Degree Apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships: innovation in work-based learning

Launched by the Government in March 2015, Degree Apprenticeships offer employers the chance to attract emerging talent, or harness the skills of their current workforce by providing an alternative route to traditional university study.

Government rolls out flagship degree apprenticeships

Degree Apprenticeships are a partnership between the employer, the Apprentice, and Plymouth University as the training provider. They require some commitment from each party to succeed, so the information below sets out what a Degree Apprenticeship looks like in practice, and some of the key factors and responsibilities involved.

The two Degree Apprenticeship programmes available to study with Plymouth University are featured below.  With more under development, coming soon.  Check here for updates.

Quick facts

  • A Suitable for: School leavers or your existing workforce (no age limit).
  • 4 Study: Flexible study around work commitments, spending about one day per week at college/university or training online.
  • & Duration: From 2 to 4 years, depending on the Apprenticeship programme.
  • > Qualifications: Plymouth University Honours degree, plus the potential for a professional qualification and apprenticeship.
  • * Costs: Paid for by the employer, as well as substantive Government funding along with financial incentives where criteria is met.
  • 6 Suitable for any organisation: A new route to attract emerging talent or expand the knowledge within your current workforce.
  • @ Approach: Minimises the demand upon employers time but maximises the benefits of work-based learning modules and real-life issues.

Degree apprenticeships explained

These brand new apprenticeships are the first government approved initiative which incorporates an undergraduate degree within the apprenticeship standards.

Offering collaboration between employers and a Higher Education Institution, Degree Apprenticeships aim to integrate academic learning at undergraduate degree level with practical application in the workplace. Each apprenticeship includes a fully integrated Honours degree which can be studied part-time, is open to any age group and is eligible for up to two thirds government funding towards the cost of the education - providing employers with a unique opportunity to attract and develop their workforce.

How does it work in practice?

Degree Apprentices will either be employees of your company or recruited directly by your organisation onto the Degree Apprenticeship scheme. By combining practical workplace application with a programme of higher education designed to meet business requirements, organisations are able to harness existing and new talent and focus their abilities to meet their commercial needs now and in the future.

Apprentices study a core curriculum and the programme is flexible, so businesses can choose elements that are best placed to meet their ongoing requirements. The employee is able to work and study giving them the flexibility that they need whilst still being on the payroll.

Organisations are required to work with the University to help design a flexible working schedule to allow Apprentices to work and study the required modules according to the programme schedule.

Earn and learn

Degree apprenticeships enable us to work even more closely with local businesses to enhance skill levels. They provide students with opportunities to earn and learn, transforming them into rounded graduates fully prepared for the world of work.

Professor Simon Payne, Deputy Vice-Chancellor

What are the benefits to your business?

  • Attract key talent: a compelling package of work and study which will help to attract and develop school leavers with the skills and knowledge to be a successful future employee of your business.
  • Increase retention and productivity: suitable for any age group to enable employers to develop existing employees.
  • Plug the gap: fill higher-level staff skills gaps through supporting existing members of staff to gain internationally recognised qualifications.
  • Investment in staff: gives you the opportunity to 'grow your own' staff because employees are more likely to stay with a company for longer if they have been invested in as an apprentice.

  • Tailored to your business needs: create the solution to fit with the knowledge and skills you need for your own organisation - assessments are negotiated with you and tailored to the work of your business.
  • Cost effective: utilise government funding to retain and prepare your staff for a significant future within your organisation, by gaining recognised accredited qualifications.
  • Fresh ideas: keeps you and your staff up-to-date with the latest learning, theories and practises.
  • Spread new knowledge: ability for you to share best practise and learning among existing staff.
  • Programme partnership: develop a collaborative working partnership with Plymouth University to design suitable work based projects for your apprentices.