Degree apprenticeship graduation

Introduction to higher and degree-level apprenticeships

If you think apprenticeships are just for school-leavers, it’s time to think again.

Introduction to Higher and Degree apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeship graduates

If you think apprenticeships are just for school-leavers, it's time to think again.

Apprenticeships are getting bigger and better. There's a huge range of apprenticeships available at all levels – from foundation courses to Masters-level qualifications – so whatever career path you want to take, an apprenticeship will help you get there.

Higher and degree-level apprenticeships are a valid alternative to university.

You'll learn the same skills, gain the same qualification and graduate at the same time as going to university – but there are no tuition fees. This means instead of racking up thousands of pounds worth of debt, you walk away with money in the bank and years of work experience under your belt.

What's the catch?

There is no catch. Honest.

Degree-level apprenticeships are a great opportunity for everyone to develop their skills. So whether you're a school-leaver ready to learn or an employer looking to upskill your staff, take a look at our higher apprenticeship FAQs:

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are nationally recognised qualifications that combine on-the-job training with classroom learning. Apprentices earn while they learn as they are employed by a company and paid a wage for the work they do.

How do apprenticeships work?

Apprentices spend over 30 hours a week learning practical skills at work. Most apprentices are mentored by a senior member of the team who'll teach them all the skills they need to know, and monitor their progress throughout the course.

Apprentices also spend time at university, college or learning online.

What courses are available?

From horticulture to hairdressing; plumbing to product design, there are so many apprenticeships to choose from. Apprenticeships are also offered at a range of different levels, starting from intermediate (equivalent to GCSEs) to higher-level (equivalent to a Master's degree).

There are around 75 higher and degree-level apprenticeships so far, and more are being developed all the time. Higher apprenticeships cover the full spectrum of job roles – from aerospace engineers to qualified solicitors.

How long do apprenticeships last?

Apprenticeships last a minimum of 1 year, but higher and degree-level courses can last up to 6 years. Depending on experience, some apprentices also have to complete intermediate training before they start.

How much do apprentices earn?

All apprentices earn while they learn. Those aged between 16 – 18 will earn at least over the minimum wage, however, most employers pay much more than this to higher apprenticeships. While salaries do vary, higher apprentices can expect to start on a salary of around £11,000, increasing every year and rising to around £30,000.

In fact, apprentices with a higher or degree-level qualification can expect to earn £50,000 more in their lifetime than someone with an undergraduate degree!

Higher and degree-level apprenticeships are a great way for people to gain high-level qualifications without racking up huge student debts. Plus they're a fantastic option for employers looking to upskill their staff without having to fork out for tuition fees.

To find out more about them, download our ultimate guide to higher and 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.