’. These are normally sent out in early July.

You need this to complete the loan application and you cannot apply for a loan until you have received this.

Once you have applied for a loan and it has been approved you will receive an official letter from Student Finance England.

Am I eligible for a bursary?

Applicants thinking of enrolling on this course can apply for funding to help with the costs associated with attending college.  Bursary funds are targeted at students where there is an identified low household income.

The bursary fund cannot provide help with costs unrelated to your course, such as general living expenses, nor can it be used as an attendance incentive.

Applications to the fund are not normally considered if the household income exceeds £25,000 but may be considered in some instances if the household is experiencing severe financial hardship.

The 16-19 Bursary Fund is aimed at helping:
Students who are aged 16, 17 or 18 on the 31st August 2022
Students aged 19 who started a two-year programme before their 19th birthday
Students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2022 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)
If you do not meet the above criteria then you are likely to be eligible for support through either the:
19+ Bursary Fund 
or
Advanced Learner Loan Bursary Fund (for students paying Level 3 tuition fees for with an advanced learner loan)*

*Awards from the Advanced Learner Loans Bursary Fund can only be made to students who have received an Advanced Learner Loan. If you do not intend to apply for an advanced learner loan or if your application has been unsuccessful you will not be eligible for an award from this particular fund.

Funds are targeted at course related costs such as travel, childcare, books and equipment.

Regardless of income or employment status, students self-funding (including where an employer is covering course fees), are not eligible for financial assistance through any discretionary bursary funds.

When can I apply?

Bursary Fund applications for courses starting in the 2022/23 academic year will be open from June 1st 2022.

For courses starting in September 2022, applications should be made by 1st November 2022. If you find yourself in financial hardship after this date it is important that you still contact Student Services. Applications received after 1st November will be considered on a pro-rata basis subject to need and the availability of funds.

Payment Options

Can I pay in instalments?

Where total course fees exceed £200 you (or your employer, if they are paying your course fees) can choose to pay your fees in instalments through a monthly payment plan.

40% of the fee or £500 (whichever is lower) will be payable at enrolment.

The balance must be paid within 6 months or by the end date if the course is less than 6 months in duration.

Payment in full in advance

Payment should be made in full at the time of enrolment. Acceptable payment methods include Debit Card and Credit Card (excluding American Express). Please note that we are no longer able to accept cash or cheque payments.

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

***Applications for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications will close at midnight on Sunday 3rd July 2022. If you have not yet made an application then we encourage you to do so before this date, as we are unable to process any applications received after this time.
Computing (Computer Science) Level 3
LevelLevel 3
LocationColchester
DurationTwo years
Year 1: Foundation Diploma
Year 2: Extended Diploma
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2022 - Applications open on 1st October 2021
Fee(s)16-18 year olds: Free
19+: £8,583 (This fee covers the full two-year course)

Disclaimer

All fees, prices and funding information shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change due to factors outside of our control. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

Courses fees are generally not confirmed for September until June / July due to the above factors.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.