About the FdSc Software Development (subject to validation) programme
The Web and Application branch in the IT Sector is growing at a remarkable rate. Every week new and innovative solutions to problems and tasks push the boundaries of what computers and connected devices can do and offer.
With this demand for fast thinking and fresh coders it is important for students new to programming to have a higher understanding of coding practices and frameworks than ever before. Software development skills to meet business requirements are now compulsory at all levels, not just project managers and lead developers.
Standard entry requirement for the degree will be 80 UCAS points, with a minimum of grade ‘4’ in GCSEEnglish 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 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
All Levels will incorporate systems analysis and database design, full software development workflow including planning and deployment, making use of frameworks, IDEs and repositories while also maintaining version histories. UX/GUI design will also be a key feature of the programme with students considering principles of ‘Human Computer Interaction’ (HCI) and the importance of a positive user experience in the design and development of software interfaces and features.
Level 5 will focus on the development of skills within business and commercial scenarios with the opportunity to move towards specialism within a specialist project module at the end of level 5.
Students will be involved with practical work, carrying out both individual and team tasks in software development, from analysis and design to implementation, testing and maintenance.
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.
State of the art servers, workstations and accessories, coupled with a wide range of stand-alone platforms like the Raspberry Pi and the inclusion of ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices, gives the option to develop software from design to full implementation. Students will have access to industry standard infrastructures not only from a user perspective but from that of a service management. This innovative mode of delivery gives students the chance of working in both software and hardware environments creating a more in-depth knowledge comparable to that of senior development roles.
Much of the programme will include the development of fully functional products for each assessment, building a portfolio of applications and services students can show to potential employers.
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.).