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T-Level in Digital Production, Design & Development

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Course Description

Are you ready to join the technical revolution that is T-Levels?

This course is specifically for students who are 16–19 years of age who wish to pursue a career in software design and development. If you have an interest in programming or coding and want to develop those skills to an industry standard, then this course is your best option.

The course combines the theory of an A-Level with the practical skills of a Btec National to ensure you are fully prepared to work effectively in the digital sector. You also have an industry placement which will last a minimum of 9 weeks (315 hours) so you can be confident that you are job-ready and know exactly what it is like to do the job for “real”.

This course is very demanding and so we are looking for students with a strong academic record and a passion to work in the digital industry. If you are going to achieve all your GCSEs at high grades, then you should consider this option. We will be only running one group with approximately 12 learners and so places are limited for only the very best candidates.

This course is taught at our Middleton campus, located in Middleton, Greater Manchester.


The course is split into 2 years. The first year will comprise of the core content and the second year your chosen digital specialism (production, design and development of a software solution).

The core content in year one will be assessed through 2 external exams and an employer set project.

Paper 1 is a 2.5 hour externally set and marked exam and will cover:

  • Problem solving (computational thinking and use of algorithms)
  • Introduction to programming (program data, operators, file handling, program structure, built in functions, validation and error handling, maintainable code and testing)
  • Emerging issues and impact of digital (moral and ethical issues, emerging trends and technologies)
  • Legislation and regulatory requirements (relevant legislation, guidelines, code of conduct)

Paper 2 is a 2.5 hour externally set and marked exam and will cover:

  • Business context (business environment, digital value to business, technical change management, risks in a business context)
  • Data (data and information in organisations, data formats, data systems, data management)
  • Digital environments (physical environments, networks, virtual environments, cloud environments, resilience of environments)
  • Security (security risks, threat mitigation)

The employer set project allows you to apply your knowledge and practical skills to the development of a small-scale software solution. You will work in class and have 14.5 hours to develop your solution. Your work will be marked by the awarding body. You will be expected to plan the project, produce a cost plan, articulate the rationale for your solution, test your solution and evaluate how effective was your software solution.

Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above including Maths and English, however Maths must be at grade 5 or above.

Work Experience

This T-Level includes an industrial placement. The average length of a placement would be 350 hours. Assuming a 35-hour week in placement you will be working with your employer for approximately 10 weeks. This exciting element of the course enables you to become industry competent and to ensure you are ready to start your first job with confidence. The placement will have agreed learning outcomes that will be monitored by your employer mentor and reviewed by your college tutor during site visits. The placement can be with 1 or a maximum of 2 employers and you must record a minimum of 315 placement hours.


The best feature of this course is it enables you to access multiple progression pathways.

Want to go to university after this course? Then this route is open to you as the T-Level carries UCAS points.

Interested in an apprenticeship? Again, this course is for you.

If during the industry placement your employer wants to hire you then you can finish your Level 3 studies as an apprentice. After the course if you want a higher apprenticeship then this course will make you ready for a Level 4 apprenticeship standard.

Finally, perhaps you just want to start working then you will leave this course job ready and able to pursue a career as a:

  • Software Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Application Developer
  • Mobile App Developer
  • Games Developer
  • Application Support Analyst
  • Assistant Programmer
  • Automated Test Developer

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