Degree apprenticeships are an alternative way of earning a degree qualification. During a degree apprenticeship, you ‘earn while you learn’, by working for an employer whilst also studying towards a degree. Apprentices spend 80% or more of their time at work, learning on the job and gaining real industry experience. The other 20% of an apprentice’s time is spent studying for their degree. This includes the time they spend at university, plus independent learning.
What are the advantages of a degree apprenticeship?
You’ll be earning money while you study for your degree qualification.
No student debt- Your University fees are paid for by your employer.
You will progress directly into a skilled profession with a salary to match.
You learn workplace specific skills- You will have the opportunity to interact with senior professionals, undertake project work and work as part of an organisation, all of which is invaluable for your development.
Usually Maths and English at L4 or above, but some vacancies require more- particularly STEM related areas.
Your employer will be investing significantly in you as an apprentice. If you can show that you have held a job, it demonstrates that you are accountable and reliable as an employee. Don’t worry if you don’t think your work experience links directly to the role you’re applying for. Think about the transferable skills you have learnt and the experiences which have made you a strong employee and learner.
A-Levels/ BTECs or Equivalent Level 3 Qualifications
All degree apprenticeships require you to have level 3 qualifications- You gain these from post-16 study. Make sure any Level 3 qualification you are studying will generate UCAS points.
Entry requirements vary across different jobs and universities. At Sheffield Hallam, degree apprenticeships tend to require around 112 UCAS points (BBC at A level/DDM BTEC).
When do they start?
Many degree apprenticeships begin in autumn like a typical degree pathway, though some courses have start dates throughout the year.
How long do they take?
3 – 5 years. Many take 3 years- just like a normal degree, however some take a little bit longer.
Can I apply to University as well?
You can apply for full-time courses through UCAS in January of your final college/6th form year, and still search for degree apprenticeship roles until you get your BTEC or A level results. This keeps both options open.
Is a Degree Apprenticeship right for me?
- More academic- less work experience
- Traditional student experience- living in the university bubble
- Student loans to be repaid
- Study a wide range of subjects- more freedom with career options
- Familiar student experience- lectures/seminars/independent study
- Same degree at the end of it
- More vocational- working full time and studying
- Not living on a university campus- though you may still need to move away from home depending on where you are employed and study
- No student debt
- Gain direct experience in the field you want to work in, and likely get a job straight after (the company have invested a lot of money in you)
- Balancing your work life with your study time.
- Same degree at the end of it
How to apply
- Start looking in the summer before Y13
- You can start applying to vacancies around the same time as UCAS applications, but there is no fixed application window. Degree apprenticeship vacancies appear throughout the year. This makes it vital that you check for vacancies regularly, sign up for email alerts and attend apprenticeship events
- All apprenticeships (regardless of level) are applied for through the National Apprenticeship Service
- You apply like you would a job, through the Find an Apprenticeship website
- Unlike a UCAS application, you can tailor your C.V and cover letter specifically for each vacancy
- Higher and degree apprenticeships | Sheffield Hallam University (shu.ac.uk)
- Not Going To Uni: Apprenticeships & Work Experience in the UK
- Steps to Success | Student Ladder
- Beetroot.com | Graduate Jobs, Apprenticeships, Placements
- School Leaver Jobs | AllAboutSchoolLeavers
- Degree apprenticeships – Learn more here (ucas.com)
- Find an apprenticeship – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)