BSc (Hons) Software Development for Business

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    Key information

    Delivery type
    Graduate Apprenticeship
    4 years
    BSc (Hons)


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    The Software Development for Business graduate apprenticeship programme is designed to provide a solid foundation in computing and its necessary applied skills. It includes object-oriented web programming, writing algorithms and understanding fundamental database programming and management, as well as network security.

    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.

    This programme helps you develop highly skilled employees in:

    • Software development and testing
    • Web development
    • Database architecture and development.

    Graduate skillset

    The Software Development for Business graduate apprenticeship programme aims to produce BSc (Hons) graduates who:

    • have a solid foundation in computer science and are proficient in applying programming techniques in diverse application
    • are able to operate in a team and multidisciplinary contexts
    • have problem-solving skills
    • have the ability to develop innovative solutions to society's practical needs
    • have developed professional competencies of software engineers.

    Key areas of the programme

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


    • Business functions, behaviours, ethics, and courtesies
    • Business strategy and management
    • Business finance and accounting


    • Data structures and algorithms
    • Object-oriented programming
    • Design and development of interactive systems
    • Web applications and mobile apps
    • Database management systems
    • Software development life cycle
    • Software design, modelling and analysis
    • Software architectures and design patterns
    • Software verification, testing and quality assurance
    • Cloud-native applications
    • Data mining, modelling and data analysis
    • Artificial intelligence and machine learning
    • Network and software security

    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
    • Software project planning and management
    • Software configuration and release management

    Course content

    Year 1

    Semester one

    • Introduction to Interaction Design
    • Software Development 1

    Semester two

    • Enterprise and its Business Environment
    • Software Deveopment 2
    • Industrial Project:Software Development Methods

    All semesters

    • Introduction to Computer Systems
    • Internet Technologies 1
    • Industrial Praxis

    Year 2

    Semester one

    • Introduction to Data Structures and Algorithms

    Semester two

    • Data Structures and Algorithms
    • Hardware-Software Interface

    All semesters

    • Database Management Systems
    • Internet Technologies 2
    • Programming Languages
    • Introduction to Software Engineering
    • User-Centred Experimental Design

    Year 3

    Semester one

    • Artificial Itelligence and Intelligent Agents

    Semester two

    • Accounting for Managers

    All semesters

    • Operations Management
    • Software Engineering
    • Digital Enterprise Services
    • Computer Networks and Communications
    • Professional Development
    • Industrial Project: Software Quality

    Year 4

    Semester one

    • Computer Network Security
    • Industrial Project: Research Methods and Requirements Engineering

    Semester two

    • 3D Graphics and Animation
    • Strategic Management

    All semesters

    • Data Mining and Machine Learning
    • Industrial Project: Testing and Presentaion
    • Mobile Communications and Programming
    • Industrial Project: Design and Implementation
    • Project Management

    Entry requirements

    Year 1

    Year 1 – 96 SCQF credits at level 6 or Minimum 106 UCAS points, for example:​

    • SQA Highers at ABBB including Computing or equivalent, plus suitable Mathematics;​
    • A-Levels at BBB including Computing or equivalent, plus suitable Mathematics;​
    • Int. Baccalaureate 28 points;​
    • BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF 3) at DDM;​
    • Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development in conjunction with SQA Highers at BBB.​

    Year 2

    Year 2: – 96 SCQF credits at level 7, for example:​

    • SQA Advanced Highers at BBB  including Computing and excellent SQA Highers or Scottish Baccalaureate plus suitable Mathematics;​
    • A-Levels at ABB including Computing plus suitable Mathematics;​
    • Int. Baccalaureate 30 points including Mathematics and Computing at Higher Level 6.​

    Why Heriot-Watt?

    Ranking (Computer Science, The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023)

    Ranked 5th in Scotland and Top 30 in the UK for Computer Science by The Times/Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023.

    Ranking (Computer Science and Information Systems, Guardian Good University Guide 2023)

    Ranked 3rd in Scotland and 9th in the UK for Computer Science and Information Systems by the Guardian Good University Guide 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

    Computer Science Society

    The Computer Science Society is a student run community active across Edinburgh, Dubai and Malaysia. The society gives students a platform to discuss everything computer science and attend regular social events with like-minded individuals.

    Clubs and activities

    At Heriot-Watt we have an extensive programme of over 90 sports clubs and societies to get involved in. You can try as many as you like or start one of your own!

    Edinburgh Campus facilities

    At Heriot-Watt University, we offer a wide range of services to help you deal with all aspects of your life with us, whether these be academic, personal, technical, financial or just plain fun!

    Health and wellbeing

    Student Wellbeing Services aim to provide a range of support, guidance, activities and advice to help students to be their best, and get the most from their university experience. From counselling to coaching we'll sure you are fully supported.

    Heriot-Watt Student Union

    There's more to university life than simply getting your degree, and Heriot-Watt University Student Union is all about helping you to have the best possible experience while you study here.

    Living in Edinburgh

    Historic and beautiful, a cultural capital that fuels the senses whether you love the arts or nature, nightlife or study life, Edinburgh is stimulating and inspirational and never, ever boring.

    Sport facilities

    Oriam, Scotland Sports Performance Centre offers state-of-the-art sports facilities, for all levels of sport and ability

    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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