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Business & Computing

Cloud Computing with Cyber Security - Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) (Subject to Approval by DfE)

Start Date: 16th September 2024
Code: PHPC1215

New Course


Duration: 3 Years Part-time
Start date: 16th September 2024
End date: 29th August 2027

Course fee: FREE

Course Content

This is an exciting opportunity to study our new, dynamic Foundation Degree specialising in Cloud Computing and Cyber Security.  If you are interested in pursuing a career as an IT professional then this is the course for you!  The modules of our foundation degree course cover a broad spectrum of topics within cloud computing and cyber security, equipping students with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue careers in various domains such as cloud computing, development, networking, and cybersecurity.

In addition, our programme incorporates a diverse range of industry entry-level certified courses, including Microsoft Cloud, Cloud Management and Development, and Cisco Networking and Cybersecurity. These certifications, recognised across the industry, are seamlessly embedded into our curriculum, offering students a robust foundation for their professional development, and facilitating their progression towards higher-level certifications and employment.  Not only will you achieve a Foundation Degree but you will have the opportunity to complete additional valuable industry recognised qualifications.

This course is specifically aimed either at new employees who want to start work before undertaking a full-time degree course, or at existing IT employees whose roles are changing significantly. Given the demand for IT personnel across all sectors of the economy, Higher Level Apprenticeships provide an excellent pathway for people who want to gain a higher qualification, without running up the levels of debt associated with attending university full-time.

The course is delivered on our brand new Coleraine Campus with state of the art computer labs and industry standard resources.

A Certificate of Higher Education in Cloud Computing with Cyber Security is available on successful completion of all Level 4 units.

Year 1

Computational Mathematics: Introduction to mathematical concepts relevant to computing and problem-solving. 
Computer Systems: Understanding the architecture and components of traditional computer systems and cloud systems – aligned with Microsoft Technical Specialist certifications.
Programming Fundamentals: Basic programming skills and principles to build a solid foundation – aligned with Microsoft Technical Specialist certifications.
Cloud Fundamentals: Introduction to cloud computing concepts, services, and deployment models – aligned with Microsoft Technical Specialist certifications. 

Year 2 

Network Essentials: Fundamentals of networking, covering protocols, configurations, and troubleshooting – aligned with Cisco certifications.
Databases and Data Analytics: Database management principles and basics of data analytics – aligned with Microsoft Technical Specialist certifications.
Cloud Technologies and Development: In-depth exploration of cloud and cloud development – aligned with Microsoft Technical Specialist certifications.
Network Security: Advanced concepts in network security, including encryption and intrusion detection – aligned with Cisco certifications. 

Year 3

Cyber Security: Comprehensive coverage of cybersecurity principles, practices, and defensive strategies – aligned with Cisco certifications.
IoT Development & Security: Understanding and securing IoT devices and networks with cloud data handling – aligned with Cisco certifications.
Work-based Learning

Work Placement 

The course includes a work placement in industry, successful completion of which is mandatory. This will take place in an appropriate computing environment where theoretical skills will be enhanced with practical experience.  This hands on experience helps to enhance employability and exciting career opportunities.

This course is subject to validation approval by the Open University and DfE.   

There are no additional mandatory costs for this course.

Course Aims

The Foundation in Cloud Computing with Cyber Security, validated by Open University, has been developed in recognition of the skills shortage in NI and UK and the need to develop more specialists in both Cloud and Cyber. This program serves as a launchpad for students, equipping them with the necessary skills to seamlessly transition into the dynamic field of Computing, particularly focusing on Cloud Computing with Cyber Security. It not only addresses the immediate needs of the industry but also provides students with the knowledge and skills to progress into the industry or further academic study at degree level.

Key objectives of the Foundation Degree in Cloud Computing with Cyber Security include:

  • Providing students with a comprehensive understanding of various facets within the field of Computing, with a particular emphasis on software development, networking and cyber security in the integration of Cloud Computing with Cyber Security environments.
  • Preparing students for a successful career in the Computing industry, while also laying the groundwork for further academic pursuits at the honours degree level.
  • Offering invaluable industrial experience to students, enabling them to hone their skills and readiness for both employment opportunities and continued academic advancement.
  • Contributing to the growth of the local technology economy by producing graduates equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to thrive in the industry.
  • Strengthening partnerships with industry stakeholders to ensure the relevance of the curriculum, while also facilitating opportunities for student and lecturer placements, employment, and apprenticeships.
  • Through its collaborative approach and focus on practical application, the Foundation Degree in Computing bridges the gap between academia and industry, empowering students to embark on fulfilling careers while driving innovation and growth within the local technology sector. 

  • Be at least 18 years on or before 1 July in the year you start your course and must satisfy the general entry requirements. 
  • Achieved GCSE Maths grade C or above (or Essential Skills in Numeracy at Level 2), plus English grade C or above (or Essential Skills in English at Level 2), plus Level 3 qualifications that are equivalent to 56 UCAS points or above.
  • Be a new employee in, or about to take up a permanent remunerative employment offer, or an existing employee moving to a new job role that requires a substantial amount of learning and skills development commensurate to the apprenticeship pathway. An exception may be made if an individual is already on an apprenticeship pathway at a lower level, with the HLA providing a progression route without the need to move to a new job role. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure this criteria is met.
  • Be employed by a company with a permanent base in Northern Ireland, have a contract of employment in place, be contracted to work a minimum of 21 hours per week (which includes day release/off-the-job directed training) with one employer, and in receipt of the appropriate wage.
  • Have achieved all necessary entry qualifications determined by the relevant sector.
  • Pass any entry tests specified by the relevant sector.
  • Be the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland.

NOTE: you may start your employment up to a maximum of 6 months prior to the commencement of your off-the-job training.  The College will require a copy of your contract of employment and a wage slip to provide evidence that you are employed.

Third country nationals, including European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Swiss Nationals and their family members, are eligible to undertake a HLA provided they have a right to live and work in the UK.  See HLA page for further details.

Where mature students wish to have prior education and/or experience taken into account, in lieu of meeting the full course entry requirements, they should contact the relevant Course Director or Admissions by 12th August, as an application deadline will apply.  It is at the College's discretion to consider APEL enquiries after the dates stated.

Union Street
BT52 1QA
0333 034 8197