Graduate apprentices spend around 80% of their time at work and 20% at university
The university-based part of the Graduate Apprenticeship degree programme is delivered on campus.
The teaching is frontloaded with skills most relevant to the workplace, enabling apprentices to become valuable team members faster. To gain a complete grounding in software engineering, theoretical foundations are taught at a later stage.
In years 1 and 2, university-based learning is delivered to graduate apprentiuces in intensive 8-week teaching blocks during November to December and March to April. This allows for apprentices to spend extended, uninterrupted periods in the workplace outside of these teaching blocks. By delivering university-based teaching in solid blocks, our unique programme structure mitigates the effects of context switching – this has been found to help apprentices learn faster.
In years 3 and 4, university-based learning follows a day-release model and apprentices take classes alongside Honours students from our traditional degree programmes. Apprentices have an opportunity to specialise in years 3 and 4 if they wish and can choose subjects from the University’s full honours catalogue of electives, taught by leading experts in the relevant fields.
All of our apprentices are offered a place on our free, online summer school. The summer school is designed to allow incoming apprentices to study at their own pace, and covers both basic programming concepts and mathematical fundamentals. This ensures that all of our apprentices are prepared to succeed on the Graduate Apprenticeship programme, regardless of previous experience.
Apprentices will learn the fundamental knowledge and skills needed to work professionally in software engineering, including:
- how to navigate and modify large codebases in unfamiliar programming languages (quickly picking up the languages used most prominently in their workplace)
- software development and practical improvement techniques
- testing fundamentals
- web applications systems
- low-level architecture
- report writing.
Apprentices will cover a broad spectrum of Computing Science topics, including:
- data storage and retrieval
- human-computer interaction (HCI)
- systems programming
- user interaction
- data science fundamentals
- advanced professional software engineering.
Years 3 and 4
Apprentices have an opportunity to specialise in years 3 and 4 if they wish and can choose subjects from the University’s full honours catalogue of electives, taught by leading experts in the relevant fields. Course choices will be made in consultation with their employer.
In year 3, apprentices spend around a day and a half on campus during term time, taking part in Honours level courses. The remainder of their time is spent in the workplace where they will contribute to a major software development project and report on this by the end of the summer.
In year 4, apprentices continue to spend around a day and a half on campus during term time, taking Honours level courses. The remainder of their time is spent in the workplace where they will contribute to a major software development project (of karger scope than the project undertaken in year 3) and detail this work in a written dissertation.
Information for applicants
Find out more about the Software Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship Programme and check out the entry requirements.
Information for prospective employers
Find out more about the Software Engineering Graduate Apprenticeship Programme and discover our employer partner benefits.