FdSc Software Development

Start date(s):
13 Sep 2021
2 years
Level 5
Credit Value:
Course Code:
Study Mode:
Full Time
Attendance Type:
Attendance Pattern:
Framwellgate Moor Campus
Course costs:
£9000 per year
International - £10500 per year
This programme will be validated by New College Durham


Course details may be subject to change

This programme responds to the demand for software development skills, caused by the growing popularity of the internet, in addition to the software systems that run on these networks. It focuses on providing you with the cognitive and intellectual competencies specific to software development roles, such as digital communications, security case development, web development and relational database design and development.

Throughout this programme you will develop a broad knowledge of computing, in addition to developing your programming skills, systems analysis and design techniques, database skills using industry standard database software and software development skills using our state-of-the-art IT equipment.
HE HE Centre 2021

University Centre

Our University Centre is a dedicated learning and social space especially for our degree level students.


Techy Tea Party 2

Techy tea party

Students were invited to help Cestria Community Housing residents use technology and gadgets.

HE Computing 2

Gadgets Galore

A group of IT students travelled to Birmingham’s NEC to visit the Gadget Show Live. 


This programme aims to meet the complex and organic needs of the computing and IT sector by providing appropriately trained, qualified and skilled staff with the requisite knowledge, competence and understanding of business organisation, database design & development, digital marketing and solution development.

Upon completion, you will be able to demonstrate innovative thinking coupled with cognitive and intellectual competencies specific to Software Development roles; digital communications, security case development and design good practice, relational database design and development, web development, employment; risk assessment and Governance.

The content of the programme is mapped against elements of the standards of the Higher Apprenticeship, to ensure you have the opportunity to gain sufficient knowledge and understanding of the specified modules.


You will study the following:
Level 4
  • Personal Professional Development 1 – you will develop your skills to become successful in higher education and effective at work.
  • Work Related Learning 1 - become confident in your understanding of current legal standards, regulations and ethical standards relevant to the computing and IT sector.
  • Principles of Programming - you will investigate the different business types and the range of systems employed to manage the functions at strategic, tactical and operational levels.
  • UX Design & Development - introduces the (UX) User Experience design process.
  • Database Design & Development - you will design, build and use a relational database, using a Relational Database Management System for storing data and retrieving information.
  • Object Oriented Programming - you will be introduced to a high level programming language and key aspects of structured programming.

Level 5
  • Work Related Learning 2 - investigate risk assessment methodologies and vulnerabilities in security management systems.
  • Advanced Web Development - implement both client-side and server-side technologies to produce more technically advanced web-based solutions.
  • Advanced Database Concepts - introduces security strategies and advanced coding.
  • Mobile Application Development - develop your skills and knowledge of programming and the complete process of developing software, from the initial gathering of requirements, through the design and development of the application, documentation, testing and creation of the finished product.
  • Software Development Methods - introduces a range of SDLC methods.

You must choose one of the modules below:
  • Personal Professional Development 2 - devise a security policy for an organisation and ensure that it meets regulatory body requirements.
  • Innovation, Idea Generation & Enterprise - develop your innovation, idea generation and enterprise skills to enable you to become an innovative thinker.

Time commitment

Average number of hours per week

Work Placement
Assignment Feedback
Independent Learning


*Days and times of study are subject to change. Timetables are confirmed at the start of term.

Teaching & assessment

We are fully committed to making sure you get the very best out of your time with us. You will engage in the following:
  • Lectures - for the introduction of relevant theories/knowledge of the individual topic areas within a subject.
  • Workshops/seminars - for developing an understanding of the theories from the lectures through the use of case studies, role-plays and exercises. Please note that each of the Cisco (CCNA) modules have online exams.
  • Academic tutorials - to develop study/academic skills, for example, research/information gathering. The development of these study/academic skills will assist in your learning throughout the programme.
  • Course assessment is comprised of 10% exams and 90% coursework.

A range of assessment methods are used across both Level 4 and Level 5, including:
  • Reports
  • Case studies
  • Time constrained tests
  • Reflective journals
  • Presentations
  • Work related projects
  • Assessment of practical skills, Assignment
  • Preparation of portfolios of evidence.

Maths and English

If you do not hold GCSE or Level 2 maths and English, you will work towards Level 2 or equivalent in maths and English Language alongside the main study programme (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).
Stobo Castle

Maths & English

Maths and English skills are essential for the workplace and university.

Industry links:

The department’s key industrial link is with Karbon Housing (part of the Isos Group). We have worked closely with them on many projects over the years, including student placements and technical support events for people in the local community. Students have partnered with Karbon Housing whilst completing their Online Owls and Techy Tea Party projects.

Others links include:
  • British Telecom
  • Durham County Council
  • Hewlett Packard
  • Business Durham
  • Geek Talent
  • Leighton Group
  • British Airways
  • Sage.


A work placement is a fundamental expectation of this foundation degree programme. You will be expected to source work experience which provides you with an opportunity to stretch your knowledge, understanding and practical skills beyond what you have learned in your modules.

This will be a great opportunity for you to demonstrate your positive attitude, ability to use initiative and independent learning skills to future employers.

You could progress to a relevant degree programme at New College Durham to top-up this qualification to a degree.

Meet our students

Additional Costs

You will be required to contribute to trips and visits. We also recommend that students buy texts to support learning, a reading list will be provided at interview.

Interview Instructions

The process for interview is as follows:
  • You will be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via internet (e.g. Skype) – please bring all relevant qualifications and a printed copy of your personal statement.
  • This is an opportunity for the curriculum team to learn about your motivation for the course and career aspirations - an opportunity for applicants to ask questions will be provided.
  • A tour of the facilities will be available.

Further Education

Getting ready for your college interview

Find out more information about your college interview.

European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System Credits:


Entry Criteria

UCAS tariff points:
Standard entry criteria:
  • Ideally, you will hold four GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including maths and English (or Level 2 equivalent). If you do not hold these qualifications, you will be required to commit to study GCSE maths and English alongside the programme.
  • International applicants require a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band.
  • You will be interviewed by the curriculum team (international applicants via Skype).
  • You will hold 48 UCAS points or a combination of qualifications that show you can be successful on this programme.
  • You must provide a personal statement.
  • Your standard of academic writing will be assessed at induction.

Non-standard entry criteria:
  • Evidence of relevant experience which demonstrates you can be successful on this programme.
  • A personal statement.
  • You will be required to attend an interview with two members of the curriculum team.
  • You will participate in induction activities to assess your standard of academic writing in English.
  • You will complete basic and key skills builder (BKSB) assessments to establish your level of maths, English and ICT skills (applicable where no formal qualifications in computing and/or IT related subjects and/or work experience in a computing or IT related job role can be evidenced).
  • If you do not hold the required qualifications in maths and English, you must commit to studying GCSE maths and English alongside the programme (or a minimum 5.5 IELTS in each band for international applicants).

Part-time entry criteria:
In addition to a student being required to satisfy the standard or non-standard entry requirements of the course, part-time students must be employed in a relevant computing related post which provides them with the opportunity to develop and complete the requirements of the following:
  • Personal Professional Development 1
  • Innovation, Idea Generation and Enterprise
  • Work Related Learning; modules 1 and 2.