Course structure

We’ve taken some of the best practice from our work-based programmes and are collaborating with Scottish Tech Army to ensure that every candidate has:

  • A tech industry mentor
  • Access to software projects and
  • A commitment for each candidate to have a real tech industry challenge as the focus of their Integrated Work-Based Project.

These course features are critical to building applied knowledge and bridging candidates into software and tech industry roles. This an opportunity to build your own portfolio of experience and employer prospects. This flexible learning scholarship will prepare you for an entry-level position in the tech sector.

We hope to enable as many candidates as possible to secure a position with a tech sector employer. Academic credit attained through participation in this scholarship can be used for advanced standing in any subject-relevant GCU degree programme.

Candidates who secure a software-related job can progress to the work-based Graduate Apprenticeship BSc Hons Software Development for Business at GCU.

Typical job roles for those who study software engineering at GCU include software developer, web developer, software engineer, programmer, mobile applications developer, cloud engineer, system analyst, database developer, software tester, IT consultant or UX developer.

What you can study


Database Development 20 credits
Fundamentals of Network and Cloud Computing 10 credits
Fundamentals of Software Engineering 20 credits
Integrated Project 20 credits
Mathematics of Computing 20 credits
Programming 20 credits
Fundamentals of Computer Systems 10 credits

Exit award for completion of all 120 credits: Certificate of Higher Education in Computing

The module and assessment information described here has been approved in line with the University’s Quality Assurance and Enhancement Process. This allows us to ensure that the courses we offer are high quality and relevant for today’s students. Occasionally we have to make changes to programme information after it has been published. For full details of potential changes to programmes and how they can affect your application please read the information for students relating to GCU Statement on Changes to Programmes

Course timetable

Modules will run according to the timetable noted below and can be taken individually or accumulated to secure an award of 120 credits, namely a Certificate of Higher Education in Computing.  

January – April:

Database Development 20 credits
Fundamentals of Network and Cloud Computing 10 credits

May - August:

Fundamentals of Software Engineering 20 credits
Integrated Project 20 credits
Maths for Computing 20 credits

September - December:

New Programming 20 credits
Fundamentals of Computer Systems 10 credits
Maths for Computing 20 credits

Typical module study duration is 12 weeks, final assessment occurs in 13-15 weeks. Some modules will run in parallel. You will attend an initial comprehensive induction, followed by synchronous and asynchronous teaching one day per week thereafter. Additionally, you should plan self-directed study-time to complete module coursework and assessments.

Each 20 credit module represents approximately 200 hours of study.

This will generally constitute, per week for 12 weeks:

  • 2 hours of lectures
  • 1 hour tutorial
  • 2 hours laboratory time

Students should allow approximately 10 hours per week self-directed study. However, some modules may require more laboratory time as part of the student’s self-directed study. 

Assessment and teaching methods

These unique short courses are designed to be flexible in a challenging economic environment. The modules combine academic learning with access to work practice, courtesy of Scottish Tech Army.

Recognising that not all candidates will be in a software role, learning and assessment will combine simulated and real-work challenges. Learning and assessment is your responsibility and you will be supported by an industry mentor.

These courses will be delivered online, including synchronous and asynchronous teaching.

All reading material, tutor discussions, assignment setting, marking and feedback, timelines and key dates are located online in the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), GCU Learn. You will also have online access to the University’s award-winning library.

Entry requirements

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. 

Standard Entry:

SQA Higher: BBBB including English plus Nat 5 Maths at C

Non-standard entry:

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) recognises that knowledge and skills can be acquired from a wide range of learning experiences, both formal and informal.  Applicants with prior work experience, professional qualifications and or prior informal learning will be considered through the university’s flexible entry process.  Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) enables candidates to be supported to claim credit for prior informal learning and work experience as part of the entry criteria evaluation.  

Foundation Apprenticeships:

We accept selected Foundation Apprenticeships, in combination with SQA Highers, for entry to our degree programmes. Your Foundation Apprenticeship will take the place of one SQA Higher qualification for our standard entry requirements and will be treated as equivalent to a B grade at Higher.