Digital Degree Apprentice - Software Development

Job Reference : 000614
Location : Exeter
Closing Date : 02/07/2018
Salary : Circa. £19,409
Employment Type : Fixed Term
Hours Per week : 37.5 per week

Who are we?

Our vision is to harness the power of information and technology to provide better health and care.

NHS Digital is the national information and technology provider for the health and care system. Our teams create, develop and manage critical digital systems, services, products and standards upon which health and care professionals depend.

Who Are We Looking For?

We are looking for talented and driven people who want to start their career with us. You will be passionate about new technologies, be full of initiative and above all have a willingness to learn and grow.

We value diversity and inclusion. We welcome applications from individuals from all backgrounds.

You must have:

  • 5 GCSE’s A-C (9-4) including Maths and English.
  • 3 A-levels A-C including STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects or equivalent (NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National).
  • Portfolio to demonstrate experience of software development to date – e.g. course work, personal projects.
  • Demonstrable interest in software development (e.g. knowledge of the variety of languages available, awareness and basic understanding of software development methodologies).
  • Passion, drive and high levels of enthusiasm for new challenges.
  • Self-motivation and a desire to succeed as part of a team.
  • A commitment to excel in a demanding and highly rewarding role.

If you have a degree level qualification or higher you are not eligible to apply for this opportunity.


An apprenticeship is a combination of employment provided by us and your apprenticeship training provided by QA. During the 3/4 years you will complete a BSc (Hons) in Digital & Technology Solutions Degree following the software engineer specialism.

Please see the attached program information for more detail.

What Projects Will You Be Involved In?

As an apprentice you will start by joining one of our teams for your first placement.  Over the 3-4 years you will get the opportunity to work on different teams and projects to help you get a greater understanding of the kinds of roles we have in the Software Development profession at NHS Digital. You may be involved in:

  • Coding in a variety of languages (Python, C#, Java .Net & PHP)
  • Working in agile delivery teams
  • Cloud based computing (AWS and Azure)
  • Increasing use of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.
  • Everything from internal R&D projects to national, enterprise scale systems affecting people’s lives daily including:
    • Cancer screening systems.
    • Supporting the flow of data from across health and care nationally for secondary use
    • Directory of Services – underpins the NHS 999 and 111 services.
  • Full stack DevOps engineering including automation of testing, build, deployment and operation of systems.

You won’t be on your own! You’ll be working with other trainees, both new to the role like yourself, and those who have been on previous trainee schemes. Along with the wider team, a career manager and community of practice your support network couldn’t be better for getting your career off to a great start.


Examples of the types of teams you could be working with include:

  • The Spine, known as the “technological backbone of the NHS”, connects clinicians and patients to national services such as the Electronic Prescription Service, Summary Care Record and the e-Referral Service, which allow clinicians to deliver safe and effective care to patients. NHS Spine stores around 150TB of data. This includes the details of 80 million people and 2.6 billion requests for information and associated amendments
  • NHS.UK. The main public facing NHS website. It provides health related information and tools including: Health A-Z, lifestyle advice, performance data & patient ratings. It’s a cloud hosted, enterprise level website built by multi-disciplinary teams using a mixture of commercial and open source software. It gets 1.5m visits a day and has 228k twitter followers.

How Will You Be Rewarded?

All our previous trainees who have successfully completed the scheme, have been offered permanent roles here at NHS Digital. A permanent role will be offered to all candidates in the current cohort who meet the scheme success criteria, which include demonstrating professional competencies, NHS Digital values and behaviours.

You will start on a 2-year fixed-term contract in the Academy, progressing to a permanent role in the Software Development business area in year 3.

Phase 1 Year 1 – Band 4 £19,409 End of year assessment

Phase 2 Year 2 – Band 5 £22,128 End of year assessment

Phase 3 Year 3 – Band 6 £26,565 Permanent Role

Great work deserves great rewards. In return for your ideas, commitment and ambition, we'll give you a competitive salary, 27 days annual leave and a range of NHS benefits as soon as you join including:

Supporting the NHS to deliver better health and care

Flexible working

Bike to work scheme

NHS discounts

20% off at Nandos!


What’s next?

Application Period          Close 02/07/18

Online Test                        12/06/18 – 01/07/18

Shortlist                              01/07/18- 08/07/18

Online Interview                 08/07/18 – 15/07/18

Assessment Centre           19th or 26th July in Leeds.  Exeter TBC end of July.

Onboarding                        August

Start date                           10th September 2018


This vacancy will close to new applications when a sufficient number have been received, which means applications are accepted on a first come, first served basis

Roles at NHS Digital are subject to a basic Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and as such it will be necessary for a submission for Disclosure to be made to the Disclosure and Barring Service following an acceptance of an offer of employment. Basic checks provide details of convictions and conditional cautions that are considered to be unspent under the terms of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. 


This position is now closed. We are no longer accepting applications for this position.