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Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Certificate in Computing (Year 1)

Course Level: 

Level 3

Job opportunities after this course: 

Games Developer, Games Designer, Software Developer, Systems Analyst, Ethical Hacker, IT Systems Support, Network Engineer, Web Developer, Computer Games Tester and Project Manager.

Overview of the course: 

Do you love gaming? Would you like a future career in the programming or gaming industry? Computer Games Development Imagine and create your own universe Think like a programmer to solve complex problems Find out how your favourite games are made.
This qualification is designed to support learners who are interested in learning about the computing sector alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher
education courses, not necessarily in the computing sector. It is designed to be taken as part of a programme of study that includes other
appropriate BTEC Nationals or A Levels.

Entry requirements: 

Minimum of 5 GCSE grades A - C (9 - 4) including GCSE English and Maths Entry onto any course at East Durham College is subject to final approval from the Assistant Principal. Where relevant, the term ‘entry requirements’ also includes DBS checks, references, fitness to practice, etc.


Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science
This unit covers the principles that underpin all areas of computer science. It will develop programming and computational-thinking skills and you will apply those skills to solve problems.
Computational thinking and problem solving. Design and develop algorithms. Standard algorithms for searching and sorting and the data structures used to implement them. Procedural, event-driven and object-oriented programming. Coding for the web.
Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems
Learners study the fundamental principles of how computer systems work, including the role of
hardware and software, the way components of a system work together and how data in a system
is used.
Hardware and software. Computer architecture and the concepts of microarchitecture. Registers and register handling. Data representation – number systems, text and image representation. Data structures. Indices and matrices. Data transmission. Error detection and correction. Logic and data flow in computer systems.
Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption
Learners will study IT system security threats and the methods used to protect against them.
Learners undertake activities to protect IT systems from security threats, including data encryption.
IT security threats, information security and the legal requirements affecting the security of IT systems. Cryptographic techniques and processes used to protect data. Techniques used to protect an IT system from security threats. Strategies to protect an IT system from security threats.
Unit 14: Computer Games Development
Learners investigate the computer games industry and its impact on technological and social
trends. They will design and develop a computer game to meet requirements.
Social trends and technologies in computer gaming. Computer games design processes and techniques. Design documentation and review and refining of designs. Principles of computer games development from requirements analysis and design, to development, testing and reviewing.

How is the course assessed?: 

Equivalent in size to one A Level.
4 units of which 3 are mandatory including 2 units which are externally marked examinations and 2 which are internally assessed coursework units .

Further study options after this course: 

Most students after completing this course go on to University to study degrees in Computer Science, Computer Games Development, Computer Games Programming, Business and Computing and Cyber Security amongst many others.


Peterlee Campus

When does the course start: 

September 2019

More important information about this course:


Fees for this course are;

Free if you are under the age of 19 on the 31st August 2019

Free if you are aged 19-23 on 31st August 2019 and do not already have a full Level 3 qualification – contact us to check your qualifications

Loan funded if you already have a full level 3 qualification or are aged 24 and over on 31st August 2019 - contact us to check your qualifications and for details of how to apply for an Adult Learner loan, which you won’t have to start repaying until you earn over £25,725 per annum.

*you must have been a legal resident of the UK/EU for the last 3 years

*We make every effort to publish correct fees, however all fees are subject to change. Fees are correct as at the current time (24 Jun 2019 15:09) and are subject to change up to the date of enrolment. Fees quoted are payable annually

What our students say: 

We regularly work with QDP, the UK’s largest independent provider of questionnaire based feedback services to the education sector, so that any results can be benchmarked against other colleges and the voices of over 600,000 learners QDP gathers feedback from over the course of an academic year.
Our feedback scores consistently place us in the top quartile of colleges in the country, indicating that we not only meet but often exceed student expectations. Some results from the 2015/2016 on programme and exit surveys and the 2016/17 induction survey can be seen below.
98% stated it was easy to apply for the course
96% said the teaching on my course is good
99% felt that their teacher knows their subject well
97% told us they felt safe at college
98% said expected standards of behaviour were made clear
95% told us they felt they had developed the skills they needed to get a job/take their next step
95% agreed the teachers consistently challenge them to do their best
97% said teacher feedback told them what was going well and where to improve
Other comments by students on this course are:

The following information comes from Career Explorer, an online tool designed to help you research your education and career options. Here you will find information on jobs right here in the region, including links to actual job vacancies, potential earnings and our courses that can help you achieve an outstanding future. Click here to explore Career Explorer further..

How to apply: 

To apply online for this course, please click on the 'Apply for this course' button below.

Alternatively, if you need assistance with your application or you would like to apply over the phone or using a paper-based application form, please call Student Services on 0191 518 8222.

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