IT (Software Development & Computer Programming Practitioner)

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Qualification type: Foundation Diploma and Extended Diploma
Level: Level 3
Awarding body OCR
Academic year: 2018/2019
Start date September 2018
Duration 1 or 2 years (discussed at interview)
Location: Darlington College
Attendance: Full time

Course overview

The Software Development stream gives you a chance to develop skills in programming, web development, computer game design, digital graphics and animation. An “all round” perspective is delivered allowing you to focus and harness your own potential to lead onto a higher education programme or the beginning of a successful career.

This Cambridge Technical Foundation and Extended Diploma in IT course gives you the opportunity to learn about programming and creative design. With career opportunities in this market growing massively it’s a great time to get into the sector. Applications and packages studied include Adobe Creative Suite, Photoshop, VR development software, Dreamweaver, Flash, Visual Studio and use of the Office Suite. The course will include guest speakers, trips, work experience activities as well as the individual projects you will work on to achieve the units. In addition, you will be given projects to complete for real clients, giving you that all-important work experience required by employers in today’s market.

If you have not achieved a C grade or above in English or maths, you will as part of your course be required to work towards this as part of your study programme. You will be given the opportunity to go on work experience at certain times during your course also.

To develop your employability opportunities you will also attend enrichment classes. This may focus upon additional qualifications, industrial updating and career preparation.

Entry requirements

It is recommended that learners have, or are working towards, a grade 4/grade C or above in GCSE maths or English.

How to enquire/apply

To apply for this course please click the apply button and complete the online application form. If you have any queries with regards to your application or would like further information and support please contact us on 01325 503030.

Studying and learning

These are the likely modules for this course:


Foundation Diploma Year - Application Developer

1. Fundamentals of IT

2. Global information

6. Application design

9. Product development

14. Software engineering for business

15. Games design and prototyping

17. Internet of everything

21. Web design and prototyping

Extended Diploma Year - Application Data Technician

3. Cyber security

7. Data analysis and design

10. Business computing

11. Systems analysis and design

13. Social media and digital marketing

23. Cognitive computing

24. Enterprise computing

25. Cloud technology

30. Big data analytics


Please note that these units can be subject to change.

How will I be assessed

Initially there will be a portfolio of assignments which will be developed over the course of the year. There are a number of mandatory units which include externally set and marked assignments. These are a mixture of exams and written assignments.


Things you may need

You will need drive, enthusiasm and an inquisitive mind.

What next

Career opportunities exist to enter the industry at junior level in many job roles, including:

  • Website/App Developer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Computer Games Developer
  • Software Designer
  • Computer Programmer

We do recommend further study if you are wishing to progress within these roles.

Education progression
Cambridge Technicals provide a strong base for progression to university, apprenticeships or work and are recognised for UCAS tariff points.

Information, advice and support

Darlington College offers a wide range of support including careers guidance, financial assistance, additional learning support, childcare and many more. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Student Services Team on 01325 503030 and they will direct your call to the appropriate college support team.

Fees and funding

This course is free if you are 16-18 years of age on August 31 of the calendar year in which you begin your studies.

If you are 19 - 23 years of age fees may apply. However help may be available. To see if you can receive any funding call our Student Services Team on 01325 503030.

Course fees are payable to Darlington College. Registration and membership fees may be payable. All course fees are per year.

If you are 24+ then this course qualifies for a 24+ Advanced Learning Loan. Full details on the

What if I need support?

Here at the college we have outstanding support. Our support staff are dedicated to providing you with all the help and guidance you may need throughout your college journey.

You might need help and advice on a wide range of issues such as childcare, counselling and additional learning support. For more information on any aspect of student support contact the Course and Information Team, who will direct your call to the appropriate member of the college support team, call: 01325 503030.

Enquiry Form

If you have any questions about this course, send us a message using the form below.