Apprenticeship Course Structure

In 2017, aligned to the Level 4 Software Developer standard Ada launched its new Higher Level Apprenticeship in Digital Innovation, validated by the Open University. We have worked with industry leaders throughout (Gamesys,, Deloitte) to ensure a curriculum and programme that fits with workplace and technical readiness. 

Apprentices start their programme with 8 weeks of course modules at Ada, which we call the launchpad. After that, they follow a "block release" schedule consisting of 7 weeks at the employer and 1 week back at Ada for the remainder of their degree. In total, they will have spent 80% of their time at their workplace, and 20% in the classroom.

To fit with varying skills and interests, we have included three pathways in our curriculum to allow for a tailored programme. These specialised pathways, chosen by the employer and apprentice, are as follows:

Technical Pathway

  • To equip students to work as professionals in the field of software development, particularly in environments where competence in computer hardware, software and distributed information systems is required
  • To provide an in-depth knowledge of the management, organisation and execution of large-scale software design and development activities including reuse and integration, and testing

Creative Pathway

  • To prepare the student to take an active role in the creation of computational systems in digital media and other areas of the software industry that require creative individuals
  • To educate in the theory, technology, practice and application of computing and the development of creative digital media and/or and the development of modern computer games

Entrepreneurial Pathway

  • To provide students with the skills, knowledge and practical experience required to respond to the challenges involved in managing, commercialising and marketing technological innovation and new business development, in various emerging technologies
  • To provide an awareness and understanding of how organisations build value through the application of entrepreneurial and innovative practices

Year One: Six core modules

The programme starts with a "Launch Pad Training" at Ada's campus - an 8 Week intense preparation & learning period, during which apprentices will cover 4 modules alongside "Workplace Ready" training to ensure a smooth onboarding experience. The remainder of the programme works on a block-release model. The timetable forms a rotation - apprentices spend 7 weeks working on site with their employer, then 1 week training at Ada's campus.

Launch Pad Training Modules

  • Computer Programming 
  • System Development Life Cycle
  • Testing – Integration & Automated 
  • Database Systems

Additional Modules

  • Data Structure & Algorithms Database Systems 
  • Ethics & Commercial Reasoning

Year Two : Four core modules, Two modules in chosen pathway

At the end of the first two years of the programme, apprentices will gain a Foundation Degree in Digital Innovation. ​

Core Modules

  • Advanced Programming
  • Data Analytics & Business Insights
  • Interactive User Interface Design 
  • Work-based Project

EITHER Technical Pathway

  • Distributed Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence

OR Creative Pathway

  • Web Design & Authoring
  • Mobile App Development

OR Entrepreneurial Pathway

  • Entrepreneurship & Innovation
  • Business Risk Analysis

(Optional) Year Three : Two core modules, Two modules in chosen pathway

There is an optional third year of study with Ada to top up to a full Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Digital Innovation, continuing along the same block release model.

Core Modules

  • Portfolio Assessment
  • Synoptic Project

EITHER Technical Pathway

  • Enterprise Programming
  • Software Quality Assurance

OR Creative Pathway

  • Perception & Multimedia
  • 3D Modelling, Animation & Environments

OR Entrepreneurial Pathway

  • Technology Entrepreneurship
  • Emerging Technologies in Business