What is this subject about?

This is a practical hands-on course for students who wish to develop their expertise with IT and its uses. The Subsidiary Diploma is a two year course equivalent to one A Level.

What will I study in the first year?

In the first year you look at the components of computer systems and their technical specifications. You will get to grips with the hardware, software and operating systems of computers. You will develop the expertise needed to decide on appropriate systems for business purposes and get hands-on experience with setting up and maintaining computer systems. You will also take a more specialised unit focused on designing and creating an interactive website at the same time as studying a unit which focuses on the development of the wide range of skills and qualities needed alongside the technical knowledge to work effectively in IT.

What will I study in the second year?

In the second year you will take units focusing on other particular specialist areas, such as digital graphics, computer animation, computer game design, spreadsheets, database or e-commerce strategies.

How is the course assessed?

The course is assessed entirely through learner based assignments including written documents, group presentations and practical work. Each of the units are split into individual tasks which are assessed within college. There are no examinations during the two years.

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 technical skills in working with PC 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.


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

The course develops expertise that is helpful for employment in roles where IT is used. It is suitable for progression on to higher education in a wide range of fields as part of an appropriately chosen overall programme of study. While the way we offer the Subsidiary Diploma is as part of a wider programme of study alongside courses in other subjects, it can also subsequently be developed further by taking more units to widen your expertise and achieve the more specialised full BTEC Diploma or Extended Diploma qualifications.

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 have strong links with Surrey University Computing Department, who often arrange an annual IT workshop for our students, and we are associated with the British Computer Society. 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 their first year.

Subject combination advice

Subject combination advice:

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