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Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

The number of career areas where there is a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship pathway is increasing. A Higher or Degree Apprenticeship offers a route to gaining a higher education qualification whilst building up experience and without paying course fees! There are many adults who are interested in changing their career or progressing their career through this route. 

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are run in a similar way to apprenticeships at other levels. It can be challenging combining a job with higher education study so you need to be self-motivated, flexible and able to manage your time. Despite the challenges, there are many benefits.

Higher Apprenticeships

Higher Apprenticeships give you the chance to build up practical work experience while progressing academically at Level 4 and above. The qualification/s you work towards vary depending on the actual apprenticeship but can include:

  • a work-related qualification e.g. an NVQ Level 4 or 5
  • an HND or HNC
  • a Foundation Degree
  • an Honours Degree
  • a professional qualification

In some cases you may be able to work towards Chartered status in your sector, such as Chartered Engineer.

Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships are Level 6 or 7 qualifications - this means that a full bachelor’s or master’s degree is built into the programme. 

Degree Apprenticeships are alternative routes into professions where previously you could only train through full-time study at University. Things like this include Nursing and Law. 

Where to find Higher or Degree Apprenticeships

You can search for and apply for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in all the same places as other apprenticeships; university and college websites often promote opportunities. In January 2021 there are over a thousand vacancies for Higher and Degree apprenticeships advertised on UCAS. 

Which? University’s 2019  'Complete Guide to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships' lists the sectors and professions in which you can take a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship, and also details the universities involved and some of the employers.


University V Apprenticeships 2019

Examples of Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in the South of England

All the universities and colleges are working with employers to develop Higher and Degree Apprenticeships - here's some examples of what is being offered in the South of England.

UWE, Bristol - offer 27 different apprenticeship areas in areas ranging from; architecture, construction, police, paramedic, occupational therapist, health science, aerospace, nuclear engineering, IT and town planning.

University of Exeter - offer  degree apprenticeships in civil engineering, diagnostic radiographer, digital and technology solutions, applied finance.

University of Gloucestershire - manufacturing engineering, control engineering, digital marketing, cyber security, nursing, management, working with children and families, social work, nursing associate, financial adviser

Oxford Brookes - architecture, leadership, digital and technology solutions, social work surveying.

Degree Apprenticeships at UWE

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