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Higher and degree apprenticeships

Information for learners

Looking to enhance your skills through a higher or degree apprenticeship? Discover the range of apprenticeships we offer, the benefits of studying an apprenticeship, how to make a strong case to your employer and how to apply.

What is a higher or degree apprenticeship?​​​

Higher and degree apprenticeships are an alternative to traditional university study, giving you the opportunity to obtain a higher qualification (typically a full undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree) and learn professional skills, through a programme combining work and study.

Apprenticeships are a partnership arrangement between employers and employees, where both sides gain. Apprentices benefit from increased skills and enhanced employability, while employers gain from greater productivity and improved competitiveness.

You also won’t have to pay any student fees, like you would for a traditional degree, as these are covered by the Government and your employer using the Apprenticeship Levy scheme.

Why study a higher or degree apprenticeship with us?

We offer a range of higher and degree apprenticeships across a variety of subject areas including business, accountancy, cyber security, social work, health and engineering.

If you study with us, you will benefit from teaching staff who are industry experts, state-of-the-art facilities, and all-round support throughout your studies.

Apprenticeship requirements

If you are interested in studying a higher or degree apprenticeship with us, you need to be employed (working at least 30 hours a week).

You cannot apply for a degree apprenticeship directly, so your first step is to speak to your employer and make them aware of why an apprenticeship is a worthwhile investment.

Maths and English qualifications

In order to study a Degree Apprenticeship programme, learners need to have evidence of English and Maths qualifications – each apprenticeship standard has specific requirements.

Typically learners need evidence of level 2 English and Maths – this is an apprenticeship requirement not just a University requirement. Where these have not been achieved at the commencement of an apprenticeship, they must be completed by the time the learner reaches their end point assessment in order to be able to complete their apprenticeship.

The University have subcontracted the teaching and assessment of these qualifications to Adult Education in Gloucestershire. They have been selected to provide these courses on behalf of the University because of their expertise and experience in delivering successful outcomes for adult learners. The location of the training provider also allows better geographical access to support for our apprentices to achieve these Level 2 qualifications.

Making the case to your employer

We’ve created some top tips to help you make your case to your employer below.

Student writing with pen and paper in front of laptop.

1. Do your research

Before doing anything else, check you are eligible for the apprenticeship you have in mind – you need to be able to demonstrate that it will enable you to gain substantive new skills.

The next step is to find out if there are any guidelines in place within your organisation relating to training and development. For larger organisations, these are usually available from the HR department or can be found in your employee handbook. You should find out if there is a formal process in place for requesting training and, if there is, you should follow this.

Next, find out if your employer has budget set aside for apprenticeships. Since April 2017, employers with a pay bill of more than £3 million are required to pay a monthly levy to fund apprenticeships, so if you work for a large organisation you may be able to tap into this.

Even smaller organisations (with a pay bill of less than £3 million) can utilise the levy fund towards 95% of apprenticeship costs.

A man smiling whilst holding a pen

2. Demonstrate return on investment

As with any investment decision, your employer will want to know what’s in it for them, so you need to clearly present these facts when making your case.

A key point to emphasise is that higher apprenticeships are proven to have a positive impact on productivity – according to the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), an average person completing an apprenticeship increases productivity by £214 per week. This in turn leads to greater competitivity – the NAS says that 77% of employers believe that apprenticeships make them more competitive.

However, it is also important to think about how a higher apprenticeship would specifically benefit your role and your employer. Find out what is included in the apprenticeship you’re interested in and think of some examples of how your learning would be relevant to your role, and how it would directly benefit your business in terms of improved quality, innovation and efficiency. 

Also be prepared to talk about how the higher apprenticeship would help you to become a better leader within your business, and how it would keep you up to date with the current challenges and trends affecting your work – for example, our higher and degree apprenticeships provide access to industry opinion leaders, which presents a huge opportunity for your business. 

Overall, you need to be able to demonstrate that taking a higher or degree apprenticeship will help your organisation grow.

Group of students gathered around a laptop

3. Explain why you want to study at University of Gloucestershire

We have years of experience of delivering high quality, work-based learning programmes. Our higher and degree apprenticeships build upon tried and tested approaches that get the very best results, so both you and your employer can be confident in their quality.

We understand that no two businesses or learners are the same and we have the agility to respond to different needs, so apprentices get the best out of their learning, and employers get the best out of their apprentices. This means that our apprenticeships really are a win win.

Woman with glasses holding piece of paper smiling

4. Direct your employer to get in touch

Direct your employer to our main higher and degree apprenticeships page, which provides an overview for employers (as well as the key facts for learners).

Encourage them to contact our team to find out more detail about the apprenticeships we offer, so they can discover the benefits for their organisation.