A masters apprenticeship that will not ‘tech’ no for an answer

Key UK employers attracted to distinctive new apprenticeship

QA and Northumbria University Newcastle launched the MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Apprenticeship (MSc DTS) at the end of 2018. Since then, the apprenticeship has caught the attention of some key players in the UK business market.

The MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Apprenticeship developed by QA and Northumbria University Newcastle is a distinctive take on the apprenticeship standard. The MSc DTS in many respects represents the partnership between QA and NU, blending technical skills through academic excellence, creating an environment where people, businesses and the wider economy can thrive through leading technology.

The QA and NU apprenticeship is available in six pathways: Software Engineer, Data & Analytics, Enterprise Architecture, Cyber Security, IT Ops Management (Cloud), IT / Digital Futures (DevOps). The choice of six pathways empowers people and organisations to focus on what is important to them from a skills and technology standpoint.

Launched at the tail end of last year the MSc DTS is the only Masters apprenticeship of its kind to reflect modern business needs - it is laser-focused on producing future digital leaders and building the in-demand tech skills people and businesses need in 2019 and beyond.

For the former, this apprenticeship presents an opportunity to get tailored Masters level technical knowledge through flexible workplace learning. For the latter the MSc DTS is a key opportunity to attract, retain or retrain the next generation of digital leaders who will power businesses forward.

An important part of this apprenticeship is ongoing skills development. That’s where professional practice comes in. Inbuilt Professional Practice enables the demonstration of applied learning in the context of work. Students identify a skills gap or business need within the businesses they work in and undertake a recognised CPD programme to address this. Adopting reflective practice, students evidence how course learning is embedded at work through development of a working portfolio, demonstrating analysis of how course skills, knowledge and behaviours impact their role and the wider business.

The apprenticeship is proving popular with learners and businesses across the UK and it is estimated that the number of learners on MSc DTS will quadruple by the end of 2019. Employers including Fujitsu, HMRC, Centrica, William Hill, BT, Renault Sport Racing and Morrissons are participating in the apprenticeship programme so far. Many other businesses including startups, SMEs right through to corporate organisations are also taking more than a passing interest.

The Microsoft Development

Most notably, the MSc DTS has turned heads at Microsoft. The programme has impressed the tech giant so much that a Microsoft version of the DTS, which will include content on Azure (Microsoft’s cloud computing platform) is in the works for later this year.

This Microsoft development will open an extra dynamic for people and organisations interested in the programme - adding assurance that Microsoft have been involved in embedding technical knowhow.

In essence, the Microsoft version of the MSc DTS programme will offer recognition as a Microsoft Specialist whilst getting the full MSc experience. A structured way of attaining valuable Microsoft-specific skills with the academic back of QA and NU. 

Dr. Peter Bull, Programme Leader for the MSc DTS said:

“Working with Microsoft gives an exciting opportunity to help tailor the learner’s journey through the MSc DTS.  By choosing this route, learners get the academic rigour of the MSc combined with the cutting edge industry focused skills required to be recognised as part of the next generation of Azure AI specialists.”

Dr Guy Brown, Director of the Northumbria London Campus, added:

“The Northumbria and QA strategic partnership has enabled us to develop a research rich and industry led suite of Degree Apprenticeships. Our MSc DTS is an obvious example. The quality of teaching combined with the range of pathways available and built-in flexibility offers an exceptional learning experience for the students, and equips them with the skills their employers, and the economy, are looking for.  Furthermore, partnering with Microsoft is an exciting opportunity to build on these strengths further and make this course even more distinctive.”

Find Out More

For more information on the MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Apprenticeship visit our Apprenticeship pages

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