Level 4 Online Diploma in Computing


The ATHE Online Level 4 Diploma in Computing is a good course to start your studies and career in computing.  In the modern world, skills and knowledge in computer systems and information technology are necessary.  Graduates with qualifications in computing will see a great demand for their skills.  This introductory course in computing provides the equivalent of the first year on a bachelors degree programme and the essential grounding in computer science.


The Online Level ATHE  4 Diploma in Computing is a 120 credit size qualification, it provides the core knowledge, understanding and skills to support learners planning to further their studies in computing. It is equivalent to the first year of a degree programme in Computing, and helps to develop a good understanding of computing, information systems, and security within the 21st century.  This course equips the learner with valuable skills and knowledge for today’s business environment.  Every organisation uses computing information systems, and this course will stand learners in good stead to gain employment in this area.  This course also allows for progression to the second year of a bachelor’s degree in computing/information systems/computer science.  

Course Overview:

The Online Level 4 Diploma in Computing provides much of the underpinning knowledge and understanding for the National Occupational Standards in Management and Leadership and is also recognised by a variety of UK universities for progression to the second year of a bachelor’s degree programme in computing. 

Course Structure

The ATHE Online Level  4 Diploma in computing is a 120 credit qualification. All learners must complete the following units:

  • Human Computer Interaction
    Learners will develop an 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. They will formulate design documentation to plan an interface for a product. Learners will implement the plan to create a prototype. Learners will review and amend the prototype based on user feedback.
  • Management Information Systems
    Learners will investigate different management information systems and evaluate the common features. They will analyse an existing information system in use by an organisation. They will review records, observe performance and understand the legal and organisational requirements that apply to an information system. They will use their findings to recommend improvements to a management information system and they will present their findings to a client.
  • IT and Society
    Learners will understand ethical, legal and regulatory issues relating to IT. They will also understand the impact of IT on society.
  • Computer Programming
    Learners will use different tools and techniques to design, implement and test programs, following the system life cycle. They will use an appropriate programming language and learn about the principles of good programming to enable them to create computer programs.
  • Computer Systems and Software
    This 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.
  • Relational Database Systems
    This unit will develop learners’ understanding of database systems and data analysis and modelling. They will understand how normalisation and functional dependency theory is used to design a relational database and how the client-server model is used.
  • Information Systems Theory and Practice
    Learners will understand the benefits of using information systems to plan a project. They will use an information system to plan and implement an information systems project.
  • Systems Analysis and Design
    Learners 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. They will recommend improvements and plan to implement these improvements for a client.
  • eCommerce Applications
    Learners will learn about different eCommerce models and applications and how they can be used to develop eCommerce in a small business. They will research the stages involved in setting up eCommerce and they will use eCommerce applications to meet a client brief.
  • Software Engineering
    Learners will gain an understanding of the need for software engineering and the different methods and techniques.

Entry Requirements

  • For learners who have recently been in education or training should have one of 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 levels 3 subjects or other equivalent international qualifications or experience
  • Learners must also have an appropriate standard of English to enable them to access relevant resources and complete the unit assignments.


You will be required to complete an assessment for each unit, which will be graded either a pass, merit or distinction.  You will need to ensure that you meet all of the assessment criteria for each unit in order to pass.  For each assessment you will be required to demonstrate that you have undertaken the necessary amount of research and reading, presenting your work using a high level of written English.

Resources and Support  

Once you have registered for the programme you will receive login details required to access the wealth of resources and support that is included in this qualification packages.  The support that you will receive includes:

  • Interactive e-learning resources via our student portal.  On the portal are lessons for each unit/module as part of the qualification.  Lessons include videos, lectures, podcasts, interactive components, all designed by experienced lecturers and teachers.
  • Online student discussion forums – provides an opportunity for you to interact and discuss with other learners on your course – E-workbooks, E-management books and resources, Webinars, Video library.
  • Additional Support 

    There may be times when you feel that you may require additional support, this is available throughout your courses as and when you need it. Support can be through, one to one tutoring, via telephone or online,  or access to online webinars.

    Progression Options 

    On successful completion of a Level 4 qualification in Computing, you can progression onto the level 5 Diploma in computing. You can also progression into employment in a computing and/or technology role at an appropriate level or the second year of a degree programme.  You may choose to continue your studies at such universities either by distance learning or by attending lectures on campus.

    There are many other options for progressing onto our university pathways, please contact one of our student advisors to discuss.


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