Degree Apprenticeships

What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are a new type of programme offered by some universities. Students can achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of their apprenticeship.

Degree Apprenticeships are a bit like being sponsored through your degree. You have a job with a company and your employer pays for your degree tuition fees. You study for your degree while working. As a Degree Level Apprentice, you will be earning money while you learn and have no student debt hanging over you when you graduate.

Here is a useful short video summarising the main differences between Degree Apprenticeships and full-time University:

If you have a career in mind and know what you want to do, a Degree Apprenticeship can be a great way to get your degree and you will also graduate with 3/4 years work experience and no debt.

Degree apprenticeships will not be right for everyone, particularly if you have a burning desire to study something purely academic, like History or languages, but for some, it could provide a clear pathway to achieving your career ambitions.

Advantages of Degree Apprenticeships

The advantages of studying for your chosen career via a degree apprenticeship are:

  • You will be paid by your employer while you train – the salary you will receive varies but it will be at least minimum wage and sometimes more.
  • Your employer will also pay your tuition fees, so you will graduate debt free
  • Your chances of being offered a permanent job on graduation by your employer are high – after all they’ve invested a lot of time and money in your training and moulded you to their requirements, so why wouldn’t they?
  • You will still get your degree or in some cases a postgraduate qualification

Disadvantages of Degree Apprenticeships

  • Your university experience will not by typical of other students – you will not be living on campus and will only attend part time.
  • You will be working up to 30 hours a week and will also have to study evenings and weekends. It is certainly not an easy option.

The application process

Degree Apprenticeship vacancies are advertised by the companies recruiting, in the same way a job would be. Companies could be recruiting for Degree Apprentices all year round but you may also find an increase in the number of vacancies advertised after A-level results. Each one has its own closing date and there is not an application cycle or process that is common to all. 

Below are some of the key websites to research Degree Apprenticeship Vacancies:

A degree apprenticeship is the same as applying for a job and is not linked to the university application process. Therefore, if you are unsure which route you want to take, you are encouraged to apply for both and decide when the time is right. You may find you get offered a degree apprenticeship and a university place and then you can make the choice.

For further information about Degree Apprenticeships please watch this presentation that was delivered to Tring School students by David Ritchie, who is an experienced careers advisor:


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