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BTEC Higher National Diploma in Computing

The Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Computing offers students two specialist pathways designed to support progression into relevant occupational areas or on to degree-level study. These pathways are linked to Professional Body standards and vendor accredited certification (where appropriate) and can provide professional status and progression to direct employment. The Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma offers the following specialist pathways for students who wish to concentrate on a particular aspect of computing:

  • Network Engineering
  • Software Engineering
  • Data Analytics
  • Security
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Applications Development.

There is also a non-specialist ‘Computing’ pathway, which allows students to complete a Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma without committing to a particular professional specialism. This offers additional flexibility to providers and students.

Holders of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma will have developed a sound understanding of the principles in their field of study and will have learned to apply those principles more widely. They will have learned to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. They will be able to perform effectively in their chosen field and will have the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.

On successful completion of the Pearson BTEC Higher National Diploma at Level 5, students can develop their careers in the computing sector through:

  • Entering employment
  • Continuing existing employment
  • Linking with the appropriate vendor accredited certificates
  • Committing to Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
  • Progressing to university.

The Level 5 Higher National Diploma is recognised by higher education providers as meeting admission requirements to many relevant computing-related courses.   Details of entry requirements for BTEC Higher National graduates into degree programmes at institutions in the UK and internationally can be found on the Degree Course Finder website (http://degreecoursefinder.pearson.com/).

Unit CodeLevelUnit TitleCredit Value
D/615/16184Programming15
H/615/16194Networking15
Y/615/16204Professional Practice15
H/615/16224Database Design & Development15
K/615/16234Security15
T/615/16254Managing a Successful Computing Project15
A/615/16264Strategic Information Systems15
D/615/16354Maths for Computing15
T/615/16395Computing Research Project30
M/615/16415Business Intelligence15
Pathway: Software Engineering
Y/615/16485Discrete Maths15
D/615/16495Data Structures & Algorithms15
Y/615/16515Advanced Programming15
F/615/16615Information Security Management15
H/615/16705Application Development15
Pathway: Applications Development
D/615/16665Prototyping15
M/615/16695Application Program Interfaces15
H/615/16705Application Development15
D/615/16495Data Structures & Algorithms15
F/615/16615Information Security Management15

The learner will need to meet the requirements outlined in the table below before Pearson can award the qualification, i.e. achieve the appropriate mandatory and optional units.

Minimum number of credits that must be achieved  240
Number of mandatory credits that must be achieved 180
Number of optional credits that must be achieved 60
Minimum number of credits that must be achieved at Level 5 180

 

1 – Age restriction

Minimum: 18

2 – HNC in relevant subject.

 

3 – APEL / APL

Students already in employment or with relevant previous experience

4 – English Language Competency

Minimum: CEFR B2

PTE Academic = 51 (in all 4 skills) or IELTS = 5.5 (in all 4 skills)

Start Dates

Full Time: 23 September 2019 / 06 January 2020 / 14 April 2020 / 06 July 2020

Part Time: 23 September 2019 / 06 January 2020 / 14 April 2020 / 06 July 2020

Online: Flexible start dates

BTEC Higher Nationals are vocational qualifications we at the City of London College work with employers on the design, delivery and assessment of the course. This ensures that students enjoy a programme of study that is engaging and relevant, and which equips them for progression.

Just as the student voice is important, so too is the employer’s. Employers play a significant role in the design and development of all regulated qualifications, including the Higher Nationals in Computing. This input should extend into the learning experience, where engagement with employers will add value to students, particularly in transferring theory into practice.

At the City of London College we consider a range of employer engagement activities. These could include:

  • Field trips to local businesses
  • Inviting members of the local business community to present guest lectures
  • Using employers to judge the quality of assessed presentations
  • (For the more entrepreneurial) establishing a panel of experts who students can pitch an idea to.

Students are integral to teaching and learning. As such it is important that they are involved as much as possible with most aspects of the programme on to which they are enrolled. This input could include taking into account their views on how teaching and learning will take place, their role in helping to design a curriculum, or on the assessment strategy that will test their knowledge and understanding.

There are many ways in which we capture the student voice and student feedback, both formal and informal. Formal mechanisms include the nomination of student representatives to act as the collective student voice for each student cohort, student representation at course team meetings, and an elected Higher Education representative as part of the Student Union. Student forums also take place periodically throughout the year with minutes and action plans updated and informing the overall annual course monitoring process. Unit specific feedback is also collated by students completing unit feedback forms, end of year course evaluations, and scheduled performance review meetings with their tutor.

However, this is not the only time when feedback from students is sought. Discourse with students is constant, teachers adopt a ‘reflection  on action’ approach to adjust teaching, so that students are presented with an environment that is most supportive of their learning styles. Just as employers  could have an input into assessment design, so too could students. This supports the development of assignments that are exciting and dynamic, and fully engage students in meaningful and informative assessment.

The biggest advantage of consulting students on their teaching, learning and assessment is securing their engagement in their own learning. Students feel empowered and develop a sense of ownership of all matters related to teaching, learning and assessment, not just their own experiences. Students could also view themselves as more accountable to their lecturers, ideally seeing themselves as partners in their own learning and not just part of a process.

Condensed and expanded delivery

At the City of London College we recognise that learners have different needs and varying levels of learning abilities.  Therefore, we offer the BTEC courses in both condensed expanded delivery modes.

Both versions have their advantages: the condensed version provides an opportunity for students to gain early success and achievement. This enhances their self-efficacy (the sense of one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed) and self-confidence, with teachers being able to identify and respond to less able students early in the teaching and learning cycle. The advantages of the expanded version include providing a longer timescale for students to absorb new knowledge and therefore, potentially, improve success, and giving tutors an opportunity to coach and support less able students over a longer period of time.

As there are pros and cons to both approaches, the use of a planning forum helps to ensure the most suitable approach.  We may choose to deliver the first teaching block using the expanded version, with the subsequent teaching block being delivered through a condensed approach.  This approach applies equally to programmes that are being delivered face-to-face or through distance learning.

We use wide range of techniques to deliver the syllabus.

The table below lists some of the techniques that we use in a planned programme structure.

Technique Face-to-face Distance learning
Lectures and seminars These are the most common techniques used by tutors. They offer an opportunity to engage with a large number of students, where the focus is on sharing knowledge through the use of presentations. Delivery would be through video conferencing and/or pre-recorded audio and/or visual material, available through an online platform. Synchronous discussion forums could also be used.
Workshops These are used to build on knowledge shared via tutors and seminars. Teaching can be more in-depth where knowledge is applied, for example to case studies or real-life examples.

Workshops could be student-led, where students present, for example, findings from independent study.

While more challenging to organise than for face-to-face delivery, workshops should not be dismissed. Smaller groups of three or four students could access a forum simultaneously and engage in the same type of activity as for face-to-face.
Tutorials These present an opportunity for focused one-to-one support, where teaching is led by an individual student’s requirements. These can be most effective in the run up to assessment, where tutors can provide more focused direction, perhaps based on a formative assessment. Other than not necessarily being in the same room as a student, tutors could still provide effective tutorials. Video conferencing tools provide the means to see a student, which makes any conversation more personal.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) These are invaluable to students studying on a face-to-face programme. Used effectively, VLEs not only provide a repository for taught material such as presentation slides or handouts, but could be used to set formative tasks such as quizzes. Further reading could also be located on a VLE, along with a copy of the programme documents, such as the handbook and assessment timetable. A VLE is a must if students are engaged with online delivery through distance or blended learning, as this would be the primary or the key source of learning. Where distance learning is primarily delivered through hard copies of workbooks, etc., the same principle would apply as for face-to-face learning.

 

Technique Face-to-face Distance learning
Blended learning The combination of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning. This can enable the students to gain personalised support, instruction and guidance while completing assigned activities and tasks remotely. Offline learning enables students to develop autonomy and self- discipline by completing set activities and tasks with limited direction and traditional classroom-based constraints.
Work-based learning Any opportunity to integrate work-based learning into a curriculum should be taken. This adds realism and provides students with an opportunity to link theory to practice in a way in which case studies do not. Many full-time students are involved in some form of employment, either paid or voluntary, which could be used, where appropriate, as part of their learning, for example when assignments require students to contextualise a response to a real organisation. It is likely that the majority of distance learning students would be employed and possibly classed as mature students. Bringing theory to life through a curriculum, which requires work- based application of knowledge, would make learning for these students more relevant and meaningful. Perhaps more importantly, assessment should be grounded in a student’s place of work, wherever possible.
Guest speakers These could be experts from industry or visiting academics in the subject area that is being studied. They could be used to present a lecture/seminar, a workshop or to contribute to assessment. The objective is to make the most effective use of an expert’s knowledge and skill by adding value to the teaching and learning experience. As long as the expert has access to the same platform as the students then the value-added contribution would still be very high. Consideration would need to be given to timings and logistics, but with some innovative management this technique would still have a place in distance learning programmes.
Field trips Effectively planned field trips, which have a direct relevance to the syllabus, would add value to the learning experience. Through these trips students could relate theory to practice, have an opportunity to experience organisations in action, and potentially open their minds to career routes. The use of field trips could be included as part of a distance learning programme. They will add the same value and require the same planning. One additional benefit of field trips for distance learning is that they provide an opportunity for all students in a cohort to meet, which is a rare occurrence for distance learning students.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment (leading to the award of credit) that considers whether students can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess, and so do not need to develop through a course of learning.

We recognise students’ previous achievements and experiences whether at work, home or at leisure, as well as in the classroom. RPL provides a route for the recognition of the achievements resulting from continuous learning. RPL enables recognition of achievement from a range of activities using any valid assessment methodology. Provided that the assessment requirements of a given unit or qualification have been met, the use of RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, units or a whole qualification. Evidence of learning must be valid and reliable.

Students seeking RPL need to book an appointment with the Course Leader to review their previous academic attainments and work experience.

Equality and fairness are central to the provision at the City of London College.  Promoting equality and diversity involves treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for people with diverse requirements, entitlements and backgrounds. An inclusive environment for learning anticipates the varied requirements of students, and aims to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.  Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning.  In addition, students with and without disabilities are offered learning opportunities that are equally accessible to them, by means of inclusive qualification design.

College’s equality policy requires all students to have equal opportunity to access our qualifications and assessments.

We are committed to making sure that:

  • Students with a protected characteristic (as defined in legislation) are not, when they are undertaking one of our courses, disadvantaged in comparison to students who do not share that characteristic.
  • All students achieve the recognition they deserve from undertaking a qualification and that this achievement can be compared fairly to the achievement of their peers.

Our policy regarding access to its qualifications is that:

  • They should be available to everyone who is capable of reaching the required standards
  • They should be free from any barriers that restrict access and progression
  • There should be equal opportunities for all those wishing to access the qualifications.
+ Employer Engagement

BTEC Higher Nationals are vocational qualifications we at the City of London College work with employers on the design, delivery and assessment of the course. This ensures that students enjoy a programme of study that is engaging and relevant, and which equips them for progression.

Just as the student voice is important, so too is the employer’s. Employers play a significant role in the design and development of all regulated qualifications, including the Higher Nationals in Computing. This input should extend into the learning experience, where engagement with employers will add value to students, particularly in transferring theory into practice.

At the City of London College we consider a range of employer engagement activities. These could include:

  • Field trips to local businesses
  • Inviting members of the local business community to present guest lectures
  • Using employers to judge the quality of assessed presentations
  • (For the more entrepreneurial) establishing a panel of experts who students can pitch an idea to.
+ Engaging with students

Students are integral to teaching and learning. As such it is important that they are involved as much as possible with most aspects of the programme on to which they are enrolled. This input could include taking into account their views on how teaching and learning will take place, their role in helping to design a curriculum, or on the assessment strategy that will test their knowledge and understanding.

There are many ways in which we capture the student voice and student feedback, both formal and informal. Formal mechanisms include the nomination of student representatives to act as the collective student voice for each student cohort, student representation at course team meetings, and an elected Higher Education representative as part of the Student Union. Student forums also take place periodically throughout the year with minutes and action plans updated and informing the overall annual course monitoring process. Unit specific feedback is also collated by students completing unit feedback forms, end of year course evaluations, and scheduled performance review meetings with their tutor.

However, this is not the only time when feedback from students is sought. Discourse with students is constant, teachers adopt a ‘reflection  on action’ approach to adjust teaching, so that students are presented with an environment that is most supportive of their learning styles. Just as employers  could have an input into assessment design, so too could students. This supports the development of assignments that are exciting and dynamic, and fully engage students in meaningful and informative assessment.

The biggest advantage of consulting students on their teaching, learning and assessment is securing their engagement in their own learning. Students feel empowered and develop a sense of ownership of all matters related to teaching, learning and assessment, not just their own experiences. Students could also view themselves as more accountable to their lecturers, ideally seeing themselves as partners in their own learning and not just part of a process.

+ Delivery Techniques

Condensed and expanded delivery

At the City of London College we recognise that learners have different needs and varying levels of learning abilities.  Therefore, we offer the BTEC courses in both condensed expanded delivery modes.

Both versions have their advantages: the condensed version provides an opportunity for students to gain early success and achievement. This enhances their self-efficacy (the sense of one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed) and self-confidence, with teachers being able to identify and respond to less able students early in the teaching and learning cycle. The advantages of the expanded version include providing a longer timescale for students to absorb new knowledge and therefore, potentially, improve success, and giving tutors an opportunity to coach and support less able students over a longer period of time.

As there are pros and cons to both approaches, the use of a planning forum helps to ensure the most suitable approach.  We may choose to deliver the first teaching block using the expanded version, with the subsequent teaching block being delivered through a condensed approach.  This approach applies equally to programmes that are being delivered face-to-face or through distance learning.

We use wide range of techniques to deliver the syllabus.

The table below lists some of the techniques that we use in a planned programme structure.

Technique Face-to-face Distance learning
Lectures and seminars These are the most common techniques used by tutors. They offer an opportunity to engage with a large number of students, where the focus is on sharing knowledge through the use of presentations. Delivery would be through video conferencing and/or pre-recorded audio and/or visual material, available through an online platform. Synchronous discussion forums could also be used.
Workshops These are used to build on knowledge shared via tutors and seminars. Teaching can be more in-depth where knowledge is applied, for example to case studies or real-life examples.

Workshops could be student-led, where students present, for example, findings from independent study.

While more challenging to organise than for face-to-face delivery, workshops should not be dismissed. Smaller groups of three or four students could access a forum simultaneously and engage in the same type of activity as for face-to-face.
Tutorials These present an opportunity for focused one-to-one support, where teaching is led by an individual student’s requirements. These can be most effective in the run up to assessment, where tutors can provide more focused direction, perhaps based on a formative assessment. Other than not necessarily being in the same room as a student, tutors could still provide effective tutorials. Video conferencing tools provide the means to see a student, which makes any conversation more personal.
Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) These are invaluable to students studying on a face-to-face programme. Used effectively, VLEs not only provide a repository for taught material such as presentation slides or handouts, but could be used to set formative tasks such as quizzes. Further reading could also be located on a VLE, along with a copy of the programme documents, such as the handbook and assessment timetable. A VLE is a must if students are engaged with online delivery through distance or blended learning, as this would be the primary or the key source of learning. Where distance learning is primarily delivered through hard copies of workbooks, etc., the same principle would apply as for face-to-face learning.

 

Technique Face-to-face Distance learning
Blended learning The combination of traditional face-to-face learning and online learning. This can enable the students to gain personalised support, instruction and guidance while completing assigned activities and tasks remotely. Offline learning enables students to develop autonomy and self- discipline by completing set activities and tasks with limited direction and traditional classroom-based constraints.
Work-based learning Any opportunity to integrate work-based learning into a curriculum should be taken. This adds realism and provides students with an opportunity to link theory to practice in a way in which case studies do not. Many full-time students are involved in some form of employment, either paid or voluntary, which could be used, where appropriate, as part of their learning, for example when assignments require students to contextualise a response to a real organisation. It is likely that the majority of distance learning students would be employed and possibly classed as mature students. Bringing theory to life through a curriculum, which requires work- based application of knowledge, would make learning for these students more relevant and meaningful. Perhaps more importantly, assessment should be grounded in a student’s place of work, wherever possible.
Guest speakers These could be experts from industry or visiting academics in the subject area that is being studied. They could be used to present a lecture/seminar, a workshop or to contribute to assessment. The objective is to make the most effective use of an expert’s knowledge and skill by adding value to the teaching and learning experience. As long as the expert has access to the same platform as the students then the value-added contribution would still be very high. Consideration would need to be given to timings and logistics, but with some innovative management this technique would still have a place in distance learning programmes.
Field trips Effectively planned field trips, which have a direct relevance to the syllabus, would add value to the learning experience. Through these trips students could relate theory to practice, have an opportunity to experience organisations in action, and potentially open their minds to career routes. The use of field trips could be included as part of a distance learning programme. They will add the same value and require the same planning. One additional benefit of field trips for distance learning is that they provide an opportunity for all students in a cohort to meet, which is a rare occurrence for distance learning students.
+ Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a method of assessment (leading to the award of credit) that considers whether students can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess, and so do not need to develop through a course of learning.

We recognise students’ previous achievements and experiences whether at work, home or at leisure, as well as in the classroom. RPL provides a route for the recognition of the achievements resulting from continuous learning. RPL enables recognition of achievement from a range of activities using any valid assessment methodology. Provided that the assessment requirements of a given unit or qualification have been met, the use of RPL is acceptable for accrediting a unit, units or a whole qualification. Evidence of learning must be valid and reliable.

Students seeking RPL need to book an appointment with the Course Leader to review their previous academic attainments and work experience.

+ Equality & Diversity

Equality and fairness are central to the provision at the City of London College.  Promoting equality and diversity involves treating everyone with equal dignity and worth, while also raising aspirations and supporting achievement for people with diverse requirements, entitlements and backgrounds. An inclusive environment for learning anticipates the varied requirements of students, and aims to ensure that all students have equal access to educational opportunities.  Equality of opportunity involves enabling access for people who have differing individual requirements as well as eliminating arbitrary and unnecessary barriers to learning.  In addition, students with and without disabilities are offered learning opportunities that are equally accessible to them, by means of inclusive qualification design.

College’s equality policy requires all students to have equal opportunity to access our qualifications and assessments.

We are committed to making sure that:

  • Students with a protected characteristic (as defined in legislation) are not, when they are undertaking one of our courses, disadvantaged in comparison to students who do not share that characteristic.
  • All students achieve the recognition they deserve from undertaking a qualification and that this achievement can be compared fairly to the achievement of their peers.

Our policy regarding access to its qualifications is that:

  • They should be available to everyone who is capable of reaching the required standards
  • They should be free from any barriers that restrict access and progression
  • There should be equal opportunities for all those wishing to access the qualifications.

Study Mode

Full Time | Part Time | Online

Tuition Fee

Full Time: £6000.00 / per annum
Part Time: £3000.00 / per annum
Online: £1800.00 / per annum

Duration

Full Time: 2 Years
Part Time: 4 Years
Online: 2-4 Years

Awarding Body

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