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Extended diplomas are a great choice for students who want to specialise in one area and like to learn through assessed coursework with a more work-based, hands-on approach. Two-year Extended Diplomas give you a qualification equivalent to three A Levels.

Why choose an extended diploma?

Vocational, two-year qualifications like the Extended Diploma are a great alternative for learners who prefer to specialise in a subject, trade or professional vocation. More than that, the Level 3 Extended Diploma is an excellent gateway to University level study or progression onto a higher level Apprenticeship and employment.

At Truro and Penwith College, there is a large range of Extended Diplomas to choose from, all taught by sector specialists in purpose-built and dedicated subject area buildings, teaching rooms and workspaces.

Berri Livermore Painting Penwith Portrait
“ (3)

I’m not here because I have to be, I’m here because I want to be. When I was first shown around the department, I instantly knew it was for me. College has allowed me to discover my independence.

Berri - Diploma in Painting and Decorating

how do they work?

The 180 credit, 18-unit qualification most popular with our students is referred to as the Extended Diploma and is equivalent to three subjects at A Level. On an Extended Diploma you will complete a Level 3 Foundation Diploma in year one before progressing to gain the full Extended Diploma at the end of Year 2, unless otherwise stated.

where can they take me?

The Extended Diploma is an excellent route if you have decided on the broad area of employment you wish to pursue. The combination of a range of specialist modules with the depth of knowledge acquired enables you to progress successfully into Higher Education or into employment. You will also be required to undertake several hours of independent study. Assessment is through coursework, external written assessments and evaluation of practical skills

what do i need?

Four GCSEs at grade 4 to include either English Language or Literature and/or Maths. A Merit on a Level 2 Diploma in an appropriate subject can also be considered (plus English and/or Maths).

our stories

Callum is standing in the College's Sports Hall

Callum’s Story

Callum’s passion for sport drew him to Truro and Penwith College, where he was able to join the Cricket Academy, learn new skills and put those skills into practice in his main studies.
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Sadie stood in a campus building

Sadie’s Story

Sadie studied the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Lens Based Media at Penwith College and plans to go to Cardiff University.
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Allanah stood outside on a balcony

Allanah’s Story

Allanah was nervous when starting her Level 3 Games Development and Design course, but those nerves quickly went away when she met the people at the College.
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Daisy outside

Daisy’s Story

Daisy couldn't believe it when she was accepted into Norland College following her course with Truro and Penwith College.
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Download our prospectus and discover the difference of an outstanding education

Truro and penwith college prospectus

Learn more about Extended Diplomas in our College prospectus.

“ (3)

I really enjoyed how the course was very practical rather than theory based. It did have some thoery so was a good mix.

Bronwyn Bradley - Level 2 Beauty Therapy


pass rates secured in comparison with the national pass rate of 97.6% in the 2019 results.

5, 000

individual A and AS Level entries, Truro and Penwith College is one of the largest providers of the qualification nationally.


subjects achieved a 100% pass rate, including Maths, Further Maths, Physics, English Literature and Spanish.


pass rates secured in comparison with the national pass rate of 97.6% in the 2019 results.

Our colleges

Truro College
College Road

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