Step into Software Development: T-Levels at ACC

2022 sees us taking an important step into a new era of study here at Access Creative College, as we launch our brand-new School of Computing and our flagship computing course, T-Level in Software Development, takes on its second year of students. 

T-Levels are a new type of qualification that has work experience built into the course, making up 20% of your time on the course. The work experience (or industry placement) section of T-Levels fits perfectly with Software Development, as having hands-on experience in the workplace, combined with cutting edge knowledge in this ever-changing industry can set you apart from other applicants and make a huge difference.

But let’s look at the classroom portion first. Studying Software Development with us provides you with an introduction to the digital industry. In the first year, get to grips with digital analysis, digital environments, testing and security, the key fundamentals of any digital occupation. 

In year two, the name of the game is specialisation. Delve deeper into software application, design and development through design and implementation, problem analysis and collaborative working. By the time you reach the end of the course, you’ll have a firm foundation that you will have built on with tailored learning that puts you on the right path for your chosen industry role. You will be on track for a career in software development, computer programming, software testing, games design, web development or database administration. In short you’ll be spoilt for choice! 

And now we come back to the industry placement. The pièce de résistance of this brand-new course. At least 45 days of work experience with real-world employers that are great examples of the kinds of employers you may work with once you leave us. 

But don’t just take our word for it. We asked Morrow, an app development agency that you could be working with as part of your course, why work experience students are so valuable to them.

“To be honest, when first asked to consider taking a student placement, we were dubious about how much a student would contribute. How wrong we were! They immediately had a positive effect on the business in terms of work and culture.

The team enjoys having a junior member as it allows them to work on their mentoring skills. In addition, the project has benefitted from the students' knowledge as they have different perspectives on problems. They are motivated and engaged with tasks that other team members don’t have time to do. So overall, it’s been brilliant.”

Now, let’s hear from Joe Todd, a student who’s currently studying Software Development and also on an industry placement with Viper Innovations!

“From a young age, I have always had an interest in computing and how things work. My uncle inspired me to start experimenting with a Raspberry Pi in 2016 where I started to learn about Linux and the basics of Python. My interest in the Linux kernel and its developers has pushed me to try and get involved more by fixing or creating kernel drivers. 

I’ve found the T Level in Software Development intriguing, especially studying the wide range of software related subjects in the course, including legislation and emerging tech, data science and cyber security. I love the work experience aspect of the course and really feel as though it will help me grow now, and in the future.

An example of the unique growth on this course came when my careers advisor at ACC, Luke Guest, set up meetings with local CEOs of tech companies. One of the CEOs was friends with the CEO of Viper and expressed to them that I was interested in drivers and embedded software. They reached out and arranged an interview. I was offered a part-time job at Viper in which I’ve learned a lot about embedded software and drivers in general as well as things like TDD (Test Driven Development), how to read schematics, interfaces such as SPI and loads more. The work place environment has allowed me to challenge myself and further my learning.

My hopes for the future are to travel and to take the experience and skills learned at Viper, and use them to help me get a job in embedded software or driver development. I’m asking questions and making the most of being around my colleagues who have a wealth of knowledge and strong academic background.”

(Joe Todd - Centre)

So there we have it! You’ve heard from a student and an employer, and you’ve seen what the course involves. Want to know even more and meet a tutor? Well, lucky for you, we’ve got an open day coming up on the 5th of July.

Come down and see what we have to offer in person, speak to staff, current and potential students, and explore our centres. Now is the best time to join ACC, as we look to a future filled with digital technology. We can’t wait to welcome you as we take this next big step.