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    Key information

    Delivery type
    Graduate Apprenticeship
    4 years
    Degree Qualification
    MA (Hons)


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    The IT Management for Business graduate apprenticeship programme develops specific skills and knowledge of information technology, to enable the participants to play a key role in the management of ICT infrastructure, strategy, operations and projects of their organisation.

    The graduate apprenticeship programme is open to new or existing employees in Scotland of all ages and consists of 20% academic learning and 80% work-based learning.

    The programme helps you develop highly skilled employees in the following areas:

    • IT Consultancy
    • IT System Operation
    • IT System Management
    • IT Network Planning and Control
    • IT Project Management

    Graduates' skillset

    The IT Management for Business graduate apprenticeship programme aims to produce MA (Hons) graduates equipped with knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

    • a broad background of business operations, procedures and culture applicable to a career in IT in a business environment
    • sufficient technical knowledge to play a key role in an IT related environment
    • personal and interpersonal skills enabling them to work closely and communicate with employees in non-IT related areas of an organisation
    • a set of problem-solving and modelling skills appropriate to IT related business operations
    • sufficient management and business knowledge to play a management role in an IT project
    • project delivery experience in a business oriented environment

    Key areas of the programme

    The primary focus of the IT Management for Business graduate apprenticeship programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.


    • Business Skills
    • Enterprise
    • Human resource management
    • Operations Management
    • Accounting
    • Project Management
    • Strategic Change
    • Leadership


    • Information systems
    • Data
    • Systems analysis and design
    • Software development and programming
    • Computer and network infrastructure
    • Information systems operations and change

    Personal and interpersonal

    • Communications
    • Personal attributes
    • Professional attributes
    • Team working

    Software project and delivery management

    • Project management methodologies
    • Project planning
    • Project execution
    • Agile project delivery
    • Risk assessment and management

    Each of the four key content areas is combined to deliver a holistic learning experience.

    Programme structure

    The programme, co-delivered by the Edinburgh Business School and the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences, is structured so that essential foundational knowledge is provided in the early stages and this can be built on during the learning that will take place in the workplace.

    The programme comprises a number of courses that are undertaken through a blend of University attendance and work based learning. Attendance at University will normally be one day per week. Although each course has specific learning objectives, the learning and work-based project work associated with each course is tailored to meet each student’s individual work context.

    Course content

    Year 1

    In year 1, the apprentice will acquire the fundamentals of software development including a knowledge of procedural programming and object-oriented paradigm, as well as manipulating objects in an IDE and understanding and using documentation in an API. The apprentice will also learn about the fundamentals of computing systems and database systems.

    By the end of year 1, the apprentice will have gained an appreciation for the fundamentals of data science, including the ability to explore and use new datasets while understanding their context and usefulness within the organisational domain. On the business management side, the apprentice will be provided the foundations of management that include the enterprise in the context of its social, political and technological environments. The apprentice will also develop business skills that include: questioning and interviewing techniques; presentation skills; and design thinking.

    Year 2

    During year 2, building upon the basic business knowledge and skills gained in year 1, the apprentice will develop an understanding of human behaviour in the workplace and basic accounting for managers. The apprentice will be able to describe the operations management concepts and techniques that can be used to support management decision-making.

    The apprentice will also gain an understanding of contemporary marketing issues and problems faced by organisations, and learn legal principles within the context of public-, private-, and third-sector organisations.

    The apprentice will also gain an appreciation for data ethics and security, and for database management systems, including a broad knowledge and understanding of the concepts and formalisms of database design, and emerging database trends and their benefits.

    Year 3

    Year 3 will build up on the knowledge and skills gained in year 2. The apprentice will have had experience of project management and be able to discuss the theoretical and practical issues involved in the strategic and innovation management of organisations.

    After gaining an understanding of how to carry out research in the business context, the apprentice will undertake a business analysis and consultancy project and present findings within their organisation. The apprentice will also gain an understanding of applied machine learning, including the ability to identify appropriate evaluation and model selection methods, and appropriate data analysis techniques.

    Year 4

    The final honours year will see the apprentice taking full responsibility for a major work-based Capstone Project throughout the year. This project will be supported by the workplace mentor and an academic supervisor matched with the chosen topic.

    By the end of the honours year, the apprentice will have gained an understanding of challenges in global networks, including possible threats sources of threats to networks and interconnections among topologies of the networks on the internet.

    The apprentice will also consider the impact of various global political, economic, social and technological trends on the way we manage organisations, leading to an increased global awareness for managing international business. The apprentice will also gain and appreciation for processes, techniques, challenges and opportunities associated with digital marketing.

    "Our IT Management for Business programme offers GA students a wide range of Business Management, IT and Data Science courses, and helps employers transition students into roles such as IT systems operations, IT systems management, IT network planning and control, and IT project management."
    David C Steinberg,
    PhD, Director of EBS GA Programmes

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Ranking (Business and Management, Complete University Guide 2023)

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    Ranking (Overall, QS World University Rankings 2023)

    Heriot-Watt are ranked in the Top 300 universities in the world, 33rd in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023

    Graduate apprenticeship success stories

    Read our graduate apprenticeship partners' success stories who are already seeing the benefits.

    Computer Science facilities

    Computer Science students can access facilities including specialist teaching labs, the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics' Robotics Laboratory, and parallel and high performance computing platforms

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    Your career

    Employers around the world actively seek out our graduates because they are work-ready. All our degrees are career-focused and relevant to the needs of industry. Around 95% of our students are in employment or further study within six months of graduating.

    Register your interest in Graduate Apprenticeships

    Places are in high demand, and offered on a first come, first served basis to qualified employees – so please register your interest right away.

    If you are an employer, please complete the contact form to our GA team and we will contact you to discuss a detailed plan for your company.

    If you are already working, ask your manager to get in touch with us by completing this web form.

    If you are looking for an employer who could employ you and put you forward for the GA programme, you can find vacancies with current partner companies.

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