• August
  • 2 years
  • Computing and IT
  • SCQF Level 6


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Intro to the course:

The Two Year Foundation Apprenticeship (FA) in IT: Software Development is offered in S5 and S6. It is delivered over two years and you will spend your first year at college developing skills and knowledge across a range of topics and on placement during the second year, getting hands-on experience with an employer.

Gaming, virtual reality, cyber security – the digital world is changing fast. You could help decide where it goes next.

In Scotland, over 90,000 people work in digital technology roles. The current average full-time salary for digital technology roles is £37,500, which is over 30% higher than the Scottish average of £28,000.

With this Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll be setting yourself up for roles that are in demand not just now, but in the future too such as:

  • software or web developer
  • database administrator
  • network manager

The Foundation Apprenticeships have been developed to help you gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while still at school.

Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as entry qualifications by all Scottish colleges and universities. 

For employers, it’s the chance to attract highly motivated and committed young people who are willing to learn, identify young people who are right for your business and ensure your organisation has people with the skills you need.

SCQF Level 6

Study mode
Part-Time Day

Start date

Who is the course for?

If you're staying on at school, you can apply for a Foundation Apprenticeship.

You can use the search tool to find out if this subject is available at your school. Then just fill out the form to let us know you're interested, and we'll get back to you with more information. 

Apprenticeships | Foundation IT: Software Development

What will I study?

For your National Progression Award, your topics will be:

  • computing applications - development
  • computing- authoring a website
  • software design and development

In S6, you’ll work in a hands-on, practical way as part of your work placement, towards achieving the five units of your Diploma:

  • data modelling
  • investigating and defining customer requirements for IT and telecoms systems
  • health and safety in IT and telecom
  • personal effectiveness

And one of the following:

  • event driven computer programming
  • procedural programming
  • object oriented computer programming

Your Foundation Apprenticeship will also help you to develop core skills valued by employers, particularly:

  • communication
  • problem solving
  • working with others
  • time management

These transferable skills are necessary and highly desirable for working in a range of jobs.

Next step course options

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next.

  • Modern Apprenticeship: On completing your Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have already achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecoms, giving you a head start.
  • Graduate Apprenticeship: You'll have the right skills and experience to progress to a Graduate Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development.
  • Further Education: Continue your studies at college, with an HNC or HND in an ICT and digital subject. Your workplace experience will support your college application.
  • University: Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as equivalent to SQA Highers by all Scottish universities. You’ll already have quality experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd. This apprenticeship also provides you with 42 UCAS tariff points. Find out more about points on the UCAS website

How will I be assessed?

Delivery and assessment of the relevant NPA and work-based professional units occurs at the start of the programme so that the underpinning knowledge can be obtained before contextualising within the work-based learning element. The work-based challenge unit is designed to support the contextualisation of the National Progression Award, and therefore should be seen as a complementary unit to run concurrent with the NPA. 

The work-based learning element is designed to offer the learning access to the workplace, either physically onsite or through remote working. Host employers will provide the work placement opportunity. Employers are asked to provide real work activity aligned to the organisations objectives and to support the development of evidence for assessment against the outcomes. Involvement of industry is encouraged across the entire programme of learning. 

This approach maximises the contextualisation for the learner and offers the opportunity to put into practice underpinning learning. Learners may achieve the Foundation Apprenticeship via a blend of SVQ or customised units.

Why should I choose this course?

By giving you earlier exposure to the world of work, this FA will help you develop the skills, experience and knowledge you'll need when you leave school.  It's the chance to get a head start on your career by gaining an industry-recognised qualification, work on real projects and broaden your career options when you leave school.

Lasting two years, this course is available to pupils who will begin their Foundation Apprenticeship in S5 . You will spend time out of school at college or with a local employer, and complete the Foundation Apprenticeship alongside their other subjects like National 5s and Highers.

“The UK is facing unprecedented economic challenges….So there has never been a more important time to get our skills system right. Scotland is leading the way within the UK on tackling many of these challenges and Foundation Apprenticeships is an excellent example of this. In our publication 'Towards a Twenty-First Century Education System', Foundation Apprenticeships are recognised as beacons of hope in providing young people with the education they need.”

Olly Newton, Director of Policy and Research, The Edge Foundation

Where can this course lead?

Your Foundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next.  Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in the ICT and digital technologies industry.

What are the entry requirements?

You must be in S5 and be capable of working at Higher grade SCQF level 6. 

You should be on track to achieve at least 4 National 5 qualifications or working towards Higher English, Higher IT, Higher Maths or related area 

You should also be motivated to succeed and have: 

  • good communication and team working skills 
  • good attention to detail 
  • a strong desire to work in computing and IT  
  • a positive behaviour and attendance report from school

What are the interview arrangements?

Any offer will be based on your application and a recommendation from school.

Fees, finance and funding:

This course costs £0.

Find out more about Individual Training Accounts (ITA): https://www.myworldofwork.co.uk/learn-and-train/sds-individual-training-accounts-ita

Find out more about Part-Time Fee Grants (PFGs): https://www.saas.gov.uk/part-time

Other information:

You’ll gain a Foundation Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development, which is the same level of learning as an SQA Higher (SCQF level 6).

This includes:

  • A National Progression Award (NPA) in Software Development at SCQF level 6
  • core units of a Diploma for IT & Telecommunications Professionals at SCQF level 6
  • a work placement

Part time course: Tuesday and Thursday

Choose your study options

Study mode Part-Time Day Start date 29/08/2023 Duration 2 years
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