Higher & Degree Apprenticeships

Learn professional skills, gain your qualification and progress your career

What are Apprenticeships?
Click here for an Introduction to Apprenticeships and to find out how they work.

What are Higher and Degree Apprenticeships?
They are an alternative route to gaining a degree at university or college; enabling you to work and study.

Higher and degree apprenticeships are available at levels 4 to 7. Levels 4 and 5 are equivalent to a Higher Education Certificate/ Diploma or a foundation degree, level 6 is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree and level 7 is equivalent to a Master’s degree.

They combine work with study and may include a work-based, academic or combined qualification or a professional qualification relevant to the industry.

Higher apprenticeships range from level 4 to 7. They provide an opportunity to gain Level 4 qualifications or above. Typically, higher apprentices study part time at college, university or with a training provider. Higher apprenticeships can take between one and five years depending on the programme and course level.

Degree apprenticeships offer the opportunity for you to achieve a full bachelor’s [ level 6] or master’s [level 7] degree. Degree apprenticeships combine working with studying part-time at a university. Degree apprenticeships typically take between three to six years to complete, depending on the programme and course level.

Entry requirements vary from programme to programme and depend on the sector and prior skills. If you have achieved A-levels you may still be expected to start at intermediate or advanced level as some sectors, such as engineering, require you to build up your occupational skills. [taken from The complete guide to higher and degree apprenticeships Which?]

We recommend you check the requirements for the specific apprenticeship you are applying for.

Please note: entry requirements for Higher / Degree apprenticeships vary- please check on individual requirements, by programme.

  • Most higher apprenticeships will ask for five GCSEs at A* - C (9-4 on the new grading system), including English and Maths and you will need level 3 qualifications including A-Levels, NVQs, a BTEC or an Advanced Apprenticeship. For the higher-level apprenticeships, such as 5,6 & 7, you will need an even higher-level qualification. Some employers will also want you to have studied subjects relevant to what you are applying for.

  • Degree Apprenticeships - due to the level of a degree qualification, it is quite likely that you will need formal qualifications as employers want to know that you’ll keep up with the academic work and not struggle.

  • Most degree apprenticeships will ask for five GCSEs at A* - C (9-4 on the new grading system), including English and Maths and you will need level 3 qualifications including A-Levels, NVQs, a BTEC or an Advanced Apprenticeship. If you have a lot of experience in your chosen industry, your employer might be more relaxed in terms of what qualifications you need to have.

There’s lots of opportunities!

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships have been offered in a wide range of large organisations, just a few examples include the BBC, SKY, Airbus, Amazon, EY, PWC, BAE Systems, ITV, GlaxoSmithKline, smaller companies offer them too.

There are many higher and degree apprenticeships. Visit the Institute for apprenticeships to see the full list of higher and degree apprenticeships currently available and those coming soon.

Interested - want to find out more?

Use the resources below to find out more information on higher and degree apprenticeships

The complete guide to higher and degree apprenticeships - Which? University, in conjunction with the National Apprenticeship Service, has published a new guide to higher and degree apprenticeships.

The guide covers what students need to know about apprenticeships; this includes an introduction to what they are, how much students can earn while they learn, subjects, universities and employers involved in higher and degree apprenticeships and real stories from apprentices and employers. There’s also practical information around long term career prospects and the next steps to apply - and succeed.

To access the guide click here.

Find Apprenticeship vacancies

At various points throughout the year, the government produce a listing of higher and degree vacancies [Higher degree vacancy listing].

To search for current apprenticeship vacancies click here.

Other ways to apply for a Degree apprenticeship...


  • Amazing Apprenticeships – ‘Vacancy snapshot’
  • Specific employers will also advertise their apprenticeship opportunities through their own websites.
  • You can also look at the websites of universities and colleges to see what programmes they offer and who they partner with.

For more information and resources on Apprenticeships:

Access an Interactive Student Apprenticeship Guide, developed by Amazing Apprenticeships which that has lots of information, interactive activities, checklists and short films

Find out more about the opportunities that exist outside of traditional university.

For further information and featured stories click here

BBC BITESIZE - Read about 3 students who share their experience of doing a degree apprenticeship

Watch the video clip to find out more about higher apprenticeships

Hear what students have to say about degree apprenticeships

Live streaming of sector-specific videos and careers information: