The UK government created degree Apprenticeships to bring together the best academic and practical education to address the skills and productivity issues.
Degree Apprentices split their time between school and employment. They are employed throughout – completing a bachelor’s or master’s degree while earning a wage and getting real-world experience in their chosen profession. Degree Apprentices do not pay tuition since their employer sponsors them. Employers may then utilise funds from their Apprenticeship Levy account to upskill or recruit new workers to address skill gaps within their organisation.
How do they get their funds?
Degree Apprenticeships may be funded via the monthly Apprenticeship Levy payment for businesses with an annual PAYE bill of £3 million or more. The cost of course fees is divided between the government and the employers; smaller companies that do not qualify for the Apprenticeship Levy pay less.
What is a degree apprenticeship?
Degree Apprentices must work 30 hours per week and spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training. This 20% component may be fulfilled via the day or block release (attending lectures, seminars, and lab sessions on campus) or remote learning in a virtual learning environment.
What kind of degree apprenticeships are available?
- Business and administration
- Care services
- Childcare and education
- Creative and design
- Engineering and manufacturing
- Health and science
- Legal, finance, and accounting
- Protective services (e.g. police)
What are the benefits and drawbacks?
Graduate-level employers place a great emphasis on on-the-job experience. As a result, degree Apprentices not only get up to four years of work experience on top of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree, but they also have a guaranteed job at the end of their Apprenticeship.
There are no outstanding debts.
Unlike traditional undergraduate students, who would leave university with debts over £40,000, tuition expenses as a Degree Apprentice are covered by the sponsoring business. As a result, degree Apprentices make an excellent living while studying.
According to current UK Government statistics, 77 per cent of apprentices stay with the same business after finishing their Apprenticeship, 46 per cent get a pay increase, and 36 per cent are promoted. This is on top of the graduate premium of £100,000 or more in lifetime comparative earnings over non-graduates.
Missing out on the whole university experience
As a part-time student, you will not be eligible for on-campus accommodation and will not have as much time to engage in social activities as full-time students. However, degree Apprentices continue to access all of the services and facilities our regular entry students enjoy, such as the gym, the student union bar, and societies.
Juggling work and studies
It is challenging to balance work and academic objectives when pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. Some students thrive under pressure, while others are easily overwhelmed. Most universities provide a network of student support services to ensure students get the assistance they need throughout their studies.
Degree Apprentices work all year, unlike typical students, who have reading weeks and a long summer break. Degree Apprentices are allowed 28 days of statutory holiday per year, with most employers offering a specified amount of study time to prepare for exams.