About degree apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships combine on-the-job training with study for a higher level qualification, giving employers the highly skilled and knowledgeable workforce that their businesses need.

What are degree apprenticeship Standards?

The UK government is committed to expanding the number, range, and quality of apprenticeships that offer training at degree level. As part of this commitment, the government is developing a new range of apprenticeship Standards, which will be paid for through the Apprenticeship Levy.

An apprenticeship is defined through a Standard which states the knowledge, skills, and behaviours the apprentice needs to develop during their programme of study. These Standards are developed by the industry to meet the needs of that sector, but we can tailor the delivery method of our programmes to meet your employee's and your business needs.

UWE Bristol will be focusing on degree apprenticeships at:

  • Level 5 (Foundation Degree)
  • Level 6 (Bachelor's Degree)
  • Level 7 (Master's Degree).

If you are interested in lower-level Standards, we may be able to redirect you to one of our further education college partners.

For more information view the approved Standards on the Gov.uk website.

More Standards will be approved over time.

How is the degree apprenticeship delivered?

The educational part of the apprenticeship will be based on a UWE Bristol degree programme relevant to the apprenticeship. The course will be delivered in a range of formats including day release, block release and blended learning. Not all programmes will be available in all formats.

As apprenticeships are work-based qualifications, on-the-job training is undertaken at the employee’s workplace.

How long does a degree apprenticeship take?

An apprenticeship based on a foundation degree would typically require three years of study. If the apprenticeship integrates a bachelors/undergraduate degree it will take 4–5 years to progress through the programme. At Masters level an apprenticeship would last 18–24 months.

Who can be an apprentice?

There are rules governing who can be an apprentice. The main ones are:

  • the apprentice must be employed in a real job; they may be an existing employee or a new hire
  • the apprentice must work towards achieving an approved apprenticeship Standard
  • the apprenticeship training must last at least 12 months
  • the apprentice must spend at least 20 percent of their time doing off-the-job training, ie studying.

The National Apprenticeship Service can provide all the information you need to know in order to employ an apprentice.

What role do I have as the apprentice’s employer?

As an employer you will have all the normal statutory employer responsibilities for the apprentice. 

In addition, you will need to agree to provide paid time off from work for study, provide in-company support/mentoring for the apprentice and collaborate with UWE Bristol during the recruitment phase to ensure the apprentice meets your job/employment criteria and the University’s academic entrance requirements.

Our team at UWE Bristol will support and help facilitate the apprenticeship process.

If you have any questions, please email our Degree Apprenticeships Team at degreeapprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk or call +44 (0)117 328 4888.

Can I develop a relevant apprenticeship for my business?

Employers are able to develop a Standard that defines the knowledge and skills. This process is managed by the Department for Education.

If you cannot find a suitable Standard, please email our Degree Apprenticeships Team at degreeapprenticeships@uwe.ac.uk. We will be happy to help coordinate local employers so that a Standard can be developed and a suitable academic programme designed to meet the requirements of the Standard.

Can degree apprenticeships lead to professional body registration and membership?

Yes. Many of UWE Bristol's degree programmes are accredited by relevant professional bodies and we will also be working to secure accreditation for degree apprenticeships.

Current degree apprenticeship courses

View our degree apprenticeship courses

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