ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Computing

IntroductionEntry CriteriaQualification Content

Please note: ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Computing (601/4740/4) is being withdrawn for registrations from 31st August 2024 and there will be no certifications for this qualification after 31st December 2025.

The ATHE Level 4 Diploma in Computing is a 120-credit Ofqual regulated qualification.
This qualification provides the core knowledge, understanding and skills to support learners planning to further their studies in computing. It is equivalent in size and level to the first year of a degree programme in computing.

This is a core qualification available to existing and interested centres of ATHE.

Graded with Pass or Fail.
Advanced learner loans available in the UK – to check if funding is available see the latest Qualification Catalogue here.
For the progression routes visit our progression routes page.

Delivery Mode
This qualification can be delivered either in the classroom, via distance learning or blended.

Qualification Specification
To view the specification, please click here.

Typical Age

This qualification is designed for learners who are typically aged 18 and above.


For learners who have recently been in education or training the entry profile is likely to include one of the following:

  • a GCE Advanced level profile with achievement in 2 or more subjects supported by 5 or more GCSEs at grades C and above
  • other related level 3subjects
  • an Access to Higher Education Certificate delivered by an approved further education institute and validated by an Access Validating Agency
  • other equivalent international qualifications


For those whom English is not their first language we recommend the following standards of proficiency in English language skills or an approved equivalent for this qualification:

  • IELTs 5.5
  • Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) B2
  • Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) 162 or above
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic 42-49

Learners must complete all 10 mandatory units.

Unit NameUnit AimsCreditsMandatory
IT and SocietyLearners will understand ethical, legal and regulatory issues relating to IT. They will also understand the impact of IT on society.12Yes
Computer Systems and SoftwareThis unit will develop learners’ understanding of the integration of hardware and software components. Learners will explore how hardware serves specific computer processing functions and investigate the use of various software applications.12Yes
Computer ProgrammingLearners will use different tools and techniques to design, implement and test programs, following the system life cycle12Yes
Relational Database SystemsThis unit will develop learners’ understanding of database systems and data analysis and modelling.12Yes
Software EngineeringLeaners will gain an understanding of the need for Software Engineering and the different methods and techniques.12Yes
Systems Analysis and DesignLearners will be able to understand the systems development life cycle and the role of systems methodologies within the life cycle. Learners will be introduced to different fact finding and problem-solving techniques and they will use these to analyse an existing system.12Yes
E-commerce ApplicationsLearners will learn about different e-commerce models and applications and how they can be used to develop e-commerce in a small business.12Yes
Human Computer InteractionLearners will develop understanding of principles and models of Human Computer Interaction (HCI). They will evaluate existing HCI design and principles and use this to help them plan their own prototype user interface.12Yes
Information Systems Theory and PracticeLearners will understand the benefits of using information systems to plan a project12Yes
Management Information SystemsLearners will investigate different management information systems and evaluate the common features.12Yes