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Broadcast and Media Systems Engineer (Integrated Degree Apprenticeship) - IFA Certificate / BEng (Hons)

Degree Apprenticeships combine University study and work-based learning to enable you as an apprentice to gain a full bachelor’s degree. This provision of an academic undergraduate degree is integrated with experience, practice and learning in the workplace. You will have paid employment status and do not pay any training costs or student fees....

  • Level Apprenticeship
  • Study mode Blended Learning
  • Location City Centre
  • Award IFA Certificate / BEng (Hons)
  • Start date September 2022
  • School School of Computing and Digital Technology
  • Faculty Faculty of Computing, Engineering and The Built Environment

Explore this course

Overview

Degree Apprenticeships combine University study and work-based learning to enable you as an apprentice to gain a full bachelor’s degree. This provision of an academic undergraduate degree is integrated with experience, practice and learning in the workplace. You will have paid employment status and do not pay any training costs or student fees. Degree Apprenticeships are co-designed by employers ensuring that you are equipped with the skills employers need and for your future career.

The Standard and Assessment Plan for the Degree Apprenticeship in Broadcast and Media Systems Engineering1 have been designed by employers in the Broadcast Industries and include Arqiva, BBC Academy, Creative Skillset, IABM, Hattrick, BT Group, Bauer Media, BBC, Suitcase TV, Panasonic, dB Broadcast, The IET, International Moving Image Society, High Definition & Digital Cinema Ltd., Ericsson, Babcock International, ITV, Sky and Digital UK.

The apprenticeship standard contains an end-point assessment (EPA), which is a synoptic assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that you have learnt throughout the apprenticeship. This will be provided by a registered end-point assessment organisation and delivered according to the published Apprenticeship Assessment Plan. The purpose of the end-point assessment is to make sure you meet the standard set by employers and are fully competent in the occupation. It is taken by you at the very end of the course when we are satisfied that you have met the “gateway” criteria to undertake the assessment. End-point-assessments are graded and an apprenticeship certificate is only awarded after end-point assessment is successfully completed.

To support the end-point assessment you are to develop a portfolio of evidence. The intention is that this portfolio will provide a record of the specific skills and knowledge you have developed, and to provide an opportunity to reflect on your personal development. Given the pace of change in technology, it is critical that you are self-aware and can self-manage your own professional development, and become a reflective practitioner. The requirement to reflect on your progress throughout the apprenticeship degree combined with formative feedback will develop the necessary skills and self-discipline to support this. The portfolio will be developed over all three years but be formally assessed as part of the EPA. Regular reviews will take place and personal tutors and work based mentors will help guide you in the development of this portfolio.

As an integrated apprenticeship the end-point assessment is tied into the degree course through a final year Professional Practice Development module, this module provides a final focus on personal development and review that has taken place throughout the apprenticeship.

The Degree Apprenticeship for the occupation of Broadcast and Media Systems Engineer at Birmingham City University leads to a BEng (Hons) Broadcast and Communications Engineering.

The degree course has been designed to give a varied skill-set, preparing you for the ever-changing world of broadcasting and increasing your employability on graduation.

Broadcast and Communications Engineering encompasses an exciting and varied range of roles. Broadcast engineers are responsible for maintaining the quality of service across all aspects of broadcasting, whether ensuring a transmitter stays operational, or making sure that audio and visual feeds and general equipment are working and that computer systems are effective.

Entry Requirements

As this is a degree apprenticeship employers will be looking for a strong academic performance. The minimum academic criteria is around 112 UCAS points (300 if before 2017), including a Maths A level or equivalent qualification and other science or technology subjects, for example, Computer Science, Physics or Electronics, or a BTEC in Engineering with Engineering Maths. We would also expect you to hold a GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications will be accepted.

Typical Offers (UK students)

At the point of application, you must have or be working towards GCSE at Grade 4 (C) or above in English Language and Mathematics. Equivalent qualifications can be considered in lieu of GCSE subjects as long as the required subject are covered. Plus, you must have achieved or be completing one of the following:

 

UK Qualification

Requirements

GCE A Level/ AS Level

BBC at A Level or 112 UCAS tariff points from A Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels and including A Level Maths at Grade C or above. Science or technology subjects desirable.

Access to Higher Education Diploma

60 credits overall. Minimum of 45 credits at level 3. Including 12 credits at Merit or Distinction with 9 in Mathematics and 3 in Science. Must already hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language Grade 4 (C) or higher or the equivalent at application point or currently taking.

BTEC National Diploma (12-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma

D*D* or combined with other level 3 qualifications to achieve a minimum total of 112 UCAS points. A Distinction in Mathematics for Technicians unit or a Merit in Further Mathematics for Technicians unit.

BTEC Extended Diploma (18-units not including early years)/ Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma

DMM - 112 UCAS points. A Distinction in Mathematics for Technicians unit or a Merit in Further Mathematics for Technicians unit.

This course is not open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

On completing this degree apprenticeship, you will be ready to take on a range of roles, such as supporting audio and video content capture, working on production processes or supporting the distribution of content over cable, satellite and terrestrial networks or via internet streaming.

What's covered?

  • Our BEng (Hons) Broadcast and Communications Engineering course will equip you to face the demands of today’s rapidly evolving broadcast industry.
  • You will develop a wide range of skills and study technologies including: signal processing; coding and transmission; media compression; media storage; asset management; production and distribution system architectures; internet and web technologies for media production and transmission; personalised and interactive services; and broadcast standards.

The course comprises four main themes:

  • Audio and video: the technologies which produce and process broadcast signals.
  • Computing: programming and computing architectures, data storage, retrieval and security.
  • Networks: routing for IP networks, quality of service and network security.
  • Electrical and electronic engineering: the foundation technologies of circuitry and power distribution, and communication.

Why study on a higher or degree apprenticeship?

Essentially, you get the best of both worlds – all the academic challenge of a highly regarded degree, alongside a full-time wage and your first step on the career ladder with a prestigious employer.

You will work with and make connections with people in your chosen industry who can help you achieve your career goals in the future. And at the end of the course, you will have three years' work experience, a degree-level qualification, and you won’t owe any tuition fees.

Apprenticeship Course Requirements

Level 4

In order to complete this apprenticeship a learner must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Module NameCredit Value
AV Acquisition and Presentation 20
Broadcast Technology 20
Computer Systems 20
Computer Networks 20
Engineering Mathematics 20
Electrical and Electronic Principles 20
Level 5

In order to complete this apprenticeship a learner must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Module NameCredit Value
Audio and Video Processing 20
Computer Programming for Engineers 20
Database Technology 20
Computer Networks and IP Distribution 1 20
Computer Networks and IP Distribution 2 20
Principles of Communications Engineering 20
Level 6

In order to complete this apprenticeship a learner must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

Module NameCredit Value
Individual Honours Project 40
Professional Practice Development 20
Broadcast Workflow and Distribution Systems 20
Quality of Service 20
Broadcast Communications 20

Apply through the employer

The first step is to apply directly to an employer who is advertising an apprenticeship position. Opportunities are advertised throughout the year on the Government’s apprenticeships database.

In order to apply for a degree apprenticeship with us, you must secure an apprenticeship job with an employer first. Once you have done this, your employer will send you to study with us.

If you are successful at securing an apprenticeship position, your employer will contact us and we will then invite you to apply for the course.

If you are an employer and interested in enrolling an employee on to this apprenticeship then please email CEBEapprenticeships@bcu.ac.uk for more information.

Apply through the employer

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Facilities & Staff

Our Facilities

As a student in the School of Computing and Digital Technology, you will have access to our labs, software, professional sound studios, computer games labs and industry-standard facilities to develop your practical skills in audio, video and multimedia application development, content creation and more.

We are currently undertaking a £340 million investment programme in our facilities, including a major expansion of our City Centre Campus. This includes our brand new £70 million development, STEAMhouse, which will be the new home to Computing and Digital Technology students. This state-of-the-art centre will give you access to outstanding facilities and equipment, as well as opportunities to collaborate with businesses across multiple sectors and work on real industry-based projects.

Our facilities in Millennium Point have undergone a £6.5million investment with a new maker area, engineering labs/equipment and IT equipment.

Thanks to our partnerships with Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, Juniper, SAS and LPI you will have access to the latest technology and facilities that reflect advanced professional practice. Our students also have access to software such as the Adobe Suite including Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.

Computer Labs

System Labs

Our embedded systems laboratories are used to develop real-time systems, such as specialist hardware training and development resources, and industrial-standard software development and simulation tools. These include:

  • Schematic capture and printed circuit board (PCB) design software – ORCAD
  • Analogue and digital circuit design and simulation software – PSpice
  • Graphical microcontroller software – Matrix Multimedia Flowcode
  • Microcontroller development board – PIC Microchip
  • E-block microcontroller training kit
  • FPGA & CPLD development board
  • Robotics design and development
Software Development and Computer Programming

There are a number of open access, software development and computer programming laboratories that can be used to develop systems and programmes, including:

  • Software development environments for modern programming languages - Visual Studio
  • Computing programming languages – Python, C#, ASP.NET, PHP, Unity
  • Operating systems – Linux, Windows and macOS
  • Database management systems – MySQL
  • Neural network simulators
  • Computer architecture simulators – RISC
  • Application development software – iPhone, Android Studio
  • Integrated development environments – Netbeans / FPGA /CPLD
  • JAVA programming – BlueJ.
Network Labs

Our industry standard kit can be accessed by students who are at home or anywhere on the globe – remote access – 24/7 (NETACAD)

The laboratories are well-equipped for all our computer networking courses, as well as specialist areas for practical work such as: Voice-over internet protocol (VoIP), Security technologies, Forensic and ethical hacking technologies, wireless and mobile technologies, Internet of Things (IoT), Cybersecurity and software Defined Networking including NFV.

Forensics Room 

Our successful development of forensic computing has led to a specialist forensics laboratory that is fully equipped with essential hardware and software for this sensitive area of study.

Industry standard forensic hardware and software is available for analysis of PC’s and mobile phones.

Some of the features of the lab includes: fingerprint readers and recognition software development kits, facial recognition cameras and software development kits and more.

Games Lab

Our state-of-the-art computer games lab is home to a PS4 Development Kit and has Xbox One Console Development ability. We have a Nintendo Switch Development Kit in procurement and HTC Vive, Oculus CV1 and VR development facility.

The Games Lab is a key feature during our Games Jam and society events. All students can join our computer games societies and use our facilities if interested in gaming.

Digital Technology Facilities

We operate well-resourced high-spec computer labs which are fully equipped with up-to-date, industry standard software for the design and development of advanced multimedia applications.

Our facilities include: Sophisticated graphics software packages for image manipulation and editing; these provide a full range of drawing, editing and image composition tools. Web animation and Rich Internet Application development tools. 3D software for Rendering, Modelling, Games and Animation, and design and graphics software including Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.

An Apple Mac sound lab, electronics and fully equipped multimedia labs are all part of the technology and multimedia experience on offer.

Sound Studios in Millennium Point

The Orchard

The Orchard is a 40-seat mac lab designed to support teaching of audio and mac-specific software. The lab features a recording booth as well as high quality audio monitors and video projector.

Sound Studios

Our studio facilities feature mixing consoles by manufacturers such as SSL and Audix, monitoring by PMC and Genelec, and a host of software and outboard hardware effects commonly found in high-end commercial recording studios. As well as acoustically designed spaces to record and mix, we have a dedicated mastering suite featuring the acclaimed PMC IB1S monitors.

In the live rooms you will find a useful range of stock instruments including drums and cymbals, guitars, basses, a tuned piano and a range of instrument amplifiers.

Mix Rooms

Our mix rooms are smaller rooms, useful for one or two students to work on projects that do not require the space afforded by our larger studio facilities. These include a Foley studio for recording of footsteps and other sound effects that are added to media. We also have a room where live desks can be set up, allowing students to explore workflows outside of a gig setup.

Microphones

We pride ourselves on an extensive microphone collection that any commercial studio would be proud of. From the classic Neumann U87, Royer 121 or Coles 4038 to staples like the AKG C414 or C451, you will find a very usable range of sounds to explore.

Live Sound Equipment

Students have access to an extensive set of live sound equipment with mixing consoles by Midas, Digidesign and Yamaha and a range of PA systems including a D&B Audiotechnik line array. Backed up with an excellent set of microphones chosen for their success in the live environment, and other production equipment such as lighting, the gear is used in a variety of destinations around the university or offsite at gigs and festivals.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million teaching and performance facility is the first of its kind in the digital age and is the perfect fusion of traditional and contemporary.

Featuring 9,000 sq m of purpose designed teaching, rehearsal and state of the art performance space, it offers unrivalled opportunities for our students. The audio and video digital infrastructure is designed to enhance and support live performance and to allow students to experiment with new technologies.

Read more about the Conservatoire of the Future

Curzon Street Studios

Curzon Street Studios has a number of world-class TV studios suitable for shooting commercials, films and video productions, both big and small.

Studio B boasts the largest fixed green screen in the UK, with a three wall infinity cove. The studio has been used for filming TV commercials, TV promos, music videos, web presentations and the live-streaming of online entertainment shows. Studio B offers pre-rigged lighting for green screen as well as access to the lighting rig with a hoist controller at ground floor level.

Black cyclorama and matting are also available to create a black studio. The green studio also houses our MILO motion control rig which is the most used motion control rig in the world, the Milo’s versatility, portability and high accuracy makes it the ideal choice for live action shooting and table top work.

Curzon Street Studios boasts six digital radio studios. All studios have been acoustically designed to provide ideal recording environments for both live and pre-recorded audio production and are fully soundproofed.

Our post production system has been designed to enable content to be produced, managed and distributed digitally. We offer a custom built central technical area that allows seamless interaction between all our studios and edit suites.

Learn more about what Curzon Street Studios has to offer

Makers Space

The Level 4 Makers Space is a bright communal space in Millennium Point in which students find support in building their electronic projects (i.e. Raspberry Pi or Arduino boards based).

The Makers Space is equipped with a laser cutter, 3D printers, and a variety of electronic components like motion, proximity, humidity sensors, and many more.

This space is widely used by students, including first year students who use the space to help build their gadget ready to be presented at Innovation Fest. Experienced technicians are on hand to provide support. The support extends to all other levels including Final Year, Ph.D., and KTP projects.

Student have access to high spec laptops with the latest media software for all their module needs, making the level 4 Makers Space the ideal area for the development of their project. Computer enthusiasts will enjoy our mini collection of vintage Apple computers.


Computing and Digital Technology facilities