BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Information Technology

Why study 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.

Throughout this course, you will:

  • study the role of computer systems and the implications of their use in personal and professional situations.
  • study the design, creation, testing and evaluation of a relational database system to manage information.
  • explore how businesses use social media to promote their products and services. You will also implement social media activities in a business to meet requirements.
  • study how data modelling can be used to solve problems. You will design and implement a data model to meet client requirements.

During this course you will be given the opportunity to develop your knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable you to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors.

What are the careers or further education that this course be 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.

Key Information Summary

Course Title BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Information Technology
Examination Board Pearson
Linear Qualification? No
Course Webpage http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/btec-nationals/information-technology-2016.html#tab-1
Entry Requirements Grade 4 GCSE or above in English Language*
Contact Teacher Mrs J McHarg and Mrs K Kettlewell

* This course demands a considerable amount of essay style writing and therefore a grade 4 in GCSE English language is essential, while a grade 5 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.

Course Details and Assessment

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

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

Information technology (IT) systems have a significant role in the world around us and play a part in almost everything we do. Having a sound understanding of how to effectively select and use appropriate IT systems will benefit you personally and professionally.

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

In order to produce information to support many business processes as well as our social lives, relational databases are widely used to manage and process data. From the smallest in-house systems to stock control systems for large online retailers, databases are repositories of information that are a significant part of organisational operating requirements.

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

Social media websites are a popular way for people to communicate and share information with friends and family. People spend a lot of time on social media websites and they give businesses opportunities to interact with people, for example to promote their business or to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site and buy. You may be familiar with social media for personal use and in this unit you will discover how it can be used in a business context.

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 all aspects of life, individuals are constantly faced with situations where they must weigh up the available information in order to produce alternatives and make decisions. In the working environment, effective decision making can ensure the successful development of organisations. Poor decision making can have significant negative consequences and can even lead to the demise of an organisation.

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.