Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship

Currently employed

The potential apprentice will be required to complete an Initial Needs Assessment (INA) with the support of their employer and the University to ensure the Apprenticeship programme is an appropriate solution to their skills development needs. On completion of the INA the University will assess the information provided and determine the next steps.

To request the Initial Needs Assessment please contact apprenticeships@plymouth.ac.uk

Seeking a new position

If you are currently not working, are a school leaver or are looking to change your job in order to start an Apprenticeship, you will need to apply for an Apprenticeship vacancy. You can find out about vacancies in a number of ways; the government offers an Apprenticeship vacancy search at: www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/apprenticeshipsearch or you can contact us and we will direct you to a partner in your area who can support you with this process.

Fees and funding

  • Apprentices do not pay any course fees.
  • By studying a Degree Apprenticeship, students will obtain a full honours degree, and not incur any costs.
  • Fees are paid for by the employer.

Funding models

There are currently two funding models;

  • Co – funded: Non levy organisations and Levy who have exceeded their Levy contribution.
  • Fully funded: Levy paying organisations

Programme cost

New students post May 2017 Sept 2018
Total course cost £27,000

Example of costs per funding model;

Co-funded

If you are a non-levy paying organisation or you are a Levy organisation who has exceeded their pot the government will financial co-support your Apprenticeship training – they will contribute 95 per cent of the costs and as the employer you will contribute 5 per cent.

  • Government contribution £25,650
  • Employer contribution £1,350
  • Apprentice contribution £0
Fully funded

If the annual pay bill of your organisation exceeds £3m you will pay for your apprenticeship training through your levy account. If you have exceeded your levy contribution you will fund apprenticeship training through the co-funded model – to better understand how this will work please make contact with us.

Employer contribution £27,000

GCSEs: GCSE (or equivalent) Mathematics and English at grade C or above.

UCAS tariff: 120 points from a minimum of two A levels (excluding General Studies, Critical Thinking or Citizenship) or one vocational A level.

International Baccalaureate: 30 points.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: 18 units. Acceptable subjects include; IT, engineering, software development, IT practitioners, computing, and science. For art, sports, business or humanities related subjects please enquire for information. You will be interviewed before an offer is made.

Other combinations and non-A level qualifications also considered. Please contact us for details.

Information for employers

The Digital and Technology Solutions Professional work-based degree has been specifically designed by employers to equip businesses with new and/or existing staff with the specialist skills required to become highly competent experts in the digital technology sector.

This course provides a uniquely flexible alternative to traditional university study, giving your employees the opportunity to gain a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions with a major in one of our four specialist routes: Cyber Security, IT Consultancy, Networking or Software, whilst still in employment.


Find out more

For further information contact Enterprise Solutions at the University of Plymouth on enterprisesolutions@plymouth.ac.uk or +44 800 052 5600, to be put in touch with the relevant Degree Apprenticeship Account Manager. 

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 three disciplines: Software, Networking or Cyber Security.
  • @ 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

Software Engineering 1

This module exposes students to the principles of software design and construction. The basics of creating source code to solve a problem are introduced. Major programming paradigms such as object orientation and functional programming are also covered. Additionally, key software development tools and methods are explored.

Computer Systems

Here, we provide the basic knowledge required to understand how computers work. Topics include low-level systems and representation of data, operating systems, and an introduction to subjects such as virtualisation, parallelism, state and communications. Apprentices will learn how operating systems manage processes and scheduling, how memory management works and how software interacts with hardware.

Work-Based Learning: IT in the Business

This module is an opportunity to learn about core functions and business units within your organisation. The focus is on the application of IT solutions to meet business objectives.

Cyber Security and Networks

This module provides an appreciation of the core enabling technologies behind cyber security and networking. Key networking topics include routing and switching, as well as wireless networks. Key areas of security include underlying concepts and threats, and exploring security technologies that can be applied to enable defence in depth.

Algorithms, Data Structures and Mathematics

Data structures and algorithms lie at the heart of Computer Science, as they are the basis for an efficient solution of programming tasks. In this module, students will study core algorithms and data structures, as well as receiving an introduction to algorithm analysis and basic mathematics for computer science.



Work-Based Learning: Requirements and Analysis

This module covers fundamental analysis and design concepts in the context of a computing project. You will develop an understanding of the needs, priorities and constraints relevant to a software system.

Software Engineering 2

The understanding of software engineering is expanded in this module by introducing a range of topics that instil best practice. Students will learn how to implement faster software using parallelism and consider aspects of human-computer interaction. Common design patterns used in the construction of software are introduced here.

Information Management and Retrieval

Capture, digitisation, representation, organisation, transformation and presentation of information are all explored in this module using conceptual and physical data models.

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.

Work-Based Learning: Operational IT

This is an opportunity to apply knowledge of computing, networking and security acquired up until this point in the programme in an operational context. It will enable you to appreciate the technical, operational and financial barriers to successfully operate and manage the IT infrastructure.

Business Organisation

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

Specialist routes

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

  • Cyber Security Analyst
  • Software Engineer
  • Network Engineer

Cyber Security Analyst

Security Architectures and Cryptography

The ability to design secure systems is critical to the successful operation of any system. This module will develop the knowledge and understanding of security architectures, design principles (such as least privilege, default deny) and elicitation of security requirements to enable the design of secure systems. Core to this knowledge is the role cryptography can have in addressing these requirements.

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 and information security.



Ethical Hacking

Understanding the security and vulnerabilities of IT systems is critical in their protection. This module seeks to develop the knowledge and skills to undertake penetration testing of systems. A range of passive and active offensive techniques will be taught, alongside an in-depth understanding of the legal and ethical issues surrounding such activity.

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

Software Engineer

Software Development Tools and Practices

Here we explore the current state of the art in testing tools, including static and dynamic analysis tools. We also explore programming environments that automate parts of program construction processes (e.g., automated builds) and continuous integration. Software verification and validation concepts are introduced along with testing types and testing fundamentals.

Full-Stack Development

Here, we investigate the production of dynamic Web applications with a particular focus on the Web environment. Key elements such as event-based development, asynchronous client-server communication and distributed content representation are explored through practical production. The production of a working system uses dynamic Web frameworks such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript/jQuery.



Big Data Analytics

The key objective of this module is to provide familiarisation with the most important information technologies used in manipulating, storing and analysing big data. You will work with semi-structured datasets and choose appropriate storage structures for them. A representative of recent non-relational trends is presented – namely, graph-oriented databases.

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

Network Engineer

Enterprise Networks

This module introduces the concepts related to LAN and WAN design, including advanced IP routing, LAN switching principles and protocols, and network security considerations. Awareness of the range of technologies and protocols used within WANs is also developed.

Security Operations and Incident Management

We will examine here incident management and the role it plays within modern information security systems. We will introduce key concepts in the analysis of network traffic for signs of intrusions, as well as the process of responding to computer incidents including the identification and analysis of malicious code.



Advanced Computing and Networking Infrastructures

This module introduces the infrastructures of the future Internet and Cloud, both moving towards virtualisation and softwarisation. The module also explores the development and deployment of multimedia Internet applications and services. Apart from virtualisation and Cloud, topics include services and applications, software defined networking, network function virtualisation, load balancing, performance and resilience.

Download the Network 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.

Delivery

For the first three years, study is based at one of our three regional partner colleges: Petroc (Barnstaple), South Devon College or City College Plymouth. You may have heard this is 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 the University of Plymouth. 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, including the library and study space.

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 Marco Palomino

Dr Marco Palomino leads the Digital Technology Solutions course at the University of Plymouth. He teaches in the final year, which is delivered on the main city centre campus in Plymouth.

Find out more about Marco

School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics

Our expertise spans computing, electronics, engineering, mathematics, navigation, robotics and statistics, with a wide range of programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Professor Deborah Greaves, Head of School

About the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics