Work Based Pathways

Higher level apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships suit students who want to be employed while studying. They are open to anyone over the age of 16 and can take anything from one to four years to complete. With both higher and degree apprenticeship routes you can achieve a full degree qualification.

Find out more

Higher and degree apprenticeships combine work with study at a higher level. The apprentice gains hands-on experience and qualifications while getting paid. And there’s no university fees – these are co-funded by the government and employer.

Degree apprenticeships are a new type of programme. Students can achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship and get to graduate with a cap and gown! There are lots of different apprenticeships available across a wide range of industries and for a wide variety of job roles.


Higher and Degree Apprenticeships have three elements:

“An apprenticeship is a fantastic way for young people to learn on the job, receive fully funded training (and paid study time!), gaining industry recognised apprenticeship qualifications. We look for highly motivated individuals that have a real passion for the area as well as having the minimum academic qualifications to enter the Level 4 apprenticeship. The apprentices start on the same pay scales as our existing staff and are part of our permanent workforce from day one.”

Neil Baxter
Strategic Workforce Manager, Aviva


of apprentices stay employed after completing their apprenticeship*


with the same employer

*Department for Education - Participation Rates in Higher Education: Academic Years 2006/2007-2015/2016

The Apprentice

the training provider

(the organisation that teaches the theory behind the job)

The employer

(the company helping to put the theory into practice in the workplace)

Qualifications explained

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships:

  • Combine work with study – apprentices are employed and paid a wage
  • Involves study part-time at college, university or with a training provider
  • Can include work-based, academic or combined qualifications or professional qualifications relevant to the industry
  • Obtain a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree with a Degree Apprenticeship
  • No university fees - training costs are co-funded by the government and the employer
  • Earn a wage and gain experience - higher and degree apprentices are paid employees with a contract of employment and holiday entitlement