Degree apprenticeships (levels 6 & 7) are a new addition to some University courses, offering apprentices the ability to obtain either a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree based on their chosen field of apprenticeship. A unique and new combination between study and work, degree apprenticeships now allow you to have the opportunity to work for an employer and study part-time at a partnered University, achieving both a higher education as well as years of valuable professional work experience.
Here, levels 6 & 7 of an apprenticeship scheme offer similar requirements to that of higher apprenticeship schemes. Designed for school/college leavers aged 18 or 19 with at least 5 GCSE grades and a level 3 qualification from either A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3 or someone with a higher apprenticeship, degree apprenticeships offer an invaluable insight into both full-time work and study.
With all costs paid for – the government co-funding costs between themselves and your employer – degree apprenticeships may be the perfect solution for students worried about finances – dodging steep university tuition fees and having a salary for the duration of the scheme - or for students who wish to gain a perfect blend of experiences, both in work and in study.
If you’re thinking about applying for, or participating in, a level 6 or 7 apprenticeship scheme you should know that the difference between either level isn’t a drastic one. Basically, the difference is based on the equivalent qualification. Level 6 offers an achievement equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree while level 7 offers one equivalent to a Master’s degree. In this case, degree apprenticeships may take anywhere between 3 and 6 years; dependent on the choice of field and/or your chosen level of apprenticeship.
However, as degree apprenticeships are a relatively new scheme exclusive to England and Wales, the range of opportunities in specific apprenticeships is restricted to a few industries. At the moment, level 7 schemes are restricted to far fewer opportunities than level 6 schemes, but opportunities are still available in some popular areas such as construction, business and engineering. However, if you’re after a specific employer or University, there are various online tools you can use to aid you.
- By Max Lewis