University Tips Blog
Image of students and employers in a degree apprenticeship meeting
A headshot image of the author, George Kenyon

by George Kenyon

Student Recruitment Officer at The University of Law

posted on 10 Oct '22

A school and college guide to degree apprenticeships

Education and qualifications are adapting to address skills shortages and prepare young people for the workplaces of the future, with Degree Apprenticeships being an example of the diversification of higher education pathways.

Traditional university education is not appealing to all young people or the careers that they wish to pursue. Traditionally, whilst apprenticeships have been valued as the vocational, ‘hands-on’ route into the workplace, they have struggled to achieve the prestige of the university degree.

The degree apprenticeship aims to go above and beyond this view. Providing a qualification equal to a degree, with opportunities to apply for apprenticeships in a range of sectors. For example, at The University of Law, we offer students a Solicitor Apprenticeship, so they can gain knowledge and skills ‘on the job’, whilst working towards a degree level qualification.

This blog will be an introductory guide to degree apprenticeships and answer some key questions along the way.

What are Degree Apprenticeships?

A degree apprenticeship allows a student to work towards a full degree whilst gaining experience in the workplace. A student’s time will be split between the workplace and university, for example spending 80% of their time at work and 20% of their time at study.

Why do students do Degree Apprenticeships?

There are a variety of reasons why a student would decide to undertake a degree apprenticeship. One of the appeals of a degree apprenticeship is that a student will earn as they learn, instead of going to university and taking out a student loan, a degree apprentice will get paid for the work they do.

Students also find the practical experience of a degree apprenticeship appealing; they will be able to apply their learning to practice and experience things that a traditional university degree may not be able to provide.

Degree apprenticeships are available in a wide variety of job sectors, whether it’s in construction, accounting and finance, architecture, media, engineering, healthcare, law and many more. This has boosted their appeal to students.

Image of a student applying for a degree apprenticeship

Applying for a Degree Apprenticeship

Unlike university courses there is no set application cycle for a degree apprenticeships, they are advertised throughout the year with the deadlines and start date being set by each employer. The best place for students to search for regularly published degree apprenticeships is

Unlike university applications, students do not apply through UCAS. Instead, they apply directly to the employer, and follow the employers application process which may include submitting a C.V, attending an interview and undertaking assessments to judge their suitability.

Degree Apprenticeships - Top tips for school and college colleagues

  • Encourage students to start their search early, there are a large pool of applicants for a relatively small number of apprenticeships.
  • Ask students to consider their career aspirations. Is this really a sector they wish to work in? A degree apprenticeship is great for on-the-job experience, but students shouldn’t undertake one if they are not committed to that sector.
  • Encourage students to think about their salary. Whilst apprentices will earn a salary, they are NOT eligible for student loan support. Can they live, study and travel on the salary offered?

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