What is studied in Year 12?

OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Certificate in IT

Learners take two mandatory units to achieve this qualification, Fundamentals of IT and Global information systems, both of which are externally assessed so 100% exam. The units provide learners with an insight into the IT sector as they investigate the pace of technological change, IT infrastructure, the flow of information on a global scale and important legal and security considerations.

Unit 1 – Fundamentals of IT

A sound understanding of IT technologies and practices is essential for IT professionals. Information learnt in this unit will create a solid foundation in the fundamentals of hardware, networks, software, the ethical use of computers and how businesses use IT.
After completing this unit, the knowledge, skills and understanding you have developed will underpin your study for the additional units.

Unit 2 – Global Information

The purpose of this unit is to demonstrate the uses of information in the public domain, globally, in the cloud and across the Internet, by individuals and organisations. You will discover that good management of both data and information is essential and that it can give any organisation a competitive edge.

This unit will provide you with a greater understanding of how organisations use information sources both internally and externally and the types of information you will encounter. The skills gained by completing this unit will give you knowledge of the functionality of information and how data is stored and processed by organisations. You will also learn about how individuals use information of various types.
This unit will help you to understand the legislation and regulation governing information which flows in to and out of an organisation and the constraints and limitations that apply to it. You will also learn the relationship between data and Information.

The mandatory units also assist in the development of transferrable skills valued by Higher Education institutions such as communication and problem solving.

What is studied in Year 13?

This qualification is designed for those who want to continue their education through applied learning by developing their knowledge and understanding of the principles of IT and global information systems. Achievement of this qualification can support progression to go on and study relevant IT degrees in a Higher Education institution such as, Computing and IT, Computing Science, Software Developments, Software Engineering, ICT and Computer Networks or Business Information Systems.

Students will study Unit 3 which is an externally assessed exam and two further optional units which are coursework projects.

Unit 3 – Cyber Security (Mandatory)

The need for secure digital systems is more crucial than ever before. We rely on computerised systems and networks to collect, process, store and transfer vast amounts of data and to control critical systems such as water and power supplies.
Business and e-commerce can be undertaken twenty four hours a day, seven days a week and telecommunications enable us to keep in touch with family and friends and collaborate with colleagues at any time. Mobile devices offer us freedom and flexibility of where and how we learn and work. However, for all the advantages that these systems offer us, some people have found ways to exploit them and this poses a threat to our safety and security in the real world, as much as in the cyber world. To deal with this problem, the cyber security industry is expanding at a rapid rate.
This unit has been designed to enable you to gain knowledge and understanding of the range of threats, vulnerabilities and risks that impact on both individuals and organisations. You will learn about the solutions that can be used to prevent or deal with cyber security incidents resulting from these challenges. You will be able to apply your knowledge and understanding of cyber security issues and solutions by reviewing and making recommendations for ways to best protect digital systems and information.

Unit 8 – Project Management (Optional)

This unit will provide you with the opportunity to understand and use various project planning skills and techniques, thereby enabling you to become more effective in the workplace.
The key to any project being a success is the planning and management that takes place. Project management skills are essential transferable skills that can be used for all projects whether it’s traditional methodologies or more recently adopted agile approaches within the IT development environment. These skills can be adapted and used even on the smallest ‘tasks’ during the planning and implementation stages.
Regardless of your job role, you will often be called upon to participate in projects for a wide variety of reasons, consequentially this unit is optional within all four pathways. This unit will assist you in developing your skills, knowledge and understanding of different project methodologies and the key factors that can influence the success or failure of a project.

Unit 9 – Product Development (Optional)

The purpose of this unit is to prepare you to undertake product development activities. You will learn about different product design methodologies and the role of the product development life cycle. In addition, you will discover the factors that influence product developments.
The key to any product development being a success is the analysis, client review, design, testing and final acceptance that takes place. The skills that you will learn can be applied to the development of any product, large or small. You will use product development skills and work through the product development life cycle.
It is recommended that you develop a product alongside the other units you are studying so that you can explore the units holistically as a wider project. This will align to your chosen pathway and support progression into your chosen field within the IT industry.
Whether you are building a network, developing a website, developing a system for data analytics or creating an Augmented or Virtual Reality resource, they are all products. It is therefore important that you understand the processes required for the development of products and that you can apply them to a variety of situations.

Unit 11 – Systems Analysis and Design (Optional)

All organisations have information systems; some are informal such as the ‘grapevine’ which deals in predominantly unreliable, unstructured data to produce equally unreliable information: it is not that the information cannot be correct, but that no one can guarantee it.
This unit will provide you with the knowledge and skills to support the design of formal information systems. These systems provide useful reliable, validated information through the integration of data, hardware, software and humans into processes which enable the organisation to meet its internal goals and its external obligations.
IT technicians are involved in the implementation of systems which have been designed and in many instances assist in their design. Emerging digital technology practitioners also have to have a knowledge and understanding of how to analyse and design systems that are supported by the emerging technologies such as Virtual and Augmented Reality, mobile technologies as well as the Internet of Everything.

Unit 17 – Internet of Everything (Optional)

This unit is about the use of the Internet and how it is impacting people and society.
You will learn about the Internet of Everything and how it is used. Using your knowledge you’ll carry out a feasibility study for a potential idea. You will pitch your idea to potential stakeholders and use their feedback to revise you proposal.

Further Information

Visit the OCR website for the full specification and examples of exam papers: