Digital and Technology Solutions (BSc): 4-year, part-time

For further information on making an application see How to apply.

The BSc Digital and Technology Solutions degree apprenticeship is designed to develop graduate-level software engineers through a combination of work-based training and academic learning. The programme delivers the UK Government Apprenticeship Standard for Digital and Technology Solutions Professionals. It allows apprentices to work during the day and study during the evening.

The degree is suitable for apprentices and existing employees working, or preparing to work, in the following areas:

  • software engineering
  • computer programming
  • systems analysis
  • systems design
  • software development
  • software testing.

Please note: apprentices on this degree are funded by their employer so are not eligible for a student loan.

Highlights

  • Accreditation: the BSc Digital and Technology Solutions degree delivers the Apprenticeship Standard for Digital and Technology Solutions Professionals and has Tech Industry Gold Accreditation. Tech Industry Gold degrees and degree apprenticeship programmes have been assessed as meeting the employer-relevant standards defined by the Tech Partnership, an employer-led apprenticeship trailblazer group. 
  • Employer support: we aim to work in close collaboration with employers to produce first-class software engineering graduates/professionals. We offer a comprehensive package of employer engagement and support throughout the degree apprenticeship. This includes: dedicated employer liaison staff; an initial planning meeting; termly progress meetings; regular progress reports; work-based learning modules; active involvement in project selection and supervision. Levy-paying employers fund their apprentices' studies via their digital account from the Digital Apprentice Service.
  • Apprentice support: we aim to support apprentices in all areas of their study throughout the lifetime of their degree apprenticeship. We offer: academic mentors; peer mentors; a wide range of academic support services, including transferable skills workshops and one-to-one tutorials; drop-in sessions; termly progress meetings.
  • Academic excellence: the Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck is one of the longest-established computing departments in the UK, celebrating its 62nd anniversary in 2019. It provides a stimulating teaching and research environment for both part-time and full-time students. Lecturers are drawn from both the academic and professional worlds.
  • State-of-the-art facilities: the Department has its own dedicated, state-of-the-art computer labs within the College. It also has its own dedicated network.
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than 75% of our research outputs in Computer Science were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    Apprentices should have mathematics and English GCSE grade A‐C, or equivalent, and A-level grades BBC or equivalent qualifications totalling 112 UCAS points (eg BTEC Diploma in Information Technology, Extended Diploma at Level 3).

    Candidates who do not meet the entry criteria will have to complete a short admissions test in mathematics and English.

    Credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL)

    If you have studied at university previously, you may have accumulated credits through the modules you studied. It may be possible to transfer these credits from your previous study to Birkbeck or another institution. You should discuss this with the Programme Director when you are making your application.

    Find out more about credits and Accredited Prior Learning (APL).

  • Fees

    Fees

    Part-time: £6750 pa

    Students are charged a tuition fee in each year of their programme. Tuition fees for students continuing on their programme in following years may be subject to annual inflationary increases. For more information, please see the College Fees Policy.

  • Teaching and assessment

    Teaching

    At Birkbeck, almost all of our courses are taught in the evening and our teaching is designed to support students who are juggling evening study with work and other daytime commitments. We actively encourage innovative and engaging ways of teaching, to ensure our students have the best learning experience. In the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), the government’s system for rating university teaching, Birkbeck was allocated a Silver award.

    Teaching may include formal lectures, seminars, and practical classes and tutorials. Formal lectures are used in most degree programmes to give an overview of a particular field of study. They aim to provide the stimulus and the starting point for deeper exploration of the subject during your own personal reading. Seminars give you the chance to explore a specific aspect of your subject in depth and to discuss and exchange ideas with fellow students. They typically require preparatory study.

    Our distance-learning and blended-learning courses and modules are self-directed and we will provide you with interactive learning opportunities and encourage you to collaborate and engage via various learning technologies. These courses involve limited or no face-to-face contact between students and module tutors.

    In addition, you will have access to pastoral support via a named Personal Tutor.

    Methods of teaching on this course

    Lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials and individual supervision meetings.

    Contact hours

    On our taught courses, you will have scheduled teaching and study sessions each year. Alongside this, you will also undertake assessment activities and independent learning outside of class. Depending on the modules you take, you may also have additional scheduled academic activities, such as tutorials, dissertation supervision, practical classes, visits and fieldtrips.

    On our taught courses, the actual amount of time you spend in the classroom and in contact with your lecturers will depend on your course, the option modules you select and when you undertake your final-year project.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, discussion, collaboration and interaction with your lecturers and fellow students are encouraged and enabled through various learning technologies, but you may have limited or no face-to-face contact with your module tutors.

    The following information gives an indication of how many contact hours you can expect for each year of this course:

    Year Contact hours
    1 180
    2 180
    3 180
    4 75

    Timetables

    Timetables are usually available from September onwards and you can access your personalised timetable via your My Birkbeck Profile online (if you have been invited to enrol).

    Indicative class size

    Class sizes vary, depending on your course, the module you are undertaking, and the method of teaching. For example, lectures are presented to larger groups, whereas seminars usually consist of small, interactive groups led by a tutor.

    Independent learning

    On our taught courses, much of your time outside of class will be spent on self-directed, independent learning, including preparing for classes and following up afterwards. This will usually include, but is not limited to, reading books and journal articles, undertaking research, working on coursework and assignments, and preparing for presentations and assessments.

    Independent learning is absolutely vital to your success as a student. Everyone is different, and the study time required varies topic by topic, but, as a guide, expect to schedule up to five hours of self-study for each hour of teaching.

    On our distance-learning and blended-learning courses, the emphasis is very much on independent, self-directed learning and you will be expected to manage your own learning, with the support of your module tutors and various learning technologies.

    Study skills and additional support

    Birkbeck offers study and learning support to undergraduate and postgraduate students to help them succeed. Our Learning Development Service can help you in the following areas:

    • academic skills (including planning your workload, research, writing, exam preparation and writing a dissertation)
    • written English (including structure, punctuation and grammar)
    • numerical skills (basic mathematics and statistics).

    Our Disability and Dyslexia Service can support you if you have additional learning needs resulting from a disability or from dyslexia.

    Our Counselling Service can support you if you are struggling with emotional or psychological difficulties during your studies.

    Our Mental Health Advisory Service can support you if you are experiencing short- or long-term mental health difficulties during your studies.

    Assessment

    Assessment is an integral part of your university studies and usually consists of a combination of coursework and examinations, although this will vary from course to course - on some of our courses, assessment is entirely by coursework. The methods of assessment on this course are specified below under 'Methods of assessment on this course'. You will need to allow time to complete coursework and prepare for exams.

    Where a course has unseen written examinations, these may be held termly, but, on the majority of our courses, exams are usually taken in the Summer term, during May to June. Exams may be held at other times of the year as well. In most cases, exams are held during the day on a weekday - if you have daytime commitments, you will need to make arrangements for daytime attendance - but some exams are held in the evening. Exam timetables are published online.

    Find out more about assessment at Birkbeck, including guidance on assessment, feedback and our assessment offences policy.

    Methods of assessment on this course

    Coursework, tests, examinations and a final-year project.

    Breakdown of assessment on this course

    The balance of assessment by examination and assessment by coursework will often depend on the option modules you choose. The approximate percentages for this course are as follows:

    Year % Exams % Practical % Coursework
    1 50 2 48
    2 52 0 48
    3 49 0 51
    4 38 0 62
  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in software engineering, information systems development, web development, programming, IT management, project management, research and consultancy.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers and Employability Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies.

    Graduate Destinations

    Average salary six months after the course: £32000

    Go on to work and/or study:

    Go on to work and/or study
    Now working: 80%
    Doing further study: 5%
    Studying and working: 10%
    Unemployed: 0%
    Other: 10%

    Read more of the statistics for this course on the Unistats website.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You will need your employer's consent before applying for this course or your employer will refer you to us as they will be part funding your studies. For more information and to apply, please contact us.

    Employers wishing to refer apprentices to this programme should contact us.

    Application deadlines and interviews

    We encourage you to apply as early as possible, though we still consider applications up to the end of September.