Course overview

This programme is delivered in partnership by QA and Northumbria University with the degree awarded by Northumbria University.

Level of study: Undergraduate
Award: BSc (Hons) Digital User Experience
Apprenticeship Standard: Digital User Experience (UX) Professional (Integrated Degree)
Awarding body: Northumbria University
Fees: This programme is fully funded by your employer through the Apprenticeship Levy
Entry requirements: 120 UCAS points through A-Levels, BTEC or equivalent Level 3 qualification and GCSE Maths at Grade C or above, or equivalent
English language requirements: GCSE at Grade C or above, or equivalent
Mode of study: Part-Time, Blended and Work-based Learning
Duration: 48 months + EPA, typically 6 months
Assessment methods: Coursework, assignments and final End-Point Assessment 
Start date: October, January, April and July
Locations: London, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol

For learners applying to begin their programme in April: QA has two primary objectives during this rapidly evolving period regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19). The first is to ensure the welfare of our learners and staff, and the second is to ensure continuity and access to learning. In line with the sector as a whole and its response to Covid-19, if necessary, we will implement online teaching for this programme to allow you to begin your programme this April. As circumstances allow, we will review this decision with a view to bringing the programme back to a mix of blended and face-to-face delivery at the earliest appropriate time.

PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible for one of our Degree Apprenticeship programmes, learners must:
(1) be currently in full-time employment and based in the UK
(2) be interested in completing a Degree Apprenticeship with their current employer

The BSc (Hons) Digital User Experience Degree Apprenticeship programme is designed for those who wish to enhance and accelerate their career prospects through engaging in a work-based learning programme providing opportunities to develop your understanding of user experience and digital system design, and capitalise on opportunities for applied learning within the context of your employment.

The programme will specifically enable you to develop, update, extend and deepen your knowledge, technical, behavioural and contextual competence and underpinning professional skills and behaviours to excel as a digital user experience professional working in organisations across sectors.

How will I be taught?

Your learning and personal and professional development will be facilitated through a structured learning programme and supported by a range of learning, classroom and work-based learning experiences. This will enable you to embark on a learning programme designed to enhance your future employability and equip you for a career leading or working within a digital user experience context.

As such the programme will develop your knowledge and applied understanding of the range of technical and design-related concepts that underpin the experience that people have when interacting with digital systems, products, or services.

The programme will also develop wider personal, leadership and management knowledge and skills as they equip you to work within the wider context of your organisation, and equip you to accelerate your broader career aspirations in roles such as:

  • UX Designer/Engineer
  • UX Information Architect
  • UX Consultant
  • UX Researcher
  • UI (User Interface) Designer
  • Interaction Designer
  • Experience Designer
  • UX Product Manager
  • UX Analyst

All modules are core and worth 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Level 4

As a UX professional, you are expected to have an appreciation of the comprehensive nature of designing products and services in the digital context. In truth, it is difficult to truly define the term digital, as it is ever-evolving and being applied to diverse situations and contexts. As a UX professional, you will be expected to have an appreciation of what digital means in your particular organisational and professional context and within the wider industry.

The successful completion of this module will ensure that you can demonstrate and apply a range of skills and knowledge that will enhance your development as a UX professional.

As a UX professional, you are expected to demonstrate a knowledge of and involvement in project delivery lifecycles including an appreciation of the full scope of the discipline and the associated methodologies and lifecycles that support them.

In this module, you will discover the advantages and core values of contemporary project lifecycles that place UX as a core value of the solution as compared to those of traditional methodologies. In your role, you will be expected to provide crucial input and insights at strategic points through the development, improvement and continuous delivery lifecycles whilst appreciating the competing demands of budget, time and quality to ensure the optimal user experience in the end solution. To achieve this you need to develop an understanding, knowledge and awareness of a range of UX project lifecycles.

As a User Experience (UX) professional, you need to understand the context in which your organisation and client organisations operate, often referred to as Contextual Competence. In establishing competence in this area, the UX professional needs to demonstrate an understanding of Human-Computer Interaction. Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) is a theoretical discipline, which has its origins in computer science and psychology but has evolved to encompass and acknowledge the complexity of both the logical, societal and emotional relationship between human beings and their technology.  To this end, the discipline has grown to include aspects of other disciplines such as the social sciences, philosophy and organisational theories.

You will develop an appreciation of fundamental aspects of UX design including key approaches such as User-Centred Design, Data-Led Design and Experimental Testing. In addition, you will explore the importance of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods into User Experience including traditional HCI methods but also methods used in complementary disciplines such as sociology, psychology and ethnography.

Data and information are at the heart of enhanced business decision making. The diverse range and amount of data used in organisations are becoming ever more complex that managers, designers and employees need to equip themselves with technical skills to collect, analyse and interpret data systematically. Organisations are increasingly using highly structured and automated decisions supported by business intelligence and business analytics tools. You will develop data visualisation and information modelling skills through experiential learning.

As such the module will typically develop your knowledge, understanding and skills in areas including understanding sources and types of data; information architecture and navigation patterns; enhanced decision making using business intelligence and business analytics; data modelling in organisations using approaches such as task modelling, entity-relationship models, use cases and user stories; business reporting and performance dashboard using data visualisation and visual analytics; data-driven approaches to design and Big data design patterns.

The success of products and services depends on how well requirements have been researched and discovered. Requirements elicitation is one of the critical steps of requirements engineering and is concerned with researching and discovering requirements from stakeholders including users and customers.

This module is designed to introduce you to the various steps in the requirements elicitation process. It then introduces contemporary requirements elicitation and stakeholder management methods that are being used in industry. The particular emphasis will be on using UX and stakeholder management techniques in requirements elicitation to strengthen this process. You will also learn requirements prioritisation techniques to develop a shared understanding of requirements with stakeholders.

In this module, you will develop new knowledge and skills in a self-identified aspect of Digital User Experience (relevant to the apprenticeship standard), apply them in your own context, critically analyse the outcome and conduct reflective practice as a means of evaluation.

Working with the module academic team and your employer, you will conduct a skills analysis to identify relevant training that can be undertaken.  This training can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • A robust research project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following the completion of the training, the acquired skills will be focused on a specified project or business challenge.  This should allow the application of the skills in a real-world context while providing an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of the topic area explored.

Level 5

The subject content of the module will be based upon a Research Orientated approach. You will be expected to develop your knowledge of topics using relevant and up-to-date literature in advanced UX principles in the organisational context using a research-led approach.

Additionally, this module sits nicely at the meeting point of real-world challenges, new skills and application of established and emerging academic research, all to deliver significant new value to you and your organisation.

This module will develop you to research, evaluate and apply UX design in a much wider context. The module will discuss UX principles to accommodate different forms of interaction across multiple touchpoints. You will experience design techniques for emerging technologies such as virtual reality, robotics, wearables and 3D environments.

After completing this module, you will be able to work with multidisciplinary teams to assess the impact of implementing specific design recommendations. You will be provided with opportunities to research and broaden your knowledge and understanding to define the scope of user experience in emerging technologies in relation to organisations. Working in multidisciplinary environments will enable you to break down boundaries to create something new and humane.

UX professionals must be aware of the professional responsibilities associated with UX and act in an ethical manner. In this module, you will discover and explore the legal, ethical, professional and regulatory frameworks which impact on the profession. You will be able to evaluate the benefits of creating universally inclusive designs and solutions and appreciate the scope of inclusive, ethical and legal practice and its relationship to and impact on the user experience. These concepts can then be applied within your professional role to ensure that products and services work in the interests of the users to develop trust and credibility by providing ethical and beneficial user experiences.

This module will guide you to build on your knowledge and skills in digital media design and web design to the theories, techniques, ideas and models involved in designing and building user-friendly, responsive and interactive online experiences. You will develop your understating of the fundamental principles of UX design and applying the ethical, accessibility, social and legal considerations to evaluate a design solution.

In summary, this module will cover the following aspects;

  • Fundamentals of UX Design in Practice;
  • The design strategy for content management in web or mobile applications;
  • Fundamentals of Wireframing and prototyping;
  • Visual Design principles for mobile and web applications;
  • How to incorporate fundamental visual design principles to create well-designed websites and interactive mobile applications.

This module will help you to identify, collect, analyse, improve, and present metrics that can be used to measure user experience in general and usability, and accessibility in particular. You will learn practical advice about what metrics to collect in what situations, how to collect them, how to make sense of the data using various analysis techniques, and how to present the results in the clearest and most compelling way.

In summary, this module will cover aspects such as;

  • Quantitative and Qualitative methods for User Experience (UX) testing;
  • The importance of UX testing in the development of successful Products and Services;
  • Understanding User behaviour and expectations;
  • Application of User Experience Mappy techniques;
  • UX testing with Automated tools;
  • Applying UX testing to Enterprise and Retail case studies;
  • Analysing test data for continuous improvement of products and services;
  • UX Testing Checklist.

In this module, you will utilise previously developed reflective practice skills and further identify new knowledge and skills in an area related to Digital User Experience (relevant to the apprenticeship standard), with which you can then apply to an appropriate project/challenge in your organisation. These areas of knowledge and skills should support the development of proof-of-concept type applications for new approaches in your organisation, which are not currently standard practice.

Working with the module academic team and your employer, you will conduct a skills analysis to identify relevant training that can be undertaken. This training can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace, or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • Robust research project
  • Alternatively, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Level 6

The subject content of the module will be based on UX research methods. You will be expected to develop your knowledge of topics using relevant and up-to-date literature in UX research areas using a research-led approach.

An Enquiry Based approach is also adopted in this module. This involves identifying research problems you wish to solve as part of your major project at the End Point Assessment stage. You are then encouraged to explore literature relevant to this topic and UX research methods and your module tutor will also provide feedback at this stage by encouraging you to ask questions.

As a User Experience (UX) professional, it is essential that you have an understanding of the context, which your organisation and client organisations operate in terms of creating and maintaining the optimal User Experience through knowledge of user psychology.

This module will focus on the relationship between the user experience and psychology by focusing on the empirical and theoretical foundations of user design and psychology and by considering the relationship between humans and technology, branches of ‘traditional’ psychology including research methods, cognitive, perceptive and behavioural psychology.

These concepts will help the UX professional identify the preferences, motivations, strengths and limitations of users and other stakeholders and apply these insights in working with others and developing effective and optimal solutions. The module will also encourage you to critically analyse and evaluate user needs and behaviours and appreciate the changing nature of digital technology.

The module is intended to further develop your critical knowledge and skills in the current trends of managing projects within the context of the wider evolving business landscape. This supports recognising, exploring, and developing skills in areas of contemporary significance as they affect the digital user experience discipline.  Project topics will be shaped by trends emerging from the research domain, as these are flowing into industrial practice.  Potential topics covered (with a focus on their relevance towards digital user experience) could include, for example:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Artificial Intelligence and UX
  • Distributed Cloud-Based Systems
  • Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

As a User Experience (UX) professional, you will be working with a variety of stakeholders applying UX design techniques to digital products and services that offer solutions or perhaps innovate and disrupt current ways of performing tasks. Product development occurs to meet business needs, therefore UX professionals should have an awareness and understanding of the overarching business strategy and strategic goals of their organisations.

Organisations develop their strategic goals in alignment with current and anticipated future internal and external environments in order to compete, survive and grow. Products and solutions should be developed in alignment with the strategic goal of attaining a competitive advantage, which is not always immediately monetary. Creating a digital strategy for UX occurs at an intersection between UX design and business strategy, benefiting from continuous and iterative collaboration and communication across teams and stakeholders. This is reflected in elements of design methodologies, which recognise and promote the value of the UX professional in leadership positions and/or at least by having a regular place at the strategy table.

This final work-based project is designed to present your critical knowledge, academic ability and skill in the field of Digital User Experience.  This will take the form of an individually negotiated project, and will be supported by the development of research skills within this module. Successful completion of the project is an essential requirement for your degree award.

The Work-Based Project report is an account of a project with which you have been involved and must include a critical appraisal of the project together with a critical review of your achievement in the relevant Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours areas of the standard.

You will also prepare and deliver a presentation that covers the KSBs assigned to this method of assessment.  The presentation will be based on your work-based project report and will cover:

  • The report scope
  • Outcomes/ achievements
  • Any difficulties faced/lessons learned and recommendations.

This module considers the Professional Discussion element of your End Point Assessment.

As per the End Point Assessment Plan, the professional discussion is a two-way discussion between you and an independent assessor to test your in-depth understanding of your work and your competency against the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this assessment method. This professional discussion will be underpinned by a portfolio of evidence demonstrating how you have met the relevant KSB, but this will not be directly assessed

In this module, you will utilise previously developed reflective practice skills and further identify new knowledge and skills in a suitably advanced area related to Digital User Experience (relevant to the apprenticeship standard), with which you can then apply to an appropriate project/challenge in your organisation.  These areas of knowledge and skills should support the development of proof-of-concept type applications for new approaches in your organisation, which are not currently standard practice.

  • Technical training delivered within the workplace or class environment
  • Structured online learning
  • A robust research project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following the completion of the training, the acquired skills will be focused on a specified project or business challenge.  This should allow the application of the skills in a real-world context while providing an opportunity to demonstrate your critical exploration of the topic area explored.

The course information published on this page is accurate for the academic year 2020/21 and every effort is taken to ensure it is kept up to date. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic, industry or apprenticeship standard developments), learner demand or UK compliance reasons.

Skills Coach

Your Skills Coach will be your primary, non-academic contact, supporting you in the successful progression and completion of your apprenticeship. Your coach will support you in reviewing your progress and collecting evidence of your practice at work to integrate into your module assessments and final endpoint project/assessment. They are also a point of contact for queries, concerns, or general support.

Your Coach can help you with:

  • Coaching and supporting work-based learning activities
  • Reviewing your progress with your apprenticeship portfolio progress
  • Help with achieving your EPA
  • Advice and guidance on mitigating (extenuating) circumstances processes and potential breaks in learning.

Workplace Mentor

A Workplace Mentor will be appointed by your employer and typically would be someone you work with. Your workplace mentor will be familiar with the apprenticeship programme and its workplace requirements. They will facilitate the workplace learning opportunities to enable you to meet the requirements of the degree apprenticeship standard.

ACE Team

They are the Academic Community of Excellence (ACE) Team, and amongst the team, have many years of experience providing academic guidance to students on subjects such as how to write in an academic style, how to read smarter rather than longer and how to reference accurately.

The ACE Team will provide you with support on academic matters outside of the classroom. You can also book 1-1 meetings (mainly online) with the ACE Team and get feedback on your academic style of writing, references and critical report writing.

How can the ACE Team support you?

  1. ‘Welcome to the World of Academia’ online workshops: if you wish to have an introduction to or a review of the different aspects of academic life before starting your programme, then please do join their online workshops (non-obligatory – but much to be gained from joining!).
  2. One-to-one tutorials: you can book a virtual 30-minute tutorial to discuss your academic development skills, such as paraphrasing, referencing and academic writing.
  3. Online workshops: we offer ongoing support workshops on a variety of academic subjects such as structuring an argument, academic style and criticality.
  4. Our own-created range of learner materials: we have also developed a wide range of ACE Team created materials based on common questions and academic needs.

QA Welfare Services

Our Student Welfare Team is on hand to assist you throughout your studies. Some degree apprenticeship learners have additional learning needs which the Welfare Team can assist with, or they might help you with personal circumstances that are affecting your studies.

Admission onto a higher or degree apprenticeship can only take place if applicants are currently employed and their employer has a training agreement in place with QA.  Applicants must be employed in a relevant role, with the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts directly to their personal and professional work experience.

Potential apprentices will need:

120 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-levels, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas or the International Baccalaureate.

We may also consider applicants who have successfully completed a related Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, or those with non-standard qualifications, or a significant amount of relevant work-based or professional experience.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator: www.ucas.com/ucas/tariff-calculator

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).

Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience

As part of your admissions process, you will complete a Skills Scan.  This will identify opportunities for a module or level exemption based on your prior learning and experience, in line with the Degree Apprenticeship Standards.  Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience will be assessed in line with the university Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and HE Credit Framework

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Some apprentices may be able to use the previous study at a similar level, or experience gained through work or other settings, to gain exemption from certain modules on this programme or to accelerate into a later stage of the programme

There is no cost to you as a degree apprentice. Degree Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy through your employer.

If you’re an employer, the total funding for this programme is:

  • £24,000

Travel expenses to travel to QA centres should be covered by the employer.

Whilst there is access to essential learning resources and texts online via the university library, some students choose to purchase physical personal copies of key texts for modules.  It is therefore wise to allow for a budget of £200 – £300 a year to cover these optional purchases as they are not covered by the fee that is paid by your employer.

If you are interested in applying to study or to offer a Degree Apprenticeship, please complete the enquiry form on this page and one of our account managers will be in touch.

In order to join a Degree Apprenticeship, the employer will either recruit new staff or select existing staff that are suitable for the programme.

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