Foundation Apprenticeship
IT (Software Development) SCQF Level 6

Develop your knowledge of software through a blended experience of classroom based learning with work based learning.


Why take this course?

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development is designed to provide S5 and S6 pupils opportunities to develop skills and knowledge for entry into a career in the IT sector. It also contributes directly to achievement of the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecoms by attainment of the core units of the MA qualification. Building the fundamental skills required to pursue further training or employment in software development.

This course would suit individuals who:

  • Have an interest in design and creativity, with good attention to detail
  • Have a mathematical or analytical mind
  • Have good logical reasoning and problem solving skills

This two–year programme incorporates classroom–based study with work–based learning to prepare you for entry to the workplace or full–time Further or Higher Education.

This course can give you the practical experience to help accelerate your career in Software Development, you will focus on software design & development, website and application development.

As of 2019 there are over 500 jobs available in Soctland which require experience of Software Development, taking this course can lead you onto a promising career with lots of potential and will also support you in pursuing a career in Cyber Security at a later date.

Find out more about this course from Skills Development Scotland

What you will experience

The Foundation Apprenticeship in Information Technology (Software Development) is for pupils in S5 and S6. In S5 you will complete a National Progression Award (NPA) at SCQF level 6 in Software Development. In S6 (year 2) you will complete the Foundation Apprenticeship and achieve the Diploma for IT & Telecommunications Professionals.

The NPA in year one will include units in:

  • Software Design and Development
  • Computing: Applications Development
  • Computing: Authoring a Website

You will also undertake work–based learning, mostly in year 2 (6th year of school) during which you will attend an extended work experience with an industry partner equivalent to a day a week. During that time you will develop essential skills for the workplace and be assessed on your performance in each of the following areas:

  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Health and Safety in IT & Telecom
  • Investigating and Defining Customer Requirements for IT & Telecoms Systems
  • Data Modelling 1
  • Object Oriented Computer Programming 2
female holding a laptop

Key facts

Entry requirements

You will need a keen interest in Software Development and should be working towards a Computing Science qualification at National 5 in S4.

As well as this students must have a willingness to learn, this is a demanding course and requires a can-do attitude

Alternative and related qualifications may be considered for entry to this programme.

What you will need

Students will need access to a computer with internet access to allow them to practice outwith class time.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are on the course, you will be required to:

  • Always be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Demonstrate a commitment to learning and self–study;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Eating and drinking are not permitted in classrooms. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you may be able to progress to one of the following full-time courses at North East Scotland College:

At University

Foundation Apprenticeships are accepted as equivalent to at least one Higher by all Scottish Universities. Further qualifications may be required for University entry — applicants should check individual course entry requirements for further information.


Those who wish to progress directly to employment will find a range of entry–level jobs available, such as Junior Software Engineer, Junior Software Developer or Junior Web Developer. These roles should also allow you to complete the Modern Apprenticeship.

The following infographic provides information on current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Follow the link on the infographic to view a larger image.

Infographic detailing current and projected employment trends in this sector, within Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.