Level 4 Professional Diploma in Computing (QCF)  makes up the first year of the UKAP degree journey. The qualification is equivalent to the first year of an IT degree in the UK university system.

You will be given the opportunity to develop essential thinking and study skills, not only within the computing domain, but also within the context of business through a balance of academic and vocational subjects. The qualification will allow you to understand and enter the computing profession with the necessary knowledge expected within the industry and the ability to apply the skills to a range of IT-related functions.

On successful completion of the qualification you will be able to embark on UKAP Level 5 Diploma in Computing (QCF) ,which is equivalent to the second year of a UK Bachelor's degree, transfer to a university or pursue a career in the IT industry


UKAP is regulated by Distance Education and Training Council to award the Level 4 Diploma in Computing (QCF) in England. DETC Qualification reference number 60054441.

Entry Requirement

For entry onto the UKAP qualification you must have at least one of the following:

  • UKAP International Foundation Year (IFY) or Level 3 Diploma in Computing (QCF) qualification.


  • An international qualification which is deemed to be of a similar level to the UKAP IFY or qualification. This must be agreed with UKAP in advance.


  • Mature students need to demonstrate over two years' relevant work experience and also hold O' level/GCSE English and Maths or equivalent.

If you're a potential student whose first language is not English, you will need to obtain a valid score of 5.5 or above in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination or equivalent. Alternatively, take the free UKAP Higher English Placement Test, which is administered by our Accredited Partner Centres. This may not apply in your country, please contact us to check whether you require IELTS.

You must study the following eight core units:

  • Skills for Computing - provides the essential skills for a computing student (including study, presentation, report-writing and data handling skills). Not only will this unit prepare you for successful outcomes in your studies, but it will also provide you with skills that can be applied in the workplace.
  • Computer Networks - networking and communication skills are vitally important in today's connected world. In this unit you will develop a good understanding of basic theory, and also develop useful practical skills.
  • Computer Systems - supports the development of practical skills in the configuration, maintenance, fault-finding and trouble-shooting of modern computer systems and develops knowledge of computer architecture.
  • Designing and Developing a Website - develops practical skills in website design by providing a detailed understanding of markup languages, style sheets, design techniques and testing.
  • Databases - provides thorough training in practical techniques of the design and development of database systems together with developing a sound understanding of the underpinning theory.
  • Designing and Developing Object-Oriented Computer Programs - provides a thorough introduction to computer programming using Java.
  • Software Development Techniques - addresses the wider issues of software development together with a language-independent survey of useful data structures and algorithms.
  • Office Solutions Development - develops practical skills in the automation of common office applications to support a variety of tasks.

Assessment and Examination

Assessments for all units are offered in a number of assessment cycles throughout the year. All units are assessed by both examination and assignments.

On successful completion of UKAP Level 4 Diploma in Computing (QCF) you will be able to demonstrate a clear understanding of computing systems. You will also be competent in the development, testing and maintenance of software and database systems which will allow you to implement effective strategies for research and lifelong learning.

The qualification allows students entry to either the UKAP Level 5 Diploma in Computing (QCF), (which is equivalent to the second year of a UK Bachelor's degree), or the second year of many UK university degree courses, or enables you to pursue a career in the IT industry.

Equivalent to year 1 of a 3 year UK honours degree

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