Work-based degrees and higher apprenticeships

Develop your staff and transform your business

Do you want your business to remain competitive? Do you need support with succession planning? Do you want to fill skills gaps? And retain the best talent?

We understand the difficulties some employers have in developing and retaining highly skilled employees. Designed by employers for employers, our work-based degree apprenticeships and higher apprenticeships address skills gaps, staff retention issues and support succession planning.

Adaptable by nature, and utilising Government funding, they can be used to upskill your existing employees including senior management, as well as to attract new talent to your business.

Combining a high-quality education with work-based learning and ongoing professional development, the knowledge your employees gain can be directly and immediately applied to the workplace.



Quick facts

No age limit – suitable for school leavers or your existing workforce

Duration – two-four years

Qualifications – University of Plymouth Honours Degree or Masters with optional professional qualification

Cost – paid by the employer through Government funding or financial incentives

Industry – suitable for all industry sectors and all size businesses

Study – part-time study around work commitments

If you are an individual who is interested in applying for a Degree Apprenticeship, please email for more information. Please indicate which apprenticeship/s you are interested in.

What are the benefits to your business?

  • Ä Tailored to your business needs: a bespoke training package to fit with the skills you require for your own organisation
  • A Attract key talent: with a compelling package of work and study, which will help to attract and develop new employees with the skills and knowledge to help your business to remain competitive
  • É Increase retention and productivity: suitable for all skill levels to enable employers to develop existing employees
  • | Plug the gap: fill skills gaps through supporting existing employees to gain internationally recognised higher apprenticeship and/or degree qualifications and support staff retention
  • * Cost effective: we can support you to utilise government funding to minimise up-front costs to your business
  • Å A training provider you can trust: develop a collaborative working partnership with the University of Plymouth to design suitable work-based projects and future degree qualifications for your employees

Our reputation

With an international reputation and proven track record of providing higher-level education, we can support your business to upskill your staff and grow your business at no or little upfront cost.

Employees gain either a higher-level qualification or an honours degree with the University of Plymouth, utilising an academic community that is distinguished by its high quality teaching.

We make it easy

One size does not fit all when it comes to training. Our industry-led, consultative approach means we identify training needs within your business and provide bespoke solutions to your skills gaps.

We recognise that funding for training is not always straightforward. As education funding experts, we can support you in accessing Government funding via the apprenticeship levy or provide alternative funding options to minimise or eradicate any up-front cost to your business.

"There is no doubt that Lineal has had a return on investment from the Degree Apprenticeship.

The highly skilled training that our apprentice has received has allowed us to improve our offer at Lineal. This has resulted in the introduction of a Cyber Security division which is of great benefit to our customers."

Mike Matthews - Managing Director, Lineal Software

Higher and degree apprenticeships in practice

Who are they for?
Both current employees, including senior managers and newly recruited employees can study for a higher apprenticeship or work-based degree qualifications. The knowledge they gain can be directly applied to the workplace and will quickly grow the skillset within your organisation.

How does the training work?
Employees study a core set of modules with flexible elements that businesses can choose to meet their ongoing requirements. Your employee is able to work and study giving them the flexibility that they need while still being on the payroll.

What do employees who undertake this training need to be paid?  
Employees must be paid at least a minimum wage appropriate to their age and job role.

How much study time is expected of employees?
Employees will be expected to spend at least 20 per cent of their contracted working hours in training or approximately 12 hours per week. Depending on the apprenticeship programme, this could be in the form of day release for attendance at University, or time to study online. 

What support is available?
Our apprenticeship programmes will include support for your employee via a Personal Workplace Tutor and an Academic Tutor. You will also be expected to assign a Company Mentor for the duration of the programme. As the employer, you will be expected to support your apprentice by allowing them sufficient study time and access to resources or work experience they might need to succeed.


Government funding is available to support with up-front training costs, and if you are a business with a annual pay bill of over £3 million you might have already ‘paid’ for the training through the apprenticeship levy. There are two funding models:

Fully funded
For levy paying organisations

If the annual pay bill of your organisation exceeds £3 million, the apprenticeship training is paid through your levy account. This means it will be fully funded by you as the employer. Once you have exceeded the spend on your levy account you will then move to the co-funded model.

For non-levy paying organisations

The government will co-fund the apprenticeship training by contributing 90 per cent of the costs and you will support with the remaining 10 per cent.

Additional financial incentives:

  • If you train a 16–18-year-old the Government will pay £1,000 to employers, and £1,000 to the University
  • If you have fewer than 50 employees and train a 16-18 year old the Government will fund 100 per cent of the training costs
  • If you train a 19–24-year-old leaving care or who have a Local Authority Education and Healthcare plan the Government will pay £1,000 to employers and £1,000 to the University.