SPECIFICATION – BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology

The BTEC in Information Technology aims to develop the knowledge and skills required to understand the use of ICT in a modern business environment. This qualification is designed for students who are interested in an introduction to the study of creating IT systems to manage and share information, alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, not necessarily in IT.

You will study a total of four units over the duration of this two year course:

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

You will explore the relationships between the hardware and software that form an IT system, and the way that systems work individually and together, as well as the relationship between the user and the system. You will examine issues related to the use of IT systems and the impact that they have on organisations and individuals.

This unit is assessed through a 2 hour written examination. The result in this unit contributes to 33% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information

You will examine the structure of data and its origins, and how an efficient data design follows through to an effective and useful database. You will examine a given scenario and develop an effective design solution to produce a database system. You will then test your solution to ensure that it works correctly. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your database solution.

This unit is assessed through a 10 hour examination board set task that you will completed over a 1 week period. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business

You will explore different social media websites, the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for business purposes. You will develop a plan to use social media strategies for business purposes to achieve specific objectives. You will then implement the plan, developing and posting content and interacting with others. Finally, you will collect data on the business use of social media and review the effectiveness of your efforts.

This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 25% of the final qualification grade.

Unit 4: Data Modelling

In this unit, you will investigate the fundamentals of the decision-making process. You will find out how using data modelling provides the computational ability to compare consequences, and determine a preferred course of action. You will develop the skills and techniques necessary to create complex spreadsheets in order to produce accurate information that informs decision making. You will examine a scenario and then design, develop and test a spreadsheet; you will review your spreadsheet and make refinements based on user feedback, providing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the alternatives produced.

This unit is assessed through an internally set assignment that you will complete during your timetabled lessons. The result in this unit contributes to 17% of the final qualification grade.

What are the careers or further education that this course is suitable for?

Specific careers in Information Technology include: Systems Analysis, ICT / Information Systems Management, Software Engineering, Consultancy and Design, Education.

There are also a wide range of ICT and Computer Science related courses that can be studied within Higher Education.

NOTE: This qualification is equivalent to 1 GCE ‘A’ Level qualification and carries equivalent UCAS tariff points. The final qualification is graded Pass, Merit, Distinction or Distinction*. In order to complete the qualification, students much achieve a minimum of a Pass in all 4 units.

* This course demands a considerable amount of essay style writing and therefore a grade 5 in GCSE English language is essential, while a grade 6 is highly recommended.

Also, although no previous ICT knowledge is assumed, the coursework element of this course demands a high level of practical competence. You will be expected to spend as much time as necessary developing the requisite practical skills. In addition, you will be expected to demonstrate the ability to work independently and meet course deadlines.