Start of year guide

We have created a start of year checklist so new and returning students, parents and carers can find all the information needed to make the start of term as seamless as possible. You can find this checklist and other important information in the Start of Year Guide.

Home » Study with us » School leaver » Extended Diplomas


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.

Click above to watch our film about studying Awards, Diplomas & Certificates at Truro and Penwith College and what to expect from your course.


75% of our Level 3 Extended Diploma students achieved Triple Merit or above.


Our students receiving Triple Distinction Star grades were 2% above the national average.


929 College students secured their chosen university place. Our university offer rate was a massive 15% above the national average.


240 College students received Russell Group acceptances. 15% above the national average for students securing Russell Group offers.

Berri Livermore Painting Penwith Portrait
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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

Hendrik’s Story

Hendrik has discovered his passion with the exceptional equipment and instructors at Truro College.
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Bo’s Story

Determined to see change for future young people, Bo decided to study Level 3 Childcare & Education at Penwith College and hopes to pursue a career where she can support and empower young people with disabilities.
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Ami, sport student, collecting an award.

Ami’s story

Two-time reigning champion Ami won first place at Gymshark Lifting Club in Solihull in the Sub Junior British National Championships, 84kg+ category thanks to the support she has had from Truro College.
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Young woman sits in her studio surrounded by colourful artwork.

Matilda’s Story

Former Penwith College Art and Design student is enjoying her dream career, living and working in Bath as a Printer, Designer and Maker after travelling the world to support charities from Qatar and Southeast Asia.
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Visit us at an open event

Attending an Open Event is a great opportunity to explore the campus, see our specialist facilities and speak to our teaching staff.

“ (3)

The lecturers have been so helpful, especially towards the end of this year. If you’ve got assignments backed up they will make a plan for you to get back on track.

Gracie - Level 3 Extended Diploma in Sport

Our colleges

Truro College
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