Software Engineering (Graduate Apprenticeship) BSc

The Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) programme is an alternative route to attaining a degree, and employers gain new, valuable, tailored talent for their workforce. Apprentices benefit from a degree, work experience and a salary.

Why be a Graduate Apprentice at the University of Glasgow?

Our Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) programme combines the theoretical Computing Science that our traditional Software Engineering degree covers with bespoke work-based learning courses and experience.

As a GA on our programme you will have the opportunity to:

  • Earn a salary
  • Attain a BSc Honours degree in 4 years
  • Gain valuable work experience
  • Learn in our leading School of Computing Science
  • Be mentored within the workplace
  • Benefit from 8 week on campus learning blocks
  • Specialise in years 3 and 4

How it works

Candidates apply directly to our employer partners, so UCAS applications are not affected. Apprentices must pass employer recruitment processes and meet our academic entry requirements.

The valuable work-based learning is combined with an intensive foundational course taught in blocks at the university over the first 18 months, ensuring the apprentices have a strong on campus university experience and fast track skills and learning, creating work-ready apprentices from an early stage in the programme. 

In years 3 and 4 of the programme apprentices can opt to specialise in:

  • Data Science
  • Cyber Security
  • or Systems Engineering

Across the 4 years the balance is approximately 20% in university and 80% in the workplace.

Who can apply?

This programme is designed to cater to either school leavers, those looking for a new career or existing employees working in a company who wish to move into a Software Engineering role.

Why employers are keen to employ our Graduate Apprentices

Our Graduate Apprenticeship in Software Engineering has been developed by the pioneering Centre for Computing Science Education. This has been done through extensive consultation with employers to ensure that it that meets the needs of industry and draws on global research on work-based learning best practice.

  • September start
  • Session dates
  • Software Engineering (Graduate Apprenticeship) BSc (Hons) 4 year degree

Programme structure

The Graduate Apprenticeship programme has a large work-based component, which means that apprentices spend a lot of time with employers doing real work. Much of the taught material matches the standard undergraduate degree programme, but its delivery has been tailored to work-based study.

Workload is expected to be a little higher than for standard undergraduate students – given that apprentices have to balance work and study at the same time – however we have designed a rigorous support structure based on campus and in the workplace to ensure that apprentices are not overworked and have all the resources and support they need.

Years 1 and 2

Course content in years 1 and 2 is delivered in 8 week learning blocks on campus.

Year 1

  • the skills and tools required for you to quickly pick up whichever language is most prominent in your workplace
  • the fundamentals of professional software development
  • testing fundamentals
  • web applications systems
  • practical algorithms courses.

Year 2

  • data storage
  • HCI
  • systems and underlying algorithmic content
  • low level architecture
  • networking theory
  • data science
  • professional software engineering
  • a significant team working component

Years 3 and 4

You will be able to specialise as much as a standard undergraduate student: you will have the opportunity to choose whatever Honours courses you like from our current options when you enter third and fourth year of the programme, subject to availability and timetabling constraints. You may have to discuss this with your employer, because they might expect you to have a certain skillset for the job you are doing, but ultimately you will have plenty of choice.

Apprentices will graduate with Software Engineering BSc or with the following standard degree options:

  • with Cyber Security
  • with Data Science
  • with Systems Engineering

Programme alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all programmes as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a programme. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Entry requirements

for entry in 2021

Summary of entry requirements for Software Engineering (Graduate Apprenticeship)

SQA Higher Entry Requirements

  • BBBB at S5 will be considered. Typically S6 entrants will have AAABB or AAAA at Higher.
  • Additional requirements: Higher Mathematics at B or above. Highers should include two Science subjects. Employment with an organisation registered with the SDS Graduate Apprenticeship scheme.

SQA Higher Adjusted Entry Requirements

  • No Adjusted Higher Requirements

A-level Standard Entry Requirements

  • AAB – BBB
  • Additional requirements: A-level Mathematics. Employment with an organisation registered with the SDS Graduate Apprenticeship scheme.

IB Standard Entry Requirements

  • 36 (6, 6, 5 HL) – 32 (6, 5, 5 HL)
  • Additional requirements: HL Mathematics. Employment with an organisation registered with the SDS Graduate Apprenticeship scheme.



Grade B or above achieved in Computing: Software Development, Computer Science or Computer Games Development. Higher Maths at B or above is required.



Modern Apprentice

Completion of Diploma for Information Technology and Telecommunications Professionals SCQF Level 8. Higher Maths at B or above is required.


For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

English language requirements

Important information for entry in Autumn 2020 and January 2021

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training):

  • overall score 6.5
  • no sub-test less than 6.0
  • or equivalent scores in another recognised qualification (see below)

Common equivalent English language qualifications:

  • ibTOEFL*: 90; no sub-test less than: Reading: 20; Listening: 19; Speaking: 19; Writing: 23
  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall: no sub-test less than 169
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English, Academic test): 60; no sub-test less than 59
  • IGCSE: English as a First Language (0500/0522): C in Reading and Writing, plus 1 in Listening, 2 in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • IGCSE: English as a Second Language (0510/0511): A in Reading and Writing, plus A in Listening, 2/B in Speaking, where applicable. All four components (listening, writing, speaking, reading) must be examined and detailed on results slip
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII at Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses
The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:


What do I do if...

my language qualifications are below the requirements?

The University's School of Modern Languages and Cultures offers a range of Pre-Sessional Courses to bring you up to entry level. The course is accredited by BALEAP, the UK professional association for academic English teaching; see Links.

my language qualifications are not listed here?

Please contact External Relations

If you require a Tier 4 student visa, your qualification must be one of the secure English language tests accepted by UK Border Agency:

Visa requirements and proof of English language level

It is a visa requirement to provide information on your level of English based on an internationally recognised and secure English language test. All test reports must be no more than 2 years old. A list of these can be found on the UK Border Agency website. If you have never taken one of these tests before, you can get an initial idea of your level by using the Common European Framework self-assessment grid which gives you a level for each skill (e.g. listening B1/writing B2 etc.) However, please note that this is not a secure English language test and it is not sufficient evidence of your level of English for visa requirements.

For further information about English language, please see School of Modern Languages and Cultures: English for Academic Study.

Career prospects

Graduate Apprentices make a real impact in the workplace while also gaining a University of Glasgow degree, valuable work experience and a salary. 

Our partner employers are committed to giving you a good breadth of experience. Any of our course content that is difficult for a workplace to cover will be appropriately covered by the University, so you will touch many areas of computing across the four-year programme.

You apply direct to our current employer partners, who range from high growth tech start-ups to global organisations. You can apply to as many employers as you choose.

To be kept up to date on the latest opportunities, you can 


As a new degree programme, the Graduate Apprenticeship in Software Engineering has not yet been accredited by the British Computer Society (BCS). However, the programme has been designed to meet all of the BCS accreditation requirements and we fully expect to obtain BCS accreditation by the time our first apprentices graduate.

Fees and funding

Your tuition is paid for by Skills Development Scotland (SDS), and rather than receiving a student loan from SAAS you will receive a salary from the employer you are working with. Actual salaries are determined by the employer, but SDS encourage all employers to pay a Living Wage from Year 1. We would expect your salary to increase over time, subject to employer review and successful completion of each year of the course.

Your SAAS funding remains intact. It also means that if you are a graduate, and have used your SAAS funding, you are still able to undertake a Graduate Apprenticeship.

Please note that to be eligible for funding, you must have an address in Scotland

How to apply


2021 employer partners will be advertising vacancies from December 2020.


in Scotland for Computer Science

Complete University Guide 2020