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Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Degree Apprenticeship Software Engineering

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UCS Buildings - Nov 2013 (35)
Institution code: 


Three years one semester part-time OR four years part-time (varies according to arrangement with employer).


Typical Offer: 

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
  • Software Engineering pathway. Network Engineering pathway also available.
  • 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.

Our Software Engineering pathway covers the learning outcomes for Software Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst and Data Analyst specialisms, because we believe  that this career path requires its practitioners to be as highly skilled and expert in all three areas as possible.

The rules for the Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship mandate that students may only undertake one end-point assessment and this must be in their named pathway.

Graduates will gain a range of skills, knowledge 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 Network Engineering pathway.

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.

Course modules

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. 

Networking Overview

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. 

Personal and Professional Development

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. 

Foundations of Management

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. 

Operating Systems

This module will introduce the concepts of operating systems, including their structure, memory and storage management, protection and security. Designed with software developers in mind, it will look closely at real-world operating systems such as Windows and UNIX. 

Introduction to Programming

This module introduces 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. 

An Introduction to Relational Databases

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

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. 

Software Design Development and Engineering

This module focuses on all phases of the modern software engineering lifecycle and advanced software engineering topics, including critical software, secure software, formal methods and project management from the practitioner’s perspective. This will be put into practice through the requirements gathering, design, implementation and testing of an extensive project that meets the needs of a particular enterprise.

Multimedia, Mobile and Internet

This module covers multimedia, mobile and web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript and PHP. Students will learn design and development skills particular to the world of mobile-first and response web design, as well as covering web and app vulnerabilities, attack techniques and defensive countermeasures to protect software, services and data. 

Advanced Networking Concepts

This module provides software engineers with a more in-depth and hands-on understanding of networking concepts, technologies and protocols. The module will cover a number of specific switching and routing techniques and technologies, including those that are intended to provide a measure of security to such networking devices and how these are configured using scripting languages and/or graphical user interfaces (GUIs). 

Data Structures Algorithms and Advanced Programming

This module focuses on data structures (e.g. linked lists, trees, heaps, hash tables, etc), algorithms (sorting, searching, dynamic programming, greedy, graph, geometric, cryptographic, string matching and compression algorithms, etc), and advanced programming techniques and other language paradigms.

Cyber Security (Attack)

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. 

Cyber Security (Defense)

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.

Emergent Technologies

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.

Distributed Systems

This provides a systematic understanding of distributed operating systems, software services and applications in terms of their architectures, functionality and behaviour. It includes case studies on the “Internet of Things”, blockchains, and cloud computing as well as topics on parallel programming.  

Information Engineering

This covers the full range of skills and knowledge required for “Big Data” including parallel and NoSQL databases, statistical modelling and programming, machine learning, data analytics and visualisation.

Synoptic Project (Software Engineer)

This is a major project in a specialist area of software engineering, addressing a specific real-world business or research issue, suggested by the student, an employer or a staff member. A typical software engineer synoptic project could be a project to design and develop a significant piece of software or a new software product prototype to achieve defined business objectives, for a defined user group or customer group, using one of the defined languages, within defined business processes, and applying appropriate levels of security. 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.  

Career opportunities

Typical roles Software Engineering apprentices may pursue include: Cloud Computing Specialist, Computer Programmer, Data Analysts, Database Specialist, Software Engineer, Software Security Specialist, Software Tester, Technical Project Manager, Web Designer and Web Developer.

The Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship is built on our successful Communication Technologies degrees. One of our graduates said:

"The computing degrees available at the University of Suffolk set me up for my current job. As a Software Engineer who was also studying, I got to learn best practices and skills at the university which would be used in my job the very next day. The content delivered is real-world, current, and gives you the foundation you need to jump on to any other topic in the world of computer science."

Fees and finance

The Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship, Software Engineering pathway, 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.

Entry requirements

Academic Requirements

The University will liaise with employers regarding entry requirements, but would normally expect Apprentices to meet our standard entry requirements:

112 UCAS tariff points (or above), BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and Maths at Grade C/4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.

If you do not hold these qualifications please contact Admissions directly on 01473 338348 to discuss.

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

Non-Academic Requirements

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.

International Requirements

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.


Professor of Information Systems Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Information Technology

Dean of School of Engineering, Arts, Science and Technology

Facilities and Resources

You will 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.