Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT

The BTEC qualifications in this specification are QCF level 3 qualifications designed to provide highly specialist, work-related qualifications in a range of vocational sectors. They give learners the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment. These qualifications accredit the achievement for courses and programmes of study for full-time or part-time learners in schools, colleges and other training provider organisations. The qualifications provide career development opportunities for those already in work, and progression opportunities to higher education, degree and professional development programmes within the same or related areas of study, within universities and other institutions.

The BTEC qualifications in this specification provide much of the underpinning knowledge and understanding for the National Occupational Standards for the sector, where these are appropriate. They are supported by the relevant Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and/or Standards Setting Bodies (SSBs). Certain BTEC qualifications are recognised as Technical Certificates and form part of the Apprenticeship Framework. They attract UCAS points that equate to similar-sized general qualifications within education institutions within the UK.

On successful completion of a BTEC level 3 qualification, a learner can progress to or within employment and/or continue their study in the same, or related vocational area.

How Long Does It take?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT is 180 credits and has 1080 guided learning hour (GLH) qualification it consists of 18 mandatory units that provide for a combined total of 180 credits (where at least 135 credits must be at level 3 or above).

Who Is It for?

There is potential for the qualification to prepare learners for appropriate direct employment in the vocational sector and it is suitable for those who have decided that they clearly wish to enter a particular specialist area of work. It is broadly equivalent to three GCE A Levels. Some learners may wish to gain the qualification in order to enter a specialist area of employment or to progress to a higher education foundation degree, HND or other professional development programme. Other learners may want to extend the specialist nature of the subjects they studied on the Level 3 BTEC Diploma or another programme of study.

Key features / Aims of the BTEC qualifications in IT

The BTEC qualifications in this specification have been developed in the IT sector to:

  • Provide education and training for employees in the IT sector
  • Provide IT employees opportunities to achieve a nationally recognised level 3 vocationally-specific qualification
  • Provide full-time learners the opportunity to enter employment in the IT sector or to progress to vocational qualifications such as the Pearson BTEC Higher Nationals in IT
  • Provide learners the opportunity to develop a range of skills and techniques, personal skills and attributes essential for successful performance in working life.


The assessment of Pearson BTEC qualifications is undertaken for each module. Assessment will be made against published learning outcomes and assessment grading criteria will be given to students for each module by the respective module assessor. Students are awarded one of three assessment grades for each module. Each grade will correspond to a specific set of criteria for that grade. In most modules, the assessment will be based on a piece of course work (the assignment). The module tutor will give out the assignment during the first few weeks of the module, which will contain information about the topic, instructions for students on how to complete the assignment, learning outcomes, the assessment criteria against which the assignment will be graded, and a submission date.

You will spend the following weeks working on the assignment, discussing your progress with the module tutor for formative assessment, and submit the assignment to the tutor by the appropriate submission date for the summative assessment. He/ She will then assess the assignment, and return it within two weeks. The grade for the assignment is the grade you will receive for that module.

In order to pass the course, you must pass all modules which make up that program.


Each module will be graded as a Pass, Merit or Distinction. A pass is awarded for the achievement of all outcomes against specified assessment criteria. Merit and distinction grades are awarded for higher-level achievement. Pearson have produced grade descriptors for each grade. A pass grade is achieved by meeting all the requirements in the assessment criteria for each individual module. All the assessment criteria and merit grade descriptors need to be completed within a module to achieve a merit grade. All the assessment criteria, merit and distinction grade descriptors must be completed within a module to achieve a distinction grade.

All students taking the module will be given an assignment brief along with the criteria for each grade.

The overall profile for the award will consist of all the individual grades from each module.

In some cases, where the student has not met the appropriate criteria (for a pass grade), the assignment will be awarded a referral grade. In this case the tutor will discuss the reasons why this grade was awarded, and discuss how the student can improve on the assignment by re-working the assignment to achieve the pass grade. Students are allowed one additional opportunity to improve an assignment from the refer grade to a pass grade.

Course Units

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