The Solutions Architect (SA) is responsible for ‘translating’ business requirements into IT solutions, taking into account the complexity of existing IT systems, through effective negotiation of the priority of scope and requirements, to help the organisation get best value from its IT investment.

Closing date
4 Aug 2019
Up to £65,000
Full-time or part-time

About the Technology department

Technology delivers digital products and services used by applicants, providers, advisers, and commercial partners, while ensuring UCAS has a ‘digital by default’ infrastructure. UCAS is currently in a phase of digital acceleration – our approach is responsive, agile, and customer-focused.

The Technology department is divided into four primary functions – Technology Development, Technology Experience, Service Management, and Enterprise Architecture. As we develop our services, our teams work seamlessly in a digital ecosystem that balances the needs of students and education providers, and ultimately adds value to the student journey.

If you have a thirst to be at the cutting edge of technology and thrive off a fast-paced technical environment, we’d love to hear from you.

About the role

The SA is required to design and provide technical support, through the delivery of solutions that meet the requirements of the business, support the IT Strategy, and are aligned with the IT architecture. Architecture considerations include data, applications, infrastructure, integration, interfaces, security, scalability, and performance, as well as product transition and support documentation. The SA will represent projects to the IT governance process, and support stakeholders in representing the project to the broader UCAS corporate governance. 

In collaboration with other key stakeholders and contributors, the SA will produce the detailed technical sections of architecture documents and artefacts, including code examples required by development teams. Once completed, they will then review these deliverables throughout the development and delivery stages, and be accountable for the outputs being as requested, and fitting with the UCAS and IT Strategy/roadmap.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Translate business requirements into cost-effective IT solutions, taking into account the complexity of existing IT systems, working with a number of technologies including, but not limited to, Salesforce, Mulesoft, AWS, Drupal, and Microsoft. 
  • Support the development of the overall IT Strategy, and technical architectural blueprint. 
  • Analyse enterprise architecture artefacts, and validate the completeness of technical and business requirements for the purpose of designing sound technical solutions and services, highlighting inconsistencies and gaps.
  • Develop and ensure compliance to UCAS’ technical architecture standards and policies (across application, integration, data, and security layers), as aligned with enterprise architecture standards and policies.
  • Design technical solutions and services to meet business and operational requirements.
  • Ensure that technology architecture roadmaps and blueprints are developed, maintained, and integrated within the process of the overall IT Strategy development and technology planning, including service transition.
  • Define architectural considerations across data, applications, infrastructure, integration, interfaces, security, scalability, and performance, as well as product transition and support documentation.
  • Produce options and, where necessary, conduct feasibility studies, for delivery of the business requirements and key non-functional requirements.
  • Estimate the cost of implementing requirements and advising on high risk/high cost/complex solution/service aspects where these could be omitted/reduced, or where requirement change could result in a more cost-effective and lower risk implementation.
  • Utilise the overall IT architecture strategy to recommend project delivery approach, typically reuse, package purchase, in-house build, or outsourced build.
  • Accountable for the production of system designs, according to agreed design standards and patterns, while taking account of the differing requirements of in-house and outsource development approaches. 
  • Set functional, non-functional, and architectural acceptance criteria, and evaluate potential products against those criteria.
  • Maintain a holistic understanding of UCAS’ technology and services estate, and UCAS-specific IP.
  • Work with the Enterprise Architecture Team, to define and maintain the overall IT architecture, applications portfolio, architecture vision, and design patterns, and promote these within IT, and to the business.
  • Provide consultancy services to the business teams, to help the business maximise the capability from current and future IT technologies.
  • Track and understand emerging technologies. and advise on the use of them while developing solution designs.
  • Provide consultancy services to IT functions in UCAS’ customer groups, to support their technical queries.


Up to £65,000 with 30 days annual leave, voluntary flexible benefits, paid volunteering days, and a contributory stakeholder pension. It’s not just about the financial benefits that UCAS offers – onsite you can also benefit from our restaurant, affordable gym membership, free parking, unlimited tea and coffee, and many other perks. You’ll enjoy an exciting, agile working environment, with a vibrant culture and flexible approach to work, all of which reflects our teamwork and innovative spirit.

How to apply

Please see the role profile (258.86 KB) for more information. You will need to upload your CV on the next page, along with your notice period and salary expectations.

You will receive an email confirming that your application has reached us. We endeavour to contact all candidates before or soon after the closing date. However, due to high volumes of applications, we may not be able to contact all candidates. If you do not hear from us, please assume your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

All information you send to us will be kept in line with the Data Protection Act 2018. UCAS is committed to equality and values diversity in our workforce. We welcome and encourage applications from all candidates in line with the Equality Act 2010.

We reserve the right to close this job vacancy prior to the advertised closing date, if we feel we have found a suitable candidate.

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