What is a Degree Apprenticeship?

Posted: 19th of September 2018 by Lewis Scott

About Degree Apprenticeships

A degree apprenticeship combines working as an apprentice with university and gaining a degree. In essence, you are an apprentice but also get to study in that field of interest to you and can achieve a full bachelor’s/master’s degree at the end, debt free! These can take one to six years to complete depending on the sector, role and company. Apprentices will be expected to work for 30 hours per week for 30 weeks of the year. In essence, it’s a full-time job, just with a degree!

The biggest incentive for most is that you do not have to pay the university tuition fees but still get paid as a normal apprentice would. A lot of young people, as well as employers, are seeing this as a great opportunity and a route they would like to go down, leading to a huge growth in popularity.



The apprenticeship aspect is identical to what a normal apprenticeship would entail. Getting experience and working in your chosen sector, getting a feel for the environment and the market are all fundamental factors.

Apprenticeships in general have seen a massive increase in popularity. Since 2000, there has been a 282% increase in apprenticeship starts. To add to this, there were 912,200 apprentice starts in 2016/17, 12,800 more than the year before. There has also been an increase in the successful completions of apprenticeships in 2017, rising 10% from the previous year. These figures enhance the fact that apprenticeships are constantly growing in popularity and people are realising the benefits in both the short and long term.

Roles in degree apprenticeships are even more limited due to the rewards and their prestigious nature. Combining both experience and a degree, you make yourself as employable as you can be.


Availability of Apprenticeships

As mentioned above, these apprenticeship degrees are still limited as they are fairly new and also prestigious. According to UCAS, degree apprenticeships are available in the following sectors:

  • Business & Administration
  • Childcare & Education
  • Construction
  • Creative & Design
  • Digital
  • Engineering & Manufacturing
  • Health & Science
  • Legal, Finance & Accounting
  • Protective Services (Police)

However, it is anticipated that added sectors and roles will become more available over the next couple of years. These types of apprenticeships are already growing and gaining traction. This is also down to the popularity that has risen over the past year with people realising this type of apprenticeship can be a real kickstart for their career.

Here at NotGoingToUni, we currently have 26 degree apprenticeship opportunities available with this number likely to grow significantly over the next one to two years. The World University Rankings wrote an article on degree apprenticeships titled; ‘Degree Apprenticeships are Quietly Revolutionising Higher Education’. This really highlights how people are starting to take notice and realise that the traditional route of just going to university is not the only path for young people.

Degree apprenticeships are specifically designed to give the apprentice the best chance of achieving a full-time employment role in their chosen sector and the foundations to work their way up within that business/sector. Experience is vital for young people seeking to get into a good company/job. A degree apprenticeship gives them everything they need in terms of both academic qualifications and on-the-job experience, setting them apart from the crowd.


Apprenticeships & the Future

Universities and employers are beginning to work together, with the backing of the government and the interest of the public to produce these degree apprenticeships that highly benefit young people. With more roles being created and therefore more opportunity, this is the perfect time to look into starting a degree apprenticeship.

‘Universities recognise the new income stream opened by degree apprenticeships. The government’s commitment to create 3 million apprenticeships by 2020, alongside new targets for public sector apprenticeships, signals that this is likely to be a growing market.’ (https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN03052)

The opportunities made available through a degree apprenticeship are second to none and can provide participants with the best possible start to adult life.








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