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Degree apprenticeships | Information for universities

Hundreds of degree apprenticeships are being delivered by institutions across the UK.

Degree apprenticeships | Information for universities

A graduation hat turned into a computer

Degree apprenticeships were launched in 2015, and now hundreds are being delivered by employers and institutions across the UK.

Co-designed by employers and higher education institutions (HEIs), degree apprenticeships combine university study with workplace learning. At the end of their qualification, apprentices receive a full Bachelor's or Master's degree.

Who pays for degree apprenticeships?

Apprentices are classed as full-time employees rather than students, so they don't pay student fees or training costs and are not eligible for a student loan. However, they do receive at least the minimum apprenticeship wage (£3.50 per hour). Levy-paying employers will cover the cost of training using their levy funds, and smaller employers will contribute 10% of the total training costs and the government will pay the remaining 90%.

Why should HEIs develop degree apprenticeships?

Building bridges

HEIs will work alongside businesses, local authorities and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to deliver degree apprenticeships, helping to build strong partnerships throughout the local community.

New markets

Introducing degree apprenticeships gives universities the opportunity to expand their educational offering and access new income streams.

Social benefits

Degree apprenticeships will attract students that wouldn't normally enrol onto traditional degree programmes, allowing universities to diversify their student population and increase social mobility.


Degree apprenticeships are more closely aligned with the employer's needs, so apprentices have higher recruitment and retention rates than traditional graduates.


What are the challenges involved in degree apprenticeships?

As with any new initiative or change to policy, there are bound to be challenges along the way. Many of them come from government regulations and the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) - as well as relationships between institutions and employers. As degree apprenticeships are still relatively new, there are concerns around demand, delivery and support. HEIs are concerned about:

· How to design and deliver degree apprenticeships

· Employer uncertainty

· Registering as an Apprenticeship Training Provider via the RoATP

· SFA funding rules

· Lack of awareness of degree apprenticeships among employers and individuals

· Relationships between employers and institutions


Many HEIs have already started to deliver degree apprenticeships, but much more support is needed across the sector to help universities increase their delivery.

To help clear things up, we've gone back to basics and created a complete guide to degree apprenticeships.

Download guide

This article includes research and opinion sourced by OneFile at the time of publication. Things may have changed since then,
so this research is to be used at the reader's discretion. OneFile is not liable for any action taken based on this research.