Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship Software Developer

Start date(s):
7 Sep 2020
2 years
Level 4
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Part Time
Attendance Type:
Campus, Work Based
Attendance Pattern:
Awarded by:
New College Durham
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
Currently unavailable


Course details may be subject to change

You will build and test simple, high-quality code across front end, logic and database layers, and will develop and understanding of design documentation and specifications.

You will study advanced web development, advanced database concepts and mobile application development.

This apprenticeship programme includes 80% work related learning and 20% off the job training. Working patterns may vary in accordance with employer needs and along with college attendance day, will be confirmed at the start of your apprenticeship.


As a software developer, you will build and test simple, high-quality code across front end, logic and database layers. A developer will typically be working as part of a larger team, in which they will have responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of the overall project. The developer will need to be able to interpret design documentation and specifications. The customer requirements will typically be defined and agreed by more experienced or specialist members of the team, such as a business analyst or technical architect.

This higher apprenticeship has been mapped to the Software Developer Apprenticeship Standard and includes a recognised Level 5 (New College Durham Foundation Degree in Software Development) qualification in addition to the work based learning competencies that will be achieved in the work place.

You will attend college on a day-release basis while employed and working as a higher apprentice.


The Apprenticeship Standard is broken down into skills, knowledge and behaviours.

For full details of the Apprenticeship Standard, please download the Occupational Brief.

The knowledge elements will be covered one day per week when you attend New College Durham, alongside access to online learning via Pluralsight.

Level 4
  • Personal Professional Development 1
  • Work Related Learning 1
  • Principles of Programming
  • UX Design & Development
  • Database Design & Development
  • Object Oriented Programming.

Level 5
  • Work Related Learning 2
  • Advanced Web Development
  • Advanced Database Concepts
  • Mobile Application Development.

For more detail about the modules, click here.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

This course combines work-based learning with theoretical learning at college one day per week.

On Programme Assessment
Technical knowledge and understanding is assessed on programme through a combination of Ofqual-regulated Knowledge Modules and specified vendor and professional qualifications. These must be passed before the end point assessment can take place.

End Point Assessment
The final end point assessment is completed in the last few months of the apprenticeship. It is based on:
  • A portfolio – produced towards the end of the apprenticeship, containing evidence from real work projects which have been completed during the apprenticeship, usually towards the end, and which, taken together, cover the totality of the standard, and which is assessed as part of the end point assessment.
  • A project - giving the apprentice the opportunity to undertake a business-related project over a one-week period away from the day to day workplace.
  • An employer reference - a structured interview with an assessor - exploring what has been produced in the portfolio and the project as well as looking at how it has been produced.

Your independent assessor will assess each element of the end point assessment and will then decide whether to award you with a pass, a merit or a distinction.

You will have access to a wide variety of resources and course related materials on our online learning system (Schoology). Your college based technical certificate will include soft skills and independent study. The diploma is equivalent in size to two A-Levels. You will undertake eight units, six of which are mandatory. Four units are assessed externally, one by written exam, the remaining units are assessed internally by assignment.

Industry links:

Working with a local employer four days per week means you will develop your skills in a real working environment as required by the apprenticeship standard.

Professional body registration:

British Computer Society Membership for one year whilst on programme.


Your problem solving approach to computing will be enhanced with work related learning to develop your knowledge, skills and behaviours in line with this highly technical industry.

You will develop your skills with your employer, in a real working environment, four days a week.

You could progress to the BSc (Hons) Digital Technology Solutions (Top-up) degree apprenticeship on successful completion of the Foundation Degree Higher Apprenticeship.

You could progress to work as a:
  • Web Developer
  • Application Developer
  • Mobile App Developer
  • Games Developer
  • Software Developer.

Interview Instructions

The process for interview is as follows:
  • You will be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via internet (e.g. Skype) – please bring relevant qualifications to date and a printed copy of your personal statement.
  • A standard set of questions will be asked to help the curriculum team learn about your motivation for the course and career aspirations.
  • You will receive an opportunity to ask questions and receive a tour of the facilities.

Entry Criteria

Your employer is likely to set the selection criteria, however this is likely to include:
  • A-Level 3 full-time or apprenticeship qualification
  • Relevant experience
  • And/or an aptitude test with a focus on functional maths.

Standard Entry criteria:
  • 4 GCSE passes at grade 4/C or above, normally including maths & English (or equivalent qualifications e.g. BTEC Level 2 Diploma with maths and English Functional Skills at Level 2) or a commitment to study GCSE maths and English alongside the programme. International applicants require a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band
  • All applicants must be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via internet (e.g. Skype).
  • 48 UCAS points (or you could hold a combination of qualifications which show you can be successful on this programme)
  • A personal statement
  • Attend a successful interview with two members of the curriculum team
  • Participation in induction activities to assess standard of academic writing in English.

Non-standard entry criteria:
  • Evidence of relevant experience which demonstrate you can be successful on this programme
  • A personal statement must be provided
  • Attend a successful interview with two members of the curriculum team
  • Participation in induction activities to assess standard of academic writing in English
  • Participation in basic and key skills builder (BKSB) assessments to establish level of maths, English and ICT skills (applicable where no formal qualifications in computing and/or IT related subjects and/or work experience in a computing or IT related job role can be evidenced)
  • A commitment to study GCSE maths and English alongside the programme if needed (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).