This qualification aims to develop students’ knowledge, understanding and skills within the area of IT and Information Systems. Students will gain a valuable insight into the IT sector and explore areas such as the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and the importance of cyber security and legal considerations. The vocational nature of this course gives students hands-on opportunities to design, build and test a range of applications across different platforms.
Information Technology goes well with a wide range of subjects including:
The course follows the Application Developer Pathway. This focuses on the development of a range of applications across different platforms and sectors that will enable students to demonstrate the skills of writing specifications, and the design, build, testing and implementation of applications.
The Information Technology course covers five main topics:
Unit 1 – Fundamentals of IT
Students will gain an understanding of IT technologies and practices and explore the principles of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.
Unit 2 – Global Information
In this unit, students will explore the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the internet, by individuals and organisations. Students will examine how data is stored and processed and understand the legislation and regulation governing information.
Unit 6 – Application Design
In this unit, students will generate ideas for a new application and develop the design for it.
Unit 15 – Games Design and Prototyping
Students will develop skills in designing and developing a prototype for a simple game.
Unit 21 – Web Designing and Prototyping
In this unit students will research, design and produce an interactive responsive website that meets a need. Students will learn about security risks within website design and how to minimise these risks.
Information Technology students have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of course related experiences. In recent years, these have included:
- A talk on Video Game design by a former student
- A practical session on IT Security and Forensic Computing by a representative from Portsmouth University
- A visit to a Careers Fair in London
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain experience of the workplace during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
The course comprises five units across two years; two of which are assessed externally as paper-based exams, together representing 50% of the total qualification. The remaining 50% involves three units, which have internally assessed coursework.
The exam board for this technical level course is OCR.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme. In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirement:
- Grade 4 in Maths and
- Grade 4 in English Language preferred
This course will suit students who are interested in the practical aspects of computers and enjoy learning new IT related skills.
What will I learn on this course?
Information Technology Cambridge Technical Level (CTEC IT) has a mix of topics that are practical and also theory-based. You will do practical tasks like prototyping a product, a website and also developing a computer game. You will also be learning all about the fundamentals of computer systems including hardware, software, networking, online communication technologies and IT security.
Does this course have any exams?
Yes. This course is 50% exam based. Unit 1 and Unit 2 both have external paper-based exams.
You will also have one opportunity to resit the exam, should you wish to improve on your grade. If a resit is taken, the highest of the two attempts will be taken for the final grading.
Are there any programming elements?
What’s the difference between IT and Computer Science?
At a glance, IT careers are more about installing, maintaining, and improving computer systems, operating networks, websites, and databases. Meanwhile, Computer Science is about using logic and mathematics to design and program systems to run more efficiently.
In terms of our College courses:
- In IT you will be learning about IT systems, how IT is used across different industries and developing applications such as websites and games.
- In Computer Science you will be learning how to code, be able to develop systems to solve complex issues, and will learn how various computer infrastructures work.
How will the course contribute to UCAS points?
The course carries the same UCAS points as A Levels with the following mapping:
Distinction * – same as A* = 56 points
Distinction – same as A = 48 points
Merit – same as C = 32 points
Pass – same as E = 16 points
Do I need to have studied IT or Computer Science before to do this course?
No, it is not a requirement to have studied GCSE Computer Science as the course covers all the necessary knowledge. If you have done it before then you will know some of the content at the start of the course already.
What career/ study options could I pursue on completing this course?
Many of our students apply to university to further their IT studies in sectors such as Games Design, Cyber Security, Computer Science or Business and Information Technology. Alternatively, others have successfully secured apprenticeships (including degree-based) in Cyber Security, Web development and IT.
What can I do to find out more and prepare myself for the course?
Here are some interesting websites that will give you a good starting point: