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T-Level in Digital Support Services

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Course Description

This course is specifically for students who are 16–19 years of age who wish to pursue a career in digital support services. If you have an interest in maintaining and controlling computer networks as well as supporting people in an organisation using computers, then this course is the best choice for you.

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.

Entry Requirements

  • 5 GCSE passes (grade 4 or above), including English and Maths

Details

The course is split into 2 years, the first year will comprise the core content and the second year your chosen digital specialism (Digital Support).

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

Paper 1 is an externally set and marked exam and will cover:

  • Business Context (business environment, digital value to business, technical change management, risks in a business context)
  • Culture (moral and ethical issues)
  • Data (data and information in organisations, data formats, data systems, data management)
  • Digital Analysis (computational thinking and use of algorithms)
  • Digital Environments (physical environments, networks, virtual environments, cloud environments, resilience of environments)
  • Diversity and Inclusion (digital inclusion, impact of non-inclusive digital practices)
  • Learning (emerging trends and technologies)
  • Legislation (relevant legislation, guidelines, code of conduct)
  • Planning (project planning, life cycle management, quality management)
  • Security (security risks, threat mitigation)
  • Testing (root cause analysis, testing methods)
  • Tools (presentation tools, project management methodologies, evaluation tools, collaborative communication tools)

Paper 2 is an externally set and marked exam and will cover:

  • Careers within the digital support services sector
  • Communication in digital support services (communication formats, interactions taking place between digital support services and client/colleagues)
  • Fault analysis and problem resolution (fault analysis tools, frameworks for problem management, root cause analysis, incident management)
The employer set project allows you to apply your knowledge and skills in a practical workplace simulation dealing with a network problem requiring an effective solution. You will work in class supervised by your tutor but with access to the internet. Your work will be marked by the awarding body. You will be expected to understand a problem and provide a solution which is clearly communicated to a client and/or colleague.

In the second year of your course you will work to your occupational specialism project in digital support. Like the employer project you will produce most of your work supervised by your tutor. The project is designed to draw on all the skills and knowledge you have developed over the two years of your course.

The project will require you to configure and maintain a network through effective software management, maintain the security of the network, both physical and cyber and manage its internal and external communication methods. This “synoptic” assessment tests your ability to run an organisational computer network.

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.

Progression

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:

  • Digital support technician
  • Digital applications technician
  • Digital service technician
  • Infrastructure technician
  • IT solutions technician
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