All Children Can Achieve


The content of this qualification has been developed in consultation with academics to ensure that it incorporates the most up-to-date knowledge and skills to enable progression to higher education. In addition, employers and professional bodies have been consulted on the content development to corroborate its relevance with current industry practice used in computing and related occupational disciplines.

Who is this qualification for?

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Computing is equivalent in size to one A Level. It is aimed at post 16 learners who are interested in an initial introduction to study of the ICT sector at Level 3 alongside other fields of study, with a view to progressing to a wide range of higher education courses, but not necessarily in computing. It allows learners to gain fundamental knowledge and skills in computing from which they can progress to broader or more specialist study at Level 3. The qualification can be taken in combination with A Levels or other vocational qualifications to meet progression requirements.

What does this qualification cover?

The objective of this qualification is to provide learners with access to subject knowledge and skills in computer science and computer systems, enabling learners to progress to further study of the sector or other sectors. Initially, learners study three core units:

  • Unit 1: Principles of Computer Science – (Synoptic)
  • Unit 2: Fundamentals of Computer Systems
  • Unit 7: IT Systems Security and Encryption. The qualification includes a choice of optional units, including:
  • Unit 11: Digital Graphics and Animation
  • Unit 15: Games and Website Development.
  • Unit 17: Mobile Apps Development

These units allow progression to a variety of degrees when combined with other suitable Level 3 qualifications.

What could this qualification lead to?

When taken alongside other Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels, this qualification provides an opportunity to progress to higher education to study a BTEC Higher National in a computing discipline, a degree in a computing discipline or a degree where computing-related skills and knowledge may be advantageous, such as business studies. This qualification carries UCAS points and is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant courses.