PDA Software Development at SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9

PDA Software Development at SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9

The Professional Development Awards in Software Development at SCQF levels 7, 8 and 9 focus on skills in computer programming.

These qualifications equip learners with a wide range of underpinning knowledge and skills relevant to computer programming, together with practical skills in software maintenance and program testing.

Areas covered include software development analysis, design and implementation. There is also a software development project where learners will have opportunities to work within a programming project team and apply project management techniques to the software development process.

These PDAs are available through colleges, training providers and some employers. They have been designed to be delivered as taught courses and will normally be available as a combination of workshops and self-directed study.

Why deliver this qualification

These qualifications focus on software development and aim to produce job-ready employees for businesses (SCQF level 9 Award). They can be used to train people with computing backgrounds or to retrain people from other disciplines.

The suite of qualifications spans three levels and is hierarchical — learners can mix and match Units from different levels and gain a Group Award at the level of the lowest Unit.

These short qualifications can be taken over an intense period of study.

The Scottish Government’s Skills Development Plan includes the proposal to establish a number of Digital Skills Academies, to provide short and highly-focused courses in Software Development. These qualifications can provide a suitable curriculum for such academies.

Who does this qualification suit

The target audience is those in work, or seeking employment, who require a specific skill set.

These qualifications are aimed at anyone with an interest in becoming a computer programmer. No previous experience of programming is required but the award will require intensive study for those without it. The qualifications are suitable for learners with backgrounds in computing who wish to focus on coding or learners with no background in computing who wish to retrain in this area.

Access

Entry to these qualifications is at the discretion of the centre.

All learners will be expected to possess basic IT skills before admission to the qualifications. Learners would benefit from having attained the skills, knowledge and understanding required by one or more of the following or equivalent qualifications and/or experience:

Level 7: no previous knowledge of computer programming is required, but learners would benefit from having previous experience of using computers, for example, the use of office applications.

Level 8: learners would benefit from having a lower-level qualification in computing, eg an Advanced Higher, HNC, or a graduate level qualification in a non-STEM subject.

Level 9: learners would benefit from having a graduate-level qualification in a STEM subject or another subject that promotes logical thinking.

Progression

These qualifications are not expected to articulate to any specific degree programmes. Discussions with universities have suggested that these qualifications would only be considered in conjunction with the other qualifications held by the learner.

Learners completing SCQF level 9 should be prepared for employment as entry-level programmers. Those completing lower levels are likely to require further training before being ready to enter employment.

Approval

Centres with devolved authority for approval should use their own internal approval process.

Centres without devolved authority will have to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Systems and Qualification Approval Guide

How to assess

Each individual Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for each Unit.

Ongoing course assessment will apply.

Each Unit is assessed separately. At this time there are no plans to support this award with SOLAR assessments. The assessment support packs (ASPs) will consist of the theoretical and practical assessments required by the Evidence Requirements for each of the Units.

Assessment support packs will be available for this qualification in summer 2016.

Where can you take this course?

Qualification Structure

  • SCQF level 7 Group Award Code: GL15 47
  • SCQF level 8 Group Award Code: GL13 48
  • SCQF level 9 Group Award Code: GL14 49

Each of the Levels consists of three mandatory Units and the total credit value 6 SQA credits (48 SCQF credit points) for each level. There are no optional Units.

The following tables define the award at each level.

PDA Software Development at SCQF level 7

 

4
code

2
code

Unit title

SCQF
level

SCQF
credit
points

SQA
credits

HA4C

34

Software Development: Analysis & Design (SCQF level 7)

7

16

2

HA4F

34

Software Development: Implementation & Testing (SCQF level 7)

7

16

2

HA4J

34

Software Development: Project
(SCQF level 7)

7

16

2

PDA Software Development at SCQF level 8

 

4
code

2
code

Unit title

SCQF
level

SCQF
credit
points

SQA
credits

HA4D

35

Software Development: Analysis & Design (SCQF level 8)

8

16

2

HA4G

35

Software Development: Implementation & Testing (SCQF level 8)

8

16

2

HA4K

35

Software Development: Project
(SCQF level 8)

8

16

2

PDA Software Development at SCQF level 9

 

4
code

2
code

Unit title

SCQF
level

SCQF
credit
points

SQA
credits

HA4E

36

Software Development: Analysis & Design (SCQF level 9)

9

16

2

HA4H

36

Software Development: Implementation & Testing (SCQF level 9)

9

16

2

HA4L

36

Software Development: Project
(SCQF level 9)

9

16

2

Group Award Specification