Three years one semester part-time OR Four years part-time (varies according to arrangement with employer)
Network Engineering pathways start in February.
2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)
BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
Apprentices should have Level 2 English and Maths at GCSE grade C or above (or equivalent). All students on the course must be apprentices of an appropriate employer
Please see Entry Requirements below.
- UK needs 1.2 million more skilled tech workers by 2022
- With a degree apprenticeship, you gain real-world experience at the same time as gaining a leading-edge degree and internationally recognised industrial certifications
Our BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions degree programmes adhere to the Degree Apprenticeship Standard for Digital and Technology Solutions Professionals.
All apprentices will gain a wide variety of knowledge, skills, and understanding across six core job role areas: business analyst, cyber security analyst, data analyst, IT consultant, network engineer and software engineer. We also offer a Software Engineering pathway.
We have designed our degrees so that graduates will encompass more than one specialism. Our Network Engineers also meet the learning outcomes for the Cyber Security Analyst specialism, because we believe that secure network engineers need to know more than just network security.
We therefore go deeper into Internet, software-defined networks, and mobile networks than the Network Engineer specialism requires because we believe that the future for network engineers is in those areas.
All apprentices will also be prepared to take the certification exams for (ISC)2’s Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional (CSSLP) and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) qualifications, but it is not mandatory for apprentices to take the associated exams.
Apprentices starting in September 2017 will be expected to attend classes at the University of Suffolk on the following teaching days in 2017-18:
- First teaching day on Friday 29 September 2017
- Semester 1 (end September-end January): teaching days on every Friday
- Semester 2 (beginning February - end May): teaching days on Wednesday afternoons and all day Friday
- June 2018: teaching days on each of the four Tuesdays
- Teaching days for 2018-19 are to be confirmed.
Teaching days for apprentices starting in February 2018 are to be confirmed.
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This is a degree apprenticeship delivered according to the Digital and Technology Solutions Professional standard. It is delivered over a minimum of three years and one semester, as part of an integrated degree apprenticeship. It consists of six modules at each of Level 4, 5 and 6.
Full downloadable information regarding all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record
This covers the principles of computer systems, hardware components, the essence of operating systems, and relevant computing-related mathematics. This module will provide the foundational underpinning to enable students to progress deeper into the disciplines of computing and networking, and a grasp of the history of computing, recent developments and its possible future.
This module introduces the concepts of communications and networking. It explores the Open Systems Interconnectivity (OSI) 7-layer reference model and TCP/IP Routing Suite (the 5-layer Internet reference model). TCP/IP is the model which is most commonly deployed in the majority of modern-day networks.
This module covers the concepts of personal development, effective study, and self-awareness. It also explores the professional, legal and ethical standards and guidelines that influence commercial and technical operation, and to give opportunities for students to reflect on them, and apply them, within their own working environment.
This module offers an introduction to the most important business functions. It examines how organisations create value through their functional operations and the people they employ, and covers organisational culture, structure, marketing and various elements of management.
This module builds on the understanding of network operations by focusing on the design and implementation of a single network. It is delivered through a series of practical exercises which provide the practical appreciation of the full process of network creation from requirements capture through design and implementation to testing.
Database systems, particularly those based on the Relational Database Model, play a significant role in the world of Information Technology. This module provides essential knowledge and appreciation of the role of relational database systems, including basic principles and practice of design, implementation and development for both system designers and software engineers. It will include practical exercises in Structured Query Language.
Research skills are an essential set of capabilities in the toolkit of a computing professional. In this module, students will develop knowledge and understanding of the purpose, processes, methods (surveys, experiments, interviews, case studies, etc.), analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and outputs of research and will be able to apply them.
In this module, students will discover how data is routed through a network using hubs, switches and routers and the OSI layers at which each of these devices operate. The TCP/IP protocol suite will be explored in detail so that the students gain an essential appreciation of how data units are propagated through the OSI layers, from the Application layer down to the Physical layer, and how the various routing protocols are chosen and combine in this propagation. Routing protocols such as RIP, OSPF, MPLS and BGP will be covered.
A successful network manager needs to know more than just networking technologies. This module aims to provide some of the other skills that make for a more rounded professional. Broadly following a project development life cycle, it covers the more customer-focussed issues, such as writing proposals, planning, budgeting, documentation, resource scheduling, and help desk operations.
This module covers basic and advanced security concepts related to wired and wireless networks. It focuses on presenting security issues that are common to wired and wireless deployments and environments, while maintaining a high-level view of general security aspects. It includes typical attack techniques, common defence measures and tools used to counter security threats.
This module will introduce the concepts of programming and a modern programming language. Through programming practicals, students will become fluent in structured programming constructs, procedural programming and object-oriented programming. It will also consider all aspects of the software engineering life cycle from requirements gathering through design and implementation to testing.
This provides insights into the mindset of cyber attackers, a secure understanding of the ethics and legal issues in this area, and knowledge and skills in attack technologies and techniques.
This provides a detailed knowledge and understanding of the techniques and tools available to a security professional, and the practical skills in selecting, evaluating, designing, implementing and deploying defences to protect vulnerable software, networks and systems.
In this module, students will have the opportunity to learn about the newest technologies, trends and advances in software, networks, cybder security and data science, and to gain an understanding of the techniques of technology forecasting.
This will be an in-depth treatment of the routing protocols, techniques and technologies underpinning the modern and future Internet.
This provides a comprehensive set of knowledge and skills relating to the principles, architectures, functionality, behaviour and performance of wireless, mobile and satellite communication networks, including 4G, 5G, software defined networking, software defined radio, etc.
This is a major project in a specialist area of network engineering, addressing a specific real-world business or research issue, suggested by the student, an employer or a staff member. A typical Network Engineer Synoptic Project could be a project to plan and configure a network to meet a defined specification, to satisfy security requirements, using one or more of the defined tools, to meet specified criteria and performance levels. It will include significant project planning including estimations of both time and cost to proposed solutions, include technical and commercial aspects of the proposed solution. Projects may be undertaken individually or in groups if the problem topic supports a team approach.
Graduates can expect exciting careers as computing professionals.
Upon completion of the programmes, apprentices may pursue roles including: Network Designers, Mobile and Wireless Network Engineers, Network Administrators, Technical Project Managers, Network Security Specialists, and similar roles. Graduates may also pursue a career in research and development, either in industry or academia.
Fees and finance
The Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship is offered only to students undertaking the course as part of their employment. Apprenticeship training will therefore be funded directly by employers or by employers in partnership with Government. Apprentices will not be required to pay any tuition or course fees, and will not be eligible for any Student Finance England maintenance support.
Please see our Apprenticeship pages for more information about apprenticeship funding.
The University will liaise with employers regarding entry requirements, but would normally expect Apprentices to meet our standard entry requirements:
2019 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).
Plus GCSE Mathematics at grade A-C (or equivalent) or new GCSE grade 4-9.
Apprentices who do not have GCSE English and/or Maths may be required to undertake additional training in English and/or Maths during the course of the apprenticeship. Apprenticeship funding rules set by Government require all apprentices to have Level 2 English and Maths by the end of the Apprenticeship if they do not have it in advance.
Also see How to Apply
Apprentices will be expected to be in employment in order to undertake this course. The University may require apprentices to attend an interview in order to be accepted onto the Degree.
Apprentices must have the right to work in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the EEA or the UK for at least the three years prior to beginning the Apprenticeship. Any apprentice with non-UK qualifications will be expected to meet the equivalent entry requirements as set out in our International and EU pages.
Students with English as a second language must also meet our English Language requirements:
IELTS 6.0 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components) where English is not the students' first language.
Facilities and Resources
Students can benefit from dedicated computing suites with access to Microsoft Imagine software library, database servers, web server packages, Integrated Development Environments, and version control software, NoSQL databases, NVIDIA CUDA parallel programming hardware (graphics cards with 1600+ GPU cores), plus the use of a network test cabinet including server, routers and switches, Internet of Things hardware and software packages, network simulation software, and software defined network and radio kits.