This is a level 6 Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship, of which there are four pathways: Network Engineer, Software Engineer, Cyber Security Analyst and Data Analyst.
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About the Digital Technology Solutions (Network Engineer) Degree Apprenticeship
The Digital Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship is designed to allow learners to specialise in one of four areas:
- Network Engineer
- Software Engineer
- Data Analyst
- Cyber Security Analyst
Learners combine work and study to build core skills and knowledge required for the implementation, maintenance and support of security controls that protect an organisation’s systems and data assets from threats and hazards.
Apprentices start to specialise from year two, and they graduate with a BSc (Hons) in Digital and Technology Solutions.
Teaching is delivered over 3 years via weekly day release, and the programme is coursework based, meaning no exams (as these do not replicate real-world working environments in the computing industry).
This apprenticeship is accredited by TechSkills – the industry accreditation body for digital and tech education. It means that our apprenticeship meets the high industry standards set by TechSkills for quality and tech/digital career relevance.
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What are Degree Apprenticeships?
Degree apprenticeships are a fantastic way to upskill employees and train new staff. They contribute to improved competitiveness and productivity, as well as increased staff retention.
Degree apprentices study for higher level qualifications alongside working. As such, they spend at least 6 working hours each week carrying out ‘off-the-job training’ where they study for their degree and gain the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required to successfully complete the apprenticeship.
Large employers can use their apprenticeships levy to pay for apprenticeship training. Smaller firms can claim up to 95 per cent of these costs from the Government. This means apprenticeships are a cost-effective choice for both the employer and learner.
Meet the lecturer
Dr Jordan Allison, Academic Course Leader
Jordan teaches across a range of modules at both undergraduate and postgraduate level such as computers and security and information security management.
He is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member of the Association of Computing Machinery, and a professional member of the British Computer Society where he is the industry liaison officer for the Gloucester and Cheltenham branch.
His research interests focus on the advancement of effective computing education with his recent research focusing on the teaching of networking and security.
In Year 1, learners from all four pathways take the same modules so they build the core knowledge and skills necessary to then specialise in their chosen area from Year 2. An independent work-based project underpins classroom content, so apprentices are applying their learning in the workplace from day one.
Computers and Security
This module introduces the core concepts of computers and security by considering the design and operation of computers and computer networks, the implications of security and how computers may be programmed.
Principles of Programming
This introduces the principles of programming and develops an understanding of problem solving techniques for software development using a programming language.
Object Oriented Programming and Software Design
This module gives learners an understanding of the object-oriented programming paradigm in the context of developing software that is well specified, designed and tested. Learners will be exposed to a variety of notations at different stages of the development process.
This introduces software engineering principles and practices necessary to developing quality software-intensive systems for business use. Learners will be introduced to working in teams to identify business requirements and turn these into practical, workable solutions.
Independent Work-Based Project
This project applies theories and principles integrated from modules studied already. Learners identify an issue/problem that needs solving and produce a piece of work that demonstrates understanding and application of theories and principles.
In Year 2, learners continue to build core skills, while also specialising as a Data Analyst. They will also enhance their project management skills and explore key ethical issues.
This module explores the deployment and application of key Agile approaches to software management development and wider business development models.
This introduces learners to the professional and ethical issues surrounding computing disciplines. Learners consider these professional and ethical issues in a business context.
Managing the Security of Information
This module looks at the security of information and how it can be managed to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability. It encompasses the role of the Information Security Officer, security policies, standards and managing user activities.
Supervised Professional Work Experience
For this module learners undertake a supervised work-based activity focussing on the application of learnt theories to their place of work as well as how learning has impacted their employment. They identify a workplace issue/project collaboratively with their employer, in which they will apply theory to the workplace and evaluate this application.
In Year 3, learners further develop their academic skills by demonstrating deeper understanding that draws upon all their studies to date, as well as the practical experience they have gained in the workplace.
This year has a more strategic focus where learners are required to develop solutions around system change, and consider the role of IT in forwarding wider business objectives.
Advanced Topics in Technology and Innovation
In this module learners research current innovative issues in technology. Topics will be introduced in a series of lectures and then discussed in seminars with learners contributing written and verbal content.
Strategic Business and IT Management
This module broadens learners’ critical perspective on the strategic aspects of information systems in business. It focuses in particular on the integration of information systems strategy with business strategy to support business value.
Managing Information Systems Change
This broadens learners’ critical perspectives on strategic aspects of managing information systems driven change. It focuses in particular on the successful integration of information systems into the organisation through management of the change process.
Apprentices self-manage an academic in-depth investigation of an appropriate topic (of their choice within the subject area of the course) with support from an adviser.
Network Design and Configuration
This module provides an understanding of the principles of networking, network design and network architecture and infrastructures.
A number of core networking topics will be delivered, which include:
- networking principles
- network architecture and design
- network standards
- configuration of network devices
- routers and switches
- network trouble shooting
- support and the provision of network redundancy
- load balancing
Advanced Networking & Security
This module builds on the network design and implementation principles from the year 2 module ‘Network Design and Configuration’.
The objective is to defend and protect the network infrastructure, architecture, protocols and applications in order to deliver secured protocols, applications, services and data. The cyber security framework of identifying, protecting, detecting, responding and recovery in relation to network security will be evaluated and critically analysed.
Learners will become capable of analysing, designing and managing the requirements of a secure network architecture based on risk analysis and operational requirements in accordance with regulations and standards.
The End Point Assessment (EPA) is an independent assessment that takes place after the final year of the apprenticeship. It is designed to test that the learner is competent in their occupation by assessing the knowledge, skills and behaviour (KSB) outcomes detailed in the approved Apprenticeship Standard.
For this degree apprenticeship, the EPA consists of two components:
- a synoptic project;
- a presentation which is a structured discussion between the apprentice, their university lecturer(s) and their employer, focussing on the outcomes of the synoptic project.
All apprentices must pass their EPA to successfully complete their apprenticeship and academic degree.
“As a leader and manager who is enthusiastic about developing my team, I’ve found the Digital Technology Solutions Apprenticeship really beneficial in achieving that aim and supporting the remit of my team more widely.
Having been through a similar programme, focussed on senior leadership, I know what?s involved, how challenging it can be but also how rewarding it is for the apprentice and the organisation.
I currently have one apprentice in his second year on this course. He’s developing a solid foundation in Data Analysis in addition to his working experiences in the team to date.”
I’m more than happy with the standard and quality of teaching and course content provided by the University, and particularly value the way I am engaged in the learning journey alongside my apprentice. As I found, this is invaluable development that isn’t readily available routinely in the work place directly, so enables our staff to really enhance their skillset and ability to impact the organisation longer term.”
Strategic Intelligence Manager, Gloucestershire County Council
This apprenticeship will be delivered in our state-of-the-art computing and technology facilities on Park Campus in Cheltenham.
This centre for all things computing includes a dedicated cyber security lab where learners can practice their new skills in a digitally protected, authentic environment with an isolated network.
There are purpose-built computing suites kitted out wit the latest tools and operating systems, such as Android, Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Drones, Photoshop, Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco. Plus, there are breakout areas for workshop sessions, games consoles and screens in social areas, and the latest computing technology and software. There is a strong sense of community, with staff and learners sharing both work and relaxation space.
Employer and learner support
Learners have a personal tutor throughout their apprenticeship, as well as a learner coach who conducts reviews and supports them towards successful completion. They are also supported by module tutors and our Helpzone staff, who are contactable by telephone, in person and online.
Employers are able to access our dedicated apprenticeship support team, who are here to ensure that businesses get the best from both the learner and the programme.
All apprentices have access to:
· experienced professionals, who are experts in their field
· state-of-the-art facilities
· all university libraries and IT and facilities
· discounted travel with Stagecoach across the South West network
· an NUS card offering great discounts at restaurants and high street stores
· a vibrant social scene complete with bars, sports clubs, gyms and leisure facilities
View our apprenticeships FAQ guide and discover answers to the most commonly asked questions about higher and degree apprenticeships.
Apprentices should be in full-time employment (eg employed for at least 30 hours per week) throughout the duration of the apprenticeship.
Apprentices must have GCSE grade C/4 or above in Maths and English before they complete the EPA (or an equivalent Level 2 qualification). In some cases, apprentices are able to complete Functional Skills alongside their apprenticeship in order to have the needed Level 2 qualification ahead of EPA.
Employers may set additional entry requirements suitable for their organisational needs.
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