Digital T Level
Software Developer
(Level 3)

[Get a free laptop upon enrolment]

Code in at least 3 languages

Become a Junior Developer

Experience digital industry

Virtual Reality

About the Course

Course Type:       Level 3 Technical Level | Full Time

Route:                    Digital

Digital Production, Design and  Development

Duration:                2 Years

Lessons:                16hr taught + 9hr online learning per week

Other:                     45-50 day industry placement

Start Date:            01/09/2022



The Software Developer route is intended for students who want to progress to a career in the Digital sector, with a focus on software design and development.

The purpose of the T Level in Digital: Digital Production, Design and Development is to ensure students have the knowledge and skills needed to progress into highly skilled employment, university or an Apprenticeship within the specialist area of software design and development.

At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate threshold competence, which means that they have gained the core knowledge and skills related to software design and development and are well placed to develop full occupational competence with additional development and support once in employment in the digital sector.

Further Information

Who can join?

T Levels are a new alternative to A Levels or BTECs, and can be started once you have completed the entry required GCSEs. You do not need to have studied a digital subject at GCSE as training will be from absolute beginners. We require students to have a passion for technology and the digital sector.

What are the entry requirements?

T Levels are academically and practically rigorous and the Software Developer Route requires a minimum of: - 2 x Grade 5 GCSEs inc. Maths - 3 x Grade 4 GCSEs inc. English

How are students taught?

Students are taught in range of ways and unlike school we aim to give students a more professional experience within an industry setting: - Seminars - Work Experience (45-50 day placement) - Teacher-led lessons - Industry lectures from experts in industry - Exam Tuition - Practical work (in industry standard facilities) - Workplace coaching - Online Learning

What is the T Level Placement?

At the heart of each course, a 45-52 day industry placement will give businesses early access to the brightest talent entering the market.
As T Levels roll out, employers across England are partnering with local colleges and schools to do industry placements. We will be partnering with a range of employers in East Dorset to provide placements in the digital sector. Ensuring work readiness fernTECH will ensure students are prepared to enter the workplace before joining businesses on an industry placement. This includes: Having the required technical knowledge and employability skills. Understanding the professional standards needed on their placement. Knowing the importance of company policies and procedures. How is it assessed? Our students are assessed against industry standard criteria to ensure competence in various skills needed in their industry area. This could range for programming and project planning for Software Developers or cabling and testing for Network Engineer Students. How do we ensure quality? Our T Level manager is tasked in helping develop effective and high quality placements. This will involve developing the links between business and the Sixth Form as well as visiting students and employers to quality check the experience of the students and assess the development of their skills.

What can I do after completing the course?

The Software Developer T Level trains you up to a professional standard in computing, business and product design disciplines ready to go straight into the digital sector. Entry level pay in the sector with a T Level ranges from £25,000-£30,000 with the potential to earn over £60,000. Job Roles upon completion could include: Junior Developer Junior Web Developer Junior Games Developer Junior Application Developer Junior Mobile App Developer Assistant Test Developer The T Level is also worth UCAS points equivalent to 3 A Levels and so students can also go and study a degree or degree apprenticeship.

How will I be assessed?

In Year 1, students will complete an Employer-set Project as part of their Occupational Skills Unit. In Year 2, students will complete 2 A Level standard external exam papers AND complete a synoptic Software Development Project that will take 70-90hr. The students will recieve a Grade A*-E for the examined units and a Distinction*-Pass Grade for the Project Work.

What are the costs/ equipment?

There are no costs incurred from equipment and software. In fact all students who enrol in 2022 will be provided with their own laptop (which they can keep after successfully completing the course). During placement in Year 13, costs of transport are not covered unless there are exceptional circumstances.

Module 1 Content | Software Engineering

Programming Language 1: Python 3

Programming Language 2: JavaScript

Programming Language 3: C#

Competency in PHP, SQL, HTML5 and CSS


Software Product Life Cycle

Digital Team Management

Project Management Methodologies

Legal and Regulatory Requirements of Software

Risk Management in Software Development

Software Security and Testing

Functional, non-functional and front-end testing

Common Software Design Approaches: Top-down, OOP, Data Model, ER Model, UML, TDD, BDD, Functional Design

Software Development Platforms at Product Development Stages: Coding; repositories, branching, building, testing and deployment.

UX Design Principles

UI Design Principles

Content management systems

Designing software solutions

Twelve Factor Principles

Software Deployment Methods

Module 4 Content | Occupational Skills

Employer Led Project and Functional Skills based on:

Convey technical information to different audiences

Present information and ideas

Create texts for different purposes and audiences

Summarise information/ideas

Synthesise information

Take part in/leading discussions

Measure with precision

Estimate, calculate and spot errors

Work with proportion

Use rules and formulae

Process data

Understand data and risk

Interpret and represent with mathematical diagrams

Communicate using mathematics

Cost a project

Optimise work processes

Use digital technology and media effectively

Design, create and edit documents and digital media

Communicate and collaborate

Process and analyse numerical data

Be safe and responsible online

Code and program

Module 3 Content | Business Practice

Emerging issues and impact of digital

Moral and Ethical Issues


Guidelines and Codes of Conduct

Business Policy Development

Regulatory requirements

Business context

Types of Business

IT Support in HR, R&D, Logistics, Marketing, Finance and Management

Software Use

Hardware Use

Feasibility Studies

User Need Analysis
Digital Value
Risks in a business context

Management of Stakeholders

Technical Change Management

Crisis Management

Impact Assessments

Data and Information in organisations

Data Formats

Digital environments

Data Systems

Data Management

Physical Environment


Virtual Environments

Cloud Environments
Resilience of Environments

Security Risks

Threat Mitigation

Module 2 Content | Product Development

Personal Training Programme Development

Collaborative Technologies

Emerging Technologies:

Operational technology (OT)

Artificial Iintelligence (AI) and Virtual intelligence (VI)

Conversational AI

The Internet of Things (IoT)

Machine learning

Object recognition


Computer vision


Cloud services and platforms


Data lakes and data warehousing


3D printing

5G networks.

Software maintenance

Product Support

Software Change Management Process

Research techniques in the digital sphere

Data Analytical Methods

Database Management

API Management and Application

How do I apply?

To apply, fill in the normal form as you would for other Ferndown Upper School courses. But remember the T Level will be your only option you select as it is a full time course. The link for Sixth Form applications is here: CLICK HERE

New Digital Building for 2022

Designed for the Digital Age

£1.2million new building

Designed and developed in collaboration with industry partners

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Pioneer Seminar Suite

For up to 80 students with digital device support for laptops provided to our Digital T Level students, access to kitchen facilities for students and a new computing office.

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Conference Meeting


Networking Lab

Containing equipment for network cabling, switch and server maintenance

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Server Installation

Ingenuity Software Development Lab

With top spec computers, our own servers and support for all major operating systems including Mac OS, Windows and Linux

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Computer Tutorials

Part of our Phase 2 Developments, the new building extends our facilities beyond anything else offered locally, to enable training of software developers and network engineers with up to date industry standard hardware and software. A professional environment to nurture a new generation of digital professionals.