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Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship

The apprenticeship for aspiring IT professions

Digital and Technology solutions is the most established apprenticeship at Aston. It was the first in the UK and is developing professionals at Virgin Media, Capgemini and Payara Services Ltd.

Apprentices on the course develop applied competence in the interpretation and application of IT, business awareness and an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual issues central to the practice of technology solutions. The course lasts four and a half years and has exactly the same status as Aston’s traditional on-campus degrees.

Apprentices will be immersed in a wide range of programming tools, methods and techniques. The course covers the application of digital solutions, promotes business awareness and delivers understanding of the issues central to IT for your business.

The apprentice

Apprentices can range from new employees with no previous IT experience to existing professionals who have grown into their role, but lack a formal degree qualification. It is intended for IT professionals in the private, public or third sector.

Roles can include anything with a significant consultative or development focus. To this end, there are two routes your apprentice can take:

  • Business Analytics Stream
  • software Engineering Stream

Academic content

The apprenticeship is delivered through three stages. The first stage is common to both streams and starts with technical training in Foundations of Technology Solutions. This is followed by work-based learning tailored to the individual role in your business and blended learning providing a foundation for further university study.

  • Foundations of Technology Solutions
  • Professional Practice
  • Problem Solving
  • Computer Systems and Networks
  • Systems Development
  • Introduction to Business Organisations
  • Internet Computing

 The second and third stages are split into two specialisms. Software Engineering has a technical focus and teaches practical programming skills as well as the foundations of computer science. Business Analyst has both technical and business focus and places particular importance on the understanding and management of data.

Core Modules for both specialisms

  •  Professional and Social Aspects of Computing
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Internet Applications and Techniques
  • Group Project

Core modules for Business Analyst Specialism

  •  Business Analytics 
  • Introduction to Accounting
  • Introduction to Business Economics
  • System and Software Analysis

Core modules for Software Engineer Specialism

  • Mathematics for Computing Professionals
  • Software Engineering
  • Programming Language Concepts
  • Operating Systems
  • Java Program Construction
  • Data Structures and Algorithms with Java

Core modules for both specialisms

  • Individual Project
  • Information Security
  • Software Project Management
  • Data Mining

Core modules for Business Analyst Specialism

  • Strategic Management

Core modules for Software Engineering Specialism

  • Testing and Reliable Software Engineering
  • Interaction Design

Optional modules

  • Enterprise Computing Strategies
  • Advanced Database Systems
  • Managing People and Team Leading
  • Effective Management Consultancy (Business Analyst)
  • International Operations (Business Analyst)
  • Mobile Development (Software Engineer) 
  • Enterprise Application Technology (Software Engineer)
  • Geographic Information Systems (Software Engineer)

Teaching

The degree apprenticeship begins with a seven-week technical training block held on campus, delivering core computing and business skills to enable apprentices to become an effective team member in the workplace. 

Following this the remainder of the programme is delivered through blended learning. Most teaching is delivered through a virtual learning environment. In this way teaching is delivered to students who are working on a client site, have irregular working patterns, and are dispersed across the country (and, potentially, in different time zones).

Assessment

 Each six month block of modules requires attendance at four on-campus teaching days and an additional two days for examinations.







Entry points

The course runs for 4.5 years. Apprentices can start at various points throughout the year.

Entry requirements

You can specify your own requirements in addition to the University’s. These include appropriate A-levels, BTEC or a level 3 apprenticeship. Additional entry requirements from the government include:

  • Grade C in GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent
  • Be a UK/EU/EAA resident for at least three years prior to starting the course
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship starts
  • Be at least 16 years old