St John Plessington Catholic College

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BTEC - Level 3

The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Computing is equivalent to one A Level.

It is a natural progression from the study of Computing at GSCE and is designed to further develop you into an independent learner.

Throughout the course you will study a variety of topics and build upon your knowledge and understanding of the world of Computing. The nature of the course not only gives you the opportunity to develop your knowledge
and understanding, but it also allows you to improve your organisational skills, time management and the ability to apply learning to a vocational context. You will develop personal skills and attitudes essential for successful performance at university and in working life.

How will my work be assessed?

There are a total of four units (three mandatory and one optional). Two of the units are internally assessed and worth 42% of the overall grade. Two units are externally assessed and worth 58% of the overall grade.
Candidates must achieve four units over two years in order to gain the full award equivalent to one A Level. The course also provides the flexibility of completing two of the core units in one year equivalent to 0.5 A Levels.

The units from this qualification are graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction. The total of each unit will determine the overall grade for the course.

The overall grade equivalents are detailed below:

PASS - Equivalent to E grade.
MERIT - Equivalent to C grade. DISTINCTION - Equivalent to A grade. DISTINCTION * - Equivalent to A* grade.

Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science (33%)

This is mandatory unit that is externally assessed. In this unit, you will explore the logical and structured ways that computer systems process data to develop programs, processes and systems that solve specific problems.

You will examine the features of effective computer programming and apply accepted computing and programming paradigms. You will analyse, develop and evaluate algorithms and computer code, and propose and apply solutions to ensure that computer systems are fit for purpose.

Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems (25%)

This is mandatory unit that is externally assessed. In this unit, you will explore the relationship between hardware and software as part of a computer system. You will examine the way computer components work both individually and together to store and process data, and the way in which data is transmitted and used in computer systems. You will explore the impact that computing systems have on organisations and individuals.

Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption (25%)

This is mandatory unit that is internally assessed. In this unit,you will investigate the many different types of security attack, the vulnerabilities that exist and techniques that can be used to defend the IT systems
of organisations. Many organisations run complex IT networks and need them to be secure while providing a safe environment for their employees to work, sharing some data and keeping other data private. You will learn about the complexities of configuring and supporting these networks. You will also explore how encryption can be used to protect data.

Unit 15: Website Development (17%)

This is an optional unit that is internally assessed. In this unit, you will review existing websites – commenting on their overall design and effectiveness. You will use scripting languages such as Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript® and a simple text editor, or rapid application development

tools. Finally, you will reflect on the website design and functionality using a testing and review process.

Is there anything else I should know?

The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 in Computing can be studied with a variety of other subjects to suit the needs of the student. It has been designed to accredit candidates’ achievement in a modern and practical way that is relevant to the workplace. It is widely accepted by universities and during the UCAS application process; students will need to provide details on attainment/ expected attainment within individual units.