Croydon Tutorial College

Teaching, Tutoring and Progress Coaching

For Young and Mature Students and Technical Apprentices

BCS HEQ Professional Graduate Level Diploma in IT

BCS HEQ Level 6 - Professional Graduate Diploma in IT This level is equivalent to a university degree, and holders of this diploma should be able to gain admission to Masters level postgraduate studies. To obtain the diploma it is necessary to pass four of the following units and then to complete a professional level IT project.

  • Advanced database management systems
  • Management information systems
  • Software engineering (part 2)
  • Computer services management
  • Network information systems
  • Programming paradigms
  • System design methods
  • Web engineering
  • IT and the environment

In deciding which modules to take you could either "follow you interests" or, think about career paths. In general it is a good idea to take the career path you are planning to follow into account, and this also means, if you have progressed to this level from the Level 5 Diploma in IT then a good approach will be to build on the topics you chose at Level 5.

IT and the Environment
There some units at this level that "make their appearance" in for the first time (i.e. they are not present in the Level 4 or Level 5 HEQ levels). Particularly interesting is the IT and the Environment unit. There are very few books discussing these issues. An interesting module at this level, and one for which there are very few textbooks is Although at first glance it might appear that this is a relatively straightforward syllabus involving reading and understanding the set books and practising writing model answers to the questions from the past papers this is a serious subject. For instance the kinds of developments in AI such as Bard and ChatGPT involved running computationally intensive machine learning algorithms for long periods on vast amounts of data, which must have consumed prodigious amounts of power. There are numerous organisations using similarly energy intensive machine learning on vast amounts of data. Also relevant are the vast numbers of IoT devices connected to the internet, and the question arises as to how "energy efficient" all these sensors are when taken in aggregate.

Computer Services Management The Computer services management unit is something of a specialist unit that covers many important management aspects of IT. Studying for this unit will also help prepare for the ITIL 4 Professional Certification modules. The links between the various sections in the syllabus for this unit and the corresponding sections in the ITIL 4 modules

  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Create, Deliver and Support
  • ITIL 4 Specialist: Drive Stakeholder Value
  • ITIL 4 Specialist: High-velocity IT
  • ITIL 4 Strategist: Direct, Plan and Improve.

with the result that studying for this unit can go a significant way towards preparing for these ITIL4 certifications.

Software Engineering (Part 2) Anyone aspiring to eventually managing large software projects needs to have a broad appreciation and understanding of both the background to modern approaches to software engineering, and related skills such as

  • project cost estimation
  • requirements analysis
  • management of software development teams
  • software quality and how it can be measures and improved
  • code maintenance
  • component based software development
  • UML and its uses in software development
  • use of open source software and related licensing issues

Our approach to teaching this unit includes

  • Developing, in the student, techniques of critical
  • analysis of the various aspects of software engineering and
  • The development, documentation and deployment of software engineering strategies.
  • More advanced modern software engineering approaches based on Agile and DevOps CI/CD best practices.
  • Practical familiarisation and orientation of working with Git, GitHub, GitLab, Docker and Kubernetes
  • Implementation of CI/CD pipelines

Advanced Database Management Systems
The syllabus for this unit covers not only topics associated with an in depth understanding of relational databases such as query optimisation, concurrency and transaction control and query optimisation, but, also distributed relational database systems, database replication, the use of database systems in the cloud and database security, and SQL standards.
The syllabus also expects students to have an appreciation of post relational databases such as spatial databases, temporal databases and deductive databases, NoSQL, document-oriented, and key-value pair databases. Web related aspects of working with databases also need to be understood, and associated database interaction standards. This includes topics such as exposing database access as a web service and json databases which store data as json documents. Students will be encouraged to explore and research various topics in greater depth so as to extend their practical knowledge and experience. Possible topics include setting up high availability load balancing and replication using e.g. PostgreSQL, MongoDB as an example of a JSON database, PostGIS as an example of a Geographic Information System oriented database using the object-relational features of PostgreSQL, Apache Hadoop, and Neo4J as an example of a graph database management system.

Management Information Systems The set books for this course will be the more recent edition of the recommended primary text, namely, the 17th edition of Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm by Kenneth Laudon and Jane Laudon, published in 2021, and the 5th edition of Strategic Information Management: Theory and Practice edited by Robert D. Galliers, Dorothy E. Leidner, and Boyka Simeonova. Teaching will be based on a combination of reading, research and submission of set essays. The set books will be supplemented with materials covering topics such as AI and Machine Learning, Decision Support systems. There will also be an, optional, module aligned with the Microsoft Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst (PL 300) certification program to provide students with limited experience in this area some experience with data preparation, modelling, analysis, visualisation and deployment, and the development of cloud based MIS solutions.

Network information Systems This course will be closely aligned with the Cisco DevAsc Netacad course and will prepare students not only for this BCS Level 6 exam, but, also for the Cisco DevAsc certification exam. This approach aims to provide both theoretical as well as practical knowledge of working with Network Information Systems, and to be able to embark on a career in an age where the complexity of modern computer networks, data centres and cloud computing requires a combination of analytical, programming and network system administration skills. Whereas the DevAsc part of the training will be practice oriented, the part preparing for the BCS Level 6 exam will require regular submission of written essays and reports, something that is not tested in the DevAsc certification.

Programming paradigms The subjects covered in this syllabus should be known by every serious programmer.The course will use the more recent,12th edition, of the primary text Concepts of Programming Languages by Robert Sebesta, and the listed edition of Programming Language Pragmatics by Michael Scott. The theory part of the course will involve the regular submission of written essays and reports. The practical part of the course will include practical exercises/modules such as implementing a tiny language in ANTLR4, prolog programming using SWI Prolog, using Microsoft VS Code and plugins as a development IDE, and using Eclipse as a development IDE. Other modules that can be studied (optionally) include the Cisco Netacad advanced C and C++ course modules, a Java data structures and algorithms module and an advanced Python programming. The programming modules will be extended where necessary to include practical work involving using linters and unit testing frameworks. There is also an (optional) intensive introduction to Haskell programming module to provide practical functional programming experience for those who do not have much experience of functional programming. For practical experience of multithreading and concurrency there are (optional) modules such as Java Multithreading, C++ multithreading, C Pthreads programming on Linux and Win32 API programming in C on Microsoft Windows.

System Design Methods The two set books for this course will be

  • Software Engineering at Google: Lessons Learned from Programming Over Time by Titus Winters, Hyrum Wright and Tom Manshrek
  • Software Engineering (10th Ed.) by Ian Sommerville

The course work will involve guided study and tutorial sessions involving the regular submission of written essays and research reports. It will also include an intensive introduction to the Z Formal Specification Language and how it is used. Students will be encouraged to explore areas of interest to themselves, or particularly relevant to their job. The course materials will include an introduction to Soft Systems methodologies and an overview of "Satisficing" (tackling complex problems for which there is no optimal solution) as described by Anthony Vickers in his book "Art of Judgement".

Web Engineering This is a wide ranging syllabus the study of which is best suited to those actively working in web application development and web systems deployment and management. Our approach to preparing students to take this exam is to provide a number of alternative study threads differing in the choice of programming language used. The choice is between PHP, ASP.Net, and Java. For students interested in doing so there will also be an optional Python study thread, however, students should also choose on of the PHP, or ASP.Net or Java threads. As regards front end development, the core topics of CSS, HTML and Javascript will be covered in depth together with user interface design and testing and Web Accesibility. Security aspects of web engineering are a core course unit, and will cover security protocols and certificates (HTTPS and TLS), authentication, authorisation and accounting, common attacks and defences against them as well as the use of security products such as Cisco's AMP (Advanced Malware Protection) and Cisco's Secure Email Gateway.
Because there are so many competing Web Engineering certification related programs this course will not be aligned with any particular program. Students will be encouraged to develop and research skills related to their interests and field of work.
This course can be extended by adding specialised modules such as DevOps and CI/CD for web engineering, using Azure / AWS in Web Engineering, using JSON and JSON Linked Data in web applications, REST and Microservices.

Course fees :

  • The fee for a single course unit is £2400.00 for one on one teaching, 30 one hour teaching/tutoring/discussion sessions.
  • The fees for group tuition (two or more students (maximum group size is 6) are £1700.00 per student for a single course.
  • A discount of 10% will be applied when two units are purchased together, and a discount of 20% will be applied when three or four units are purchased together.

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Enquiries line: 07739 642996
Send an email to andrew dot eliasz at gmail dot com