Computing Level 3 Applied

Course Overview

Our Level 3 Extended Certificate in Computing provides a practical and applied way of learning about Computer Science, IT security and the Games Industry. This course will prepare you for progression into a wide range of pathways at university, apprenticeships, and employment.

This course is available to study as an Extended Certificate (60-credit course, equivalent to 1 A Level).

Within the course you will discover the core principles that underpin all areas of computer science and develop computational-thinking and coding skills which will be put to the test as you solve problems. You will deepen your knowledge by studying the fundamental principles of how computer systems work, including the role of hardware and software, the way components of a system work together and how data in a system is used.

With the ever-growing importance of IT security, we will give you relevant and contemporary knowledge about IT system security threats, methods used to protect against them and data encryption.

Ever fancied yourself as a professional gamer? You will have the chance to investigate the computer games industry, its impact on technological and social trends and to design and develop a computer game using one of the main game engines.

Former students have successfully progressed to study university courses in specific areas, such as Computer Science, Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity, Computer Games Development and Mechanical Engineering. Others have joined local organisations for their apprenticeship schemes, including the companies AstraZeneca and Amazon. Whatever progression route you choose, this course will give you the skills and knowledge needed to follow a career path in the Computing and IT industry.

Year 1 Modules

  • Principles of Computer Science
  • IT Systems Security and Encryption

Year 2 Modules

  • Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Computer Games Development

two female students sat side-by-side each working on a computer

Key Info

Minimum Entry Requirements

  • Five GCSEs at Grade 4 including:
    • Grade 4 in GCSE English Language
    • Grade 5 in GCSE Maths
    • Grade 5 in GCSE Computing if taken.


  • 58% Exam
  • 42% Coursework
  • Exam Board: Edexcel


Total students


Average class size






Why choose this course? 

As part of the Computing course, students will have the opportunity for trips and visits, including a taster visit to a university computing department, World Skills – an annual event at the NEC where students get to showcase their skills in a range of industries including IT.​​ We also have visiting speakers talking about cybersecurity and the games industry.

Enrichment groups include the Industrial Cadets Gold project run by eTrust, as well as the FXP Festival for game development.

You will enjoy and benefit from computing if you:

  • Are keen to develop your problem-solving and programming skills.
  • Want to understand the internal structure of computers and how they operate.
  • Are considering following a career in IT, Software Development/Support, Games or the Cybersecurity industry.
  • Want to study Computer Science, Computing or Software Engineering at university.

Skills you'll gain

The Computing course will help you understand the core principles that underpin all areas of computer science, developing computational-thinking and coding skills using a range of programming languages, including C#, Python and scripting languages, HTML5 and CSS3.

You will deepen your knowledge of the fundamentals of how computer systems work. Investigate the current threats to IT security systems and identify ways to protect them.

Finally, you will gain a greater understanding of the computer games industry by looking at the technological and social trends as well as designing and developing a computer game.

After Long Road

Students who have progressed onto Higher Education courses focused in specific areas such as: 

  • Computer Science
  • Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity​
  • Computer Games Development
  • Mechanical Engineering

Whatever progression route you choose, this course will give you the skills and knowledge needed to follow a career path in the Computing and IT industry.

Computing allows me to be creative whilst also learning and using logic in order to solve problems which I find really rewarding.