Female looking at screen working on computer game graphics



Foundation Apprenticeships (FA) are work-based qualifications for senior phase pupils. They combine the best of academic and vocational learning in one single qualification.

Gaming, virtual reality, cyber security – the digital world is changing fast. You could help decide where it goes next.

In Scotland, over 90,000 people work in digital technology roles and salaries are growing almost twice as fast as the average. The current average full-time salary for digital technology roles is £37,500, this is over 30% higher than the Scottish average of £28,000.

With the Foundation Apprenticeship in Software Development, you’ll be setting yourself up for roles that are in demand not just now, but in the future too. As a software or web developer, you can use your skills to create programs, robotic systems, apps and websites. As a database administrator or network manager you’d design and build computer systems to store and manipulate vital information.The FA is designed to give you a good insight into potential careers. We will explore robotics, web development, software development across several computer applications and learn key skills required to work in this fast-paced environment.



  • SCQF 6



  • Highland Council Virtual Schools


  • 1-2 Years

Course content...

The following SCQF Level 6 units will be studied in college during the first year of the course. Together, they make up the National Progression Award in Software Development:

  • Computing: Application Development
  • Computing: Authoring a Website
  • Software Design and Developmen

In the second year, you will work regularly with a relevant business as well as continuing study in college. This work placement and experience will give you the opportunity to put in to practise the skills you learn as part of the NPA.

If you wish to apply for this course to be completed in one year, you will need to demonstrate a commitment and the ability to complete both the study and the work experience required within the year.  You should discuss this with your guidance teacher.

What next...

TheFoundation Apprenticeship gives you lots of options: it’s up to you where you go next:

A Modern Apprenticeship: On completing yourFoundation Apprenticeship, you’ll have already achieved core units of the Modern Apprenticeship in IT and Telecoms, giving you a head start.

A Graduate Apprenticeship: You'll have the right skillsand experience to progress to a Graduate Apprenticeship in IT: Software Development.

Further Education: Continue your studies at college,with an HNC or HND in an ICT and digital subject. Your workplace experience will support your college application.

University: Foundation Apprenticeshipsare recognised as equivalent to SQA Highers by all Scottish universities .You’ll already have quality experience in the industry – this will make your UCAS stand out from the crowd.

Straight to a job: Use your qualification and work experience to find a job in the ICT and digital technologies industry.


Entry requirements...

You will be expected to achieve National 5 Maths, English and a science or computing related subject such as Admin.

Pupils should be working towards achieving one or two Highers over S5 and S6, one of which has to be Computing.

Consideration will still be given to all those not meeting these exact qualifications by way of completing a screening activity at the college to establish eligibility