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Digital and Technology Solutions Coral Reef

MSc Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist - Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship (Level 7)

At a glance

  • Designed for those already working on IT or Big Data projects
  • Learners can specialise in either IT Strategy or Data Analytics
  • Establish a technology change led culture within your organisation
  • Develop leaders who can create the strong positive relationships necessary for high-performing technical teams
Subject area(s)
Information Management
£21,000 (can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account)
Course length
24 months, including 3 months for the End Point Assessment (EPA)
Suitable for
Learners typically have a 2:1 degree or equivalent. Apprenticeship learners must also be in full or part-time employment


The Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship (Level 7) enables your employees to become confident and capable leaders who can develop and implement complex digital and technology strategies.

Apprentices will:

  • Become digital and technology solution specialists by developing a balance of leadership and technical abilities
  • Gain the knowledge and skills needed to investigate, identify and implement digital and technological strategic solutions
  • Enhance their change management, teamwork, communication, information handling, problem-solving, project management, creative and analytical skills
  • Learn how to drive high-performing teams by developing others and creating strong and positive relationships

This is achieved through a blend of practical, theoretical, online and work-based learning.

Key benefits

Before they can apply to join any of our apprenticeship degree programmes, learners need to be formally nominated by you, their employer. A three-way agreement also needs to be put in place between Henley Business School and the University of Reading; you, the employer; and the apprentice.

The contractual process

Employer framework agreement (EFA)

This is the contract between the University of Reading and your organisation. Please note that the organisation that you work for may be different to that which signed the contract with the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) where the employer is a Group of companies.

Cohort form

Once the EFA is signed, you are able to submit your cohort form. This is where you, the employer, formally nominate the individuals you wish to send onto the MSc Digital and Technology Solutions - Digital and Technology Solutions Specialist Degree Apprenticeship (and other programmes). At this stage we will check that these individuals are eligible for the apprenticeship and to be funded by the Levy.

Once the cohort is reviewed, the eligible nominated learners will be sent a baseline assessment to establish their knowledge, skills and behaviours. They will then receive their online application link. Typically there is a two-week timeframe for their application to be completed.

Entry requirements for the individual

Learners on this programme typically already have a degree and will be working in a relevant role. However, in their baseline assessment, they will need to demonstrate the need for new learning of the knowledge, skills and behaviours as outlined in the apprenticeship standard.

English and maths requirements

Nominated learners MUST have obtained Level 2 qualifications in English and maths (i.e. GCSEs at Grades 9-4 or A*-C, or equivalent) before commencing their Henley apprenticeship programme.

Employers will be asked to ensure that applicants can provide evidence of these qualifications before including them on a cohort form.

For more information, view our FAQ page

Other qualifications

Applicants are expected to have a good undergraduate honours degree (2:1 or above) or equivalent from a UK or internationally recognised university.

Applicants without a degree, but who have additional relevant experience or a professional qualification, will be considered on their overall suitability for the programme on a case-by-case basis. Professional experience includes a graduate internship programme with one or more employers.

Dates for the Autumn 2021 intake are still to be confirmed. Please contact our business manager for further information.

Cohort options

You can opt for your organisation to join open, closed and/or consortium cohorts:

Open cohorts (max. 9 learners per organisation) are available throughout the year. These enable a small number of learners from an organisation to join with others from a range of organisations and backgrounds. Top-up fees on these cohorts may apply.

Closed cohorts (30-64 learners) allow the programme content to be contexualised around your organisation's objectives and may be taught at a convenient location for your nominated learners. Programme start dates can be planned together.

Consortium cohorts (min. 5 learners per organisation) enable you to partner with complementary organisations working on similar strategic challenges. You may choose to join one of our open consortium cohorts, or create a closed consortium cohort working with other organisations of your choosing e.g. those within your supply chain or from within your industry.

How we support learners

Apprenticeship tutors

Each learner is assigned an apprenticeship tutor who will support them and their line manager through the apprenticeship journey. Tutors meet regularly with the apprentice, either within their workplace or virtually, to provide learning support and review and assess the evidence gathered for their evidence portfolios.

Personal development

We take a whole-person approach which acknowledges the complexity of balancing work, home, study and career. In addition to the high level of individual support apprentices receive while studying at Henley, they can also benefit from coaching, networking, mentoring, and access to recruitment resources.

How the employer supports learners

As the employer, you will also need to provide support to your apprentices as they progress through the programme.

Organisations are contracted by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to give apprentices a minimum of 20% off-the-job training time. Off-the-job training is defined by the ESFA as: “training received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s paid hours, for the purpose of achieving their apprenticeship”. This 20% off-the-job training is not exclusive to class sessions, although they do count. Other examples of off-the-job training may include:

  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring and industry visits
  • Chairing or attending meetings (outside the learner’s normal job function)
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments
  • Meeting with the Apprenticeship Tutor
  • Working on the evidence portfolio

Apprenticeship programmes are taught using a blended learning method that combines face-to-face workshops* with online and on-the-job learning. Classes are delivered in boardroom-style seminar rooms to facilitate group work and discussion.

Through the Henley Business School Library and the virtual learning environment, learners can access a multitude of resources including books, journals, market research reports, dissertations, working papers and company information. The Library also provides a 24-hour Quiet Study Space.

* Due to COVID-19, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online. Find out about our remote education offer for apprentices

Stage 1: Core Technical Skills, Knowledge & Behaviours

This module develops learners' understanding of the principles of informatics and how effective management of information resources can be a source of competitiveness for the business.

Topics include:

  • The theory and methodology of information management and systems, including business context, ethics and governance
  • How to identify user requirements and suitable IT systems solutions
  • How to analyse and design a systems solution using appropriate technologies.
Academic authors
Professor kecheng liu 397 3 Kecheng Liu 75e5pfi6i
Professor Kecheng Liu

In this module learners will explore the role of leadership in a digital environment. They will build their awareness of key digital technologies and discuss the impact on managerial practices, processes and strategies.

By the end of the module, learners will gain a critical understanding of:

  • The evolving digital landscape
  • The changing role of leadership in a pervasive digital environment
  • The role of software systems in shaping organisational information and communication
  • Key concepts of data and predictive data science, and its application in informing leadership decisions
  • How to analyse organisational and managerial processes with regards to their potential for automation, and the impact on the nature of work, leadership, company culture and society
  • Digital techniques used by entrepreneurs to rapidly iterate business models and test new processes and products.
  • How to critically appraise their own behaviour with regards to managing digital productivity, managerial work practice and continuing professional development.
Academic authors
Norbert Morawetz005 75edwqcke
Dr Norbert Morawetz

This module explores how existing and cutting-edge technologies can provide innovative digital business solutions. It involves the understanding of digital technology principles, values-based innovation, digital business ecosystems and platform ecosystems, and applies the emerging service science and service logic/thinking approaches to the development of digital business solutions. It covers innovations in processes, products, technology, services, and business models, as well as methods and models to create new business value in highly competitive and technology-rich environments.

Academic authors
Dr yin leng tan 397 3 Yin Leng Tan 75e5pfi5j
Dr Yin Leng Tan
Dr vaughan michell 397 3 Vaughan Michell 75e5pfi5j
Dr Vaughan Michell

Stage 2

At Stage 2, learners will choose one of the following technical specialisms:

  • IT Strategy
  • Data Analytics

Stage 2 (IT Strategy specialism)

This specialism equips learners with the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • Manage the strategic alignment of business and IT capabilities
  • Drive technology-based change initiatives
  • Select appropriate tools and engage with senior stakeholders to formulate digital strategy
This module gives learners a strategic perspective of the digital transformation of an organisation at the enterprise level. It introduces the digital initiatives portfolio, which is explored at a more detailed level in the Digital business strategy module.

By the end of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Develop and critically evaluate business systems and technical strategies to help the organisation transform in a fast-moving digital world
  • Understand why enterprises strategically align their business and IT capabilities – and the consequences of failing to do so
  • Understand the components of business and technical strategies and how they interact in a holistic framework
  • Appropriately select from a portfolio of business IT alignment tools and apply these for digital transformation, engaging with professional colleagues and executives
Academic authors
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Professor Sharm Manwani

This module connects the enterprise view of digital transformation introduced in the Managing strategic alignment module with the strategic technologies used by the enterprise.

By the end of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Analyse, design and develop key digital initiatives to help the organisation transform in a fast-moving digital world
  • Analyse and assess how key digital initiatives fit into the overall strategy and business/operating models
  • Formulate design solutions for the key digital initiatives, including a plan for the required technologies and capabilities
  • Appropriately select from a portfolio of tools and apply these for key digital initiatives

This module explores the role and nature of IT consultancy in the context of developing strategic IT solutions to support business strategy.

It develops knowledge and skills around the use of consulting tools for modelling and analysis of technologies, as either an internal or external consultant.

Learners will explore problem-solving methods in conjunction with digital road-map and transformation techniques to help them identify, analyse and develop proposals to meet strategic technology needs.


Stage 2 (Data Analytics specialism)

This specialism equips learners with the knowledge and skills needed to:

  • Analyise business data requirements and create value through big data technologies
  • Employ analytical software, statistical modelling and machine learning to solve commercial problems
  • Apply data selection, curation, quality assurance, investigation and engineering techniques

This module focuses on the strategic use of data analytics in business in the era of Big Data.

Learners will consider how organisations can benefit from Big Data and analytics, and analyse business and technological requirements to create value through these technologies.

Students will also explore recent developments in technologies surrounding Big Data and analytics, evaluate analytics tools, and assess the legal and ethical implications of data analytics in business.

Academic authors
Dr keiichi nakata 397 3 Keiichi Nakata 75e5pfi5h
Professor Keiichi Nakata

This module highlights the importance of data management from both a management and enterprise perspective.

Learners will consider information theory, data storage solutions, enterprise and systems architecture, traditional information systems use, and critical decision-making approaches.

By the end of the module, learners should be able to:

  • Undertake an analytical investigation of organisational data and information, in order to consider the nature, utility and quality of available data
  • Appreciate and support, from a management perspective, the implementation of data quality rule sets and guidelines in order to facilitate knowledge workers (e.g. database designers)
  • Identify and appreciate how data needs can support business strategy
  • Highlight what data must be acquired, managed, and processed in business - using examples from a range of large, complex, and real-time datasets
  • Understand a range of IS platform choices, and consider the properties, benefits, and problems of specific solutions in the context of business operation and decision making
  • Appreciate the data management issue involved in obtaining an enterprise systems perspective
  • Appreciate how relevant data hierarchies and taxonomies are identified and used to manage information and knowledge management and management decision making.
Academic authors
Dr stephen gulliver 397 3 Stephen Gulliver 75e5pfi5j
Dr Stephen R Gulliver

In this module learners will be introduced to key concepts related to descriptive and predictive analytics. They will become adept at managing, summarising and analysing data, and will gain experience with building predictive models that can lead to data-driven solutions to commercial problems.

Academic authors
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Dr Markos Kyritsis

Stage 3: Assessment Preparation

In Stage 3 learners will work on their personal development and prepare for a final work-based research project.

In Stage 3 learners will demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired throughout the apprenticeship programme by undertaking an independent work-based research project.

Guided by an academic supervisor, learners will conduct research - for example, user experience surveys - then develop, implement and evaluate a solution to a typical business challenge within their chosen specialism.

Through this module learners will develop their problem-solving skills, their ability to manage research activities, and their ability to critically assess the outcomes from a project.

Academic authors
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Dr Weizi (Vicky) Li

The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change.

Closed cohorts

For clients wishing to run a closed cohort, we have the flexibility to deliver the programme at locations nationwide. If you do not wish to use your organisation's facilities, we are happy to arrange an alternative teaching venue that may be more convenient for your staff.

Open cohorts

Open cohorts are currently taught at our Greenlands campus near Henley-on-Thames. Set in sweeping parkland on the banks of the River Thames, this beautiful campus provides an inspiring and reflective environment for focused work and study.

Find out more about our facilities and how to find us

Why choose Henley?

For 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders.

Our apprenticeship programmes deliver:

  • A high-quality education rooted in the latest business thinking. We are triple-accredited for the quality of our provision
  • A direct contribution to business value through learning which focuses on live strategic issues. We work with you to identify the people who will benefit most from the programme and whose participation will have the greatest impact on the organisation
  • A blended learning experience - all our apprenticeship programmes feature face-to-face learning*, enhanced and supported by our mobile digital platform. This gives participants access to learning wherever they are and allows the cohort to collaborate outside the classroom
  • A flexible approach - in addition to our open cohorts, we offer closed cohorts that can be delivered at locations nationwide* and contextualised to your organisation
  • Individual membership of our alumni network, which includes over 80,000 alumni across 150 countries

* Due to COVID-19, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online. Find out about our remote education offer for apprentices

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our apprenticeship programmes, please contact:

Telephone: 0118 378 4030