Advanced search

Introducing Degree Apprenticeships - The Basics

(24 Posts)
RuskinMarc Thu 03-Aug-17 12:53:04

Hi there,

This is my first post to Mumsnet, please be gentle with me!

I'm Marc and I work for Anglia Ruskin University on our new Degree Apprenticeship provision. We have a number of courses starting this year and throughout next year so I hoped I might be able to bring something of use to this board.

My work is mainly to support employers who want to take on apprentices, but it means that I also know quite a lot about the ins and outs of Degree Apprenticeships and I'm keen to make sure that as many folk as possible know about the opportunities and benefits of these new courses (and obviously it will help my employers I there's a decent number of people who understand and are keen to do an apprenticeship so that they can hire them!)

Courses we have starting or about to start include:

BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions (and you can specialise in either Software Engineering, Network Engineering or Cyber Security)
BSc (Hons) Chartered Surveyor (with specialisms in either Building or Quantity Surveying)
BSc (Hons) Digital Marketing
BA (Hons) Chartered Manager (with CIM accreditation)
BSc (Hons) Registered Nurse

I'll start here with a couple of highlights about Degree Apprenticeships and then if folk have any particular questions I'll try and answer those.

Q: Who can do a Degree Apprenticeship

A: Essentially anyone, there are no age limits applicants just need to get through the job interview and have sufficient 'Level 3' qualifications to be accepted on the academic part of the course (this normally means something like A Levels, National Diplomas, International Baccalaureate or L3 Apprenticeship qualifications) Older learners can also get credit for their previous work experience, so if you're short of an A level or two, it may not actually stop you being able to do a Degree Apprenticeship.

Q: How do I get on a Degree Apprenticeship course?

A: Degree Apprenticeships are employment with training so the trick is to find a job that comes with an apprenticeship (you can't just apply through UCAS) Vacancies with courses from my university can be found here and you can do a more general search on the national findapprenticeships site too

Q: What about tuition fees / student loans?

A: There are none - Apprentices' fees are paid by their employer and the Govt, rather than take out a student loan for living costs Apprentices earn a wage (at least the statutory apprenticeship minimum as they are full employees (this also means they can start saving in to a pension and will get any other health and social benefits that the employer offers)

Q: Will I get to wear one of those funny hats / go to a graduation / join clubs and societies / play for the sports team?

A: Emphatically yes! Degree Apprentices are full Anglia Ruskin Students, we consider you ‘part of the family’ just as much as our full-time on-campus students. You’ll be invited to attend graduation at the end of your course, you’ll be a member of the Students' Union able to join societies (or run your own) play for our sports teams, access our Study Skills Plus programme and use the library (to name just a few things) just like any other student.

I'm going to sign out for now, before this post gets too long but, as I said, it's my intention to hang out here for a while and try and answer any further questions or issues for you.


MrsOverTheRoad Fri 04-Aug-17 12:10:44

Have you asked MNHQ if you can post this here? There's usually a fee to pay or arrangements in place for advertisments.

RuskinMarc Fri 04-Aug-17 12:30:52

Hi MrsOverTheRoad,

No, I'm afraid I didn't, as I didn't view it as an advert.

I've been open in disclosing who I work for and the information I've posted is pretty generic; and therefore relevant to anyone who might be interested in Degree Apprenticeships, regardless of who their employer's provider is.

If I've committed a faux pas, I'm sorry. Do please feel free to report my post and I'll be happy to work with the mods to clear up how I can continue to offer info and advice to MNs without contravening any rules.

TeenAndTween Sat 05-Aug-17 20:31:59

My DD has only just started a Level 3 apprenticeship.
but I do have a question maybe you can answer.

Level 3 is 'A level equivalent', I understand that.

I know there are also levels 4, 5 & 6 qualifications. How do they map on to a degree? There seems to be 3 levels, but only one 'traditional' qualification to map to?

longcat Wed 16-Aug-17 20:17:53

Hi Marc,
My son is about to start a degree apprenticeship. He will be working 4 days a week for a local employer and going to uni one day a week. My question is whether he will count as a full time student for the purposes of council tax? ie will he be exempt whilst living at home? Thanks for your help.

Lucyccfc Sat 19-Aug-17 07:39:35

Longcat. No, he won't be classed as a full time student, he will be an apprentice.

NeonFlower Sat 19-Aug-17 08:15:24

Thanks for posting. My DH did and apprecnticeship and thne his employer supported him to do a part time detree, so we will be tslking to dc's about a range of further education routes and I was wanting to know more about degree apprenticeships. Do you know of any 'central' website or organisation to find out about the range available?

h0rsewithn0name Sat 19-Aug-17 08:23:42

Thanks for posting Marc. As an employer that will be slipping into the levy from September I will keep an eye on this thread.

coriliavijvaad Sat 19-Aug-17 09:59:48

I am interested in this although these decisions are a few years off for my DC. I tried browsing on but although it has a section explaining that a degree-equivalent apprenticeship would be level 6, when you search through their lists they are all level 3 or 4. I haven't been able to find a list of degree apprenticeships that isn't university-specific.

Are engineering higher apprenticeships likely to be accredited for gaining Chartered Engineering status? It feels like a big gamble to choose thus route not knowing whether those who gain their degree via a higher apprenticeship will end up being excluded from higher echelons of their career track due to not having gone via the traditional academic route.n

notsomanky Sun 20-Aug-17 08:52:53

DS1 might be interested in this - he is about to start Year 11, and will probably do 6th form at his school. He is potentially interested in accounting, but is keen to have his own money while learning, so a degree level apprenticeship would be fantastic for him.

I've had a look an there isn't much available in our area, even though we are in a major city. Maybe things will have improved in a few years.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 09:25:08

Hi All,

Wow! So pleased to see some responses here, sorry for the delay responding, I've been on holiday for the last couple of weeks (lovely, thanks. DD thinks camping is brilliant ;-))

I've got a stuffed inbox to get through but I will come back and offer some proper responses later today.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 10:12:17


Undergraduate Degrees (and Degree Apprenticeships) cover a number of levels, so they are accessible from Level 3 but conclude at Level 6 (in broad terms; L4 is first year, L5 is second year and L6 is third year). L7 roughly equates to a Master's Degree.

You could consider a degree to be made up of an HNC, HND/Foundation Degree, and Degree all bundled up together.

Because Degree Apprenticeships can take longer than 3 years this is just a rule of thumb and there can be times when an apprentice is studying modules that are at Levels 4 & 5 (or 5 & 6) concurrently.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 10:22:52


For apprenticeships, this is a great source:

UCAS is good, but also still very focused on University (Apprenticeships are found under 'Alternatives to HE' even though they can now be studied at HE level.

All live apprenticeship vacancies (for the whole country from all providers) can be searched here:

I would always recommend taking up as much work experience as you can find as this is one of the true tests as to whether an Apprenticeship will work for the learner, they should also go to Uni Open Days and any relevant taster days they can find so that they can start to build a picture for themselves of the pros and cons of various routes to a Higher Level qualification.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 10:24:59


As I mentioned in my OP, my main work is with employers so if there's anything I can do to help and advise then please just get in touch. If you're 'slipping in to the levy' (ie at or around the threshold) then co-investment funds will really help soften the blow.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 10:40:05


I think your queries are answered somewhere between my responses to TeenAndTween and NeonFlower - I would recommend you look at the findanapprenticeship site to see what's available and how they are accredited.

I would point out though that, because Degree Apprenticeships are designed by partnership groups of industry and academic reps it is unlikely that one would be developed that doesn't fulfill the requirements of industry (be that having a chartership etc) and (in general) the 'End Point Assessment' aspect of Apprenticeships gives an externally validated / industry approved hue to an apprenticeship which a 'regular' degree doesn't have.

RuskinMarc Mon 21-Aug-17 10:46:10


Yes, it's certainly the case that we are still in the 'foothills' of what Degree Apprenticeships ought to be and there aren't yet as many as we would want, but businesses are waking up to their potential and working up plans as to how to use their Levy payments effectively so you and DS1 will need to keep an eye out on how things develop.

One thought I have about Degree Apprenticeships is that folk seem to be willing to move away to study at Uni but not so much for an Apprenticeship - Given that Degree Apprentices could be earning pretty decent money (certainly more than they'd get in a student loan) then I'd urge people to consider a broader geographical catchment area, in order to get a good apprenticeship, than just what they could do by staying at home.

I'm interested to hear MNs thoughts on moving away for an Apprenticeship vs moving away for Uni.

Onceuponatime21 Mon 21-Aug-17 18:46:42

I'd just like to add a couple of points -

A) apprentices are classed as being in employment, not education, by HMRC. So it does affect a family's benefit payments. The reduction in benefits being offset by the fact that the young person is earning a wage.

B). Wages for post-18 apprenticeships - especially degree apprenticeships - are significantly better than Post 16. So, can be worth delaying and staying in education and then applying at Post 18.

C). All apprenticeships should be advertised on the link that Marc has provided above. However, they aren't. I don't know why this is. But it means that you should not rely on that website alone, and should search via companies' own websites too - just as you would for any job.

D) Notsomanky. Accountancy is massively ahead of the game here, compared to other industries. If your son is keen on accountancy, look at the Big 4 - all offer programs for school leavers. Our local city doesn't have a permanent presence of any of the Big 4, but the local firms with regional presence (I.e., multiple offices) all do. I would be looking at the larger local firms and applying for work experience with them.

I love degree apprenticeships. A handful of our Year 13 have taken this route, and their offers are amazing. They are going to have such a great start to their careers, and it has hopefully made our new Year 13s sit up and take notice.

NotAMamaYet Mon 21-Aug-17 18:57:15

I'm doing an apprenticeship now in Hertfordshire and my company is looking into places to provide the degree... does the software engineering course as of yet exist or this yet to come?

RuskinMarc Wed 23-Aug-17 09:14:47


The course you want is called Digital & Technology Solutions, there's a few Uni's that offer it, you can see my university's take on it here You'll want to check which specialisms they offer and if their suitable for the role you're in (we do either Software Engineering, Network Engineering or Cyber Security but other uni's may have other things under the same banner too)

onaroll Thu 24-Aug-17 15:56:37

My son starts his degree apprenticeship in a couple of weeks.
He will be working 4 days & studying 1 day at week towards his degree.
It has been a total game changer for him & he's very appreciative of what he has been offered.
He knew what he 'wanted to be when he grew up' but didn't want to go to Uni.
This has given him a very happy alternative.
He will have no student debt and be gaining work experience from day one.
Originally found it in the government apprenticeship website in January. He was offered the apprenticeship in April following his interview stages.
Last week his results have now given him the 'unconditional offer' from the Uni for his degree course.
Apprenticeship is 5 years . Degree will take 4 years to complete, then a year for industry additional certification.
Company promise a perm job if he gets at lease a 2:1 degree.
He sees himself in a very strong position moving forward - even in comparison to his peers going the traditional route of studying Degree full time at Uni.

Lucyccfc Mon 30-Oct-17 10:45:31

Onceuponatime - just to respond to point C. As an employers, I can't yet advertise our apprenticeships directly on the government website as employers do not yet have acces to it.

I have to ask my trains provider/college or Uni to do this for me.

It's crackers!

chocolateworshipper Tue 14-Nov-17 21:31:26

Is a degree apprenticeship the same as a "higher level apprenticeship"?

RuskinMarc Wed 15-Nov-17 08:56:36


I think this sums it up quite succinctly:


Sounds great, congratulations to you and your son. I'm sure he's going to do great things!

chocolateworshipper Thu 16-Nov-17 20:09:15

Thank you ruskin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now