NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT

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NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT


  • General
  • Business
  • Networking and systems support
  • Software development
  • England
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

The qualifications do not appear on the DfE 16 – 19 performance tables.

These qualifications are suitable for learners aged 16 and above.

They are designed to prepare learners for employment in the IT and telecoms sector or to progress to higher level learning.

They are designed for learners interested in an apprenticeship in roles such as software developer, desktop support engineer, network planner, database administrator, network engineer or software tester.

These qualifications allow learners to specialise in their area of interest by choosing units from one of four pathways (General, business, networking and systems support or software development).

Education context

The qualifications are recognised as the knowledge component of the Advanced Apprenticeships in IT, Software, Web and Telecoms Professionals.

Awarding organisation
  • NCFE
Qualification codes
601/7050/5 (General 601/7050/5/GEN)
601/7050/5 (Business 601/7050/5/BSN)
601/7050/5 (Networking and Systems 601/7050/5/NET)
601/7050/5 (Software Development 601/7050/5/SOF)

The qualifications consist of four pathways, of which learners choose one:

  • General
  • Business
  • Networking and systems support
  • Software development
Subject areas

Each pathway consists of a number of core mandatory units which allow learners to develop their underpinning knowledge of the IT and telecoms sector, such as computer systems and systems security.

Each pathway also includes a number of optional units relevant to the chosen specialism (business, networking and systems support or software development) and a number of vendor and specialist units.

The vendor units allow learners to familiarise themselves with widely used programmes designed by market leaders such as Microsoft and CISCO.

The vendor unit content allows learners to prepare for vendor certification, which will improve their employment prospects in the industry.

The optional specialist units allow learners to focus on a particular area of interest such as computer game design, spreadsheet modelling or web animation.

  • Level 3

Pass, Fail


Internally assessed and externally moderated portfolio of evidence.

Learners are set assignments. These may be in the form of briefs, scenarios, problem solving exercises and research investigations. They are contextualised using realistic scenarios. The assessment may require students to write a report, write a business proposal, deliver a presentation, or make conclusions based on extensive research into a practical investigation.

All assessment is criterion-referenced, based on the achievement of specified learning outcomes. Each unit within a qualification has specified assessment guidance.

Contribution of assessment components to overall grade

100 per cent of the assessment is by the portfolio of evidence.

Resit arrangements

To achieve the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT, learners must successfully demonstrate their achievement of all learning outcomes of the units as detailed in the qualification specification.

Learners who are not successful can resubmit work within the registration period.

Guided/notional learning hours
1080 hours
UCAS Tariff points

NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT

Grade Points
P 96
Key issues for UK HE admissions

These qualifications were developed by e-skills, the Sector Skills Council for the IT and Telecoms sector, in partnership with awarding organisations and employers.

Level 3 criteria require learners to analyse, draw conclusions, interpret or justify, which are all examples of higher level skills. This means that evidence provided for the portfolio will also demonstrate the development and use of higher level learning skills.

Learners may combine the NCFE Level 3 Extended Diploma in IT with other qualifications e.g. A levels or other vocational qualifications.

Timing of assessments/results for learners

Learners are assessed throughout their programme of learning and may submit their portfolio of evidence at any point.

Results are provided on a rolling basis.

Reporting and certification information

Certification of these qualifications is reported on the basis of the number of pass certificates achieved over a 12-month period.

Progression information

These qualifications can lead to higher education, an apprenticeship or employment in the IT sector.

The main roles for which these qualifications are suited are:

  • software developer
  • desktop support engineer
  • network planner
  • database administrator
  • network engineer
  • software tester
Further information

Further information can be found in the qualification specifications listed here:…