Apprentice Software Engineer 2023 Instil

  • Employer Profile


  • Apprenticeship Type

    Software & Computing > Level 5-6

  • Positions


  • Location

    The Linen Loft, 3rd Floor, 27-37 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8FE

  • Salary


  • Start date

  • Location Type


Job Description

What We Stand For

...about each other ...about our clients ...about our planet

...for kinder ways ...for smarter ways ...for better ways

...our knowledge ...our capabilities ...our impact

What to Expect at Instil

We develop cloud, mobile and desktop software for technology companies globally. We work across a range of technologies including Java, Kotlin, C#, React, TypeScript, AWS and Azure. The work is varied, challenging and rewarding.

Our apprentices get first hand experience being involved in the delivery of our solutions. We believe our employees are our most valuable asset and therefore strive to offer them a supportive and fun environment. We pride ourselves on our always delivering engineering excellence.

You have the opportunity to learn from our world class training team and develop your skills while getting paid, what more could you ask for?? What about 35 days holiday per annum, Mac Book, hardware budget, free tea, coffee and hot chocolate, a fully stocked kitchen, social committee and an all round great place to work.

Person Specification

Aside from the grades to get into the Computer Systems course with Ulster University, we are looking for people who share our passion for technology.

We want to help you evolve in your career and will give you the resource required to do so, all we ask is that you have a genuine love for technology and the ambition and motivation to succeed, we will help with the rest :)

Applicable courses

Whilst you are applying to an employer through Workplus you must apply directly to the training providers to secure your place on the apprenticeship course.

Computing SystemsUlster University


Design your own degree pathway and progress part-time at a pace that best suits you, completing in 3, 4, 5 or 6 years.

Computing Systems develops skills in subjects that include programming, databases, networking, web development, human computer interaction, artificial intelligence and systems security alongside subjects that develop your software engineering skillset. When you finish, you will be ready for a professional career in computing, equipped with the technical and personal skills sought by industry, able to apply best practice in software engineering to develop wide ranging systems for any organisation.

The course content is now fully aligned with our FT Computing Science provision (albeit running across 3 semesters) with some classes now shared between cohorts.

Uniquely, BSc Computing Systems is designed using the Variable Rate Progression (VRP) model. VRP empowers you to design your own personal pathway through the modules of the course, something that is not possible in traditional courses. The precise pathway, its duration and specific modules, are determined by you. Many potential pathways exist. A pathway 'Simulator' for experimenting and planning your route through the course is available on our VRP website at:

Using VRP, the programme may be completed part-time in 3, 4, 5 or 6 years, dependent upon the precise pathway you derive over the course of your studies. Note that should you choose to enter the course in February, rather than September, the minimum duration of the course will be four years.

Ulster University is a recognised Training Provider for the DfE Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) scheme. BSc (Hons) Computing Systems operates a successful HLA programme, working with participating companies that include Kainos, AllState, Deloitte, LibertyIT, Neueda, Etain and GCD Technologies. Applicants interested in HLA opportunities in the subject of Computing, should contact participating companies directly. Companies interested in offering computing related HLA opportunities should contact the Computing Systems Course Director for further information.


Computing Systems is usually delivered on a Monday morning from 10:15am during Semesters 1 and 2 (September-May). There are also 6 days of block training per selected module during Semester 3 (schedule for the end of June and beginning of August). Typical weekly timetabled hours involve 3.5 hours per selected module, scheduled for delivery between 1.15PM and 9.15PM. This contact time accounts for around 1/4 of the expected self-directed study time for each module.

The duration of the degree is dependent on the number of modules you study and successfully completed each year. There are six modules at each of three levels in the course. Each year, you can choose undertake a minimum of three modules and a maximum of six modules. This choice aim to enhance flexibility and empowers you to complete the course in as little as three years or to choose a slower track lasting four, five or even six years. You will have an annual opportunity to review and adjust your rate of progress.

Company Partnerships

As of October 2023, Ulster University's partnerships on the course now exceed 25 companies and have over 150 active apprentices on the course. New partnerships should reach out to the Course Director for an onboarding call to ensure that enrolments and paperwork are completed in sufficient time for course delivery. Please note that arrangements are provisional until the DfE confirm funding for the numbers we request.


Year two

Introduction to Databases

Year: 2

Database management is a fundamental skill expected of Computing graduates. This module will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of database design, implementation, querying and management of relational database systems.

Client Side Development

Year: 2

This module will assume no prior experience in creating web pages and will introduce the design principles, structural elements and technical concepts that underpin web authoring.

Application of the technical concepts will be facilitated through the use of web authoring tools in practical sessions to enhance the technical skills for the creation and styling of interactive Websites.

Mathematics for Computer Scientists

Year: 2

This module provides an introduction to core areas of mathematics that are commonly used by computer scientists. The relationship between set theory and propositional logic is explained, with applications to digital circuits. Mathematics for decision making is introduced, including their practical application. Probability, descriptive statistics and matrices are introduced, and their application to simple linear regression is used to motivate their use within data science.

Introduction to Physical Computing

Year: 2

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of the underlying systems that support the applications software. The theoretical concepts covered are illustrated by considering their practical application in modern real-world solutions.

Problem Solving for Computing

Year: 2

Computer programming is a fundamental skill expected of computing graduates. This module will introduce students to the foundational concepts of programming via Python that will be used as building blocks in future modules. Students will also develop and enhance their problem solving skills as an integral part of the module.

Innovation and Society

Year: 2

This module is designed to make future computing professionals have the practical skills to cocreate innovative technological solutions to a problem using design thinking tools and processes and be aware of and take into consideration the nature of the legal, ethical, social and professional issues raised during any technological innovation.

Year four

Computer Networking

Year: 4

Computer networks are at the core of relatively large and modern computing systems. This module aims to equip learners with the appropriate skills to appreciate, understand and employ the key technologies used by interconnected devices in any networks. The module introduces the students to the basics of the networking field including components, topologies, architectures, functions, services, protocols, and standardisation.

Systems Security

Year: 4

This module introduces fundamental concepts related to computer system security. It presents a thorough discussion of the fundamental principles and technologies underpinning the field, covering concepts, terminology, cryptography, vulnerabilities, protocols and good security-oriented design.

The module provides an understanding of computing systems security concerns and how they can be addressed and mitigated so that security considerations are taken into account, and embedded in organisations and IT projects planning and management. This includes the communications within networked applications, security issues and cryptographic fundamentals

Programming in Practice

Year: 4

The module builds upon the expertise acquired in Level 4 programming modules by expanding upon the students' understanding of data types and algorithms within the scope of object-oriented programming. The module focuses on providing students with practical skills for industry-focused software development.

Server Side Development

Year: 4

This module will expand on students' knowledge necessary for developing software systems to be deployed over the World Wide Web, with a specific focus on server-side technologies and techniques. Students will also be introduced to important design considerations for web applications currently in use in industry.

Software Product and Process Management

Year: 4

The Software Product and Process Management module provides the opportunity for students to gain a sound theoretical understanding of contemporary product and process management techniques. There is also the opportunity to apply learning from within the module and from modules undertaken thus far while working cohesively and professionally as part of a software team towards the successful management and planning of software product that meets business needs.

Artificial Intelligence

Year: 4

This module introduces students to key areas of AI including searching, knowledge and reasoning, uncertainty and decision making. It equips students with understanding of the mathematical foundations of these topics and the practical skills needed to apply them.

Edge and Embedded Intelligence

Year: 4

This module is optional

This module explores the intersection between machine learning and embedded systems. The aim of Edge and Embedded Intelligence is to make Artificial Intelligence available on low-powered and computationally constrained devices such as microcontrollers. This module provides a foundation for students to understand this emerging field.

Year six

Full-Stack Strategies and Development

Year: 6

This module will introduce the key concepts of full-stack development and the tools used to implement a full-stack strategy. Students will be able to use what they learn from this module to develop robust software including APIs, database architectures and front-end applications according to industry standards.

Computing Project

Year: 6

The Computing Project provides an opportunity to draw together learning from across the course, and to allow students to evidence their mastery of the academic content and of its application through professional practice. Through the opportunity to devise, manage and evaluate all aspects of work in addressing a significant challenge, students can gain independence and a deeper appreciation of their practice within the broader subject area and of its relationship to wider society.

Cloud Native Development

Year: 6

This module aims to explore a range of modern development and deployment concepts in the context of scalable and high performance computing services.

Within this module concepts such as cloud architectures, hosted technologies, scalable solutions and infrastructure will be explored. Additionally, advanced programming/development concepts facilitating high performance solution development will be examined.

Enterprise Networks

Year: 6

This module is optional

The module provides the student with a deep understanding of the underlying communication protocols of personal, local area networks, wide area networks and inter-networks. The emphasis is on network planning, design and management. Issues such as acceptable network performance, detection of faults, maintaining security and effective management are studied as these are key to the successful operation of businesses. The module will address state of the art protocols and network case studies and can provide (i) an up to date viewpoint of Enterprise Networks for business and (ii) an opportunity for fostering research ideas in this discipline.

Artificial Intelligence

Year: 6

This module is optional

The AI module is built on the foundations in mathematics, computing and programming. It covers logic based symbolic AI, knowledge representation and reasoning, introduction to machine learning paradigms and advanced learning methods of reinforcement and deep learning, and real-world applications in different human-AI interactions. The module will answer the following three questions: (1) how to formulate AI problems conceptually; (2) how to turn the conceptual formulations into algorithms; (3) how to develop AI-focused applications. The module will also consider societal and theoretical concerns raised while designing and deploying AI solutions regarding the ability of people to understand, interpret, control, and interact with AI-based systems.

Computer Vision

Year: 6

This module is optional

Computer Vision is an increasingly pervasive element of technology-based solutions in a range of applications, both standalone and distributed over the Internet, requiring an understanding of image and video processing fundamentals and how they are integrated with Machine Learning. This module seeks to develop the student's knowledge of Computer Vision by introducing techniques and tools that enable machines with a capacity to sense the world using visual data. The module also provides opportunities for the student to learn how to develop applications to solve Computer Vision tasks and to implement solutions using Computer Vision and Machine Learning software tools and libraries.

Embedded Systems

Year: 6

This module is optional

This module introduces students to the software development strategies which underpin the realisation of embedded systems. Students will be required to create functional embedded system solutions, be creative in how they can be deployed across a range of application domains and appreciate the requirements of working within constrained environments


BSc (Hons)

Validated By

Ulster University


18+ Fully Funded

Entry Criteria

A level


Applied General Qualifications

QCF Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2012 Suite)

award profile DMM.

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2019 Suite)

award profile DMM.

RQF Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma / OCR Cambridge Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma (2016 Suite)

MMM overall award grades.

A Levels with:
BTEC Level 3 QCF Subsidiary Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Extended Certificate;
BTEC Level 3 QCF 90-credit Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Foundation Diploma;
BTEC Level 3 QCF Diploma or BTEC Level 3 RQF National Diploma.

OCR/Cambridge Technical Combinations
A levels with OCR Nationals and OCR Cambridge Technicals.

Irish Leaving Certificate

96 UCAS Tariff Points to include a minimum of 4 subjects at Higher Level and 1 subject at Ordinary Level. The overall profile must also include English and Maths at Grade H6 or above (HL) or Grade O4 or above (OL).

Irish Leaving Certificate UCAS Equivalency

  • View tariff point chart

Scottish Highers

Grades CCCCC. All subject areas considered.

Scottish Advanced Highers

Grades DDD. All subject areas considered.

International Baccalaureate

Overall profile of 24 points to include 12 at Higher Level to inlcude grade 4 in Mathematics and Grade 4 in English Language.

Access to Higher Education (HE)

Overall profile of 55% (120 credit Access) (NI Access Course) to include a pass in NICATS Maths (level 2) or GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4.

Overall profile of 45 Merits (60 credit Access Course) (GB Access Course) to include GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4.


GCSE (or equivalent) profile to include minimum of Grade C or 4 or above in Mathematics and Grade C or 4 in English Language.

Please note that for purposes of entry to this course the Level 2 Certificate in Essential Skills - Application of Number is NOT regarded as an acceptable alternative to GCSE Maths.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Additional Entry Requirements

Pass HNC with overall Merit in a relevant subject area for year 1 entry only to include distinctions in 45 Level 4 credits to include GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4.

HND Year 1
Pass HND in any subject area. GCSE Maths Grade C/4 or an alternative Mathematics qualification acceptable to the University is also required.

HND Year 2
Pass HND rwith overall Merit in a relevant subject area. To include GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4. HND applications may be considered for year 2 entry where the curriculum sufficiently matches that of Ulster University full time year 1 course.

Ulster Foundation Degree
Pass in Foundation Degree with an overall mark of 40% and minimum 40% in all taught level 5 modules. To inlcude GCSE Maths at Grade C or 4. Applicants will normally be considered for entry to an associated Honours degree (normally Year 2 entry if FD in a relevant subject area).

Exemptions and transferability

Transfers are processed in accordance with the Faculty Admissions Policy for dealing with transfer requests from existing students.



Start Date

Thursday 12 September 2024

End Date

Sunday 27 June 2027

Progression Pathway

This site uses cookies for general analytics but not for advertising purposes. View our cookie policy to find out more. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on our website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time.