Parents: what is a Degree Apprenticeship?

A detailed look at Degree Apprenticeships, which could be the perfect option for your child. 

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Degree Apprenticeships offer your child the chance to achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree – at Levels 6 and 7 – as a core component of the programmes. While Degree Apprenticeships must last a minimum of one year, the programmes generally last longer than this, typically up to four years.

If your child chooses to do a Degree Apprenticeship they will not be eligible for student loans, but tuition fees are often paid in full by the employer, and they are paid a salary as full-time employees, like all other apprentices.

Degree Apprentices split their time between university study and the workplace and will be employed throughout – gaining a degree while earning a wage and getting real on-the-job experience in their chosen profession. In practice, this might mean your child spends two days a week at college or university and three days in the office or workplace. Alternatively, they might only go to college or university once a fortnight (or maybe even less). Some employers use a ‘block training’ approach, concentrating the required off-the-job training into weekly or fortnightly slots across the year.

Degree Apprenticeships also offer your child the rare opportunity to gain experience and form working relationships with high profile, well-respected companies – potentially even more advantageous than the academic qualifications on offer.

Degree Apprenticeships: industries

Degree Apprenticeships were only launched in 2015, but are already being embraced by high profile employers in various industries, giving your child the chance to work for some very well-respected companies. Degree Apprenticeships have now been announced in:

·       Chartered Surveying

·       Electronic Systems Engineering

·       Aerospace Engineering

·       Aerospace Software Development

·       Defence Systems Engineering

·       Laboratory Science

·       Nuclear

·       Power Systems

·       Public Relations

·        Digital

·       Automotive Engineering

·       Banking Relationship Manager

·       Construction

The government has also formed a board of business, university, and college groups to oversee the development of new programmes, including representatives from the CBI, FSB, EEF, Universities UK, University Alliance, Russell Group and the Association of Colleges.

If you child chooses a Degree Apprenticeship they will find themselves especially employable, as the programmes have been designed with the specific industry’s needs in mind. 

Degree Apprenticeships: qualifications & training

If you child chooses a Degree Apprenticeship, they will work towards a full bachelor’s or master’s degree – at Levels 6 and 7, but also engage in work-based learning and training, the same as at other apprenticeship levels.

Degree Apprenticeships: typical entry requirements

Degree Apprenticeship applicants must meet the same (if not higher) standards as normal university applicants.  Depending on the programme, a certain number of UCAS points, often in specific A-levels, will be required, or certain standards must have been achieved on other apprenticeships in a relevant job.

Degree Apprenticeships: career progression

If you child chooses a Degree Apprenticeship they will find themselves especially employable, as the programmes have been designed with the specific industry’s needs in mind. Groups of businesses, universities and colleges develop practical, vocational degree courses that allow students to build up skills and experience relevant to that particular industry, making them very employable in the future.

Those completing Degree Apprenticeships will often be offered a job with their employer at the end of the programme, but if they decide to move on they will have a very attractive set of skills and qualifications with which to progress in their chosen industry.