Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Programme summary 

The Digital and Technology Solutions Professional degree apprenticeship has been specifically designed by employers working in close collaboration with higher education providers. The programme provides a uniquely flexible alternative to traditional university study because you will be earning a wage while studying for a full honours degree. 

The apprenticeship programme also offers you the opportunity to secure your future career and increase your earnings potential by delivering all of the practical skills you will need to become a highly competent expert in the digital technology field.

Key features

  • @ Earn while you learn. Apprentices are employed and receive a wage while studying.
  • @ No course fees – costs are paid for by the government and your employer.
  • @ Choose to specialise in one of four disciplines: Software, Networking, Cyber Security or IT Consultant.
  • @ Gain experience of, and have access to, industry-leading tools and applications.
  • @ All academic study and learning is relevant to your role within the workplace, which enables you to apply your new skills in a practical situation.
  • @ Practical unique hands-on approach to teaching and pastoral support throughout your degree.

Programme overview

The University has devised a highly practical programme of modules that balance core knowledge, specialist skills and work-based learning which is totally applicable to the needs of industry today. Over the course of your apprenticeship, you will study the following core modules.

Core modules

Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming

A comprehensive introduction to Software Engineering (SE) beginning with the core building blocks prior to covering more advanced skills including object-oriented programming. Frontend software development is tackled using interface components with the final part of the module integrating all aspects of SE practice into an individually programmed, moderately sized application.

Databases: Analysis, Design and Development

An introduction to the analysis, design and implementation of a database system, exploring specific requirements, data modelling, relational modelling and SQL.

Fundamentals of Computer Networking

This module will introduce the fundamental technology of networks and the underlying concepts and protocols through a mix of theory and practice. Concepts discussed in the lectures are matched by scenarios to design, implement, and troubleshoot in the lab sessions.

Work-Based Learning: IT in the Business

This module provides you with the opportunity to understand and analyse the core functions/business units within your organisation. A particular focus will be given to the application of IT solutions to meet core business objectives.

Analysis and Design

Introduces the fundamental concepts essential for developing software systems, enabling you to acquire, develop and apply Unified Modelling Language (UML).

Work-based Learning: Integrated Project

This module consolidates the knowledge obtained in Year 1 of the course enabling you to design, develop and evaluate a software application for use within your organisation.

Business Organisation

This module examines the concepts around business organisation with respect to technology solutions development. It will introduce organisational theory, change management, marketing, strategic practice, human resource management and IT service management.

Secure Systems Architectures and Mechanisms

System security addresses protection mechanisms appropriate to various IT systems and architectures, focusing upon technologies that are appropriate regardless of whether a system is implemented as part of a network. These mechanisms and cryptographic protocols help to provide confidentiality, and integrity of data as well as authentication and authorisation.

Work-Based Learning: Operational IT

This module provides the opportunity to apply knowledge of computing, networking and security in an operational context within an organisation. It will enable you to appreciate the technical, operational and financial barriers to successfully operate and manage IT infrastructure.

Project Management

This module helps you acquire a critical understanding of the management and methodological issues associated with software development.

Work-based Learning: Synoptic Project

The work-based synoptic project provides an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained through your studies to a real-world problem in your chosen specialism within your organisation.

Specialist elective modules

In addition to the core modules that you will study, as a Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Apprentice you have the choice of four specialist routes that equip you with precise skills needed to excel in some of the most in-demand careers in the UK:

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • IT Consultant
  • Network Engineer
  • Software Engineer.

Cyber Security Analyst

Introduction to Computer Security

You will be introduced to the main principles of security for IT and networked systems. Key areas of security are introduced, beginning with underlying concepts and threats, and then addressing specific issues in security design of host systems and networks. Knowledge and skills relating to personal development planning, employability and the professional environment are also introduced.

Digital Forensic Investigation

This module examines the procedures, tools and techniques utilised within the field of digital forensics. It will introduce a fundamental understanding of the volatility of data, the procedural steps taken to ensure the integrity of data and how to undertake an investigation.

Object-oriented Programming

This module extends your knowledge of object-oriented programming using a common object-oriented language.

Information Security Management and Governance

This module looks at the issues surrounding the management and governance of information security within an organisational context. Consideration is given to the need for related policy, analysis of risk, and the management of organisational assets. Coverage also includes legal and personnel aspects of security, giving an overview of the wide range of laws and regulations governing systems & information security.

Network Security and Penetration Testing

This module looks at the defensive techniques used in protecting network systems in contrast with the offensive techniques used in Penetration Testing (the use of security tools and techniques to identify and demonstrate the exploitability of weaknesses in IT systems security). The module also considers the related ethical/legal issues. 

Download the Cyber Analyst course plan which details the specialisms studied on this course.

IT Consultant

Computing Induction

This module provides an intensive introduction to the concepts, modes of study and, to some extent, technical content that students studying on the BSc (Hons) Computing will need. The extended induction will get you enthused about your chosen course.

Object-oriented Programming

This module extends your knowledge of object-oriented programming using a common object-oriented language.

User-centred Interface Design

An introduction to the HCI principles, user-centred methodologies and ethical issues required for the design and evaluation of user-centred interfaces.

Internet Psychology and Pervasive Technology

You will be introduced to the psychology and societal implications of internet use. You will learn to evaluate the variety of issues related to the implications of pervasive technology on the individual and wider society.

Information Security Management and Governance

This module looks at the issues surrounding the management and governance of information security within an organisational context. Consideration is given to the need for related policy, analysis of risk, and the management of organisational assets. You will also study the legal and personnel aspects of security, giving an overview of the wide range of laws and regulations governing systems and information security.

Download the IT Consultant course plan which details the specialisms studied on this course

Network Engineer

Introduction to Computer Networks

An immersive introduction to computer networking, this module builds foundations in practical networking skills ensuring clear links to common network experience.

Enterprise Networks

This module introduces the concepts related to LAN and WAN design, including advanced IP routing and LAN switching principles, protocols and network security considerations. You will develop awareness of the range of technologies and protocols used within WANs.

Wireless Technologies and Network Programming

Devices at the edge of the network are commonly attached using wireless technologies. This module introduces WiFi, mobile and satellite telecommunications as well as other wireless technologies. This module also deepens your understanding of network programming using a common object-oriented language.

Multimedia Networking

Multimedia networking refers to transmission of multimedia contents (for example, voice and video) over IP networks, such as VoIP (for example, Skype) and video streaming (for example, YouTube). This module will cover principles involving a media delivery chain from media generation, transport to consumption. These will include voice/video compression, transport (RTP/RTCP), signalling (for example SIP/SDP), QoS/QoE, VoIP security and NGN/IMS.

Network Monitoring and Simulation

Modern networks are dynamic and this module introduces the conceptual framework and practical tools used to monitor their behaviour and understand how changes would affect their performance. Monitoring covers the techniques used to capture and analyse the huge volume of network traffic information. Simulation allows new scenarios to be investigated using software.

Download the Network Engineer course plan which details the specialisms studied on this course.

Software Engineer

Computing Immersive Induction
This module provides an intensive introduction to the concepts, modes of study and, to some extent, technical content, that students studying BSc (Hons) Computing will need. And last, but not least, the extended induction aims to get students enthused about their chosen course.

Object Oriented Programming
This module extends students’ knowledge of object-oriented programming using a common object-oriented language.

Database Applications Development
To introduce students to the concepts and issues concerning server-side applications interfacing multi-user, networked, relational databases and to providing a solid foundation in SQL.

Advanced Databases and Data Management
This module considers the challenges of and solutions for managing, processing, analysing and interpreting large amounts of unstructured data within relational and non-relational database environments.

Client-side Web Scripting
This module explores the production of dynamic web applications with a particular focus on web user interfaces. Key elements such as object oriented and event-based scripting, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored though practical production. The production of a working prototype uses dynamic web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/JQuery.

Download the Software Engineer course plan which details the specialisms studied on this course.

How will you be assessed?

You will be assessed using a wide variety of approaches, and be expected to submit one or more pieces of work following each module known as ‘summative assessments’. These could be in the form of a report, essay or a reflective portfolio. You will receive feedback from your academic tutor leading up to the deadline which will guide you and help shape your assessments. The work-based learning modules will require more interaction with the workplace and feedback from your workplace tutor supervising you. The work-based synoptic project requires you to undertake a comprehensive piece of work that reflects the learning aims of the specialist course to which you are enrolled. Upon successful completion of the summative assessment related to all your modules, you will be awarded the BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions (specialism) – where specialism is replaced with the appropriate programme of study. Your synoptic project along with your portfolio of evidence will be submitted to an independent assessment panel for the award of the Degree Apprenticeship, marking the end point assessment of your studies.


For the first three years, study is based at one of our four regional partner colleges: Yeovil College, Petroc (Barnstaple), South Devon College or City College Plymouth. You may have heard this referred to as ‘day release’. You have a timetable of classes to attend that, where possible, take place on the same day each week to help you manage your workload. Your final year is delivered at Plymouth University. The number of taught hours is lower in this year as you will work on your final year project. However, as a registered student at the University, you will have full access to all of our facilities, i.e. library, study space and all e-text books.

Study commitment

You will spend roughly 20 per cent of your working week (that’s one day per week if you work full time) studying. This is the amount of in-work time your employer will be expected to allow you to study. You may also want, or be required, to allocate some of your own time for additional study. Your employer will be expected to support your study by providing company, workplace tutors, and facilitating meetings and assessments, and they may also allow you to allocate some of your usual work time to study. The amount of time you can spend studying while at work will be down to negotiation, and this is something that can be discussed with your employer and University Account Manager before your course begins.

Dr Ismini Vasileiou

Dr Ismini Vasileiou leads the Digital Technology Solutions course at Plymouth University. She teaches on the final year of the course – year 4 which is located at the main city centre campus in Plymouth.

Conrad Saunders

Conrad Saunders

Conrad Saunders is the Digital Technology Solutions programme lead for South Devon College. So if you opt to study your first three years at this institution, Conrad will be one of your tutors when you attend college on your day release.
View Conrad Saunder's LinkedIn profile

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