Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development Degree Apprenticeship

Course overview

Entry requirements

  • A Levels
    Three A Levels (or equivalent) including maths and at least one other STEM subject
  • Further requirements
    At least Grade 4 or C GCSE Maths and English
  • Employment
    You'll need to be in a full time paid role that is relevant to the apprenticeship. This could be an existing job role you are in or a new degree apprenticeship position you are applying for.
More information
Download course brochure

Key Dates

Benefit from a hands-on, project oriented approach with close industrial links

Gain a full honours degree as well as over 4 years' relevant work experience and no tuition fees to pay

Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology*

Course summary

A degree apprenticeship that provides a thorough grounding in the basic principles of modern electrical and electronic engineering. Emphasising learning by doing, students develop the practical and intellectual skills that will give them a competitive edge in their graduate careers. We offer degree apprenticeships in partnership with organisations such as Dstl and Schneider Electric.

Key information and entry requirements


By successfully completing this programme, you will be awarded a BEng in Embedded Electronic Systems Design and Development. You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. 

Duration of programme

Four and a half years of study, delivered in block release format with blended work-based, on-campus and distance learning.

Start date

Presently there is only one entry point in September.

Tuition fees

You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentice as the costs are met by the UK government and your employer*. In addition to your fees being paid, you will also earn a salary while you study, so there is no need to apply for Student Finance.

The funding band for this degree apprenticeship is £27,000. This is the full cost of your apprenticeship which will be paid for using your employer's apprenticeship levy.

*Employers may require students to pay the fees for resits.

Entry requirements

You will need to apply for a degree apprenticeship role or already be employed in a job with responsibilities aligned with the degree content. Please see the how to apply section below for more information.

Entry requirements are set by the hiring business and not Aston University so they vary between organisations. Apprentices are selected based on their applications, an interview and an assessment process which is tailored to your apprenticeship position.

Typically employers require:

  • Three A Levels (or equivalent) including Maths and at least one further STEM based subject such as Physics, ICT, Computing or Electronics 
  • At least Grade 4 or C GCSE Maths and English.

You will also need to meet the government's eligibility criteria:

  • Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course 
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start 
  • Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria.


Course outline

Programme overview

Apprentices will gain extensive knowledge of electronics, electronics principles and embedded software combined with an initial grounding in design and development. This apprenticeship provides the basis for specialisation as a hardware, software or systems engineer involved with the design of integrated circuits through to complete systems depending on the needs of your organisation.

Who is this apprenticeship for?

Apprentices can range from new employees with no previous experience to existing professionals who have grown into their role, but lack a formal degree qualification.

Programme content

Programme content is taught at undergraduate level through a set of core modules that will provide the theory you need in your day-to-day role. The apprenticeship is split into three stages:

Stage one 

Topics on offer in stage one include:

  • Engineering Mathematics
  • Computational Problem Solving
  • Electronic Engineering Fundamentals
  • Data Acquisition and Control

Stage two

  • Analogue and Power Electronics
  • Measurement, Automation and Data Processing
  • Digital Design
  • Signals and Systems
  • Internet of Things
  • Engineering Team Project.

Final stage

  • Digital Systems Design
  • Digital Systems Architecture
  • Advanced Embedded Systems.

Throughout the apprenticeship, you will undertake sessions designed to develop your professional practice and encourage reflection on your personal development and effectiveness in the workplace.

The programme also includes a work-based project during the final stage that is tailored to the work you do within your organisation.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

The first stage of the apprenticeship consists of a six-week on-campus introduction. This includes teaching in mathematics, computation problem solving, and analogue and digital electronics, with an emphasis on practical problem-solving. The aim of this introductory period is to provide you with the core knowledge and problem solving skills you need to become an effective team member in the workplace.

After the induction period, you'll learn through workbased learning and on-campus teaching blocks, that allow for more specialist practical work. Study involves both individual and group project work, which can be tailored to your role within your organisation.

You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace doing a real full time job as well as studying part time. Your learning will be made up of a combination of online seminars that take place outside of office hours as well as occasional sessions on campus where you can meet face-to-face with your peers and our academics.

Study time is structured to fit around your job, as are exams. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer, so you don't need to worry about your work and study commitments clashing.


Apprentices will be assessed regularly during the programme through coursework, practical assessments, group projects, work-based practice and by developing a portfolio.

The end point assessment

The apprenticeship concludes with the end point assessment (EPA). The EPA gives the apprentices the opportunity to showcase their academic, personal and professional development achievements throughout the apprenticeship.

This consists of a review of the apprentice's final project and portfolio, followed by an interview with representatives from Aston University, the employer, and an independent assessor. After the interview, based both on the apprentice's performance and portfolio, the assessors consider what grade should be awarded for the apprenticeship – fail, pass, merit or distinction.

Professional accreditation

This programme is accredited by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET)*. 

Completing the programme gives apprentices enough experience to apply to become an Incorporated Engineer which offers many career benefits including improving earning potential.

*Accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as an Incorporated Engineer and partly meeting the academic requirement as a Chartered Engineer.

Programme Directors

Dr Elena Turitsyna 

I joined the Photonic Research group of Electronic Engineering department in October 2000. I received a Ph.D degree in Electronic Engineering in July 2007. I was a holder of the Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship in 2008-2011. 

My research interests are in numerical modelling of fibre Brag gratings, in modelling fibre lasers systems.

How to apply

I am not employed in the industry

The first step in joining our Degree Apprenticeship programme is to find and apply for a relevant job vacancy. All our current degree apprenticeship vacancies are listed below and are updated frequently. Please check back regularly for new vacancies.

Find out more about applying for degree apprenticeships

I am already employed in the industry

If you are already employed in this industry, you should discuss with your manager if your organisation is working in partnership with Aston University. If they are, you will make an application through your employer. 

If your employer is not yet an Aston partner, they can get in touch with our Apprenticeships Team to find out more information about working with us.

Information for employers

If you are an employer or you want to send information about this degree apprenticeship to your manager, take a look at the course page dedicated to employers.

What's it like to be a degree apprentice?

"Apprenticeships aren’t just about making tea and coffee. You’re given a real job with real responsibility right from the onset. I was lucky enough to meet the Prime Minister earlier this year to talk about apprenticeships and STEM subjects. I was also lucky enough to help with an event in Washington DC."

Katie Bradbury
Degree Apprentice, Microsoft
Read more
What's it like to be a degree apprentice?

"My degree apprenticeship proved to me how determined I am and showed me how I can tackle any subject and succeed. I believe this has taught me to be more resilient and I know that if I put the hard work in I can achieve anything. I've come a long way since I started at Capgemini and I'm now working at a senior level managing graduates. I credit this to the attitude I developed through the apprenticeship programme."

Elle Hornby
Degree apprentice graduate, Capgemini

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