For learners applying to begin their programme in July:

QA has two primary objectives during this rapidly evolving period regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19). The first is to ensure the welfare of our learners and staff, and the second is to ensure continuity and access to learning. In line with the sector as a whole and its response to Covid-19, if necessary, we will implement online teaching for this programme to allow you to begin your programme this July. As circumstances allow, we will review this decision with a view to bringing the programme back to a mix of blended and face-to-face delivery at the earliest appropriate time.

This programme is delivered by QA and awarded by University of Roehampton

Level of study: Undergraduate

Award: BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions

Apprenticeship standard: Digital and Technology Solutions Professional (Integrated Degree)

Awarding body: University of Roehampton

Fees: This programme is fully funded by your employer through the Apprenticeship Levy

Entry requirements: A-Levels, plus Level 2 Maths and English

English language requirements: Level 2 English qualification

Mode of study: Part-Time, Blended and Work-based Learning

Duration: 45-51 months

Assessment methods: Coursework, exams, presentations and work-based portfolio, End Point Assessment

Start date: October, January, April, July

Locations: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Bristol, Leeds

Job roles this programme is suitable for:

  • Software Developer
  • Software Engineer
  • Software Tester
  • IT Project Manager
  • IT Consultant
  • Network Engineer
  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Database Specialist
  • Data Analyst
  • Systems Designer

Once learners have completed the Degree Apprenticeship, they will be a highly competent and knowledgeable member of their organisation who has achieved a BSc (Hons) Degree Apprenticeship in Digital and Technology Solutions from the University of Roehampton.

There is no cost to you as a degree apprentice. Degree Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy through your employer.

If you’re an employer, the total funding for this programme is:

  • £25,000

Travel expenses to travel to QA centres should be covered by the employer.

All textbooks are provided free of charge as e-books. Any students wishing to use paper copies will need to pay for these themselves, typically at an average cost of £30 per book.

In order to join a Degree Apprenticeship, the employer will either recruit new staff or select existing staff that are suitable for the programme. Individuals wishing to join the Degree Apprenticeship should apply for vacancies at qa.com or contact their employer.

  1. Once you have your employers agreement – QA will send you a link to an online application.
  2. New vacancies will be published at qa.com

To find out more please visit the Apprenticeship page.

Programme details

About this course

The Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship will develop your future IT professionals and leaders.

Our Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship blends online learning, face-to-face workshops and on-the-job experience to transform learners into highly skilled tech professionals. The Degree Apprenticeship is available in four specialisms: Network Engineer, Software Engineer, IT Consultant and Data Analyst.

This programme develops core technical skills, knowledge and behaviours for the development of innovative digital solutions.

Further optional modules offer opportunities to specialise towards technical areas of relevance to the learners’ roles.

Examples of optional modules cover areas of:

  • Data science
  • DevOps
  • Cyber security
  • Consultancy

 

Who is a good fit for it?

  • New staff who are wanting to pursue a career associated within the technical department of the business.
  • Existing staff that want to progress their skills and career, and study to degree level.
  • Existing staff that would benefit from a comprehensive personal development plan to advance their skills to a higher level.

As part of their programme learners will complete:

  • Fourteen learning knowledge modules teaching theory and practical application. These are primarily taught online, and supported by classroom training workshops. Five modules are taught at level 4, five at level 5 and four at level 6.
  • Work-based portfolios & projects will be completed at work, over the course of the programme to demonstrate practical abilities.

What are the entry requirements?

  • A levels in a similar subject
  • Or a Level 3 apprenticeship in a similar subject
  • Or an International Baccalaureate at Level 3 in a similar subject
  • Or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a similar subject (180 credits)
  • Level 2 Maths and English

Learners must not hold an existing qualification at the same or higher level than this apprenticeship in a similar subject.

Modules

Level 4

Understating Systems Development

This module aims to develop core knowledge in the processes concerned with software systems development: the design, testing, and implementation of a new software including the internal development of customised systems, or the acquisition of third party developed software. The module will also consider standard procedures that guide all information.

Maths & Algorithms

The module introduces the theory and practice of problem solving in computing through computational mathematical methods and the development of algorithms. The module will cover fundamental concepts from logic, and how to reason logically about numbers and data structures, such as sets and trees, alongside typical problems solved by computing algorithms such as those used for searching and sorting data.

Data Communications & Network Security

This module will introduce the basics of data communications and networks, covering network protocols and architectures. The module will also introduce students to modern networking technologies, including protocol layering and network security measures.

Work-Based Portfolio

During the first year of the apprenticeship degree, students are required to demonstrate evidence of significant engagement and achievement in the work place as developing apprentices, evidenced through the preparation and delivery of a work-based portfolio.

This module requires apprentices to demonstrate that they have developed the necessary skills and aptitude to be able to carry out systematically (with a reasonable degree of independence) an important set of tasks with clearly identifiable outcomes relevant to the apprenticeship.

IT Security Principles

Optional for Network Engineer, Software Engineer and Data Analyst pathways

IT Security is concerned with protecting computing and network assets against threats, identifying and overcoming vulnerabilities, mediating risks, and reducing impacts of attacks.

The module covers the major threats and risks that affect the security of an IT system, and the major threats to data in both structured and unstructured form (data security).  The module will also outline how to counter these threats and to minimise risks with technical security mechanisms.

IT Project Management

Recommended for IT Consultant; Optional for Network Engineer, Software Engineer and Data Analyst pathways

The focus of this module is to facilitate a project management approach to establishing learning communities in the IT sector. Students will be enjoined to work effectively, both independently and as members of a project group; and to evaluate possible solutions to a problem by selecting the best approach. The module also supports students in managing and effectively documenting the activities involved in providing the selected solution to an IT problem.

Management for IT

Optional for Network Engineer, Software Engineer and Data Analyst

Management for Information Technology is concerned with managing IT resources in an organisation: hardware, software, and human resources.  Managing this responsibility within an

organisation entails basic management functions, like budgeting, staffing, change management, and organising and controlling, along with other aspects that are unique to technology, like software design, network planning, and technical support. This module outlines the basic concepts, principles and methods of managing IT projects, including the alignment of business strategy and technology to generate value for the organisation.

Service Management

Optional for Network Engineer, IT Consultant

IT Service Management is characterised by adopting a process approach, focusing on IT services (rather than IT systems alone), and adopting a systematic approach to service enhancement and continual improvement. This module aims to build up an apprentices’ aptitude for the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) module, which will be delivered at Level 5.

The module will also outline how Service Management is directed by policies that are performed to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to staff or external customers and the implementation of quality IT services, performed through a mix of people, process and information technology.

Windows Servers

Optional for Network Engineer

Windows Servers consist of Microsoft server products, including the server editions of

Microsoft Windows operating system itself, as well as products available to the wider business market. Unlike Microsoft Dynamics or Microsoft Office product lines, most of the products sold under this brand are not intended to be line-of-business services on their own.

The module aims to provide a background to the history behind Microsoft operating systems and servers as well as knowledge around current Windows server Platforms, Microsoft’s cloud OS and remote web workspace.

This is a complex and fast evolving scene, and the content of the module is likely to change significantly on a periodic basis, accelerated largely by advances in cloud technology.

Data modelling and SQL language

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The aim of this module is to provide core knowledge of database systems including   design   principles, such as database normalisation, as well   as practical implementation and development skills.

The module will also cover the use of appropriate programming languages for managing data held within a database structure.

System Analysis & Design

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The module enables students to construct knowledge of systems analysis and design, to design software solutions based on real life scenarios. Students will learn how to model entity change using life history, and produce data-flow descriptions of current and proposed applications.  The module will utilise systems theory concepts, which underpin analysis and design methods.

Web Application Development

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The purpose of this unit is to provide learners with the understanding of tools and skills needed to design, implement and test interactive a simple web site supported in all modern browsers.

Then the module takes learners through advanced tools to create a high-performance web application without the need for plugin technology, and with reduced calls to servers.

Test Driven Development

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

This unit is designed to bring about a fundamental change to the way developers go about their day-to-day business of writing software code. Instead of thinking about unit tests as at best an afterthought, having already written the application code, the course aims to turn this practice on its head, and get programmers to write tests before the code to be tested.

Originating in the Agile methodology of Extreme Programming, Test Driven Development (TDD) has become accepted as a mainstream best practice, and is being adopted by major organisations as means of improving code quality and developer productivity.

Object Oriented Programming

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

This unit covers more advanced concepts of object-oriented computer languages and their use to implement, refine and test computer programs. Industry standard Object-Oriented Programming languages will be used as the vehicle for learning about these more advanced programming approaches, using real-world examples to support apprentices in relating theoretical concepts to practical applications in the workplace.

IP-based Network Switching Systems

Optional for Network Engineer

QA is a qualified member of the Cisco Networking Academy, and this module will draw on QA’s expertise and resources in teaching IP-Based Network Switching Systems. The module aims to develop knowledge of Layer 2 Ethernet protocol and Layer 2 switching technologies such as switching basic concepts and the operation of Cisco switches.

Introduction to Programming

Optional for Software Engineering

The   purpose   of   this   module   is   to   introduce   apprentices   to   generic   programming   and programming paradigms demonstrate the options open to those who wish to design or use programming languages. Topics may include such areas as: data types, control structures functions, arrays, files, and the mechanics of running, testing, and debugging using an appropriate programming language.

Professional Practice 1

Optional for Data Analyst, Software Engineer, Network Engineer & IT Consultant

This module requires students to conduct structured work-based learning. It is part of a series of three, each of which spans a level of the programme. At this level, the emphasis is on applying technologies or new methodologies as well as engaging with concepts, ideas and practices in the workplace at a relatively simple level. Students analyse their workplace context and use theoretical concepts, technologies, methodologies and theories to add more organisational value. The module is intentionally technology agnostic to enable students to focus on the application of the technology or methodology, rather than the technology itself. Behaviorally, it provokes students into adopting agile, inclusive, collaborative and professional approaches to work beyond their normal role for which they accept responsibility.

Accounting

Optional for IT Consultant

This module introduces finance and accounting by positioning both of these as technical and needing to make interpersonal excellence possible between non- finance and finance specialists. Students will study areas such as: how financial reports are produced, interpreted and used; how budgets are managed and how expenditure is controlled and how such areas can affect and be affected by leadership and management behaviour.

Decision Making: Data Analytics and Conceptual Thinking

Optional for Data Analyst & IT Consultant

This module ensures students understand, analyse and embrace the impact of digital technology on the ability of organisations to analyse and present data, upon which a host of decisions can be based. It balances this very rational analytical view, with the skill of manipulating concepts to design solutions and make decisions, especially under the conditions of wicked problems. It includes the psychology of decision making, including decision making bias and power and politics. How values and ethics go beyond analytical and conceptual approaches is included to produce a rounded approach.

Level 5

Business Strategy

This module aims to provide insight into how business strategy works: how an organisation’s objectives, developing policies and plans are designed to achieve these objectives, and then how resources are allocated to implement those plans. Strategic business management is not static in nature; the models often include a feedback loop to monitor execution and inform the following round of planning, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external situations in which the organisation competes. Contemporary business strategy issues covered by the module include change management, marketing, strategic practice, and human resource management.

Research Methods

The Research Methods module is designed to provide students with the necessary training to undertake research. The module focuses on the nature of research (including research methodologies), examining the study skills necessary to manage and undertake a research project; and it provides students with opportunities to be familiar with the important empirical and theoretical research (including hypothesis testing). Such skills are intended to provide a good foundation for undertaking a dissertation at an advanced level.

Work-Based Project

This is a level 5 continuation of the Work Based theme in the apprenticeship degree.

Students are required to prepare a Work Based Project, demonstrating evaluative evidence of significant engagement and achievement in the work place.  This module requires apprentices to demonstrate that they have developed the necessary skills and aptitude to be able to carry out systematically and critically a task with clearly identifiable outcomes relevant to the apprenticeship, including involvement in IT project management.  This may be a further development of the Work Based Portfolio developed at Level 4. This module is also intended to provide students with a further opportunity to develop their communication, time management, writing   and   analytical   skills.   Students   are   expected   to   work independently, but also with guidance from their supervisors, and consultation with their teams, to build up competence in at least one area relevant to their apprenticeship, preferably from related to work undertaken within their employment.

Migration to Cloud and Hybrid Infrastructures

Optional for Network Engineer

Cloud computing relates to deploying groups of remote servers and software networks that allow centralised data storage and online access to computer services or resources. Clouds can be classified as public, private or hybrid.  Cloud storage is a model of data storage where data and information are stored in logical pools, with the physical storage spanning multiple   locations   and   locations.   Hybrid   systems   can   provide   additional   security for organisations.  This module focuses on these issues outlining both solutions as well as the risks involved in migrating to cloud infrastructures.

Multi-Vendor Unix Systems

Optional for Network Engineer

Linux is a very widely employed Unix-derived operating system assembled as an open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, which also features in other derived systems such as Android. As a mark of its great versatility and flexibility, Linux code may be used, modified, and distributed—commercially or non-commercially—by anyone under licenses such as the GNU General Public License.

Linux-   is   a   modular   operating   system, where   the   kernel   handles   process   control, networking, and peripheral and file system access. The purpose of this module is teaching and train degree apprentices on enhancing their Linux coding and administrative skills.

Servers, Storage & Virtualisation

Optional for Network Engineer

Traditionally, the relationships between storage and physical servers were managed by assigning a logical unit number (LUN) on a physical storage area network (SAN), where only that server used the LUN. This module outlines modern virtualisation alternatives to storage and physical servers that are not dependent on fixed storage locations.

Service Strategy & Continuous Improvement

Optional for Network Engineer

The module will outline how Service Management is directed by policies that are performed to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to staff or external customers.

Adopting the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework, the module will outline the implementation of quality IT services, performed through a mix of people, process and information technology, focused on aligning IT services with the needs of business.

Supporting & Planning for BYOD & BYOA

Optional for Network Engineer

The module will outline how Service Management is directed by policies that are performed to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to staff or external customers.

Adopting the ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework, the module will outline the implementation of quality IT services, performed through a mix of people, process and information technology, focused on aligning IT services with the needs of business.

Agile Performance Testing

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

Agile Performance Testing generally means the practice of testing software for bugs or performance issues within the context of an agile workflow (i.e., a workflow that is well coordinated while maintaining a sustainable pace). This module aims to cover an approach to software development, along with coding, where testing and coding are conducted iteratively, building up functionality and features until a software or web development product is ready for production. The module will also develop student’s knowledge of the key principles and concepts of Agile Performance Testing, focusing on maximising a teams’ ability to deliver quickly and respond to emerging requirements.

User Experience Design

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

This module introduces students to the factors, techniques, tools and theories that affect the design of interactive systems.  It will highlight a variety of topics related to the theories underlying interaction design, and students will acquire practical skills that will equip them to analyse, design, and evaluate the interactive products used every day, through the web or other computing medium.  User experience involves balancing the needs of users with the business objectives of a system or organisation.  Students will learn about the design process itself, and how user-centered design fits with software and web development cycles.

Big Data & Analytics

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The purpose of this module is to provide learners the skills needed to collect, manage and analyse very large data sets. Big data analytics is the process of examining (and mining) large data sets containing a variety of data types to uncover hidden patterns, unknown correlations, market trends, customer preferences and other useful business information. The analytical findings can lead to more effective marketing, new revenue opportunities, better customer service, and improved operational efficiency.

Web Application Security

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

This module provides the necessary skills and techniques to identify security risks in web applications and mitigate those risks through writing secure code. The course aligns to the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) Top 10 most critical web application security risks and takes students through the exploitation of vulnerable code so that they may experience them first hand.  It then discusses mitigations in depth and provides students with the opportunity to secure the risks they have just exploited.

Web & Mobile Development

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The purpose of this module is to provide learners the skills to develop highly usable, leading edge and secure web and mobile applications, including an introduction to the new NoSQL databases.

Network Design & Trouble Shooting

Recommended for Network Engineer

Network design is an iterative process, involving topological (connectedness, and continuity) design, network-synthesis, and network-realisation. Common network topologies include bus topology, star, and ring. Building on Level 4’s ‘Data Communications and Networking’, the network planning process in this module begins and builds on the acquisition of external information related to: Forecasts of how the new network will operate, Economic information concerning costs, and technical details of the network’s capabilities.

Solution Architecture

Recommended for Software Engineer and IT Consultant

In this module students will learn how Solution Architecture bridges the gap among between key domains involved in solution delivery within any enterprise or business. The content will consider the appropriate Enterprise and Solution Architecture Frameworks that can be applied and that depend on three main factors: the business requirements of the enterprise, the available technology at that time, and the accumulated investments of the enterprise from earlier technology generations.

Business Analysis

Optional for Data Analyst

The purpose of this module is to introduce apprentices to business analysis for computing and internet-based organisations. It provides an introduction to business processes and theory, and the contribution of business analysis to organizational culture, operational success and business continuity. It aims to outline and evaluate the business skills and systems available for computing and cyber intensive organisations.

Professional Practice 2

Optional for Data analyst, Software engineer, Network engineer and IT Consultant

This module requires students to conduct structured work-based learning. It is part of a series of three, each of which spans a level of the programme. At this level, the emphasis is on applying technologies or new methodologies as well as engaging with concepts, ideas and practices in the workplace at a relatively simple level. Students analyse their workplace context and use theoretical concepts, technologies, methodologies and theories to add more organisational value. The module is intentionally technology agnostic to enable students to focus on the application of the technology or methodology, rather than the technology itself. Behaviorally, it provokes students into adopting agile, inclusive, collaborative and professional approaches to work beyond their normal role for which they accept responsibility.

Managing Creativity Innovation and Change

Optional for IT Consultant

This module positions creativity, innovation and change as linked processes mediated through social exchange. It uses change tools and creativity techniques and embraces the complexity of making creativity, innovation and change happen in proactive and reactive ways. It introduces design thinking. It links change to both technological potential and to psychological dynamics. The module also introduces practical tools that can be integrated into work done within functional domains (e.g. operations or marketing), thereby increasing the way in which the students can relate concepts to their practise.

Leadership in the Digital Age

Optional for IT Consultant

This module positions considers leadership as vital to the enhancement of organisational and national productivity in an age of digital business and new technologies. The module also encourages students to work on their own leadership skills using the challenging context of the disruptive potential of digital business and new technologies

Level 6

Developing Technology Strategy

This module will support degree apprentices to bring together skills and knowledge from modules at previous levels in order to develop a holistic technology strategy for their team, department, client or organisation. The module will also support apprentices to create successful technology strategies to deliver business value by considering business strategy, technical architecture, design and the financial business case.

Dissertation – Major Project (Work based)

During the final year of the degree, students are required to conduct a substantial piece of independent study and research, using sophisticated methods and tools. Students are expected to work independently with guidance from their supervisor, and to develop a level of expertise in the area of research. The Dissertation (Major Project) is expected to focus on a theme relevant to the specialism the students is enrolled in.

Data Science

Optional for Software Engineer and Network Engineer

The purpose of this unit is to provide learners the requisite skills in designing, implementing, and communicating the results of a data science project. The module considers such areas as fundamentals in data visualisation alongside appropriate tools and techniques to analyse Big Data.

Designing & Developing Products for IoT

Optional for Network Engineer, Software Engineer, Data Analyst

This module is concerned with technological advances involving embedding uniquely identifiable   computing   devices   within   an   existing   internet   structure.   This   emerging technology covers a variety of protocols, domains, and applications. The embedding smart objects, generally involving electronic radio frequency identification (RFID) tags or other transmitting sensors into non-smart physical objects that can enable a higher degree of intelligent automation and reconnaissance of systems made of complex network of devices.

Planning & Implementing DevOps

Optional for Network Engineer, Software Engineer & Data Analyst

DevOps is concerned with bringing together development, operational and quality testing roles   within   a   software   technology   business, through   greater   standardisation   and collaboration between teams. DevOps is strongly affiliated with Agile (sustainable pace) and Lean (waste minimisation) approaches. Broadly, DevOps is a new approach that promotes better communication between the two teams involved in operations and programming, requiring skills to work as both a developer and a systems engineer.

Software-Defined Networking

Optional for Network Engineer

The purpose of this module is to introduce how organisations could accelerate application deployment and delivery, dramatically reducing IT costs through policy-enabled workflow automation. Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology enables cloud architectures by delivering automated, on-demand application delivery and mobility at scale.

Unified Communications

Optional for Network Engineer

The purpose of this module is to introduce the integration of communications such as instant messaging, IP telephony, audio, web and video conferencing.

Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The purpose of this module is to combine theory with aspects of implementation, drawing on algorithmic computation, knowledge-based   systems, data structures, machine   learning, intelligent    agents, propositional    logic    and    uninformed    search    algorithms.    Practical programming skills will also be required as the apprentices gain a deeper understanding of this area of technology that is rapidly expanding in organisations around the world.

Cyber Security

Recommended for Network Engineer; Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

Building on previous knowledge gained within the course, the purpose of this module is to examine, manage and control security issues associated with networked   computers, identifying   solutions   for   avoiding   security   breaches   and   other compromises.

Functional Programming

Optional for Software Engineer and Data Analyst

The purpose of this module is to introduce apprentices to a different style of programming which is experiencing a revival in the computing sector.  It provides an introduction to programming language theory and what makes functional programming languages useful.  It aims to demonstrate the options open to those who wish to design or use functional programming languages.

Consulting

Optional for Data analyst and IT Consultant

The purpose of this module is to introduce apprentices to modern theory and practice in consultancy, including professionalism, identification of problems and business needs, and implementation and taking action. The module will focus on developing proficiencies in a range of skills and aptitude required to practise consulting in a technology context.

Professional Practice 3

Optional for Data analyst, Software engineer, Network engineer and IT Consultant

This module requires students to conduct structured work-based learning. It is part of a series of three, each of which spans a level of the programme. At this level, the emphasis is on applying technologies or new methodologies as well as engaging with concepts, ideas and practices in the workplace at a relatively simple level. Students analyse their workplace context and use theoretical concepts, technologies, methodologies and theories to add more organisational value. The module is intentionally technology agnostic to enable students to focus on the application of the technology or methodology, rather than the technology itself. Behaviourally, it provokes students into adopting agile, inclusive, collaborative and professional approaches to work beyond their normal role for which they accept responsibility.

Selling and Marketing

Optional for IT Consultant

This module places marketing and selling in a modern space that considers the origins of marketing and where its future lies, given the growth of services marketing and changes in technology and society. Students explore how marketing has moved towards relationship marketing, away from transactional marketing, and what this shift means for selling, which can too often be presented in prescriptive terms, and the integration of digital technology. It tackles the disciplinary underpinnings of the field to promote the integration of marketing concepts with other programme concepts.

Organisational Foresight / Digital and New Technologies

Optional for IT Consultant

This module positions digital business and technology as trends that demand the attention of the professional manager and yet are easy to unintentionally ignore as they shift in unpredictable ways. Foresight, scenario planning and behavioural challenges to embracing digital business and technological disruption are positioned as key to professional management. It provides no recipes, but instead requires that students engage critically and creatively with a futuristic stance through the concept of organisational foresight.

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