BSc (Hons)

Digital & Technology Solutions

Attend an open day How to apply
Attend an open day How to apply

Overview

Studied only as part of the Degree Apprenticeship in Digital & Technology Solutions, the BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions is the creation of a partnership of leading employers and Manchester Metropolitan University and is designed to equip graduates with the necessary skills required for a career in the digital and technology sectors.

The programme covers a broad base of skills equipping students with the fundamental programming competencies to be able to maintain and create computer programmes, websites and information systems, and manage the relationships between all three. The degree also explores the interaction between technical systems and the workplace, and how to leverage them effectively for maximum business impact.

Taught units are supported by work-based projects that, where possible, will focus on live business scenarios and real world problem solving. Communication and company culture workshops will help to accelerate students' development as effective digital and technology practitioners.

The BSc Digital and Technology Solutions degree provides students with the support of their employer, a choice of pathways to allow students to concentrate on learning the skills most suited to their job role.

Pathways currently available are:

Features and Benefits

Career Prospects

The Degree Apprenticeship is a great foundation for any career in a business or technical field. Although the exact nature of your learning experience will depend on which employer you choose to apply to, the key skills you will learn are suited to those looking to begin or develop a career in the following roles:

We also place a strong emphasis on giving you all the tools necessary to manage your own career.

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

These typical entry requirements apply to the 2018 academic year of entry and may be subject to change for the 2019 academic year. Please check back for further details.

UCAS tariff points/grades required

104-112

104-112 UCAS Tariff Points at A2 (Grades BCC-BBC) or acceptable alternatives eg. BTEC Subsidiary Diploma, Diploma, Extended Diploma at Level 3 (Grades DMM).

Specific GCSE requirements

GCSE grade C or grade 4 in English Language and Mathematics.

Further information

Applications will be considered individually from candidates without the necessary qualifications, but with relevant work experience.

Course details

  • Introduction to Programming
  • Introduction to Business Systems
  • Introduction to Web Development

Supported by workshops on communication, team building, value building behaviours and diversity.

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Introduction to Business Systems

The unit introduces the role of information systems in organisations, giving students the opportunity to analyse organisational requirements and develop suitable information system solutions. Indicative content includes:

  • Organisational design and the role information systems play in managing common organisational issues.
  • Principles of information systems integration and the need for good systems design.
  • Systems development: identifying the need for a new or enhanced system? analysing the requirements of the system and generating initial designs to match requirements? justifying suitable methodologies to aid in the development and implementation of the system.
  • Using Microsoft Access to develop prototype information systems. 
  • The unit includes a free study component that allows employers and apprentices to choose an area for further study over the summer between the first and second year.
Introduction to Web Development

Introduction to Web Development establishes the theory and practice of constructing semantic web pages with a focus on industry standards and best practice, building web pages using HTML, & CSS, JavaScript and JavaScript-related technologies. Indicative content includes:

  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) using industry standards and best practices.
  • Web accessibility and usability. JavaScript, the Document Object Model, JavaScript libraries, JQuery, Objects, Events.
Introduction to Programming

This unit introduces computer programming in a high level programming language, such as Java and includes principles and practice in problem solving, program design, solution implementation and testing. Indicative content includes:

  • An introduction to programming using Java.
  • Design methodology: The application of design methods e.g. step-wise refinement and bottom-up (component re-use) to produce solutions to problems, incorporating constructs for sequence, selection, iteration, abstraction and re-use.
  • Verification and testing: The use of simple debugging strategies and more formal approaches to testing e.g. black box and white box.
  • The application of standards and conventions: software maintenance, developing a professional approach to coding.
  • Constructs and features of a structured high level programming language: Control constructs, operators, procedural abstraction, simple I/O and use of libraries.
  • Data types: primitive types: Constants; variables, arrays and simple structured data.
  • Object Oriented design and implementation: inheritance and polymorphism. Software support environment: Use of an IDE, editors, compiler/linkers and operating system.

You will study the following two core units, and depending on your chosen pathway, you will study a third unit that relates specifically to your chosen pathway:

  • Computing Fundamentals
  • Technology Management

IT Consultant

  • Customer Lifecycle Management

Software Engineer

  • Advanced Programming

Cyber Security Analyst

  • Computer Security Fundamentals

Data Analytics

  • Statistics and Visualisation

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Computing Fundamentals

This unit will examine database and networks, which form part of the core fundamentals that enable modern business computing. Indicative content includes:

  • Database system: Creation of Database queries using SQL; security issues in databases; normalisation, the role of transactions, and approaches to database modelling.
  • Computer Architecture (CPU, memory, disk, I/O).
  • Networks: network topologies, network technologies and protocols, design and implementation issues.
Technology Management

This unit examines the management issues that arise from managing an IT portfolio consisting of desktop provision, infrastructure, maintenance of core systems and project-based development. Indicative content includes:

  • IT Management - organisational context, infrastructure, desktop management, training, procurement / Life cycle management, support, outsourcing, reporting and auditing.
  • Support models, customer service and communications, ITIL. Change control / management.
  • Software Development - methodologies for development, requirements management, maintenance, configuration management, testing, deployment.
  • Project Management - types of project, initiation, planning, budgeting, risk analysis, quality management, managing changes in scope, IS project failure. Leadership, team management, team development.
  • Ethical issues - professional codes of conduct, ergonomics / Health & Safety / Disability Discrimination Act, energy use, recycling. Data security / data protection.
Customer Lifecycle Management (IT Consultant)

Students consider the principles and practice of customer information management to improve business performance and use customer insight for the development of communications approaches. Indicative content includes:

  • What is CRM: define CRM. Explain how customer information is used to support the organisation and what customer information is needed. The evolution to electronic CRM and social CRM.
  • Strategic roles for CRM: marketing strategy, sales, and customer service. How CRM is used in different job roles. The importance of customer lifetime value.
  • Customer information management: acquisition, transformation, storage, access, analysis, reporting, maintaining/tracking. Identifying organisational requirements and evaluating suitable CRM software solutions. Ethical marketing.
  • Critical review of marketing. Customer insight: behavioural targeting? geolocation? psychographic targeting? recency/frequency monetisation? organic marketing? search engine marketing? search engine visibility? driving traffic. The Sales Funnel: acquisition, conversion, retention.
Advanced Programming (Software Engineer)

This unit covers concepts relating to advanced object-oriented program design, the use of framework libraries, web server and mobile application development. Indicative content includes:

  • Object-oriented programming, interfaces, collections, exception handling, stream based file input/output, graphical user interfaces (GUI), graphics, threads and design patterns.
  • Use of an integrated development environment (IDE) for producing different project types including desktop, web server (e.g. Java servlet) and mobile applications.
  • Use of modern technologies and framework libraries. Implementation of a UML diagram.
  • Case studies. Mobile Application Development, Mobile Development Toolkits, UI implementation, web server interactions, location awareness.
Statistics and Visualisation (Data Analytics)

An introductory course in data analysis for non-mathematics/statistics undergraduates. Covers fundamentals of descriptive statistics, data modelling, visualisation and application of these techniques in a business context. Indicative content includes:

  • Data presentation: Utilise infographics to effectively present complex information.
  • Data Visualisation: Pivot tables and Dashboards; Data inspection and cleaning; conditional formatting; Measures of central tendency and variability; Histograms; cumulative (relative) frequency curves; box-whisker plots. Develop skills in the use of widely used business intelligence visualisation software such as Tableau and QlikView.
  • Probability: Definitions and fundamental laws including conditional probability and expectations; Standard discrete distributions; Binomial and Poisson. The concept of a continuous distribution; the Normal distribution and properties; use of Normal tables; central limit theorem and approximations to the normal distribution.
  • Statistical Applications: The concept of a sampling distribution; confidence intervals and significance/hypothesis tests for means and for proportions; Type I and Type II errors; determination of sample size; confidence intervals / significance tests for paired and unpaired samples; AB Testing; Introduction to one-way Analysis of Variance; Correlation and Regression; Univariate forecasting; time series decomposition; moving averages and introduction to exponential smoothing.
  • Data Modelling and Optimisation Scenario modelling in Excel; Simulation; what-if scenarios, sensitivity analysis; data tables and goal seek. Introduction to Linear Programming.
Computer Security Fundamentals (Cyber Security Analyst)

This unit aims to introduce students to the fundamental concepts of computer security. The unit covers a broad range of topics and develops the pre-requisite technical and practical skills for future units on the Cybersecurity pathway. Key concepts, procedures and practices are introduced to give context to how the skills and techniques developed in this unit are applied in the work place. Indicative content includes:

  • Security principles (Confidentiality Integrity Availability)
  • Use of industry standard encryption techniques
  • Vulnerabilities, threats, risks
  • Python scripting
  • Linux command line tools
  • Attack taxonomy
  • Mitigation approaches

You will study three units depending on your chosen pathway: 

IT Consultant

  • Web Design and Development
  • Business Intelligence and Strategy
  • Business Research Project

Software Engineer

  • Computer Networks and Operating Systems
  • Enterprise Programming
  • Development Project

Cyber Security Analyst

  • Computer Networks and Operating Systems
  • Security Auditing and Indident Response
  • Cyber Security Project

Data Analytics

  • Advanced Databases
  • Data Analytics
  • Data Analytics Project

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Data Analytics (Data Analytics)

This unit introduces data analytics concepts, techniques and algorithms for processing and visualising datasets to infer useful, actionable knowledge in domain. Indicative content includes:

  • Introduction to the data science production environment including programming languages and tools: basic functionality including fundamental data structures and operations, execution control, and essential libraries.
  • Data visualization and manipulation: loading datasets locally, via API requests and through scraping web resources.
  • Fundamental transformational operations: extract and add features, obtain subsets of data, group and combine datasets.
  • Data preparation: choosing, configuring and applying basic data reduction techniques and algorithms (e.g., dimensionality reduction, sampling); data cleaning, normalization.
  • Data analysis: programmed approaches to statistical analysis techniques.
  • Data mining: selecting, configuring and applying common data mining algorithms for classification, clustering and regression, data protection and legal issues.
  • Big Data Concepts: introduction to the fundamentals of cluster computing with techniques and technologies such as MapReduce, Hadoop and Spark, and their integration with a production environment such as Python.
Cyber Security Project (Cyber Security Analyst)

The unit enables students to address a real security project, either specific to their employer or a more generic problem that is agreed as relevant by their employer.

Security Auditing and Incident Response (Cyber Security Analyst)

This unit will provide students with the necessary skills to design and implement a strategy to assess and secure a vulnerable system. Indicative content includes:

  • Various stages of securing a system from initial vulnerability assessment, through to the deployment of mitigation techniques to enhance the security of a networked computer system.
  • Penetration testing extending upon the initial vulnerability assessment, students will demonstrate how the identified weaknesses may be exploited, and reason on the implications.
  • Password cracking / testing
  • Reconnaissance gathering techniques
  • Understanding the threat landscape
  • Mitigation, students will employ technical mitigation techniques and propose policy to mitigate the identified vulnerabilities.
  • Introduction to virtualisation (Safe penetration testing training)
  • Linux command line usage
  • Risk management
  • Cybersecurity culture
Data Analytics Project (Data Analytics)

The unit enables students to investigate a Data Analytics problem. They will prepare and deliver a presentation and supporting documents. 

Advanced Databases (Data Analytics)

This unit includes theory and practice of the modelling, specification and querying of relational databases; aspects of implementation of database management systems. Indicative content includes:

  • Database Modelling: advanced UML with class diagrams and inheritance; mapping UML diagrams to relational schemas.
  • Database Implementation. Querying and Query Optimisation: creating and maintaining relational databases with SQL; indices; advanced SQL queries; triggers; views, rewriting queries to improve efficiency. Concurrency Control.
  • Transactions and Recovery: locking, 2-phased locking systems, resolving conflicts, writing transaction-aware SQL scripts Interfacing with Programming Languages and Environments: embedded queries; cursors; data access patterns.
Enterprise Programming (Software Engineer)

Students will build secure, robust, maintainable enterprise level applications using a variety of current distributed programming techniques. Indicative content includes:

  • Enterprise Design Patterns - Use of common enterprise type design patterns and implementation in a suitable language.
  • Professional programming techniques. Distributed Programming Creation and analysis of distributed applications in a high level language
  • Web Service Architectures e.g. Web services, WSDL, SOAP, XML/JSON Processing Current Techniques in Enterprise Application Development e.g. Hadoop, Cloud Computing Reference Architectures, Models and Frameworks, Enterprise Frameworks (eg Hibernate, Struts)
Computer Networks and Operating Systems (Software Engineer & Cyber Security Analyst)

The unit provides an introduction to the operation of computer networks, operating systems theory and practice. Indicative content includes:

  • Operating systems structure and organisation, concurrency: the solutions to, and the problems of concurrency concerning aspects such as race conditions, livelock, deadlock, starvation and priority inversion.
  • Process and memory management concerning techniques for process and thread scheduling, along with virtual memory concepts and computer architecture support for memory management.
  • File systems concepts and aspects of structural and organisational choices. Computer networks content focuses on producing a complete overview of the OSI and TCP/IP models. The physical, data-link, network, transport, session, presentation and application layers are covered in sufficient detail to demonstrate how a complete protocol is implemented over a packet switched network.
  • Wireless and mobile networks explain the main characteristics and issues involved with networks where nodes are mobile and communications involves wireless links.
Business Research Project (IT Consultant)

The unit enables students to address a bespoke business problem. They will prepare and deliver a presentation and supporting documents. The students will undertake a critical reflection to assist in their professional development.

Business Intelligence and Strategy (IT Consultant)

Students consider strategic aspects of information systems and business intelligence in organisations and the ideas related to practice. Indicative content includes:

  • Organisational approaches to business intelligence and information systems strategies in relation to the contemporary needs of business in their changing business environments;
  • Information and technological dimensions of business intelligence and how these influence organisations and information systems strategies;
  • Human and social considerations required to develop strategies for using business intelligence to learn, adapt, improve and gain competitive advantage.
Web Design and Development (IT Consultant)

Using Information Architecture and standards based web development the student undertakes the build process from a proposal to site launch, producing dynamic & interactive pages using scripting & backend databases and considering core UX principles. Indicative content includes:

  • Information architecture, web usability, web accessibility.
  • Front end development (HTML and CSS). Standards based web design.
Development Project (Software Engineer)

The unit enables students to address a bespoke business problem requiring a software based solution.

In your fourth year, you will study two core units and one elective unit:

  • Synoptic Project
  • Portfolio Assessment
  • Elective Unit

Elective units may include:

  • Data Engineering
  • Mobile App Development
  • Advanced Web Development
  • Web Content Management Systems
  • User Experience Design 
  • Developing a Digital Business
  • Digital and Social Media Marketing Communications Management
  • Principles of Business Analytics
  • Entrepreneurial Practice

Read more about this year of study

Core Units

Synoptic Project

A longer-term piece of work in which students engage in the planning, analysis, specification, design, implementation and evaluation of a non-trivial product or process and produce a substantial deliverable.

Students will scope a project in consultation with both their supervisor and their sponsoring employer. The student will research and establish the feasibility of their negotiated project, and manage the project process through to a final substantial deliverable. Students will be expected to produce a tangible deliverable (e.g. a computer program, a feasibility study, a strategy or policy document), and a report detailing the project process, and their evaluation and critical reflections upon it. Students will be expected to present their work to both an academic audience, and their employer. Academic supervision shall be scheduled by negotiation with the student. Supervisors will review the progress the student is making on the project, and offer advice on the work remaining to be completed.

Portfolio Assessment

The portfolio will provide a record of the specific skills and knowledge apprentices have developed and used throughout their degree, and provide an opportunity to reflect on their professional development.

This portfolio will be developed over all 4 years of the degree but only contributions relating to level 6 will be formally assessed. Personal and Academic Tutors (PATs) and work mentors will guide apprentices in the development of this portfolio. PATs will review the portfolio from the point of view of its assessment at level 6 and provide formative feedback at set times throughout the degree to guide the apprentice. They will offer advice about developing a well-documented account of the apprentices development of skills and knowledge and appropriate reflections on their learning and its professional impact. Mentors at work will guide the students from the point of view of documenting their work experience and completion of objectives.

Option Units

Web Content Management Systems

The unit covers the deployment administration and extension of open source content management systems.A comparison of CMS and frameworks leads into the intricacies of setting up and managing a dynamic website. The administration of the website against the backdrop of community versioning methods is discussed and assessed as are roles within the CMS. During the laboratories a CMS of choice is deployed and developed to illustrate the key features of the system. All open source Content Management Systems are extensible through pluggins, extensions, bots etc. The CMS of choice will be extended using hard code to deliver additional functionality. An awareness of community stakeholder values and discipline will be built into the development process.

Advanced Web Development

Students will learn to use and critically evaluate alternatives to the LAMP stack they have met at earlier levels. Students will build robust, maintainable web applications by working within contemporary client-side and server-side frameworks. Client-side MVC frameworks (e.g., Angular.js) for the structuring and organisation of JavaScript web applications [. Extension of client-side technologies (e.g. JavaScript) to the server-side for unified development of event-driven dynamic web apps (e.g., Node.js) .Not Only SQL (NoSQL) alternatives to RDBMSs and their associated data structures (e.g., JSON-like formats using MongoDB) for unified clientserver data representation [15%]. Modern development stacks that combine the technologies above (e.g., MEAN) as an alternative to traditional LAMP development techniques. PHP frameworks (e.g., CodeIgniter, CakePHP) as an alternative to traditional LAMP development techniques for multi-user dynamic web apps. Web servers (e.g., apache configuration, vhosts, .htaccess, URL rewriting), web security.

Mobile App Development

This unit provides a thorough grounding in smartphone application development, location aware applications and mobile device technologies. Smartphone development ; Creation of mobile applications using a current mobile device development environment, eg iPhone, iPad, Android; Wireless Technologies and Security ; Technologies available, characteristics and security models, e.g. RFID, WiFi, Bluetooth; Location aware mobile applications ; Access and analysis of location on mobile devices and creation of intelligent applications; Current developments in mobile application development ; New and emerging mobile application techniques and devices, e.g. Context Aware computing; Wireless Sensors and Sensor networks; Smart Environments.

Data Engineering

The aim of this unit is to develop the students knowledge in the areas of advanced database system development, business intelligence, analytical data analysis and data mining. 

  • Current trends in the database market from a business perspective; DBMS trends e.g. (ORDBMS, OODBMS, NoSQL) in relation to employability and impact of big data.
  • PL/SQL concepts; Using PL/SQL and SQL to create object relational databases.
  • Data Warehousing and Big Data; methodologies, data architectures and infrastructures, modelling techniques; Data warehousing principles and methodologies, project management; The Extraction, Transformational and Loading Process. 
  • Advanced Data Analytics; the representation of multi-dimensional views of data, application of analytical SQL functions, practical use of business intelligence tools and techniques; Big data analytical processes (e.g. Map Reduce).
  • Data Mining Algorithms and Techniques; Analysis and validation; Applications of Data Mining.
  • Computational Intellligence techniques for data engineering.
User Experience Design

The principles and standards of user experience design and practical application of these techniques including human psychology, user behaviour, needs and requirements and how understanding of these inform user experience and interface design. The key principles of universal design including national and international guidelines of best practice, standards and recommendations. Including user centred design, task analysis, user behaviour, patterns and strategies, development of personas and user stories to inform user experience and interface design in the creation of a prototype. Practical application of techniques including heuristic evaluation, cognitive walkthrough, use of usability semantic differentials and critical incident technique, hedonics and log data analysis.

Entrepreneurial Practice

This unit enhances enterprising behaviours and skills, develops students' employability and creates an awareness of the entrepreneurial career path. Students validate business ideas through a formal business plan and pitch to industry experts. This unit introduces students to: creativity tools for business ideas generation; business planning templates to support the business planning process; advice for the deliver an effective pitch; Strategy mapping workshops giving students an holistic insight business operations; Business start-up activities from business launch to closure; sustainable and ethical issues linked to business start-up; Students will be given support from business mentors to help explore their business opportunity. Students will be encouraged to look globally for products and manufacturing capability, and to consider selling to international markets as well as the domestic market. Students will be introduced to an outline revenue model which they will use to justify each of the business ideas generated. The programme will be delivered through workshops. These workshops are supported by a series of business start-up activities.

Principles of Business Analytics

The unit will equip students with skills and knowledge relating to the handling and analysis of a variety of information generated by organisations.The overarching theme of the unit will be to consider principles of business analytics: What is big data? Why is it important in a connected world? What are the various data? What is structured and unstructured data. The unit will go on to look at data warehousing: the storage, management and retrieval of large amounts of information. The unit will then go on to look at how organisations can leverage data to aid the decision making process. This will include the study and practice of relevant visualisation and analysis techniques utilising appropriate software.

Digital and Social Media Marketing Communications Management

This unit allows learners to develop strategies through the use of Digital Marketing and Social Media campaigns. Relationships between digital marketing and social media with organisational communications and business strategy. Opportunities in the digital and social media marketplace. The development of digital marketing and social media strategies. The development of digital and social media marketing programmes. Issues in User Experience. The development of digital marketing and social media evaluations.

Developing a Digital Business

Students will develop a digital business from conception to a working prototype for a business of their choice. 

  • The strategic opportunities, threats and challenges presented by the digital world.
  • The influence of digital on the trade cycle
  • Reasons for adopting or not adopting e-commerce  
  • Security, trust and Legal implications in a digital business environment.
  • Tools and techniques for designing e-commerce websites (technical) 6. Usability and its implications for a digital business

Assessment weightings and contact hours

A four year part-time degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits (90 credits per year). 10 credits equates to 100 hours of study, which is a combination of lectures, seminars and practical sessions, and independent study. The exact composition of your study time and assessments for the course will vary according to your option choices and style of learning, but it could be:

Study
Assessment

Department of People and Performance

Our People and Performance Department brings together industry leading professionals and academics with specialisms in strategy, innovation, enterprise, human resource management, entrepreneurship and sports management.

The department provides academic leadership for a broad undergraduate and postgraduate portfolio, providing real-life business expertise underpinned by cutting-edge business management theory.

Learn more

Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff

Fees

Tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are still being finalised for all courses. Please see our general guide to our standard undergraduate tuition fees.

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Additional costs

All of the books required for the course are available from the library. The University also has PC labs and a laptop loan service. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. Students may also need to print their assignments and other documents. Campus printing costs start from 5p per page. Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop up to £100 each year for books and printing. Total optional cost: £600

Funding

For further information on financing your studies or information about whether you may qualify for one of our bursaries and scholarships, follow the links below:

Bursaries and scholarships

Money Matters

Want to know more?

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS.

Apply now

UCAS code(s)

n/a

Remember to use the correct institution code for Manchester Metropolitan University on your application: our institution code is M40

You can review our current Terms and Conditions before you make your application. If you are successful with your application, we will send you up to date information alongside your offer letter.

Applications are NOT made via UCAS.

Your first step is to secure a job with an employer that is offering opportunities on the apprenticeship programme. Visit the how to apply pages of the Manchester Met apprenticeship website for more information.

You can also register your interest to receive job vacancy alerts and visit the website to view the latest opportunities.

Degree Apprenticeship Open Evenings

Meet a variety of companies and organisations, gain careers advice, discover more about Manchester Metropolitan University, and take your first step towards a career in the digital and technology sector.

MANCHESTER IS YOUR CITY. BE PART OF IT.

Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is the principal regulator for the University. Prospective students can find more information on our website. For further information out about the regulator’s role please visit the HEFCE website.

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