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Software Developer Apprenticeship Level 4

The Software Developer apprenticeship equips individuals with the ability to understand a client's requirements, as provided in design specification, and then build and test high-quality code solutions to deliver the required outcome. A Software Developer will typically work as part of a larger team with responsibility for some of the straightforward elements of a software project. In a smaller organisation, they may be working solely on a project under supervision.

This apprenticeship provides the knowledge and skills to apply to the daily role. A Software Developer apprentice will interact with internal and external parties, including users/customers, to understand their needs and test the software developed. This is done through user testing and working with team members from a range of specialist fields including designers, developers, engineers, analysts, and project/delivery managers.

This occupation is found across every sector including but not limited to finance, computer gaming, retail, transport, security and defence. Organisations range from large multinationals, public sector bodies and government projects that are developing multi-billion-pound software solutions to small consultancy firms designing bespoke software solutions.

Typical job titles include: Web Developer, Application Developer, Mobile App Developer, Games Developer, Software Developer.

Level: 4
Qualification gained: Level 4 Software Developer Apprenticeship

Optional qualifications:
PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer Certification
PCAP – Certified Associate-Level Python Programmer certification
Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals
Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals

Contact the team
1. Standards to be met
2. Length of apprenticeship
3. Training modules
4. Entry requirements
5. End point assessment
6. Progression
7. Funding

Standards to be met

The Apprenticeship standard sets out the essential Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that somebody would need to demonstrate to be successful in this job role, this includes practising continuous self-learning to keep up to date with technological developments. Apprentices will need to show they are competent in all the areas detailed in the standard when they take End Point Assessment.

The Knowledge areas of the apprenticeship will be covered through completion of our dedicated training courses which have been mapped to the standard. The Skills and Behaviours are developed through the practical experience gained in the job role, workplace training and mentoring, and the completion of 2 work-based projects.


  • Software Development Life Cycle and Project Planning keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn all stages of the software development life cycle (what each stage contains, including the inputs and outputs).

    Roles and responsibilities within the software development lifecycle. Roles and responsibilities of the project lifecycle.

    Roles and responsibilities of the project life cycle within your organisation, and your role.

  • Software Development Approaches, Methodologies and Testing keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn the similarities and differences between different software development methodologies, such as agile and waterfall. Software testing frameworks and methodologies.

  • Collaboration and Teamwork keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn how best to communicate using the different communication methods and how to adapt appropriately to different audiences.

    How teams work effectively to produce software and how to contribute appropriately.

  • Software Design keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn software design approaches and patterns, to identify reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems. Software designs and functional/technical specifications.

  • Organisation Policies, Standards, Legal and regulatory Requirements keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn organisational policies and procedures relating to the tasks being undertaken, and when to follow them. For example, the storage and treatment of GDPR sensitive data.

  • Databases, Data Structures, Algorithms and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Apprentices will learn principles of algorithms, logic and data structures relevant to software development for example: Arrays, Stacks, Queues, Linked Lists, Trees, Graphs, Hash Tables, Sorting Algorithms, Searching Algorithms, Critical sections and race conditions.

    Principles and uses of relational and non-relational databases.


  • Writing and Deploying Code keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Create logical and maintainable codes. Build, manage and deploy code into the relevant environment.

    Apply an appropriate software development approach according to the relevant paradigm (for example object oriented, event driven or procedural).

  • User Interface Design and Development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Develop effective user interfaces.

  • Software Testing and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Test code and analyse results to correct errors found using unit testing. Conduct a range of test types, such as Integration, System, User Acceptance, Non-Functional, Performance and Security testing. Identify and create test scenarios.

    Apply structured techniques to problem solving, can debug code and can understand the structure of programmes to identify and resolve issues. Follow testing frameworks and methodologies.

  • Algorithms, Data Sources and Databases keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Link code to data sets. Apply algorithms, logic and data structures.

  • Software Design and Artefacts keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Create simple software designs to effectively communicate understanding of the program. Create analysis artefacts, such as use cases and/or user stories. Follow software designs and functional/technical specifications.

  • Collaboration and Version Control keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Follow company, team or client approaches to continuous integration, version and source control.

  • Communication keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Communicate software solutions and ideas to technical and non-technical stakeholders.

  • Security and Maintainability Compliance keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Interpret and implement a given design whilst remaining compliant with security and maintainability requirements


  • Independent and Collaborative working keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Works independently and takes responsibility. For example, has a disciplined and responsible approach to risk, and stays motivated and committed when facing challenges.

    Works collaboratively with a wide range of people in different roles, internally and externally, with a positive attitude to inclusion and diversity.

  • Logical Thinking and Problem Solving keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Applies logical thinking. For example, uses clear and valid reasoning when making decisions related to undertaking work instructions.

    Shows initiative for solving problems within their own remit, being resourceful when faced with a problem to solve.

  • Curiosity, Creativity and Tenacity keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Shows curiosity to the business context in which the solution will be used, displaying an inquisitive approach to solving the problem. This includes the curiosity to explore new opportunities, and techniques; the tenacity to improve methods and maximise performance of the solution; and creativity in their approach to solutions.

    Demonstrates creativity and tenacity in their approach to solutions and the methods used to come to a solution for example, sees the task through to the end by devising new solutions and despite obstacles and problems along the way.

  • Productive and Professional keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Maintains a productive, professional and secure working environment. Acts with integrity with respect to ethical, legal and regulatory ensuring the protection of personal data, safety and security.

  • Effective Communications keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Communicates effectively in a variety of situations to both a technical and nontechnical audience.

  • Committed to Continued Professional Development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    Committed to continued professional development.

Length of Apprenticeship

The End Point Assessment cannot be taken until the apprentice has been on programme for at least 12 months. The Apprenticeship will typically take 18 months in order for them to complete all of the training modules, be able to consistently work at or above the occupational standard, create a portfolio of evidence and complete the independent end point assessment.

Key milestones:

person Ongoing skills and behaviours
av_timer Optional interactive sessions
laptop Knowledge
person_pin Talent coach check in
border_color End point assessment

Month 1
person_pin Onboarding and induction

Month 2
laptop Python Programming Fundamentals

person Coding

Month 3
person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop Intermediate Python Programming

person User Interfaces

Month 4
laptop Portfolio Introduction

Month 5
laptop Workplace Project 1

person Testing

Month 6
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Data and Databases

laptop Advanced Python Programming

Month 7
person Data and Databases

Month 8
person Software Design

laptop Software Design and Test Driven Development

Month 9
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Version Control

laptop Workplace Project 2

Month 10
laptop Databases in the Cloud

Month 11
person Communication

person Security

Month 12
person_pin Talent coach check in

person Independent Working

Month 13
person Creative Problem Solving

laptop AI and Microservices

Month 14
border_color Submit portfolio

person_pin Talent coach check in

laptop EPA Readiness Training

Month 15
border_color Gateway

person_pin Talent coach check in

Month 16
border_color Professional Discussion with Portfolio

Month 17
border_color Work-based Project with Questioning

Month 18
border_color Completion

Training modules

Apprentices will need to complete all their training modules to cover the knowledge required in the apprenticeship standard and to be fully prepared for the end point assessments.

All modules consist of online self-paced learning and a live training component. These components are linked to work-based projects that the learner completes to support them in building competencies and their portfolio.

Training will be delivered through our flexible live online classes. The following training modules are completed by apprentices on this standard:

Python Programming Fundamentals

This module will introduce programming using Python. This will include:

  • Introduction to Python and computer programming
  • Data types, variables, basic input-output operations, basic operators
  • Boolean values, conditional execution, loops, lists and list processing, logical and bitwise operations
  • Functions, tuples, dictionaries, and data processing.

Python will be used as the main language for training. Apprentices will be able to use their learning to pick up other programming languages they may need to use in the workplace.

Intermediate Python Programming

In this module apprentices will build on the Python Basics from Module 1. They will start to look into Object Oriented Programming concepts. This will cover:

  • Modules, Packages and PIP
  • Strings, String and List Methods, Exceptions
  • Object-Oriented Programming.

Apprentices can take the optional Learners will be able to take the optional Python Institute – PCEP – Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer certification and / or Python Institute – PCAP – Certified Associate-Level Python Programmer but this is not included as part of the apprenticeship and will have to be funded by the employer.

Advanced Python Programming

This module will continue to build on the Python Object Oriented Programming Concepts from Module 2 and will introduce further advanced Object-Oriented Programming Concepts.

The course will include: Python core syntax; inheritance and polymorphism - inheritance as a pillar of OOP; extended function argument syntax; decorators; different faces of Python methods; abstract classes, encapsulation; composition vs inheritance - two ways to the same destination; inheriting properties from built-in classes.

Software Design and Test Driven Development

This module will cover all the aspects of Software Craft and approaching Software Design. This will include:

  • Approached to Software Design and Requirements
  • Working in collaboration with others in an Agile Environment
  • Using Refactoring
  • Understanding different types of testing
  • Applying OO Design and SOLID principles to write clean, maintainable code
  • Understanding and using Test Driven Development (TDD)
  • Understanding and using Behaviour Driven Development (BDD).

Databases in the Cloud

This module delves into the principles and use of databases. It will cover the essential concepts of databases including:

  • What is a database?
  • Designing a database and data modelling
  • Managing tables
  • Querying and sharing data in the database using SQL.

The module will also cover the fundamentals of Data on Microsoft Azure:

  • Core data concepts in Azure
  • Concepts of relational data in Azure
  • Concepts of non-relational data in Azure
  • Components of a modern data warehouse in Azure.

Apprentices can take the optional Microsoft Certified: Azure Data Fundamentals certification but this is not included as part of the apprenticeship and will have to be funded by the employer.

AI and Microservices

This module will introduce Artificial Intelligence and how this is used on the Azure platform:

  • AI workloads and considerations
  • Fundamental principles of machine learning on Azure
  • Features of computer vision workloads on Azure
  • Features of Natural Language Processing (NLP) workloads on Azure
  • Features of conversational AI workloads on Azure.

There will also be an introduction to Microservices Architecture and how this differs from a Monolithic Architecture. This will also introduce basic concepts of containers.

Apprentices can take the optional Microsoft Certified: Azure AI Fundamentals certification but this is not included as part of the apprenticeship and will have to be funded by your employer.

EPA Readiness Training

This workshop will take the apprentice through a practical application of a software development project.

They will be provided with a practical project structure which will involve working through coding activities. This will include being given a requirement specification to create functioning software and testing this.

The EPA Readiness Training will help support the apprentice in preparing for the End Point Assessment giving them an opportunity to build their programming skills in an immersive exercise getting real time feedback as they hone their skills.

Entry requirements

Apprentices on this standard must be in a full-time technical role where their primary responsibilities will be coding and testing. There are no other formal entry requirements for this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices who have not achieved an A*-C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English GCSE are required to gain Functional Skills Level 2 as part of this Apprenticeship.

Apprentices typically have one of the following:

  • A Level 3 Apprenticeship
  • 2 A Levels or International Baccalaureate or other Level 3 qualification such as a BTEC Extended Diploma
  • 12 months of work experience in the last 24 months if they do not have any other Level 3 qualifications

Additionally, apprentices must have a grade C (4) or above in Maths at GCSE or equivalent.

End point assessment

Every Apprenticeship includes an End Point Assessment (EPA), assessed by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The apprentice will take their EPA at the end of their programme where they will demonstrate they are competent in the role that they have developed in.

This apprenticeship end point assessment will include:

1. Professional Discussion underpinned by portfolio

This assessment will take the form of a professional discussion appropriately structured to draw out the best of their competence. It will involve questions that will focus on the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this method of assessment.

A portfolio of evidence is submitted before the professional discussion. This will contain examples of work sufficient to show they can apply the knowledge, skills and behaviours mapped to this assessment method. The portfolio is not directly assessed, it underpins the professional discussion.

2. Work-based project with questioning

This is a practical assessment during which the apprentice will demonstrate the KSBs assigned to this assessment method based on a post-gateway work-based project. Therefore, the project’s subject, title and scope will be agreed between the employer and the EPAO. The employer will ensure that it has a real business application and the EPAO will ensure that it meets the requirements of the EPA (including suitable coverage of the KSBs assigned to this assessment method).


An apprentice’s journey doesn’t end when their apprenticeship has finished. This is just their first step to becoming a Software professional. The next steps could be to work towards more advanced Programming qualifications, take up higher education studies at a university or start a Level 6 technology apprenticeship.


The total cost of this apprenticeship programme is £18,000. If you are a Levy payer this means that the maximum that can be withdrawn from your Levy fund for somebody on this apprenticeship is £18,000.

For non or marginal Levy payers (where you have overspent your Levy fund), 95% of the cost of the apprenticeship will be funded by the government meaning you will only have to pay 5% of the agreed price. Please contact us for more information on the Levy and funding.

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