Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist MSc Degree Apprenticeship

This master’s level course will transform you into a digital solutions leader. You’ll build core leadership and technology management skills before honing your expertise in either software engineer, data analyst, IT project manager, or IT strategy specialist. 

Start date: March and September

Course type
Work-based degree

Course format

No placements


2 years

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

Who is this apprenticeship for?

This course is suitable for graduates with a background in computer science looking to advance their careers in the tech and digital sector by studying for a master’s degree. It also provides junior data analysts and software engineers a pathway for career development by honing their technical skills into specialisms.

For employees

This Level 7 degree apprenticeship is a master’s level apprenticeship will help transform you from a technical professional into a leader in your specialism. You’ll build your leadership and technology management skills while deepening your knowledge of your chosen specialist route, either software engineer, data analyst, IT project manager, or IT strategy specialist.

For employers

This Level 7 degree apprenticeship is a master’s level apprenticeship to train technical professionals into leaders in their specialism. Apprentices will build their leadership and technology management skills while deepening their knowledge of their chosen specialist route, either software engineer, data analyst, IT project manager, or IT strategy specialist.


Course content

The Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship is taught at master’s level and will give learners the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to become specialists in their field through practically orientated learning sessions. 

The programme is split into four specialist streams: 

  1. The Data Analyst route focuses on the investigative and interrogative skills required to work with big data.  
  2. The IT Project Manager route focuses on successful project delivery of software development solutions that meet expectations. 
  3. The IT Strategy Specialist route concentrates on providing convincing advice and guidance on transformative technology-based change initiatives, driving IT strategy. 
  4. The Software Engineer route has a technical focus on the development, implementation and evaluation of complex software solutions.
Stage one:

In stage one apprentices will study three core modules alongside a personal and professional development programme.

  • Technology Management

  • Leadership and Change

  • Either Data Analysis,ITStrategy, IT Project Management, or Software Engineering.

The ProfessionalPractice module runs throughout the duration of stage one. Beginning with a skills audit, a development coach will support you in your workplace to identify skills gaps and create a plan to advance your personal and professional competencies and evidence them in a skills portfolio.

Stage two:

The final stage of this degree apprenticeship is an extended project. This project module is designed to help you deliver real business value for your employer while demonstrating the skills and knowledge you have learned through the core taught modules on the programme. You will be supported by an academic tutor throughout the project.


Real-world learning

You will spend most of your time doing a full-time job as well as studying for your degree part-time through a combination of online seminars outside of office hours and occasional sessions on campus. Everything is structured to fit around your job and is designed in partnership with employers.

Entry requirements

You will need to apply for a degree apprenticeship role or already be employed in a job in England with responsibilities aligned with the degree content. Please see the how to apply section below for more information.

Entry requirements are set by the hiring business and not Aston University so they vary between organisations. Apprentices are selected based on their applications, an interview and an assessment process which is tailored to your apprenticeship position.

You will need:

  • An honours degree in a related subject (or equivalent qualification)

  • At least Grade 4 or C GCSE Maths and English.

Candidates without a background in computing may also be suitable for the programme but would need to complete additional training agreed with Aston University and their employer prior to beginning this degree apprenticeship.

*Please note:

  • Employers may specify their own entry criteria that can exceed this.

You will also need to meet the government's eligibility criteria:

  • Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course.

  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start.

  • Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria.

How to apply

If you are already employed in this industry, you should discuss with your manager if your organisation is working in partnership with Aston University. If they are, you will make an application through your employer.

If your employer is not yet an Aston partner, they can get in touch with our Apprenticeships Team to find out more information about working with us.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace doing a real full-time job as well as studying for your qualification part-time.

Study time is structured to fit around your job. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer, so you don't need to worry about your work and study commitments clashing. They work hand in hand.

This programme is taught predominantly through online distance learning using our Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. You’ll log in to this platform to watch live and recorded lecture content, take part in activities and access a wealth of online academic resources to support your learning.

Each core module takes six months to complete and you’ll be expected to attend two one-week face-to-face teaching blocks on campus per module. Typically this would be one session in the middle of the module and one towards the end of the module. These sessions will give you the opportunity to work with our academic experts in person, take part in discussions and joint work with the cohort of apprentices on this programme. This time will also be used to work on your assignments giving you some dedicated time for study away from the office.

The Professional Practice module is taught through work-based learning. You will be assigned a professional supervisor who will visit your workplace and support your professional and personal development in the context of your business.


By successfully completing this programme, you will be awarded an MSc in Digital Technology Solutions. You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction.

There are no examinations for this degree apprenticeship and you will be graded solely on your assignments and final project. All assignments have a practical focus to help you translate the knowledge you have learned into practical applications that will help you advance your career. Typically assignments would relate to your own business setting or make use of industry case studies.

As part of the apprenticeship, you will undergo an End Point Assessment to achieve the government approved standard for the Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship.


You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentice as the costs are met by the UK government and your employer*. In addition to your fees being paid, you will also earn a salary while you study, so there is no need to apply for Student Finance.

The funding band for this degree apprenticeship is £21,000. This is the full cost of your apprenticeship which will be paid for using your employer's apprenticeship levy.

*Employers may require students to pay the fees for resits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study a Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship at Aston?

Aston’s great links with industry and experienced teaching staff will help you to develop your specialist pathway on this course and really help you to progress your career from technical professional to leader within the sector. Graduate with experience, a master’s level degree qualification and no-debt, whilst propelling your future career.

Why Aston University for an apprenticeship?

Aston University has been ranked 13th, best in a top 50 list of the UK's best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship's Top Training Provider 2022-2023). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as really value our network of employer links which inform and shape our courses and teaching.

Why partner with Aston University for a degree apprenticeship?

At Aston we work really closely with our employer network, not only to ensure courses fit around the roles that apprentices have, but also to ensure the skills and knowledge they develop fit the needs of their organisation and add value to their business.

Aston University has been ranked 13th, best in a top 50 list of the UK's best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship's Top Training Provider 2022-2023). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as maintain good working relationships with employers.


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