How long is a degree apprenticeship?

  • Becky Kells
  • 20 Mar 2020

If you’ve done your research, you’ll now be well aware that Degree Apprenticeships come with many benefits. You get a university degree with no student debt—in fact, you get paid while you learn. You also get to build up relationships within a company for several years, boosting your interpersonal skills. But just how long can you expect to be doing a degree apprenticeship for?


The standard length for most degrees is three years, with some courses being spread over four years to make room for a year in industry or year abroad. So how does a degree apprenticeship compare?

The general range for degree apprenticeships is three to six years, with different employers specifying different lengths based on their industry and course type. It’s worth noting that even when advertising Degree Apprenticeships, employers tend to give a range rather than an exact duration—36–48 months, for example. This indicates a shorter completion time depending on your prior experience and learning style. On the other hand, if you’re doing a degree apprenticeship equivalent to a masters qualification, you might end up doing it for longer. 

This is also true of specialist apprenticeships. For example, solicitors apprenticeships can take up to seven years. While this may seem like a long time to be studying towards a qualification, you’ll be working and earning for the entire time, and the reason why it takes so long is because of the various postgraduate qualifications needed to practise as a solicitor. 

In general, the reason why some degree apprenticeships take a bit longer to complete than standard degrees is because you’re working alongside your studies, with both elements feeding into each other to give you an integrated, practical apprenticeship. On average, degree apprentices spend 20% of their week studying towards their degree qualification (either onsite with an assessor, online or at university), with the rest of their time dedicated to working. Given that they’re not studying full-time, it makes sense that completing the degree element can take a bit longer. 


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