About the FdSc Digital and Technology Solutions (subject to validation) programme
The development and continued success of business is increasingly predicated on its ability to harness and employ digital and technology solutions to develop and market new products and services, increase productivity and workflow, minimise costs, and protect itself from threats from various forms of cybercrime. At the core of this is an increasing need to manage and maintain large sets of data and this in turn leads to additional security requirements and the application of advanced data analytics that rely heavily on the application of artificial intelligence.
Standard entry requirement for the degree will be 80 UCAS points, with a minimum of grade ‘4’ in GCSE English or equivalent (Functional Skills Literacy Level 2 or Adult Literacy Level 2), and grade ‘4’ in GCSE Mathematics or equivalent (Functional Skills Numeracy Level 2 or Adult Numeracy Level 2).
The Institute will also encourage applications from non-traditional learners who lack formal academic qualifications. All such non-traditional applicants will be interviewed, set an appropriate piece of work (a research based written assignment investigating a current topic within the digital technologies sector), asked to provide evidence of relevant digital product development and a judgement made taking into account their academic potential and relevant experience.
Applicants applying for the part time distance learning programme will generally be those who are in full time employment, however applicants who are engaged in freelance work or are self employed may also apply for part time distance learning. While it is not recommended for those not in employment, self employed or engaged in freelance work to apply for part-time distance learning, other applicants will be considered on a case by case basis to allow for applications from those who would otherwise find it difficult to attend in person due to extenuating personal circumstances; however, such applicants may be required to provide evidence of their circumstances in order to support their application. Once offered a place on the programme that place and the mode of delivery will be assured in such cases where there is a change in employment status in order to allow successful applicants to complete their studies with a consistent mode of delivery.
Applicants may be admitted with credit for prior certificated learning (APcL) or work/life experience or other uncertificated learning (APeL) – refer to the Higher Education Quality Handbook. Students who have successfully completed another relevant programme of study at least at the equivalent level may be eligible to apply for APcL. Claim forms must be supported by the official transcript or certificate of the awarding body of the original qualification and any guidance explaining the allocation of credit and grading scheme used to enable module comparison.
Students may also be eligible to apply for life or work experience or other uncertificated learning in which the acquisition of skills or knowledge at the equivalent level to the higher education programme has been gained. These APeL claim forms must be supported by a portfolio of evidence including supporting letters or statements from third parties (i.e. employers) to validate any claims made within the portfolio by the applicant. Further, a letter or statement of support from the programme leader identifying any interviews or discussions that have taken place with particular attention being paid to ensure that should the accreditation be granted, the applicant or enrolled student would be able to cope with the demands of the programme.
What you will learn
Level 4 of the programme will focus on the acquisition of fundamental skills within Business and Information Systems, Systems Analysis and Database Design, Database/Software Development & Programming including Front-End Development, Computer Networking and Project Management.
Level 5 will focus on the development of skills in Artificial Intelligence, Automation, Data Analytics, Machine Learning, IT Consultancy, Cyber Security Analysis and Network Engineering within a business and commercial context leading to specialism within a major project in the final trimester.
Learning & Teaching Methods
The teaching and learning strategy for this programme will be based around a combination of traditional lectures and seminars for the delivery of underpinning theory, core module content and the demonstration of practical skills; together with labs/workshops to allow students to apply and develop practical and technical skills. The balance of formal delivery to lab/workshop sessions will be determined by the requirements of each module. In addition to the combination of lectures/seminars and labs/workshops, students will be able to access tutorial support in order to address individual needs (in addition to more traditional tutorials covering pastoral support requirements) and in the case of self directed research and/or development projects each student will be entitled to 5 hours of academic supervision per relevant module.
Practical and professional skills will be developed through projects, briefs and assignments which develop and encourage practical application of learning. Both core modules and the later specialist modules will employ this approach to ensure that learning outcomes are planned to reflect real world business practices and requirements.
This programme will be distinctive as it will focus on teaching through employer engagement and project based learning based on the needs of business as a core. It will include business and information systems, business analysis and professional project management which will centre on business-orientated solutions. During level 5 of the programme students will work towards their specialism within a specialist project module and could choose from the following specialisms: Software Engineer, IT Consultant, Cyber Security Analyst, Data Analyst and Network Engineer.
The part time provision is offered through distance learning allowing students to study and work toward assessment off campus with a targeted attendance of 20% to ensure that support requirements can be fully met. Distance learning will make extensive use of online delivery, assessment and resources and is ideally suited to students who are in full time employment and cannot make adjustments to their working hours in order to attend in addition to those students for whom it would not be possible to relocate.
The programme learning outcomes cover the full range of benchmarks allowing the programme to be effectively mapped to the current BSc (Hons) Computing Technologies (Top-up) entry requirements allowing graduates to progress directly on to this programme. Further to this it should be possible for students to apply to other institutions offering comparable BSc (hons) top up programmes. Many employers both within the computing/ICT sector and other industry/commercial sectors will fully recognise the FdSc award opening up the potential to apply for graduate employment in some cases. Students may also choose to follow up the programme by undertaking professional certification programmes (for example, those offered by CISCO, Microsoft, Adobe, etc.).