In England, there are now four levels of apprenticeship: intermediate, advanced, higher, and degree. All of them are work-based learning programmes that result in nationally recognised certifications.
- Intermediate apprenticeships are level 2 qualifications equivalent to A*–C GCSE passes (4–9 on the new system).
- Advanced apprenticeships are level 3 credentials comparable to A-levels.
- Higher apprenticeships result in level 4 and higher certificates.
- Degree apprenticeship involves studying for a university degree while working (level 6 or above).
If you’re not sure what the levels mean, here’s a breakdown:
- Level 4/5 is equivalent to a higher education certificate, diploma, or foundation degree. (the first year of a degree programme)
- A bachelor’s degree corresponds to level 6.
- A master’s degree corresponds to level 7.
A level 3 qualification, such as an advanced apprenticeship, A levels, or NVQ level 3, is typically needed to move to a higher apprenticeship or degree apprenticeship. In addition, a level 2 qualification, such as an intermediate apprenticeship or five good GCSE passes (grades A*–C or 4–9), are needed.