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Are Apprenticeships Better Than University

You may be unsure about your future steps after finishing your sixth-form studies and asking yourself if apprenticeships are better than university. If this describes you, don’t worry; various options are available.

Whether you attend university or an apprenticeship, both options may allow you to complete a full bachelor’s degree. Degree apprenticeships will enable you to acquire a degree while learning about your industry via on-the-job training.

Will it limit my possibilities in the future?


If you want to attend university, you can study a wide range of courses; however, admission to specific programmes may rely on the subjects you studied at A-level.

University degrees allow you to take your time deciding what you want to do with your future work while also allowing you to study a subject of your choice in-depth and get a lot of transferable skills that will be useful in various professions.


You will learn while working in your chosen field if you want to take an apprenticeship. The negative is that your future options will undoubtedly be more limited since you have specialised on a professional path quite early.

Despite this, there are more apprenticeship possibilities in business, accounting, engineering, information technology, education, retail, and media. Degree apprenticeships allow you to get a degree in your field while obtaining on-the-job experience.

What qualifications will I be able to obtain?


At university, you will get a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree, or a PhD depending on your level of study.


The certifications you earn throughout your apprenticeship are determined by the kind of apprenticeship you choose. Among the several forms of apprenticeship are:

  • Intermediate is the equivalent of five outstanding GCSEs.
  • Advanced is comparable to two A-levels.
  • Higher education – the first phases of higher education, such as a foundation degree.
  • Degree – a degree equivalent to a bachelor’s or master’s degree.

How much will they cost you?


In England, an undergraduate university degree will cost you a maximum of £9,250 yearly. Students from Scotland or the EU would not pay the same, while those from England, Wales, or Northern Ireland will be required to pay up to £9,250.

Domestic students in Wales will pay up to £9,000, while EU and Northern Irish students would pay £3,925. In addition, students from Northern Ireland will pay up to £4,030 for home students and £9,250 for students from other UK areas.


One advantage of an apprenticeship over a university degree is that you will be paid to study.

If you pursue a degree apprenticeship, the course providers and the government will share the cost of your study, allowing you to finish debt-free. However, this means that degree apprentices are not eligible for student loans.


You will study full-time or part-time at university and live at home, in private accommodation, or university halls. If you are a full-time student in the United Kingdom, you will have three terms that start in September and conclude in May, with holidays for Easter, Christmas, and summer.


An apprenticeship combines work and education; you will learn job-specific skills, work alongside experienced personnel, and study at a college or training agency to get specialised certificates.

The apprenticeship experience will differ depending on the company you work for, your location, and the kind of apprenticeship you choose.

Apprentices in the United Kingdom are entitled to 21 days of paid vacation plus bank holidays.

How long will it take to complete them?


Your undergraduate university degree will take two to four years to complete if you are a full-time student. This will be defined by your programme and the location of your studies. A master’s degree typically lasts one year, but a PhD takes three to four years to complete in the United Kingdom.


Depending on the apprenticeship, apprenticeships may run anywhere from one to six years. Following that, you may be offered a full-time position with the organisation.

So are apprenticeships better than university? It is your choice and your future but go with what you feel is best.

Updated on August 31, 2022

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