The collaboration between the University of Exeter and the Exeter College has come about through the South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT) partnership, which has provided a forum to examine progression pathways and create new opportunities for curriculum development.   

University of Exeter and Exeter College partner on a new validated Degree Apprenticeship in Data Science

From September 2021, apprentices studying the Level 6 Data Scientist Degree Apprenticeship at Exeter College will be able to gain a University of Exeter undergraduate degree in Data Science. 

The course will cover subjects such as statistics, databases, Big Data, data visualisation and machine learning. It has been developed by listening to the needs of employers in the region, and creating a progression route for learners, in areas where skills are in high demand across many sectors in the South West. This includes health, marketing, tourism and manufacturing. 

Apprentices currently studying Exeter College’s Level 4 Data Analyst Apprenticeship will be able to progress onto this new Level 6 course, along with new apprentices. All learners will then have the chance to move onto the University of Exeter’s Level 7 Research Science / MSc Data Science (Professional) degree. This allows a clear progression pathway from Level 4 to Levels 6 and 7. 

Janice Kay, Provost of the University of Exeter said: “Supporting the city’s ambitions to develop the skills and capabilities of individuals to work with, analyse and interpret data and make Exeter a world-leading analytics city is a critical part of the University of Exeter’s own ambitions and our collaboration with the South West Institute of Technology.

"The educational journey is best viewed as a pathway from school through to Further Education and University, and this is what our partnership with Exeter College lays the foundations for. 

"Growing numbers of learners on apprenticeships and creating opportunities to work with businesses regionally in the South West and nationally provides a sustainable and cost-effective way for employers to develop and retain a talented workforce. We warmly welcome any approach from local and regional businesses to support their skills and workforce needs.”  

Mike Blakeley, Director of Apprenticeships and Employer Engagement at Exeter College said: “This new programme clearly allows those with the ambition to progress seamlessly from level 4 to a level 7 qualification whilst gaining valuable workplace skills throughout. This pathway would have been unachievable anywhere until a few years ago and I’m delighted, like with so many initiatives linked to apprenticeships, the city of Exeter and its partnerships are leading the way for businesses and employees alike.

"The Government recognises apprenticeships as one of the cornerstones of our economic recovery from the pandemic.  Over the last three years Exeter College has grown its offer in this important sector from half a dozen students to an offer that is now national and works with employers such as EDF and South West Ambulance Service. This cross city link will support our employers to meet their aims of becoming leading exponents in the use of data”.   

The collaboration between the University of Exeter and the Exeter College has come about through the South West Institute of Technology (SWIoT) partnership, which has provided a forum to examine progression pathways and create new opportunities for curriculum development.   

SWIoT is a Government-funded initiative, set up to provide learners with access to the latest industry skills and technical knowledge, through a series of new state-of-the-art facilities being built across the region.  This will enable the South West to be one of the world’s leading regions for digital, engineering and manufacturing technologies.  SWIoT is part of a national network of Institute of Technologies. 

Steve Mariadas, Chief Executive of SWIoT, said: “As a leading region in the UK for data science, the launch of our Data Science Degree Apprenticeship marks a significant milestone in our ambition to offer skills in data to everyone at any level.  The collaboration between Exeter College, the University of Exeter and dozens of regional employers is a fantastic example of how our regional partnerships can deliver the technical skills we need in the South West.  It’s an achievement that will undoubtedly be used as an example across the country.” 

Apprenticeships offer businesses a solution to address a need for more expertise or knowledge, and enable employees to upskill in areas with a skills shortage. The apprenticeship provides the knowledge and insight, which is then directly and immediately transferable into the work place.  

If you would like to find out more about what Data can do for your business and how an apprenticeship works, SWIoT is holding an online event with experts, business leaders and current apprentices.  You can sign up to this online

The below infographics, produced from research by the SWIoT, show the range of benefits working with data can bring to a business and the skills and knowledge employers think are useful for working with data:

 

 

Date: 19 April 2021

Read more University News