Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Business

Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
2 years
Curriculum Manager: 
Jocelyn Chapman

What is the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Business?

You will study 18 units over two years – including; The Business Environment, Introduction to Marketing, Financial Accounting, Managing a Business Event and International Business.

Each unit is assessed by means of a vocational assignment.

As the level 3 Extended Diploma in Business is equivalent to three A Levels you must be very interested in current affairs and the business world. You will be studying decision making within a wide range of organisations against a background of changing environments. Much of your work will be set in the context of real businesses.

Is the Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma in Business suitable for me?

Current students have enjoyed marketing topics as they provide a chance to find out from real experience about a variety of organisations. Students like the fact that their coursework assignments count towards their final grade and that there are no exams. You will be required to use real businesses for your coursework in order to give you real world examples on which to base your assignments.

It is, however, a demanding course and students need to work consistently hard throughout the two years, often on more than one piece of coursework at a time, to achieve a good grade. There are, however, opportunities to improve grades on coursework.
Your skills in time management will improve over the two years and this will be vital for gaining good grades.

You will often work in small groups and you may well be required to present your findings to a particular task to the rest of the group.

The range of units you study is very wide, including the core units and those designed to facilitate more specialist study. The specialist units cover a wide range of business topics, including those concerned with business finances, managing human resources, marketing and event planning.

It is possible for students to study an AS Level alongside their Cambridge Technical Diploma course, although this is likely to be a challenging programme of study. An opportunity for work experience is included in the course at the end of the first year.

How will I learn?

You will have a mixture of classroom based lessons, workshops and the chance for independent study. In a typical lesson you will be taught relevant business theory, which you will then apply to the real organisation you are researching.

Homework will be a mixture of case study questions and work on individual assignments and is likely to vary from four to five hours per week or more when assignments are due. Learning whilst working or visiting businesses is also essential to success on this course.

How will I be assessed?

You will study a total of 18 units during the two years of the course. All of the units are assessed by coursework – and this may include the production of portfolios, presentations, practical projects, and staff observations. None of the units require you to sit a formal examination.

For each unit you complete you will be awarded a Pass (P), Merit (M), or Distinction (D) grade. As this qualification is equivalent to 3 A Levels, you will also be awarded an overall grade consisting of three grades – such as PPP, MMP, or D*DD.

We are aware that OCR is currently evaluating the assessment process and there may be the introduction of an examined unit. Further information is unavailable at the current time.


Students go on to a variety of higher education courses and jobs. Many students go on to study Business Studies or related subjects, such as Management Science and International Business, at University. Other students have immediately entered employment where they have taken up roles in businesses where they have the option of pursuing further training. Some students have chosen to progress into less related areas such as Public Services and Property Management.

Many students have found that the CTEC Extended Diploma in Business course has been a very successful route into university. The focus on one subject across a variety of topics provides an in depth insight into how businesses work. A number of students who were not considering university at the beginning of the course have been encouraged successfully to pursue this route. Our previous students have gone on to a wide variety of courses and jobs.

Entry requirements

Students should normally have achieved an A*- C grade profile at GCSE. For GCSE English and Maths where a new grading system has been introduced a Grade 4 is equivalent to a Grade C. Alternatively if you have studied at level 2 you should have achieved a merit or above. Vocational courses are an ideal qualification for students who prefer coursework. To study this course you should have an interest in the Business world. 

Course costs

All students will be expected to provide their own textbooks, stationery, computer disks and calculators (where applicable). Costs are outlined below:

Essential: £20.00 for 1 textbook.

Optional: you may wish to take part in field trips or visits for which a charge will be made.
If the costs of equipment, materials and trips may cause you financial hardship, you may wish to read through details of our financial support scheme on our website.