• Computing and ICT

    Foundation Apprenticeship - Information Technology: Software Development

  • Eligible Schools:

    All Ayrshire Schools

    This is a course for school pupils

  • Location/Day/Time

    Ayr Campus

    Year 1: Tuesday and Thursday 2pm – 4pm in college, including an industry experience.

    Year 2: work placement and one afternoon per week in college.

    Duration: 2 years

Who is the course for?

Software developers create computer programmes for all kinds of uses, industries and businesses, from apps and websites, to gaming and cyber security. In our digital world, there’s already a skills shortage, so as a software developer you’re likely to find plenty of career opportunities ahead.

If you’re interested in ICT and are thinking about a career in software development, this Foundation Apprenticeship will give you the skills and work experience you need for a head start - even while you’re still at school.

You can choose a Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development as one of your school subject choices. The course takes 2 years to complete, starting in S5 and finishing at the end of S6.

You’ll spend part of your week at college and also go out on work experience. And don’t worry about getting to and from college/employer – all your transport will be organised and paid for too.

What is the course about?

This course lets you find out what a career in software development would really be like – and if it’s right for you.

You’ll develop software design and programming skills to write and maintain computer applications to create websites and other products. You’ll identify what your customer needs and work through the whole process from initiation to final product.

The course includes:

  •  Two competency based qualification units
  •  A National Progression Award (NPA) in Professional Computer Fundamentals (SCQF level 6)
  • As well as formal college tuition, you’ll also gain work related experience, such as work placements, work shadowing, industry visits, an industry challenge and training. We’ll also help you find you a work placement for Year 2.

    Here’s a bit more on what’s involved:

    Year 1: You’ll study Level 6 units which make up the National Progression Award (NPA) in Software Development. These include:

    •  Computing: Application Development
    •  Computing: Authoring a website
    •  Software Design and Development

    The NPA will give you the knowledge you’ll need to successfully complete the Year 2 learning and placement experience, as well as and the practical skills required for working in the industry.

    Year 2: You’ll complete a number of units in a work placement, such as:

    •  Personal Effectiveness 2
    •  Health and Safety in IT and Telecoms
    •  Event Driven Programming OR Procedural Programming 2 OR Object Orientated Programming
    •  Investigating and Defining Customer Requirements for IT & Telecoms Systems
    •  Data Modelling 1

    If you’re not sure what a Foundation Apprenticeship is? You can find out more here

    What do I need?


    For a place on this course, you’ll need:

    •  To have, or be working towards, National 5 qualifications, including either Maths or Computing.
    •  To be capable of working at SCQF Level 6 (Higher level). Your Guidance Teacher can advise you on this.
    • Interests

      You’ll have:

      •  a keen interest in design and creativity
      •  a mathematical or analytical mind
      •  excellent problem solving skills
      • You should also have a proven interest in at least one of the following areas: programming, software development, application design or website creation and design.

        How will I be assessed?

        The NPA Units in Year 1 are assessed in college and Year 2 units in the work placement. These assessments are practical – you’ll carry out tasks and your assessor will observe you and say when you have shown that you can do them out correctly. You’ll also keep a logbook. Your Assessor will visit you regularly to make sure you’re doing well and on track with your tasks.

        Next Steps?

        Once you’ve achieved this Foundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have an industry recognised qualification and extensive work experience which will really help in your future career.

        You’ll now have a solid basis for moving onto a Modern Apprenticeship, other employment or an HNC/D college course in a variety of disciplines. Completion of the HND can lead directly to 3rd year entry at university.

        Successful completion of the HND Computer Games or HND Computer Science lead you directly into third year at University.

          Click here to read Annie and Tj's thoughts about the course.

Start Date

20 Aug 2018




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