University Tips Blog
A student working in a busy office whilst undertaking a degree apprenticeship
A headshot image of the author, Ruth Boyce

by Ruth Boyce

Schools and Colleges Senior Development Officer at the University of Winchester

posted on 4 Jul '21

A school and college guide to degree apprenticeships

What are degree apprenticeships?

Most universities in England are now registered to provide degree apprenticeships. This may be a comprehensive range of subjects, or sometimes just a few specialist subject areas. This is partly due to funding and local employer demand.

At the University of Winchester for example, we have a range of health apprenticeships on the way in collaboration with the local labour market demands, but it can take years in the planning to see large recruitment numbers. Conversely, students who perhaps enjoy humanities and creative subjects will often struggle to find opportunities with less employers investing in degree apprenticeship opportunities for these sectors.

What will students interested in degree apprenticeships want to know?

Once degree apprenticeships are explained, the interest and enthusiasm from both students and parents tends to grow – no tuition fees, a degree and earning a wage.

But when it comes to applying there may be concerns when picking a specific sector, employers choosing the studied content and a student missing out on the support and wider opportunities that going to university full time would involve.

We find students often want more information and advice on whether a degree apprenticeship would be right for them. I would suggest they look for meet the employer events and use company websites to find case studies of current degree apprentices to find out more. They should still visit university open days as academic staff will often teach on both the full-time degree and degree apprenticeship routes as well.

The degree apprenticeship application process and some useful tips

Although the study component is offered by the university, it is often the employer who makes the final decisions about who to recruit.

Each employer will have their own application process, typically involving an online application perhaps with a covering letter and CV, an invitation to attend an assessment centre and then an online interview session or group interview day. Employers will be looking for a range of skills and knowledge of the company/sector so students need to do their homework to make a successful application, which can take time on top of their academic studies.

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