BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions : Network Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship Route)

Our BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions: Network Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship Route) allows you to invest in your workforce by combining university education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development. While working as a valuable part of your team, your apprentices can develop the knowledge and skills needed to design, install, maintain and support communication networks, anticipating and responding to the needs of your organisation.

BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions : Network Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship Route)

Course details

Our BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions: Network Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship Route) is designed to support the development of network engineers that will perfectly match the current and future digital technology needs of your organisation. You can offer structured on-the-job training and internationally recognised qualifications in network engineering, helping you attract the best new talent and retain valued staff through career progression. Studying flexibly alongside work will allow your apprentices to put their new skills and understanding into practice immediately, benefitting your organisation without delay.

Network engineering focuses on the design, configuration, management and support of all types of computer networks. Your apprentices will spend 80% of their time at work and 20% at the University, usually on a day-release basis. Throughout this course, we’ll guide them as they develop technical knowledge, applied skills and hands-on experience with a range of industry-standard hardware and software. They will also build a portfolio of evidence representing the projects and tasks they have completed while working as part of your team.

Our expert and dedicated team will cover network architecture and management, network design and integration, routing, computer security, network operating systems, programming, wide area networks and wireless networks and security. By underpinning our content and assignments with a strong industrial focus, we foster a keen understanding of the customer-service environment, and help your apprentices develop essential skills such as team-working, communication and time management.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • UCAS points: 104
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 3 years

Course highlights:

  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will receive a Degree Apprenticeship Certificate, and be awarded an academic degree – the BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions: Network Engineering from the University of Bolton.
  • The University of Bolton has been a Cisco Academy for over ten years, so we’ll also offer your apprentices the support they need to complete the globally-recognised Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) programme as part of this course.
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support is offered by our dedicated staff team who offer a wide range of professional experience, industry knowledge, technical expertise and academic credentials.
  • We’ll support your apprentices to develop sought-after skills such as background research, critical reasoning and problem solving, as well as professional communication, time management, teamwork, and lifelong learning.
  • During the final stage of the course, your apprentice will undertake a substantial work-based research project, the nature of which will be identified and developed through consultation between your organisation and the University. As well as offering your apprentice valuable experience, this live project can offer you genuine insight into potential opportunities or improvements that can benefit your organisation.

Key features:

  • This Degree Apprenticeship skillfully combines study in our vibrant higher education environment with practical and focused work-based learning and experience in your organisation.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your apprentices to prepare work at home and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • By studying alongside apprentices from other digital technology specialisms or alternative industrial sectors, your apprentices can benefit from a wider range of knowledge and experience that supports cross-disciplinary thinking.
  • The apprenticeship offers a comprehensive overview of key network engineering principles and methods. In the final year, an option module allows you (or your apprentice) to choose one of several focused topics.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.

Entry requirements

  • UCAS points: 104
  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: BSc (Hons)
  • Duration: 3 years

The applicant’s Level 3 subjects must include a technology related subject; for instance, A-level Mathematics or BTEC Extended Diploma in Computing.

Applicants should also have five GCSEs grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and Mathematics.

If an applicant doesn’t possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9, or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, they will be asked to complete initial assessments for English and mathematics. The results of these assessments will determine whether they are accepted on to the apprenticeship with their current qualifications, or a recommendation of delayed entry is made so they can undertake studies enabling them to achieve the required level of English and mathematics prior to commencing the apprenticeship.

Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Degree Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University one day per week (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.

Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

If English isn’t the applicant's first language they will also need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Career opportunities

The BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions: Network Engineering (Degree Apprenticeship Route) is designed to meet the “Trailblazer” Degree Apprenticeship Standard for Digital and Technology Solutions Professional. Developed by employers in collaboration with higher education institutions, the standard underpins a highly relevant qualification and professional development pathway that educates network engineers who possess the deep technical understanding of networks and operating systems required to effectively secure networks and computers against internal and external threats.

Employers can expect graduate apprentices to have developed a wide range of technical, professional and interpersonal skills, such as customer-focus, attention to detail, team working, communication and analytical skills, time management, organisation and lifelong learning.

What can I do with this qualification?

Graduate apprentices from this programme should prove valuable to private, public and third sector organisations of all sizes and across the full spectrum of industries. On successful completion of the end point assessment after completion of the course, apprentices will be well prepared for a career in network engineering and to work their way up to positions of greater responsibility, such as network architect, network controller or senior network manager.

They will also be ready to progress to postgraduate-level study in subjects such as cyber security or digital forensics, or study towards additional IT certification from organisations such as Cisco, CompTIA or Microsoft, in order to develop their expertise further. Studying for a PhD or professional doctorate is another option.

Professional recognition

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. Your organisation may be able to fund this Degree Apprenticeship though the Apprenticeship Levy (if your organisation is paying the levy).

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.


There are no bursaries associated with this programme.

Click here for more information on undergraduate bursaries

How to apply


Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Contact us section of this page.

For tailored support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Programming and Scripting
  • Networking Principles
  • Technology in Practice
  • Networks and Security
  • Scaling Networks
  • Advanced Operating Systems
  • Technology in Action
  • Business Software Development
  • Synoptic Project
  • Operations Management
  • Network Management

Teaching, learning and assessment

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours essential to become a network engineer. Learning focuses on your workplace environment, and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded of a graduate network engineer, and how to apply this expertise within your organisation.

Teaching is structured to allow day-release study. The programme is divided into a number of modules, some based at the University while others are work-based. Your apprentices will spend approximately 80% of their time in the workplace, with the other 20% of their time being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning.

For the modules based at the University, apprentices will be required to attend timetabled lectures, seminars, workshops, demonstrations, practical sessions and tutorials. Learning will also be supported by the University's virtual learning environment, Moodle.

For the work-based modules, your apprentices will need to build a portfolio of evidence about the work they do and the projects they undertake in the workplace. Crucially they must demonstrate learning in this portfolio that meets the objectives required of the module. Your organisation will need to work with the University’s academic supervisor to agree a range of projects and activities that offer suitable development opportunities for your apprentice.

For all modules, apprentices will also be expected to allocate significant time to independent and self-directed studies. For example, background reading, revisiting practical work, preparing for seminars, and working on assignments will support their timetabled learning and develop good habits for lifelong learning.

We assess each apprentice’s individual performance through a strategic blend of assignments, projects, in-class tests, examinations and presentations. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and show where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.

In addition to the assessments associated with the degree programme, apprentices will undertake the synoptic end point assessment, at the end of the apprenticeship period. This is designed to ensure they meet all the requirements of the Degree Apprenticeship standard.

The widely recognised Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) curriculum is embedded in the course. Over four modules, apprentices will be expected to study the Cisco CCNA materials and practical exercises needed to prepare for the Cisco CCNA qualification. Completing each of the four modules successfully will earn them a Cisco Certificate. If they complete Cisco’s final CCNA assessment they will gain the industry-standard CCNA qualification. The CCNA exam can be taken at the University of Bolton as we are an authorised Cisco Test Centre.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (100%)
Level Two Coursework (88%), Practical exams (12%)
Level Three Coursework (75%), Written exams (25%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (52%), Placement/study abroad (23%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (24%)
Level Two Guided independent study (58%), Placement/study abroad (23%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (19%)
Level Three Guided independent study (58%), Placement/study abroad (25%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (17%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
    BSc (Hons)
  • UCAS points:
  • Duration:
    3 years

Contact us

Adam Isherwood
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903075

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903