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  BTEC National Diploma in Computer Studies

The BTEC National Diploma in Computer Studies is an internationally recognised qualification and is validated, administered and verified by the Business & Technology Education Council (BTEC) which has been established by the Secretary of State for Education.

The purpose of the BTEC National Diploma in Computer Studies is to equip students with the necessary skills to find employment as computer practitioners. It is appropriate to the work of staff in the fields of programming, computer systems maintenance, systems analysis and design, and operations. It is a valued alternative entry qualification to a wide range of advanced professional and higher educational courses.

The Diploma offered has been structured so as to give students a greater practical knowledge of Business Data Processing Systems thereby enabling them to be immediately effective in a commercial data processing environment.Students will be assessed on their work during the course and will also have end of year examinations. Equal importance will be attached to the grades obtained in both. Grades are awarded by the College and approved by the BTEC External Verifier.

A BTEC Programmes Manager will be available to guide students through the course and to help them understand the principles of BTEC.

It is, above all, a practical course, designed to develop the skills of students to enable them to solve problems which are likely to arise in daily work. In addition, it allows students to continue their studies since it gives entry, and in some cases exemption, to a whole range of recognised Diploma and Degree courses.

Entry Qualifications
Students should normally be aged 16 years or over.
They must possess four GCSE's or their equivalent qualification, or a BTEC first Diploma, plus a reasonable knowledge of the English language. Mature students (over 21 years of age) may be exempt from this requirement on grounds of experience.

Duration of Course
Each course lasts two years, a total of approximately 64 weeks.
There is normally only one intake of students a year, in September with the first academic year commencing in late September and ending in June the following year. This pattern is the same for the second academic year.

The course is structured around formal classes, seminars, tutorials and individual tuition. In addition, students will be expected to undertake private study. Students will have to prepare at least two assignments per subject per term, plus two integrated assignments.Those seeking courses at degree level on completion of their BTEC National diploma course, will need to apply to UCAS by the end of the first term of the second year. The college will be required to complete a detailed reference on the performance of the candidate.

In year one there are six subjects:

Introduction to Programming.
Computer Systems.
Information Systems.
Quantitive Methods.
Communication Skills.
Accounting and Auditing.
In addition there will be three hour workshops involving integrated assignments.
In year two there are two Major Study Streams:
1 Programming
Programming Concepts and Practice
Programming Project
2 Small Business Computer Systems
Small Business Computer Systems Concepts
Small Business Computer Systems Practice
In addition there will be a three hour workshop involving integrated assignments.
The common skills which will be developed throughout the course are as follows:
Managing and developing staff
Working with and relating to people
Managing tasks and solving problems
Applying numeracy
Applying Technology
Applying design and creativity
These common skills will be developed through the core modules, and in particular, through a programme of core assignments.
On successful completion of the course, students will be awarded the BTEC National Diploma and will also be awarded a College Diploma.

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