Professional Practice in Digital Technology (Business Analytics) (Degree Apprenticeship) BSc

Start date September 2019
October 2019
Duration
3 years part-time
Attendance
Full-time degree apprenticeship via blended learning
Fees
See the entry requirements and fees tab
Course leader      
Dr George Dafoulas

Overview

A Digital and Technology Solutions Professional provides technology-enabled solutions to customers in areas such as software, business and systems analysis, cyber security, data analysis and network infrastructure. They implement technology solutions that enable businesses to develop new products and services and to increase an organisations productivity using digital technologies.

A business analyst is responsible for assessing the business impact of change, capturing, analysing and documenting requirements and supporting the communication and delivery of requirements with relevant stakeholders. They create detailed analysis of systems and make recommendations for improvement. They produce specifications of user requirements that enable software engineers to develop the right software solutions. They require a broad foundation of skills and knowledge to be able to be effective as their work incorporates all aspects of digital technology systems.

This degree apprenticeship has been specifically designed to enable the apprentice to develop the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours and values required by the nationally approved Digital and Technology Solutions Professional Apprenticeship Standard. They will have the opportunity to combine the experience and knowledge gained at the workplace with the academic rigor and skills developed when studying at university.

While as a degree apprentice, they are an employee earning a wage (at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage) usually working at least 30 hours per week, but they are also a full student of Middlesex University with the same access and entitlements to services and support as they undertake their degree.

  • Qualifications

    The apprentice will have the opportunity to gain professional status and upon successful completion of their degree apprenticeship they will have gained:

    • BSc Professional Practice in Digital Technology (Business Analytics)
    • Apprenticeship Certificate demonstrating they have met the national Apprenticeship Standard for full occupational competence as a Digital and Technology Solutions Professional.
  • Course highlights

    • The apprentice's professional development will take place as part of their integration to the workplace and under continuous guidance from a Workplace Tutor
    • The daily interaction with their work colleagues will help them to appreciate work ethics, develop professional conduct and apply expected standard practices for their chosen sector
    • The apprentice will develop transferable skills such as working in teams, communicating with peers, managing tasks, solving problems and reaching decisions.

Course content

In the first year, the apprentice will gain a foundation level understanding of how digital technologies impact professional practice in a range of sectors. The modules will provide them with the key skills required for successful work-based study in higher education and basic concepts in the area of employment or subject area of study. They will be enabled to develop a personal and professional learning plan and to reflect on their achievements throughout the programme as the basis for establishing continuing professional development (CPD) as an integrated aspect of their professional practice. They will put into practice some of the principles and concepts that underpin the specialism of the programme.

In the second year, the apprentice will engage in developing a professional portfolio. The four project modules will focus on the principal areas of their specialism.

In the final year, the apprentice will focus on their critical and reflective skills. The modules are designed to develop their practitioner skills in research and enquiry methodologies in order to design a work-based project / enquiry / work-based activity that has the potential to improve their own and others’ practice.

What skills will the apprentice gain?

The course aims to provide the apprentice with an understanding of the advantages of aligning information systems with different organisational and business goals, and with various strategic and operational activities. They will learn how to use a range of technical skills and methods, both for managing data, and for developing information systems, in response to different business problems and to different needs.

The apprentice will be encouraged to instil an ethos of independent learning and continuous professional development and as such will be equipped with the professional and personal skills that will enable them to pursue a successful future career in this field.

Modules

  • Year 1 Modules

    • Professional Portfolio 1 (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the apprentice to personal and professional learning planning and support the development of strategies to enable them to reflect on their achievements throughout the programme as the basis for establishing continuing professional development (CPD) as an integrated aspect of their professional practice. The module will enable them to integrate ‘on-the-job’ and ‘off-the-job’ learning to support the development of the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours and values required by the Degree Apprenticeships. It will also provide the vehicle for the collection of evidence to support professional competency achievement.

    • Learning and Studying at Work (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide the apprentice with the key skills required for successful engagement in work-based study in higher education and to introduce basic concepts that underpin professional practice in their area of employment.

    • Digital Technology Fundamentals (80 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aligns the theoretical underpinnings of Business Information Systems to the practical elements of the systems development life-cycle. The apprentice will be exposed to the multi-disciplinary nature of business information systems by creating an awareness and understanding of the various issues relating to the development and deployment of those systems. They will actively participate in the various stages of the systems development life-cycle and engage in activities associated with the various professional roles in business information systems in an organisational context. They will be equipped with an understanding of how modern organisations and businesses function in a global environment.

      The module provides an understanding of the different types of information systems that underpin the global business environment, and their respective capabilities and functions. The apprentice will begin to appreciate the value of aligning these information systems with business needs at strategic and operational levels. Through practical tasks and assignments, they will also gain an understanding of data and process modelling, and system development methodologies. They will have the skills to develop and manage information systems effectively, in order to support business processes, improve management decision-making and gain competitive advantage.

  • Year 2 modules

    • Professional Portfolio 2 (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the apprentice to personal and professional learning planning and support the development of strategies to enable them to reflect on their achievements throughout the programme as the basis for establishing continuing professional development (CPD) as an integrated aspect of their professional practice. They will enabled to integrate ‘on-the-job’ and ‘off-the-job’ learning to support the development of the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours and values required by the Degree Apprenticeships. It will also provide the vehicle for the collection of evidence to support professional competency achievement.

    • Specialist Digital Technology Project 1 (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on database design and implementation, and the efficient use of facilities provided by a modern Database Management System. While the module emphasises the design of business systems using the relational model, other conceptual models, including object-oriented and object-relational, are also introduced. Both theoretical and practical topics relating to database modelling and use are covered, including technologies and tools for rendering databases for back-end and front-end data processing purposes. This will enable the apprentice to construct dynamic web-based data queries, which access back-end databases.

    • Specialist Digital Technology Project 2 (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide a firm grounding in business systems analysis and design using the Unified Modelling Language (UML) to model information systems, and the Unified Process (a disciplined approach to assigning and managing tasks and responsibilities in a development environment). Upon successful completion of the module, the apprentice will have an understanding of information systems modelling and associated development life-cycle issues, and the skills to apply these techniques to real-life scenarios.

    • Specialist Digital Technology Project 3 (20 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide the apprentice with an understanding of the decision-making process in business contexts, and an appreciation of how Decision Support Systems (DSS) may help in solving business problems. The module covers a range of technologies used in DSS and how these can be applied to solve semi-structured problems. They will be able to develop skills in building basic tools that can be used in a DSS.

    • Specialist Digital Technology Project 4 (40 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides the necessary foundation for conducting an information systems project by developing a range of research skills. The apprentice will learn how, and when, to use quantitative and qualitative techniques to investigate different research questions. They will practice and apply these techniques by producing research questions, conducting literature reviews, data collection, analysis and interpretation, including the use of specialist computer packages. They will be expected to present the results in a report and will be given the opportunity to appreciate the importance of ethical, legal, organisational and environmental issues while conducting business research. In addition, they will practice how to apply skills needed to work successfully as a member of a project team.

  • Year 3 Modules

    • Professional Portfolio 3 (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to introduce the apprentice to personal and professional learning planning and support the development of strategies to enable them to reflect on their achievements throughout the programme as the basis for establishing continuing professional development (CPD) as an integrated aspect of their professional practice. The module will enable them to integrate ‘on-the-job’ and ‘off-the-job’ learning to support the development of the knowledge, skills, professional behaviours and values required by the Degree Apprenticeships. It will also provide the vehicle for the collection of evidence to support professional competency achievement.

    • Professional Practitioner Enquiry (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to develop the apprentice's practitioner skills in research and enquiry methodologies in order to design a work-based project / enquiry / work-based activity that has the potential to improve their own and others’ practice. They will explore approaches to practitioner enquiry methods appropriate for their area of work / practice and enable reflection upon their position as a practitioner researcher and the potential ethical implications that could arise during the project / enquiry / activity.

    • Final Major Specialist Digital Technology Project (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will consolidate and deepen the apprentice's knowledge and skills gained from other parts of the course. It will also provide a tangible demonstration of their scholarship and ability to work in a sustained, systematic and professional manner. This project could be a Business Analysis study to analyse and model a problem-specific domain and to develop a solution approach based upon the analysis. It will include significant project planning including estimations of both time and cost to proposed solutions, include technical and commercial aspects of the proposed solution. The project will focus on providing evidence that they can apply structured processes for identifying, defining and analysing unstructured business problems, their root cause and impact.

      The apprentice must be able to demonstrate:

      • The application of the core and specialism knowledge and skills to meet the outcomes in the standard
      • The approach to planning and completion of the project
      • The application of behaviours from the standard.
  • Teaching

    This is a professional programme and the apprentice will be taught via a work-integrated blended learning approach which will comprise the following:

    • Work based learning will consist of on the job development and application of skills, knowledge and professional behaviours. The apprentice’s progress will be monitored through regular tutorials with tutors and supervised in the work place by the apprentice’s Coach
    • Module workshops will be taught by professional practitioners and specialist staff introducing new relevant academic and professional content
    • Specialist workshops will be delivered face-to face and/or online
    • Contextualised work based projects where skills, knowledge and behaviour can be applied in a professional working environment
    • Online learning includes structured individual and/or group online learning activities and tasks that involves facilitated tutor and peer group feedback to support learning development.
  • Assessment

    The apprentice will be required to submit a range of evidence of work-integrated learning for assessment that reflect aspects of practice as a Senior Leader. This can include learning journals, portfolios, role playing, work-based projects, reports, professional development plans and a business transformation project.

    End-point Assessment

    All apprenticeships in England are required to include an End-point Assessment (EPA) to test that apprentices have demonstrated all the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for full occupational competence as specified in the nationally approved Apprenticeship Standard. For degree apprenticeships, the EPA can either be integrated within the degree or separate to the degree programme.

    The specific requirements for EPA for BSc Professional Practice in Digital Technology apprenticeship is detailed in the nationally approved End-point Assessment Plan and this can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Entry requirements

Qualifications

  • Applicants are required to be employed in a role that will enable them to engage in work activities that are relevant to developing the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to operate as a Chartered Manager.
  • Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprentices. Most candidates will have two A levels (or equivalent alternative relevant Level 3 qualifications), and English, Maths and ICT at Level 2. Relevant or prior experiential learning may also be considered as an alternative.

Evidence of the ability to successfully engage with reflective work-based learning based on pre-entry assessment

Fees

There is no cost to do a higher or degree apprenticeship for the apprentice/student. They will earn at least the minimum wage for apprentices but many companies pay more than this, particularly for higher and degree apprenticeships.

They could potentially earn upwards of £300* per week plus the employer and the government is required to pay the tuition fees, meaning the apprentice won't need a tuition fee loan.

*Information and statistics from GOV.UK

Careers

This degree apprenticeship programme will prepare the apprentice to undertake the role of a Business Analytics professional. Digital and Technology Solutions Professionals provide technology-enabled solutions to internal and/or external customers, in a range of areas including software, business and systems analysis, cyber security, data analysis and network infrastructure.

This degree apprenticeship programme will prepare the apprentice to undertake the role of a Business Analytics professional roles such as application specialist, cyber security analyst, IT project manager or software developer.