What the heck is: a degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are often considered the ‘best of both worlds’.

Degree apprenticeships

They are a new(ish) type of sponsored degrees and they’re becoming increasingly popular. It’s certainly easy to see why.

With the prospect of up to £50k student debt for conventional degrees, degree apprenticeships are very appealing.

You get to study for a degree, from a reputable university, whilst getting paid and getting hands on experience from day one!

So, how do you go about getting one?

Securing a degree apprenticeship is far from easy. Firstly, there’s no one-stop-shop for applications (like there is through UCAS for conventional degrees). Instead, you apply to the sponsoring company and it can be hard to find out about all the opportunities out there. they can come up at fairly random times and have their own deadlines and processes for applying.

You can find the latest degree apprenticeship opportunities in our Degree Apprenticeship Facebook Group.

Secondly, they are highly competitive and there is a limited number. Unlike universities which often have hundreds of places to fill for an individual course, securing a degree apprenticeship is basically securing a job. The employer will be investing their time, money and effort into training you and they need to be sure that you’re up to the job!

What can I study?

There are more and more degree apprenticeship becoming available all the time. They tend to focus on professional and vocational subjects; in other words subjects that are directly related to the job you will be doing. They currently cover the following broad subject areas:

  • Business and administration
  • Childcare and education
  • Construction
  • Creative and design
  • Digital
  • Engineering and manufacturing
  • Health and science
  • Legal, finance, and accounting
  • Protective services (e.g. police)

As well as proving your academic ability (there’ll be some pretty intensive study and coursework required), you’ll have to prove your commitment to the job, your ability to turn up on time and be professional, and your ability to be a team player. Expect to prove your commitment, professionalism and team working ability at interview stage!

Are there any down sides?

Degree apprenticeships are not for everyone. If you’re not yet sure what you want to do career-wise it’ll be hard to commit to a degree apprenticeship which ultimately gears you up for a longer-term professional role.

Your experience of university will be very different to the more traditional university experience. Study is often concentrated into week or month long stints at a university or, if the university is near the employer you might attend lectures one day a week. So you might feel that you miss out on the ‘full university experience’.

The big up-side to degree apprenticeships is that you get paid and you get your fees covered. The downside is you won’t be entitled to a student loan or bursaries that help with living costs. Although most would consider that a basic salary while you study, a debt-free graduation and the prospect of a long-term highly-skilled job far outweigh this minor downside!

Want to be the first to hear about degree apprenticeship opportunities? Join our Facebook Degree Apprenticeship Group

Are you thinking of applying for a degree apprenticeship? Or maybe you’re currently studying for one? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below!