St Mary's Catholic College, Wallasey

St Mary's Catholic College
A Voluntary Aided Academy

Key Stage 5 ICT

The objective of this qualification is to give students the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in IT systems, systems management and social media in business. This will enable students to progress to further study in the IT sector or other sectors.

BTEC can be studied as either Single Award or Double Award

Single Award Units

Unit 1: Information Technology Systems

Information technology (IT) systems have a significant role in the world around us and play a part in almost everything we do. Having a sound understanding of how to effectively select and use appropriate IT systems will benefit you personally and professionally.

You will explore the relationships between the hardware and software that form an IT system, and the way that systems work individually and together, as well as the relationship between the user and the system. You will examine issues related to the use of IT systems and the impact that they have on organisations and individuals. In this unit you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.

This unit will give you a fundamental and synoptic understanding of all areas of IT, supporting your progression to an IT-related higher education course.

This unit is externally assessed through a written examination.
The examination is two hours in length.
The number of marks for the unit is 90.

Unit 2: Creating Systems to Manage Information

In order to produce information to support many business processes as well as our social lives, relational databases are widely used to manage and process data. From the smallest in-house systems to stock control systems for large online retailers, databases are repositories of information that are a significant part of organisational operating requirements.

You will examine the structure of data and its origins, and how an efficient data design follows through to an effective and useful database. You will examine a given scenario and develop an effective design solution to produce a database system. You will then test your solution to ensure that it works correctly. Finally, you will evaluate each stage of the development process and the effectiveness of your database solution. In this unit you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.

The skills you gain in this unit support progression to IT-related higher education courses and to employment in a role that requires computing-related expertise.

This unit is externally assessed through a task set and marked by the exam board.
The set task will be completed under supervised conditions for 10 hours in a one-week period set by the exam board, which can be arranged over a number of sessions.
The set task will assess students’ ability to design, create, test and evaluate a relational database system to manage information.
The number of marks for the unit is 66.

Unit 3: Using Social Media in Business

Social media websites are a popular way for people to communicate and share information with friends and family. People spend a lot of time on social media websites and they give businesses opportunities to interact with people, for example to promote their business, to encourage people to visit their e-commerce site and buy, to provide customer service. You may be familiar with social media for personal use and in this unit you will discover how it can be used in a business context.

You will explore different social media websites, the ways in which they can be used and the potential pitfalls when using them for business purposes. You will develop a plan to use social media strategies for business purposes to achieve specific aims and objectives. You will then implement the plan, developing and posting content and interacting with others. Finally, you will collect data on the business use of social media and review the effectiveness of your efforts.

Understanding how to use social media for business purposes is useful for employment in information technology and in a variety of business sectors. Also, social media skills are closely linked with web and mobile applications development. This unit gives you a starting point for progression to roles such as social media specialist, content developer and web developer

This unit is internally assessed.

Unit 5: Data Modelling

In all aspects of life, individuals are constantly faced with situations where they must weigh up the available information in order to produce alternatives and make decisions. In the working environment, effective decision making can ensure the successful development of organisations. Poor decision making can have significant negative consequences and can even lead to the demise of an organisation.

In this unit, you will investigate the fundamentals of the decision-making process. You will find out how using data modelling provides the computational ability to compare consequences, and determine a preferred course of action. You will develop the skills and techniques necessary to create complex spreadsheets in order to produce accurate information that informs decision making. You will examine a scenario and then design, develop and test a spreadsheet; you will review your spreadsheet and make refinements based on user feedback, providing an evaluation of the effectiveness of the alternatives produced.

The skills developed in this unit are useful for progression to computing or business-related higher education courses and for use in decision making in the workplace.

This unit is internally assessed.

Double Award Units

Unit 4: Programming

You will learn about computational thinking skills and the principles of designing and developing computer programs. You will apply computational thinking skills to design, develop, test, refine and review computer programs for a given range of purposes.

By developing your analytical, problem-solving and programming skills, this unit will help you to progress to higher education or to e employment as a software developer.

This unit is internally assessed.

Unit 9 - IT Project Management

You will investigate the principles of project management and different project management methodologies, as used in the IT industry. You will deliver an IT project using at least one project management methodology and complete the five main stages of a project. You will initiate the project by researching a problem and using your creative skills to generate a range of solutions, undertaking a feasibility study to select an appropriate solution and outline the requirements of the project. You will undertake the planning, execution and monitoring and control stages of the project, either through simulation or by undertaking a major project as part of your BTEC course, which could involve the integration of several units. You will close the project by reflecting on the success of the project outcome and your personal performance.

The analytical and problem-solving skills and knowledge you gain in this unit will prepare you for entry to higher education to study a range of degrees. The unit will help you when entering an
IT apprenticeship or the workplace, for example working alongside a project manager.

The unit is internally assessed.


In this unit, you will examine the many different types of cyber security attacks, the vulnerabilities that exist in networked systems and the techniques that can be used to defend an organisation’s networked systems. You will investigate the techniques used to assess risks and ways of planning to deal with the results of a cyber security incident and recover systems following an incident. You will examine scenarios, carry out risk assessments and prepare protection plans before protecting networked systems. You will also examine evidence from cyber security incidents and relevant security documentation, using the evidence to make recommendations for improvement. In this unit, you will draw on your learning from across your programme to complete assessment tasks.

As IT systems evolve, there is an increasing need for IT professionals to protect networked systems and the information they contain, while providing enhanced features and benefits for organisations, customers and individuals. This unit will help prepare you for IT courses in higher education and for technician-level job roles and apprenticeships in a variety of related areas.

This unit is externally assessed by a task set and marked by Pearson.

Unit 17: 2D and 3D Digital Graphics

In this unit, you will understand the difference between raster- and vector-based graphics. You will investigate the purpose and characteristics of different 2D and 3D digital graphics. The characteristics you will explore are technical characteristics, including how graphics are created and represented in digital form, and the legal requirements. You will also explore the impact of the technologies used on the usability and accuracy of the digital graphics. You will design and develop
2D and 3D digital graphics for an audience and purpose. To do this you will use specialist software and hardware to develop the graphics that could be included in a larger media product, such as a user interface, a website or a computer game.

The visual communication, planning and design skills you gain in this unit will prepare you for entry to higher education to study a range of degrees. The unit will also help you when entering an
IT apprenticeship or the workplace.

This unit is internally assessed.