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Level: 3

Location: Joseph Wright Centre

Years: 2

Interview: Y

Course Summary

The Advanced Level 3 Interactive Media: Digital Pathway has been specifically designed for students wishing to study a creative subject combined with IT, plus work experience, tutorial and personal and professional development.

The qualification is aimed at students aged 16 years or over who have already achieved GCSE grade 4 [C] in both English and Maths and want to study digital media concept and production development. 

The knowledge, understanding and skills you acquire on this pathway will enable you to use your creative flair to develop content for innovative media products.

Other skills that will be developed include working in a team, communication, adaptability and evaluation. You will also have opportunities to find out from employers how the skills and knowledge you acquire are used in the workplace.

The qualification is designed to be taken as part of a study programme alongside other vocational qualifications including IT, and prepares you for further study. It could also help provide a route to a higher education media-related programme such as Media Production, Media and Communications, Journalism and Media, and Digital Marketing.

This qualification is suitable for students who want:

  • A Level 3 qualification to support further study in Further Education (FE) or Higher Education (HE) in Digital Media
  • A Level 3 qualification to support further study in FE or HE in any other sector or subject area
  • To progress into a media-related apprenticeship

Entry requirements

Typically, you will have at least five GCSEs graded A*- C, including English Language and Maths. Alternatively you may have equivalent intermediate qualifications at Merit grade or above, along with GCSE grade 4/C in English Language and Maths.

Importantly a university application will probably require five GCSEs graded C (4) or above, including both English Language and Maths GCSE at grade 4/C or above.

In addition to these entry requirements, you may be asked to attend a taster activity where your practical skills and potential will be assessed.

Course Content

Component 1: Interactive Media will provide you with the opportunity, through applied learning, to develop the core specialist knowledge, skills and understanding required in the digital media sector.

You will take between five and seven units: three mandatory and between two and four specialist units.

You will study the following mandatory units:

  • Media products and audiences
  • Pre-production and planning
  • Create a media product

These units will give you an understanding of how different media institutions operate to create products that appeal to specific target audiences. You’ll gain knowledge and understanding of the pre-production, planning and production processes and will go on to create a media product. Through this, you will also develop transferable skills such as planning, communication, adaptability and leadership.

Component 2: Information Technology [IT]

This will provide you with the opportunity, through applied learning, to develop the core principles, specialist knowledge and understanding required in the IT sector.

You will take two mandatory units to achieve this component - Fundamentals of IT and Global Information Systems - both of which are externally assessed. The units provide you 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.

The mandatory units also assist in the development of transferable skills valued by higher education institutions, such as communication and problem-solving.

How will I be assessed?

Component 1: Interactive Media: You must achieve a total of five or seven units depending on your pathway, including three mandatory units and two subject-specific units. The qualification is assessed using a combination of:

  • External assessment, which is set and marked by the Awarding Body
  • Internal assessment, where your tutor assesses your work which is also externally moderated

Every unit achieved will be graded as Pass, Merit or Distinction.

Component 2: Information Technology [IT] is assessed via two mandatory units which are both externally examined.

If you don’t achieve a Pass in a unit, it will be graded unclassified. You must get at least a Pass for every unit to be awarded the qualification.

Qualifications are graded using a Pass, Merit, Distinction, Distinction* (and Unclassified) structure.


Are there any additional costs or specialist equipment required?

You will need to provide a memory stick and a set of mini-headphones for your studies.

What can I do after this course?

Further Study

This qualification could also form part of the basis for application to a higher education course (degree, foundation degree or HNC/HND) in a Media-related discipline.


Students who complete this course will have a range of options, as studying this qualification does not restrict future progression to one particular role.

The type of job roles this pathway could lead to include digital layout artist, digital graphic designer, assistant computer graphics modeller or assistant animator.


This course is run at the Joseph Wright Centre

About Joseph Wright Centre »

Helen Clark

Helen Clark

Former BTEC student Helen leads Derby innovation showcase

A company director who studied BTEC multimedia at Derby College is spearheading a key event showcasing ideas and innovation in the city. Helen Clark, 32, attended the former Wilmorton site on a two year course when she was just 16. She is now a director with city-based Clark CX, a website conversion rate optimisation consultancy, which was founded by her husband Pete. Helen said Derby College gave her a crucial insight into the workplace and the course was broad-based enough to allow her to choose in which direction she wanted to take her career. After college she took a graphic design degree in Norwich, which led to design roles in Bath, Mansfield and then Derby. Pete separately attended Derby College on an art foundation course, and Helen joined his business two years ago. They are now putting together TEDxDerby 2016 at QUAD on May 21. The event is a forum which will showcase creative and innovative ideas from speakers predominantly based in, or connected, to Derby.

Helen said: "The BTEC course was like an introduction to the real world and how people work in the industry. We covered a wide range from illustration to graphic design and video work, which helped me to decide which field I wanted to go into."

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