Overview

What is this subject about?

This is a practical course for students who wish to develop their expertise with IT and its uses. The Extended Certificate is a two year course equivalent to one A Level.

What will I study in the first year?

In the first year there is focus on how databases are used in businesses and organisations. You will create a database from a client’s brief and learn how to analyse test results and problems to optimise the performance of a database. There is also focus on how businesses use social media to promote their products and services, and you will develop a plan for a business to do this.

What will I study in the second year?

In the second year there is focus on learning how to develop good websites and you will design and develop a website to meet a client’s requirements. The course also develops a strong overall understanding of IT terms, standards, concepts and processes, as well as a good grasp of how to select, use, analyse and evaluate IT systems and procedures, in order to ensure effective solutions to the issues businesses and organisations face.

How is the course assessed?

There are four units over the two years. Two are assessed through coursework; one through an assessment under controlled conditions; and one through a written exam. You need to have a good command of written English and you will need to have (or develop) strong organisation and time management, as well as good spoken communication.

What skills will I need and develop in this course?

Previous study of IT at GCSE level is useful but not essential. You will develop your skills in self learning and taking control of your studies. Technical skills include working with computers, together with developing your ability to think out solutions to problems, give presentations, take part in group discussion in an effective way, share work in a team with others, and write reports and technical documents.

Careers

What can the course lead to in terms of higher education and future careers?

This course provides a practical approach to modern day Information Technology and carries the same UCAS points and weight as a practically orientated A Level course. Alongside an appropriate choice of other courses, it gives progression to university, as well as expertise and skills for IT and for business more broadly.

Entry Requirements

What are the formal entry requirements for this course?

In addition to the general entry criteria that the College has, you will be expected to have achieved at least Grade 4 in GCSE English Language. A good standard of English is important during group discussion work, presentation work, and report and technical writing.

Extra Support

What extra support/enrichment activities are on offer?

We do our best to arrange IT/Computing related visits, such as to the Sky Sports TV Computing Lab and ‘behind the scenes’ at Thorpe Park. Students are encouraged to take up employment in IT environments outside College hours and to undertake work placements during the College’s Wider Skills Week at the end of the first year. Occasionally a student’s employment can be used as evidence towards the assessment criteria.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

The course is useful and interesting in its own right as well as complementing a wide range of other subjects.