Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Information Technology

Qualification Level 3 BTEC National Diploma in Information Technology
Subject Area Information Technology
Attendance Full Time
Age Group(s) 16-18 year olds

Course Content

 These qualifications are for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning. The qualifications prepare learners for a range of higher education courses and job roles related to a particular sector. They provide progression either by meeting entry requirements in their own right or by being accepted alongside other qualifications at the same level and adding value to them.

720 GLH (935 TQT) Equivalent in size to two A Levels.

8 units of which 6 are mandatory and 3 are external. Mandatory content (83%). External assessment (46%).

The Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Information Technology is intended as an Applied General qualification covering 720 GLH and is equivalent in size to two A Levels. It typically makes up two-thirds of a 16–19 study programme and is taken alongside other qualifications. The additional qualification(s) studied allow learners either to give breadth to their study by choosing a contrasting subject, or to give their studies more focus by choosing a complementary subject.

It is an ideal qualification to take where IT is the main interest of learners, but allows time in a study programme for another Level 3 qualification, which will support progression to a range of higher education courses.

The objective of this qualification is to give learners the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable learners to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors. Learners will study 6 mandatory units:

  • Unit 1: Information Technology Systems (synoptic)
  • Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information
  • Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business.
  • Unit 4: Programming
  • Unit 9: Project Management
  • Unit 11: Cyber Security &Incident Management (Synoptic)

This qualification includes a choice of 2 optional units:

  • Unit 5: Data Modelling
  • Unit 6: Website Development
  • Unit 7: Mobile Apps Development
  • Unit 8: Computer Games Development.


The study of IT particularly encourages development of research and analysis skills, project management and prioritising, effective communications, the synthesis skills of adapting and integrating, and the evaluation skills of assessing, interpreting and validating. This qualification is equivalent in size to two A Levels and meets the requirements for progression to some degree programmes in IT or related study such as an HNC or HND in Computing, IT, Engineering and Business Management. For progression to a degree course, learners should study this qualification alongside other qualifications, such as an A Level or BTEC Extended Certificate in a different or complementary subject area, which will give access to a range of courses such as:

  • BSc (Hons) in Computer Animation
  • BSc (Hons) in Digital Media
  • BSc (Hons) in Web Technologies
  • BSc (Hons) in Information Systems.


Synoptic assessment requires learners to demonstrate that they can identify and use effectively, in an integrated way, an appropriate selection of skills, techniques, concepts, theories and knowledge from across the whole sector as relevant to a key task. BTEC learning has always encouraged learners to apply their learning in realistic contexts using scenarios and realistic activities that will permit learners to draw on and apply their learning. For these qualifications we have formally identified units which contain a synoptic assessment task.

Assessment is specifically designed to fit the purpose and objective of the qualification. It includes a range of assessment types and styles suited to vocational qualifications in the sector. There are three main forms of assessment that you need to be aware of: external, internal and synoptic.

 Externally-assessed units

Each external assessment for a BTEC National is linked to a specific unit. All of the units developed for external assessment are of 90 or 120 GLH to allow learners to demonstrate breadth and depth of achievement. Each assessment is taken under specified conditions, then marked by Pearson and a grade awarded. Learners are permitted to resit external assessments during their programme. You should refer to our website for current policy information on permitted retakes.

The styles of external assessment used for qualifications in the Information Technology suite are:

  • examinations – all learners take the same assessment at the same time, normally with a written outcome
  • set tasks – learners take the assessment during a defined window and demonstrate understanding through completion of a vocational task.

Some external assessments include a period of preparation using set information. External assessments are available twice a year.

Internally-assessed units

Most units in the sector are internally assessed and subject to external standards verification. This means that you set and assess the assignments that provide the final summative assessment of each unit, using the examples and support that Pearson provides. Learners could be given opportunities to:

  • write up the findings of their own research
  • use case studies to explore complex or unfamiliar situations
  • carry out projects for which they have choice over the direction and outcomes
  • demonstrate practical and technical skills using appropriate (tools/processes etc.).

Entry Requirements

These qualifications are for post-16 learners who want to continue their education through applied learning.

4 GCSE subjects Grade 4 and above including Maths & English




There are no specific resource requirements for this qualification.

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