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What is a degree apprenticeship?

A degree apprenticeship is a paid learning opportunity. Your time is split between your workplace where you gain on-the job industry experiences, and studying at University, where you learn from experts and have access to higher education resources and the university environment. On completion of a degree apprenticeship you qualify with the highest level of apprentichip qualification and industry experience.

  • You are employed almost full time with a set amount of agreed study timeWhat are the differences between apprenticeships and 
  • Learning will be arranged around your work, either in blocks/evenings or an allocated day
  • You will be able to access all of the social opportunities that your university offers, but will not have comparable free time
  • Qualify for a specific sector/job role
  • Different financial arrangements

What is the difference between a degree, an apprenticeship and a degree apprenticeship?

Degree Apprenticeship Degree Apprenticeship
•  Level 6+
•  3-4 years
•  University (or college)
•  Higher level qualification designed to develop skills and knowledge
•  Compulsory for some careers
•  Transferrable skills
• Level 2-5
•  1-3 years
•  Delivered through an employer and a Further Education College or Training Provider
•  Can be ‘topped up’ to Level 6 with additional study at a partnership university (course specific)
•  Train for a specific job
•  Level 6-7
•  4-7 years (but can take less)
•  Full degree
•  Employed
•  Develop skills in existing employees, allow new employee to gain experience and a career

How does a degree apprenticeship work?


  • Study for a Bachelors or Masters degree simultaneously
  • Employed for a minimum of 30 hours a week* (*on average)
  • Majority of learning is work-based
  • The organisation in which you work supports you in identifying areas for study and development.
  • Theory and practice are directly related to one another
  • Taught content focuses on 'core competencies'


  • 4-6 years of study (average)
  • Work-place supervisor/mentor
  • A work-pace university tutor
  • Flexible delivery
  • Links between placement and taught content

Who can study for a degree apprenticeship?

  • Degree Apprenticeships are accessible to anyone with Level 3 qualifications at a 'good' level, although some don’t necessarily require L3 qualifications.
  • You can be completely new to work or already within a company and looking to develop.
  • Degree apprenticeshipe provide a good route for aspiring managers to develop skills and enhance qualifications.
  • There is no upper age limit to studying for a degree apprenticeship.

What qualifications do I need for a degree apprenticeship?

  • The general rule is that this route is open to all.
  • Many courses however require GCSE Maths and English (Level 2) at a grade C (4/5) or above
  • Some courses e.g. Engineering require a Level 3 qualification in maths
  • Requirements vary between courses and universities
  • Grade/Qualification requirements may differ to those for a standard degree

How do I apply for a degree apprenticship?

  • Find out which employers are able to provide apprenticeships in your chosen area/field - and establish what they require from candidates
  • Search online for vacancies
  • Vacancies will appear throughout the year
  • The application will be similar to a job application and may be through the employer or the university (it differs between organisations)
  • You will need to meet the criteria of the employer and the university
  • Put together a CV (many employers will request one)
  • You will be interviewed by the employer and possibly the university as well
  • Prepare for the interview (practice questions, familiarise yourself with the ‘person specification’)
  • Note the time period between the application and start date. This will tell you how much time you have to prepare

Can I afford a degree apprenticeship?

  • Government funding is available
  • You will not be responsible for any University fees whilst you are employed as part of a Degree Apprenticeship scheme. As a result, you are not eligible to apply for a student loan
  • You will be paid a salary by your employer

Find out more