Graduate Apprenticeships

(43 Posts)
Shimy Tue 14-May-19 17:00:10

DS2 is showing interest in GA's for when the time comes (currently in yr 10) and has been asking lots of questions about the university side of things.

I had a quick look at some apprenticeships and must say, i was a bit miffed by some of the accrediting universities. For instance there's a fantastic looking GA with Ernst & Young but the degree training provider is 'BPP university'. Another great looking one is accredited by 'Roehampton university'. Another good one offered by the FCA has its degree accredited by 'QA training'.confused

I've never even heard of Roehampton or BPP universities. Am I being ridiculous in expecting that good GA's will have the degree accredited by well known universities or perhaps this aspect really doesn't matter. Like I said the content of the GA's were all fantastic with well known organisations but i can't get over the degree part.

I'd love to hear other's views.

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damekindness Tue 14-May-19 17:09:29

I think a lot of universities steer clear of GA programmes as the revenue is often not worth the outlay ( if you can attract more traditional full time UG programmes )

Speaking as an academic they are a pain to set up as trying to blend apprenticeship standards with academic standards (and then maybe vocational standards) is a complete nightmare

The other more hidden issue is the snobbery about being the 'sort of universities that offer this'

Shimy Tue 14-May-19 17:18:26

I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I was wondering why there weren't more normal universities partnering with GA's and thought there must be some good reason why they are not falling over themselves to partner with Microsoft, Ernst & Young.

Although I have seen one with Queen Mary and once saw one in conjunction with Birmingham uni, but overwhelmingly its these odd bods I keep seeing.

They are really being pushed though but i think perhaps more work needs to be done to make them attractive both to universities for the academic side and but also to applicants.

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TheFirstOHN Tue 14-May-19 17:30:36

Some apprenticeships are very competitive, but it's important to look at exactly what is being offered.

DS2 wants to be a Physicist: he is currently doing A-level courses in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and F.Maths and he is hoping to get A* / A. He is looking at four-year university courses which are accredited with the Institute of Physics and lead to a Level 7 qualification (e.g. MPhys).

At the end of a presentation at school on apprenticeships, DS2 asked for more information about apprenticeships in Physics. Instead of being honest about the lack of apprenticeshipsnin the field DS2 is aiming for, the speaker gave him information about a technician "degree level apprenticeship". DS2 came home enthusiastic about this, having got the impression that he'd be able to work towards his career aims while earning money at the same time.

I researched the apprenticeship and read the fine print. It was a higher apprenticeship, requiring CC at A-level. After several years (I can't now remember how many) the resulting qualification would be a foundation degree. There was nothing wrong with the apprenticeship in itself, but it was unsuited to DS2's needs and it would not have helped him to achieve his career goals.

DS2 (16 at the time, ASD) was taken in by the sales pitch, and did not have the knowledge or experience of higher education to realise that not all degrees are equal.

TheFirstOHN Tue 14-May-19 17:35:43

Regarding actual degree apprenticeships (level 6 / 7): students can now apply to these through UCAS; it seems to be mostly Scottish universities who are running them.

EBearhug Tue 14-May-19 17:38:01

I've never even heard of Roehampton or BPP universities

Roehampton has been around years. It was formerly Roehampton Institute. Used to do a lot of teacher training and may still do. (One of my best friends from school went there and played a lot of women's rugby.)

oneteen Tue 14-May-19 17:55:02

There are some decent Graduate Apprenticeships around its just a case of doing a lot of research. One of my dd's friends was all set to go to Uni in September but has now accepted a Degree Apprenticeship with an upmarket car manufacturer studying at Warwick Uni.


Namechangeforthiscancershit Tue 14-May-19 17:57:27

BPP is very well known for professional education, I think within law and accountancy really rather than more generally

celtiethree Tue 14-May-19 18:01:51

There are some good ones in Scotland. Strathclyde University have one in Software Engineering (among others). Edinburgh Uni has one in Data Science working with PwC. Glasgow Uni offers software engineering as well. If you find the right one they can be an amazing opportunity.

titchy Tue 14-May-19 18:38:12

They are vocational, hence tending to be offered by former polys (Roehampton) and private providers (BPP).

They are the sorts of unis who have large cohorts of degree apprenticeships - they have the resources and industry contacts. Higher ranking unis are nowhere near as experienced in this sector - they're not a strategic priority - research is, and the costs and utter utter utter ball ache of the initial set up and the on going management of their delivery means they're not financially worth it often.

Shimy Tue 14-May-19 18:58:46

Thanks for all your comments.

Thefirst bearing in mind what you said:

This is an example:

Level 6 Data Analytics Degree Apprenticeship (Newbury)

^The training you will be getting
Approximately 11% of training takes place in the QA learning centre classroom. 9% is done in the workplace, through online training, face-to-face meetings with your QA Technical Skills Coach, or developing your portfolio. The remaining time will be spent on your workplace activity.The qualification at the end of the Apprenticeship will be a Data Analytics Degree (Level 6)^

A Level or equivalent Maths (Grade C) Desired

Training provider: QA Limited.

Is this a proper degree apprenticeship? its a bit unclear wether you actually get a degree at the end of it.

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EBearhug Tue 14-May-19 19:05:58

its a bit unclear wether you actually get a degree at the end of it.

The qualification at the end of the Apprenticeship will be a Data Analytics Degree (Level 6)

Looks pretty clear to me.

titchy Tue 14-May-19 19:26:05

Yes you get a degree from the University of Roehampton.

herecomestherainagain2 Tue 14-May-19 19:28:34

I did my accounting qualifications with BPP - it was quite a few years ago but tho k they were about the most well known at the time.

weaselwords Tue 14-May-19 19:39:07

My eldest is doing one in computer science from the University of Arden. Never heard of them.

However, he will get a degree at the end, is currently on £18K a year (they really like him) and most importantly, will have masses of experience in his field that I think will trump the general crapness of the degree.

For those kids like my eldest who is debt phobic and only had one good A level, they are a real alternative. They open up jobs for kids who would otherwise not have the right qualifications to apply and they have so much more experience that it outweighs the rubbish university, in my opinion. Worth considering.

Shimy Tue 14-May-19 19:46:38

EBearhug Yes they do state it explicitly. What i meant to say was, its unclear who accredits the degree

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Shimy Tue 14-May-19 19:50:32

weasel I agree its a terrific alternative and the experience can't be trumped. Does your dc live near his workplace? did he have to rent closeby?

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titchy Tue 14-May-19 20:19:33

Roehampton accredit the one you linked to. They're all accredited by someone with degree awarding powers.

weaselwords Tue 14-May-19 20:23:56

He lives at home and works a short bus ride away. He’s saving like mad for a place of his own and has quite a lot already. It really is perfect for him!

Shimy Tue 14-May-19 20:27:43

Titchy Thank you very much. It wasn't stated in the brief, just QA Ltd.

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TheFirstOHN Tue 14-May-19 20:29:11

Shimy I have just looked it up. If I'm looking at the right one, then they get a BSc at the end of it.

Shimy Tue 14-May-19 20:31:13

Weasel That is wonderful. Unfortunately, there's not a single one that isn't a rail train ride for us.

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Shimy Tue 14-May-19 20:35:20

TheFirst Thank you. You do get a degree at the end of it like you said. what meant to ask in my previous post was who accredits the degree. Titchy has pointed out that its Roehampton.

If we could find one that's close enough to home it will be brilliant for ds. There's still enough time to look and i believe they are increasing in number too.

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YahBasic Tue 14-May-19 20:36:19

BPP offer ICAEW which is what apprentices will study at EY. It is a professional services provider and arguably the best.

I would say the opportunity to be a Chartered Accountant at 23 and earning 35k plus trumps most degrees from reputable redbrick universities.

Future recruiters would be looking for ICAS/ICAEW/ACCA as qualifications, not where he gets it from, but BPP are very reputable.

tron1039 Tue 14-May-19 20:38:07


I look after Early Careers for a large multi-national employer and I regularly interview individuals at all levels. I wanted to add that regardless of the provider, we're increasingly seeing apprentices outperform graduates from top universities as the practical experience they build is invaluable. The benefit of earning a salary + no debt also makes this a great alternative opportunity.

We've struggled to find Universities who have been able to provide degree apprenticeships at the speed we need and for the funding available but that isn't detracting from the overall impact that our Apprentices are having. I wouldn't be put off by the entry grades as most employers have a rigorous recruitment processes and also work closely with the university to ensure the curriculum is challenging. The work they are doing is certainly challenging.

I find this space is still quite unknown for lots of people but I'd genuinely consider the opportunity, particularly if you don't need a specific degree for a career.

Hope this helps!

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