Higher Apprenticeship: FdSc International Trade


Our International Trade Higher Apprenticeship provides employees with the skills and knowledge to successfully operate in international trade without taking time out to study.

Developed in collaboration with employers, and delivered with the Institute of Exports, the higher apprenticeship is a flexible alternative to traditional study. Through the programme, apprentices will earn a full foundation degree whilst applying learned theory directly to the workplace.

Upon completion, employees can progress to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, earning a BSc (Hons) in Professional Management Practice

Programme overview

  • Two-year foundation degree with the Institute of Exports (IoE), leading to a two-year Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship with the University of Plymouth.
  • Foundation degree delivered online with the IoE, with regular tutor interaction, online webinars and student forums.
  • Modules are designed to teach students how theory and practice influence each other, with real-life problem solving a key part of the learning experience.
  • Students have the opportunity to undertake learning specific to different disciplines in international trade, including transport and logistics, supply chains, compliance and trade finance.

How to apply

The potential apprentice will be required to complete an Initial Needs Assessment (INA) with the support of their employer and the University to ensure the Apprenticeship programme is an appropriate solution to their skills development needs. On completion of the INA the University will assess the information provided and determine the next steps.

To request the Initial Needs Assessment please contact apprenticeships@plymouth.ac.uk

Apprentices do not pay any course fees - costs are covered by the government and/or employer.

Funding models - for employers

We can support employers in accessing funding via the apprenticeship levy or provide alternative funding options to minimise or eradicate any up-front cost to the organisation.

There are currently two funding models;

  • fully-funded: Levy paying organisations
  • co-funded: Non levy organisations and Levy who have exceeded their Levy contribution.


If the annual pay bill of your organisation exceeds £3 million you will pay for your apprenticeship training through your levy account. If you have exceeded your levy contribution you will fund apprenticeship training through the co-funded model – to better understand how this will work please contact us.

Employer contribution: Employee salary only

Apprentices contribution: £0


If you are a non-levy paying organisation (the annual pay bill of your organisation is less than £3 million) or you are a Levy organisation who has exceeded their pot, the government will financially co-support your apprenticeship training – they will contribute 90 per cent of the costs and the employer will contribute 10 per cent.
  • government contribution £16,200
  • employer contribution £1,800
  • apprentice contribution £0.

All applicants must be in full-time employment within an organisation engaged in international trade activities. Areas may include: Logistics, Exports, Imports, Supply Chain, Trade Finance, Customer Service, Trade Compliance and Customs.

Applicants must have GCSE (or equivalent) Maths/English at grade C, plus either of the following criteria

  • a minimum of 2x A Levels in relevant subjects
  • BTEC National Diploma or QCF Qualification at Pass level in relevant subject (acceptable subjects include Business, Logistics, Supply Chain, International Trade and Economics)
  • access to Higher Education at Level 3

Recognition of prior experiential learning may be considered for candidates with more than three years’ work experience in international trade. Applicants will be interviewed before an offer is made.

Individuals who do not fit the above criteria will be treated sympathetically and dealt with on a case by case approach in which the main criterion will be the applicants potential to benefit from and ability to complete the course. The decision will be made by the Programme Lead.

Systems will be provided for assessing applications from disabled students.

Key benefits

  • @ Tailored to your business needs - an industry-led, work-based programme tailored to meet the needs of your business and includes specialism in a number of specific areas
  • @ Develop your workforce – plug your skills gaps, plan for the future and benefit from the latest best practice in international trade
  • @ Increase retention and productivity – actively investing in your team has been proven to increase productivity and retention
  • @ High quality training – teaching is always current and integrates best practice as well as internationally renowned research. The Tutors supporting the programme are experienced in international trade and have an academic background
  • @ Support – guidance from experienced academic tutors as well as qualified staff for the duration of the programme.

Degree Apprenticeship: Chartered Manager

Upon completion of the FdSc in International Trade, employees can progress to the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, earning a BSc (Hons) in Professional Management Practice whilst continuing to earn a wage.

The Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship has been designed with employers in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Find out more.