Fully-Funded Software Engineering Degree Apprenticeship: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Paige JenningsNews

Our innovative Degree Apprenticeship program enables you to “earn and learn,” allowing you to stay in full-time employment while earning a BSc (Hons) degree that applies your academic learning directly to your workplace. The best part? It’s completely free for both you and your employer.

Here’s everything you need to know…

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

Our Degree Apprenticeship programme combines traditional academic learning in a University environment with work-based projects that allow students to apply their newly acquired academic knowledge to their roles in their companies. Students will graduate from the course with a BSc in Applied Software Engineering.

We work with companies and organisations across Wales, including, but not limited to, DVLA, CGI, Admiral, and Welsh Water, as well as a wide range of small to medium businesses, to deliver our BSc in Applied Software Engineering. This is a fully funded Degree Apprenticeship programme funded by the Welsh Government that supports companies in upskilling new or existing staff members and ensuring workforce skills are current and relevant.

Courses are fully funded and supported by the Institute of Coding (IoC) in Wales and the Welsh Government through the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW). The IoC in Wales is a major partnership led by Swansea University, which is collaborating with the National Institute of Coding, based in England. It was established to address the recognised digital skills gap in the workforce and create the next generation of digital specialists. Originally envisaged as a way to help rectify a ‘skills shortage’ in Computer Science within Wales, our Degree Apprenticeship Programme is proving incredibly popular.

In addition, IoC in Wales has developed short, stand-alone Computer Science courses (Digital Skills Bootcamps) to further tackle the significant digital skills gap. This project is funded by the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

What are the benefits for employees?

You can gain a degree while developing new skills and knowledge and remaining employed full-time. Students will build on and increase confidence in their current skills to gain a qualification and be provided with the opportunity to progress within their company.

What are the benefits for employers?
The degree apprenticeship ensures that employees and employers have the skills for increased competitiveness, equips staff with current and relevant knowledge and increases motivation and commitment to the organisation. It has also boosted staff confidence to apply their new skills and knowledge and develop further soft skills, e.g. presentation and communication skills.

Who is it for?

To be eligible for our degree apprenticeship programme, you must be employed in a relevant job, either as an existing employee or new hire, for a minimum of 30 hours per week and work at least 51% of the time in Wales. Your employer must agree to you enrolling in the course and release you from work for the required time each week.

Do I need a Computing background to start the course?

The short answer is no – we start the course from the basics, and no prior programming/computer science knowledge is required. Regarding entry requirements, as a work-based learning programme, we value the experience of applicants as well as formal qualifications such as A-Levels. However, we recognise relevant experience in the case of mature students who do not have adequate A-Levels or equivalent academic results, and this recognition will be made in the case of the majority of applicants to the programme. We look at each applicant on a case-by-case basis. If you are unsure or think you do not meet the entry requirements, contact us, and we will discuss your situation.

What will I learn?

The course covers a broad spectrum of content, including Programming and Software Development, Algorithms and Databases, Mobile and Web App Development, AI, Data visualisations, and Computer Security.

How long is the course?

The programme runs for one day a week over three years (Wednesdays, 1pm-8pm), requiring just ½ days of release from work each week. Students spend, on average, 80% of their time at their employer and 20% working towards their degree at University.

Year 1 consists of six 15-credit modules that develop the basic theoretical concepts and practical skills underlying Computer Science, along with a 30-credit work-based portfolio module.

Year 2 consists of six 15-credit modules, which continue from Year 1 in developing important intermediate-level theoretical concepts and practical skills underlying Computer Science. There is also a 30-credit work-based portfolio module.

Year 3 consists of six 15-credit modules, which continue from Year 2. In place of the work-based learning modules, there is a final-year project.

How is the course delivered?

Our next intake is on the 25th of September 2024, and the first academic year runs until mid-July 2025. Lectures take place at Swansea University’s Singleton Campus.

Where do I sign up?

If you are an employer or employee in Wales and are interested in this opportunity, contact Technocamps’ Business Liaison Officer, Dr Maria Moller, for more information or an informal chat. We are accepting new applicants until mid-September.