Apprenticeship Courses

Software Engineering

software engineering degree apprenticeship

This vocational degree programme was one of the first degree apprenticeships in the UK and was designed by UCLan with BAE for the aerospace industry. The current course is only open to BAE employees but is in development to be made available to a range of employers. Please keep an eye on the UCLan website for announcement or register your interest at

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

A Degree Apprenticeship is a degree you study for while working as an apprentice with an employer and is paid for by your employer and the Government.

Study is on a part-time basis whilst you are employed and the contract for the course is with your employer who, together with Government funding, will pay the course fees. Your progress is closely monitored by the employer, who meets regularly with the course leader and provides support and encouragement in the workplace.

Why study this degree apprenticeship course?

You will develop skills in the creation of software and digital systems and explore modern approaches to project management, teamwork and interaction with clients, users and managers. The practical approach enables you to apply the ideas and techniques in your work environment but provides the theoretical underpinning to cope with future changes in technologies and software development methods.

For an employer this course allows them to up-skill existing staff or to recruit students early in their career on to a degree tailored to their industry needs and to combine personal, professional and academic development of their staff whilst employed in a full time role and released for part time study.

What does the course lead to?

The current course is specifically related to a career in BAE. Software engineers typically seek employment in software development roles, progressing to senior technical roles, project or department management. Software engineers are expected to have a range of skills and an ability to learn quickly so that they can be employed as developers of any kind of software.

The full time version of this course has seen graduates employed with companies such as BAE, Nokia, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, GCHQ and EA (Electronic Arts), while others have started their own company.

What qualification is received at the end of the course?

On successful completion of the full programme, graduates receive an award of BEng (Hons) Software Engineering from the University of Central Lancashire. It is possible to leave after 3 years of part-time study with FdSc Software Engineering.

Course Content

The course covers a range of technologies – from embedded devices to enterprise applications –and includes the whole development lifecycle, from understanding requirements through to design and implementation and testing.

The course develops programming and analysis skills and an understanding of digital and communication technology. Apprentice students learn how to apply industry-standard software development techniques to traditional and distributed applications; to programme effectively in C++ and C# and to apply Agile and traditional project management methods. Apprentice Students study the practical techniques that should be part of every software engineer’s toolkit and practise the interpersonal skills necessary for effective software development - as well as the ability to work effectively with clients and other developers. Students participate in a team-based software development project to develop and apply project management skills.

Apprentice students also develop the expertise to develop complex distributed applications using modern object-oriented approaches and to tackle the problems of ensuring the correctness of concurrent systems.  A key feature of the course is the development of skills in the development and interfacing of embedded digital systems.

Professional accreditation

The course is being developed with a view to accreditation leading to MBCS, CITP and partial CEng exemption from the British Computer Society, the computing professional body.


Entry Requirements

112 points at A2; General Studies accepted
BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction* Distinction*
Pass Access To HE with 112 UCAS points

International Baccalaureate 28P
IELTS grade 6 with no sub-score lower than 5.5
GCSE 5 at grade C including Maths & English or equivalent 


software engineering course at a glance year 1

Year 1:

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Programming
  • Introduction to Networking
  • Systems Analysis & Database Design
  • Practitioner Skills

software engineering 2

Year 2:

  • Interactive Applications
  • Advanced Programming
  • Software Engineering Practices
  • Digital Electronics

software engineering course at a glance 3

Year 3:

  • Software Development
  • Professional Skills
  • Computer Security
  • Digital Systems

course at a glance software engineering 4

Year 4:

  • Advanced Software Engineering
  • Object-Oriented Methods in Computing
  • Enterprise Application Development
  • Microcontroller systems
  • Double Project 

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Course delivery

The course is currently delivered to BAE on part-time with day-release on two days per week and attendance during the University’s teaching weeks in:

  • Semester 1 (September to January)
  • Semester 2 (January – May)

How to Apply

The course is currently only delivered to BAE employees. However, UCLan is developing the course for delivery to a wide range of employers. Please register your interest if you are interested in a degree apprenticeship for your employees, or if you are an employee who feels your company would be interested in a course like this, ask them to contact us at