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The Sheffield College

L3 Networks & Cyber Security Academy

Level 3 Diploma in IT (Networks and Cyber Security Academy)

This specialist academy allows students to focus their learning on the skills and knowledge required for a career in IT networks and cyber security. Below you will find a detailed breakdown of the core and specialist units for this programme.

Level 3 IT

Core Units

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

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.

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


Many organisations and businesses rely on computer programs to help deliver products and services. Organisations and businesses (often known as ‘clients’) work closely with programmers to help design and build computer programs that fulfil their requirements.

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.

Website Development

Increasingly, organisations rely on websites to serve customers and, in some cases, to generate revenue. With millions of web pages being created daily, the need for websites to be engaging, innovative and desirable is important. As a website developer, you must use sophisticated techniques to capture user interest and to ensure that customers are served. The scripting involved in the development of websites has become crucial: website developers need to understand and acquire the necessary skills to find solutions to a variety of scenarios and problems.

In this unit, you will review existing websites – commenting on their overall design and effectiveness. You will use scripting languages such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and JavaScript® and a simple text editor, or rapid application development tools. Finally, you will reflect on the website design and functionality using a testing and review process.

Mobile App Development

Millions of people carry a mobile device that rivals the capability of many desktop computers. These devices offer a broad range of functionality by bringing together many different technologies. To develop high-quality mobile apps you must have an understanding of how they are designed to run specifically on mobile devices and how you can exploit the technologies currently available to ensure an effective final product.

In this unit you will investigate mobile apps, how they are used, why they are created, the differences between devices and the implications of creating and using software on mobile devices. You will study the design considerations inherent in mobile apps and general software design. You will design, develop, test and review a mobile app to fulfil a specific set of client requirements.

IT Project Management

Project management is the art of coordinating resources, both human and machine, and solving problems to complete an agreed set of objectives and/or to deliver benefits in a fixed time period, budget and to a specified quality. Ensuring the quality of IT projects in any sector is an essential requirement.

In this unit, 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.

Cyber Security and Incident Management

Our increasing reliance on computer systems and the data they contain makes us vulnerable to attacks from cyber criminals, and also to the loss of these systems if there is an accident or a natural disaster. As IT system security is improved, more sophisticated methods of attack are developed, and it is important that organisations have robust plans in place to deal with a cyber-security incident before it occurs. All IT professionals require a good understanding of the current threats to systems, how to apply appropriate and effective protection methods and how to manage a cyber-security incident.

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.

IT Service Delivery

Organisations are increasingly reliant on IT to perform everyday tasks, deliver goals and ensure customers’ needs are met, therefore delivery of high-quality IT services is a must for an organisation to be successful.

An IT service is any use or application of an IT system to support the aims and needs of the organisation. In this unit, you will apply understanding of IT systems and the IT service life cycle to explore the needs of organisations and the IT services that facilitate their success.

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is referred to as the next industrial revolution and is transforming the way we work, socialise and live our lives. The IoT is connecting together our physical world of everyday ‘things’ and the digital world. It involves a network of ‘things’, for example appliances, vehicles and wearable devices that are embedded with sensors and other electronics to gather, store and analyse data over the internet that meets a need by triggering action(s).

In this unit, you will investigate the applications of different IoT systems and services, including the principles involved and the characteristics of the systems and services. You will design a prototype IoT system or device and develop it using off-the-shelf hardware and suitable programming languages, techniques and constructs.

IT Technical Support and Management

Effective IT technical support and management of systems are vital to organisation and individual performance. Organisations require their IT systems to perform at their optimum capacity and efficiency, as any downtime of these systems can lead to lost working time or capacity. Individuals working in organisations often lack the technical expertise to maintain their systems correctly and efficiently, which is why support teams are employed to do this job for them.

In this unit, you will examine the support and management needs and characteristics of IT systems used by organisations, identifying areas where support is necessary and the different job roles involved. Finally, you will prepare a support and management plan for a new IT system.


Cloud Storage and Collaborative Tools

Cloud services provide on-demand access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources, including network devices, servers, storage and applications that can be rapidly provisioned and released. As our reliance on mobile devices to access digital services and content grows, the use of 'The Cloud' as a method of storing and distributing data and services, becomes more popular. It is likely that you have made use of these technologies yourself for tasks such as backing up images from your smartphone. The scope of cloud-based services is much wider than just storage, and it gives organisations and individual’s flexibility in the way IT meets their needs, allowing them to shrink, expand or diversify their IT use while reducing the complexity and cost of making changes to existing processes and systems.

In this unit, you will learn about how different cloud-based technologies can be used to meet a range of clients’ needs. You will explore the characteristics, benefits and drawbacks of these technologies, considering their impact on individuals and organisations. You will analyse the IT needs of an organisation and how cloud storage and collaboration tools will meet the organisation’s needs. Finally, you will design and implement a cloud-based solution to meet a client’s need.

Enterprise in IT

Entrepreneurial ideas in IT are plentiful, whether it is to design and develop new software or to provide IT support. IT businesses built on entrepreneurial ideas can create wealth for their owners and the nation, generate new employment opportunities, as well as provide customers with value-added products and services. WhatsApp®, Airbnb®, Impression, and Wizzed Media are examples of software, peer-to-peer services, digital marketing and websites, and mobile application start-ups that were once entrepreneurial ideas that successfully tapped into markets with a high demand and grew into thriving IT enterprises.You will learn about enterprise by looking at the characteristics of entrepreneurs, the techniques they use and how these contribute to setting up and running an enterprise.