Advanced Certificate in Computing: Software Development


The program covers an introduction to developing software, ethics in computing, troubleshooting, an introduction to project management, database design fundamentals, relational database, as well as an introduction to SQL and mathematics for computing.

The Advanced Certificate in Computing will provide a breadth of competencies.  Upon completion of this program students: 

  • will have developed knowledge and skills in planning, developing and evaluating.
  • will have developed employment skills, particularly relating to the IT industry.
  • will have developed and enhanced transferable skills for employability and core skills.
  • will have developed study and research skills as well as academic stimulus.
  • will have developed a range of contemporary computer and software skills that are required by the technology industry.
  • will be prepared for employment in competitive international markets or for progression to degree study at partner universities around the world.
  • will be provided with underpinning knowledge associated with appropriate vendor qualifications.

Who does this qualification suit

The Advanced Certificate in Computing is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • people who wish to start their own business

Career Opportunities

The Advanced Computing courses aim to equip students with the necessary skills required to follow a career within the computing field at a professional or junior managerial level. They are also aimed at those who wish to study computing at this level before undertaking a career in another field where such skills are subsidiary, but often very necessary.

The Advanced Computing Diploma in Software Development will prepare students for employment in an IT/Computing-related post at a technician or professional level in a software development role.

Admissions Requirement

  • Minimum Grade 12 or equivalent Canadian qualification OR relevant experience or mature Students.
  • In case of Students from Non English speaking countries/territories, students will have to demonstrate their English proficiency at minimum IELTS Band level 6.0 OR equivalent (In case of other testing standards). (In case of no proof of English proficiency or lower English proficiency level, students will have to take English course at Focus College).

University Progression

The Advanced Diploma in Computing: Software Development can provide advanced entry to degree-level study. For further information please refer to the SQA Diploma to Degree arrangements on . See ourWhere to Studypage on for information on theinstitutionswhich will consider advanced entry with an SQA Higher National Diploma qualification.Adv


Offered at both Kelowna and Surrey campus.


Contact Focus College for pricing.


One year full time. 


  • On campus delivery.
  • Students are required to maintain 80% attendance throughout the program.
  • Approximately 10-15 hours/week is required from students to be successful in this program.
  • In order to graduate, students must pass all units through the program with a grade of C or higher.


This unit is designed to provide candidates with knowledge of the various hardware and software elements of a computer system, how to install an operating system, and how to install and configure application and security software. Candidates will also be introduced to the theory and practical application of number systems in computing. It is not intended that students gain an in-depth knowledge of any particular operating system or applications software. The Unit provides a foundation for further study of particular operating systems.

This Unit is designed to provide candidates with a knowledge and understanding of professional issues, including contemporary legislation, and ethical considerations for those fulfilling a computing related role within the workplace. This Unit is intended for candidates whose aim is to follow a career, or is currently following a career, as a computing professional to ensure work duties are carried out responsibly.

This Unit will provide candidates with the opportunity to develop effective skills for team working in the context of computing. Candidates will develop co-operative working skills which will include negotiation of goals, roles and responsibilities in the development of a team based Information and Communication Technology (ICT) project. Candidates, both individually as a team, will present the project Outcomes within the timescale prescribed by the team. Individual progress will be tracked against a project plan and the team will develop skills in updating the plan to ensure that the project is delivered on time. Individual team members will contribute to any necessary research and to documentation of the group’s activities.

This Unit is designed to provide candidates with the skills required to develop a possible solution to a computing problem in the context of computer networking, software development or technical support. Candidates will learn how to investigate the problem, plan and implement a solution, test and amend it until the problem is resolved and document each step taken to solve the problem.

This Unit will enable candidates to develop the basic knowledge and skills required to plan, implement, monitor, manage and report on a small scale project.

The Unit is intended for candidates who are working or preparing to work in an environment where they would be expected to work as part of a project managed team in the public, private or voluntary sectors. This Unit will aid the candidates understanding of how projects are created run and managed.

This Unit is designed to provide the candidate with the skills required to create, maintain and interrogate a relational database management system using commercially available database software. The resultant skills will help prepare the candidate to enter commercially operated database environments and to administer the system to the requirements of the industry. The Unit is primarily aimed as an introduction to relational database management systems and will incorporate the skills to design a suitable structure to maintain and update real world systems. The Unit is written in generic terms enabling it to be completed using a commercially available relational database management system software and may be delivered as part of an HN Group Award.

Through a process of Personal Development Planning, candidates will identify their skills, abilities and development needs and review these in the context of their own personal, educational and career aims. They will devise a personal action plan, then undertake and evaluate that plan. They will gather, organize and present evidence of each stage of the plan -including personal reviews -in their personal development portfolio.

This Unit is designed to introduce candidates to the design and creation of a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS). It also introduces candidates to the terminology and key concepts used in the designing and building of a RDBMS and the process of creating a relational database. The candidate needs to demonstrate understanding of these key concepts, and the need for good design.


This Unit is designed to develop a broad knowledge of the concepts, principles, boundaries and scope of relational databases using a query language. These will be reinforced by developing the practical skills required in using the structures and features of a query language in order to maintain and interrogate a relational database management system. The SQL constructs used adhere to the current standards, so will be applicable in all SQL-based platforms. It forms part of an HN group award program, although it can also be used as a stand-alone Unit by candidates wishing to acquire and develop skills using a query language.

This Unit is designed to allow candidates to acquire the fundamental mathematical knowledge required to apply computing techniques to problem situations effectively. Candidates will be able to create a mathematical model or express a problem mathematically. It is primarily intended for candidates who will specialize in programming or candidates who require a deeper understanding of computer operation at a basic hardware level.

This Unit is about developing the candidate’s ability to access and evaluate information from a variety of primary and secondary sources by planning and reporting on a research investigation. It is aimed at those who need to access and analyse information as part of their course of study.

This Graded Unit is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following principal aims of the HNC in Computing:

  • To develop the candidate’s knowledge and skills such as planning, analyzing and synthesizing
  • To develop study and research skills
  • To enable progression within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework
  • To provide academic stimulus
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