A level Computer Science vs Btec ICT

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wnbrn_
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Hello i need some help on discussing what course would be better suited for me and what i want to do.
To start of with i’m obviously interested in computers and how technology works and is created, however i don’t know which course is best for me. Me stupidly not choosing gcse computer science I have no idea if i would like coding or programming. (If you have any recommendations for websites that introduce you into coding and small basic tasks i would appreciate that)

I am wanting to know the difference between the two courses from people who have previously done them- More importantly what they can lead to; university courses or apprenticeships etc.



More importantly can computer science lead to other courses at university than say software engineering, programming or cybersecurity?
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ITStudent22
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(Original post by wnbrn_)
Hello i need some help on discussing what course would be better suited for me and what i want to do.
To start of with i’m obviously interested in computers and how technology works and is created, however i don’t know which course is best for me. Me stupidly not choosing gcse computer science I have no idea if i would like coding or programming. (If you have any recommendations for websites that introduce you into coding and small basic tasks i would appreciate that)

I am wanting to know the difference between the two courses from people who have previously done them- More importantly what they can lead to; university courses or apprenticeships etc.



More importantly can computer science lead to other courses at university than say software engineering, programming or cybersecurity?
I'm a year 2 BTEC IT student and my course is a mix of coursework (60%) and exams (40%). My course is not all programming. It also consists of units such as social media in business, creating spreadsheets and cybersecurity. If you choose BTEC, would you be doing the extended certificate, diploma or extended diploma. Each of those qualifications is worth 1, 2 or 3 A-levels

A-level computer science is mostly just programming I think but not 100% sure. Both A-level and BTEC can allow progression to university, apprenticeships or the workplace. There's this idea that BTEC is not as worthy as A-levels but both have value to universities and employers (excluding top universities that prefer A-levels). BTEC provides a more vocational approach to IT with assignment briefs that relate to the industry.

I also didn't do GCSE computer science which meant I had to do a level 2 BTEC in IT before progressing to level 3. It was worth it though as going to level 3 without a relevant level 2 isn't recommended as you could have gaps in your knowledge.
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TQRL
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(Original post by ITStudent22)
A-level computer science is mostly just programming I think but not 100% sure. Both A-level and BTEC can allow progression to university, apprenticeships or the workplace. There's this idea that BTEC is not as worthy as A-levels but both have value to universities and employers (excluding top universities that prefer A-levels).
Current Y13 student here - can't comment on BTEC ICT or applying to apprenticeships since I'm not familiar with them. I do A-Level CS (OCR H446) and it consists of 80% written exams (i.e. theory) and 20% coursework. The content covers a variety of different topics about computers and how they work such as CPUs, data types and a small section on algorithms such as Dijkstra's algorithm and other basic discrete math topics. I highly recommend looking at the specification and watching youtube videos on a handful of the topics to get a better idea of the content covered. If you're into this sort of stuff and prefer the theory side of things you'll likely enjoy the subject.

For the coursework, you are asked to pick a stakeholder and program a solution to solve one of their problems. You are expected to make a report (around 70-110 pages is the recommended amount, though the range in my class was like 100-220) detailing how you broke down the problem, designed to solution and developed the program. Don't be mistaken though, the coursework mainly assesses the report (i.e. writing) rather than the actual program - a good program but weak report won't get you many marks.

If you're looking into studying Computer Science at university you should take A-Level maths if you also have an interest in it; most Russel Groups and higher ranked universities often require it. If you're aiming for the top top unis such as Oxbridge and ICL, further math will basically be another requirement. I think for other CS related courses such as software engineering maths isn't a requirement. Surprisingly, you'll find that computer science isn't a requirement but more of a recommended subject.
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(Original post by ITStudent22)
I'm a year 2 BTEC IT student and my course is a mix of coursework (60%) and exams (40%). My course is not all programming. It also consists of units such as social media in business, creating spreadsheets and cybersecurity. If you choose BTEC, would you be doing the extended certificate, diploma or extended diploma. Each of those qualifications is worth 1, 2 or 3 A-levels

A-level computer science is mostly just programming I think but not 100% sure. Both A-level and BTEC can allow progression to university, apprenticeships or the workplace. There's this idea that BTEC is not as worthy as A-levels but both have value to universities and employers (excluding top universities that prefer A-levels). BTEC provides a more vocational approach to IT with assignment briefs that relate to the industry.

I also didn't do GCSE computer science which meant I had to do a level 2 BTEC in IT before progressing to level 3. It was worth it though as going to level 3 without a relevant level 2 isn't recommended as you could have gaps in your knowledge.
Yeah i’ve decided IT is definitely more suited for me however i’m undecided wether i want to do the extended certificate or extended diploma. ( I believe the college that does this course doesn’t do a diploma version which makes it a little bit harder to choose).
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ITStudent22
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(Original post by wnbrn_)
Yeah i’ve decided IT is definitely more suited for me however i’m undecided wether i want to do the extended certificate or extended diploma. ( I believe the college that does this course doesn’t do a diploma version which makes it a little bit harder to choose).
Level 3 BTEC IT is a two year course in college. In year 1, students complete the extended certificate (1 A-level) or the foundation diploma (1.5 A-levels). In year 2, students progress to the diploma (2 A-levels) or the extended diploma (3 A-levels). If you do the highest qualification which is the extended diploma, it consists of 13 units total (4/13 of those units is just exams).

Here's a short explanation of what BTEC grades are worth compared to A-levels
Distinction* = A*
Distinction = A
Merit = C
Pass = E

If you have any questions, you can send me a PM.
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