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.”<span class="su-quote-cite"><strong>Tanesha - Computing Level 3</strong></span>
Course Info
Do I have to pay a fee?
How to make an Application
Other courses in this area
Welcome to Computing
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
  • Digital Graphics and Animation
  • Computer Networking
  • Database/Systems
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.

Fees and Finance

Students’ college education is funded for three academic years after leaving secondary school in year 11. Please click the button below which will apply to your age on the 31st August 2024 in order to find out more information about fees and finance relating to your course.

16-18 - Do I have to pay a fee?

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, books and so on
  • Trips and enrichment activities
  • DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)
  • Occupational Health Screening

You will be informed of any additional costs associated with your chosen programme as early as possible to allow time for payment to be made.

Applicants thinking of enrolling on this course can apply for funding to help with the costs associated with attending college.  Bursary awards can help with your course related costs such as travel, books and equipment and much more.

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 £30,000 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 2023
Students aged 19 who started a two-year programme before their 19th birthday
Students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2023 who have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP)

When can I apply?

******Applications for student funding for learners who started in September 2023 are still open. Applications can be made from this page using the button below.

Applications for student funding for learners starting in September 2024 will not open until the end of June 2024*****

Bursary Fund applications for courses starting in the 2023/24 academic year opened on July 1st 2023.

For courses starting in September 2023, applications should be made by 1st November 2023. 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.

You are advised to read the notes and policies at the beginning of the form and ensure that you provide all the evidence that is required when submitting your application.

Full details of the bursary funds, including making an application, can be found here:

I will be over 19 on the 31st August 2024

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 2024
aged 19-24 on the 31st August 2024 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 – 23 at the start of this course and have previously achieved a full Level 3 qualification
aged 24+ and have not 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.
Other Additional Costs

Regardless of whether tuition fees apply, some of our programmes incur additional costs which could include:

  • Equipment costs – such as uniforms, kits, books and so on
  • Trips and enrichment activities
  • DBS checks (formerly CRB checks)
  • Occupational Health Screening

You will be informed of any additional costs associated with your chosen programme as early as possible to allow time for payment to be made.

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 2024
Students aged 19 who started a two-year programme before their 19th birthday
Students aged 19 or over on 31st August 2024 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?

******Applications for student funding for learners who started in September 2023 are still open. Applications can be made from this page using the button below.

Applications for student funding for learners starting in September 2024 will not open until the end of June 2024*****

Bursary Fund applications for courses starting in the 2023/24 academic year opened on July 1st 2023.

For courses starting in September 2023, applications should be made by 1st November 2023. 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

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.

Can I pay in instalments?

Yes, you can spread the cost of fees. Any student of the College who pays his/her own programme costs is entitled to do so on a monthly payment plan basis, providing the total course fees exceed £200 and the student is aged 19 years, or over, on 31st August in the current academic year.

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 and 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.

The monthly instalment payments will also be set up at the point of enrolment, or if you are enrolling using our online enrolment process, a member of our Finance team will contact you to set up the instalment plan after you have submitted your online enrolment.

In order to pay through monthly instalments, students must sign the Colchester Institute Instalment Payment Plan terms and conditions!

If a student fails to sign up to an instalment plan at enrolment all fees will become due for payment within 30 days.

Failure to fulfil any terms and conditions of an instalment agreement will result in you becoming immediately liable for the full outstanding balance and you may not be entitled to pay any future fees by instalments.

Please download and save the form below, then fill it in and sign it. These forms can either be emailed to registry@colchester.ac.uk prior to enrolment, or if you are completing an online enrolment you can upload these documents during the enrolment process.

Further Education Fee Instalment Student Terms and Conditions

Employers who are funding a student’s fees must complete and sign an authorisation form which must be submitted either prior to or at enrolment together with an advance payment of 40% of the course fee or £500, whichever is lower. This can be paid via the online store prior to or at the point of Enrolment.

If the advance payment is not made prior to or at Enrolment the student will not be eligible to attend college.

Further Education Employer Authorisation Form, Instalment Plan, Terms and Conditions

How to make an Application – Watch our video guide!

****Applications for courses starting in September 2024 are now open!****

The application window for full-time courses and joint apprenticeship applications starting in September 2024 opens on Monday 2nd October at 12pm.

Please see the information below, which provides details on things to be aware of before making an application, and what happens after you apply. We have also prepared a step-by-step video guide on how to make an application below – please view this video which will guide you through the application process.


Application Dos and Don'ts

Before submitting your online application, make sure you have got an email address which you will check frequently and which is professional and appropriate for this purpose, and use this when you create your account. Submit the application as early as possible and remember to make a note of your USERNAME and PASSWORD details! You will need these later.

Application Tips

If you have chosen the study programme you would like to apply for then you are almost there. We recommend that you read our handy application tips, watch our video and then make your application.

You can only apply for one full-time programme and one apprenticeship. You can do this together within the same application form, in what is known as a joint application.

Remember, you cannot study more than one core subject.  For example, you would not be able to study two full-time programmes in different subjects simultaneously. You would take Plumbing or Music, not Plumbing and Music.

Your subject will be your primary qualification and forms the bulk of your programme of study.

Application Dos

  • Apply as early as possible. We start accepting applications from 2nd October 2023 and have set an initial deadline of 31st January 2024 for a priority application on your chosen programme (subject to you satisfying the entry requirements), although we still accept applications after this date but may not be able to guarantee you a place on your chosen programme.
  • Think carefully about your course choice before you apply. Talk to your head of year or careers adviser at school to make sure you have explored all your options and have found a course that suits you best. You may wish to attend one of our open days to find out more before applying.
  • Make sure you attend any interviews or assessments we invite you to. These are a mandatory part of our process. They give you the opportunity to find out more about our courses, as well as allowing us to make sure you are on the most appropriate course for you. Some courses may invite you to attend a second interview or audition to demonstrate your skills and to ensure you are on the most appropriate level for you.
  • Please let us know if your contact details or address change. We will use a variety of letters, emails and texts to communicate with you throughout the process, and the information we provide is both confidential and vital to your application. If you move home or change your phone number and don’t inform us of any changes, you could miss some vital information.

Application Don’ts

  • Do not make multiple applications. If you are unsure, for example, of which construction/trade subject you would like to study, please only make an application for one of them. Likewise, if you later wish you had applied for a different course, please don’t worry – we can change your application. Whatever the reason for wanting to change, there is no need to make another application.
  • Do not use a school email address when you create your account. Remember, you will need to access this account later in the summer after you have left school.
  • Do not create another account if you have previously applied. If you have applied in previous years, please do not create a new account. If you are unsure, contact us to check which username and password to use.

Just call us on 01206 712777



What Happens After I Apply?

What happens after I apply?

Once your application has been submitted our admissions team will complete some data checks

Once you have submitted your application form, a member of the Admissions team will check all of your details and your predicted (or actual) grades, including checking that you meet the published entry criteria for your chosen subject. They might email you to ask for more information.

Once your application has been checked, for most programmes you will receive an email asking you to log in to your account and book your interview. The interview is to determine that you have applied for the most suitable programme of study.

Make sure you check your emails regularly or you may miss your interview slot.

If you have applied for Music or Performing Arts we will email you with a date and time for an audition.

All communications will be sent by email, so please check them regularly or you may miss your opportunity to come in for your interview.

Interviews could be in person or they could be on the phone. This will be confirmed in the email, so please check your emails regularly so that you don’t miss important information about your interview.

When do interviews start?

Interviews for those who we have received an application from will start to take place after our Autumn Open Events. The earlier in the academic year an application is made, the earlier an interview can take place.

What happens at my telephone interview?

What happens at my telephone interview?

You will be asked to book a pre-arranged timeslot and you will need to be ready to answer your phones between the times stated. The call will come from either an 01206 number or it might show as withheld or unknown.

The interview is designed to let out teaching staff find out about you and your interest in the course. To prepare you might want to think about what you enjoy doing, why you have applied for this course, what subjects you expect to do well in (if you are still at school/college) and how you will manage your revision in readiness for any exams.

How will I know if have been offered a place?

Once you have had your interview / audition we will email you to let you know if you have an offer. Offers will be subject to you meeting the published entry requirements of the chosen programme, once GCSE results have been published and provided to the College.

If you are not offered a place on your chosen programme, we will do our best to support you in finding an appropriate alternative.

Accepting your offer

After your interview you will be sent an email to confirm whether you have been offered a place. Please remember to keep checking your email account so that you don’t miss this.

When you receive an offer, you must log in to your account again to accept your place.

Got another question?

For any further questions relating to the post-application process please see our application and enrolment FAQ.



Watch Our Video Guide



Computing (Computer Science) Level 3
LevelLevel 3
LocationColchester
DurationTwo years
Year 1: Foundation Diploma
Year 2: Extended Diploma
Study ModeFull-Time
Campus / Adult Skills CentreColchester Campus
Start DateSeptember 2024
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 2023-24 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.