Software, in all its designs and forms, makes its mark on every aspect of our lives - using the Internet; controlling our gadgets; playing the latest video games; special effects in TV shows and films. All of these programs and applications have been designed and created by qualified and experienced software developers, and there is continuing growth in the market for such people. The software industry produces over GBP160 billion for the UK economy and is the fastest growing sector right now.
Is this course right for me?
Do you have a passion for computing, such as designing and creating programs, using systems for processing images, or managing data with various software tools? Do you want to develop your knowledge of programming paradigms and system architectures? Do you want to work in a field of endless possibilities?
You will develop skills across a broad range of areas such as computational thinking, software development, computer architecture, project planning, IT security, relational database development, the impact of social media, digital graphics, animation and website development.
The course will explore aspects of computing such as the ethical issues linked to self-driving cars, the rules related to interface design, the stages of a software development lifecycle, as well as learning a variety of new programming languages and skills, such as Photoshop.
You can expect to take part in lively discussions about new technology and use technology such as the 3D printer, iPads and the graphics tablets. The department organises talks from employers and universities, for example, Pixel Junction has visited to explain how to work to a client brief, and we visited Teesside University to learn more about Progressive Web Applications.
This course usually takes place over 3 days per week for two years. You will be studying for a Pearson BTEC 90 Credit Diploma in the first year and a Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma in the second year. The two-year course is equivalent to 3 A-Levels and is worth up to 168 UCAS points (Triple Distinction*).
All of our learners will be given support with their English and Maths skills where relevant to their main course. Those students who have not yet achieved a Grade 4 (or C) at GCSE in these subjects will continue to work towards these important qualifications at a level suited to them. However, students will still have to achieve the stated Entry Requirements before they start the course.
Assessment on the course is in a variety of forms, including externally set supervised assessments and on-screen examination, as well as portfolio-based assignment work.
Five GCSEs Grade 4 or above, including English & Maths.
If you have not studied GCSE Computing, or only have qualifications in IT, you would need to bring a sample of your own coding projects with you, for the interview.
NB: Enrolment on this course is dependent on meeting the Entry Requirements stated above.
After Your Course
There is a huge range of possible Degree-Level routes including programming, games design and business IT. Some learners prefer to gain employment in the IT industries in programming, networking or web design areas.
Course fees are per year. The current fee information is related to the 2019/20 academic year and is subject to change before the start of the course. Fees for 2020/21 will be updated in the Spring Term. There may also be additional costs associated with the course.
This course is funded by the government and may be free if you are:
- Aged 16-18 on 31/08/19
- Aged 19-23 on an Entry Level or Level 1 course with intent to progress to a Level 2 course
- Aged 19-23 on your first full Level 2 or Level 3 course
- Aged 19-23 on your first Level 4 course (if you haven’t already got a Level 3 qualification)
- Aged 19+ on Functions Skills or GCSE English or Maths
- Unemployed and in receipt of JSA/ESA(WRAG)/Universal Credit or another eligible state benefit on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course
- Member of a low income household & in financial hardship on an Entry Level, Level 1 or Level 2 course
Level 3-6 Courses for Adults
Advanced Learning Loans are available for students aged 19+ and studying an eligible Level 3/4/5 and 6 Course. If you are on an Access course, the loan will be written off if you complete a degree.
Please speak to Student Services for more information on course fees.