Degree Apprenticeships Employee FAQs

The answers you're looking for about degree apprenticeships.

Frequently asked questions

What is a degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships offer a new route to a degree level qualification combined with on the job training. They are structured programmes that are designed in partnership with business and industry to develop a set of knowledge, skills and behaviours required to do a certain job role.

Apprentices will spend the majority of their time in the workplace allowing them to learn new skills while they work. Alongside this, they will studying towards a degree, gaining the theory required to underpin their day-to-day role.

Back to the top

What is an apprenticeship standard?

An apprenticeship standard is a specification that determines the structure of an apprenticeship programme, covering three main criteria that make up an apprentice's occupational profile: knowledge, skills and behaviours. 

Standards are created by employers in the sector to ensure the apprenticeship will equip apprentices with practical skills and theoretical understanding required to master their job role.

You can find the full list of degree apprenticeship standards on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.

Back to the top

What are trailblazers?

Trailblazers are groups of employers that work together to create new apprenticeship standards with the process managed by the Institute for Apprenticeships. They are usually made up of groups of about ten employers based all across the UK. Professional bodies and trade associations are often a part of trailblazer groups.

Back to the top

How will I benefit from doing an apprenticeship?

There are many personal benefits from doing a degree apprenticeship. These include:

  • You won’t pay tuition fees for your course as apprenticeships are covered by your employer’s apprenticeship levy.
  • You’ll gain a degree qualification (either undergraduate or postgraduate depending on your programme) as well as an apprenticeship certificate.
  • Many programmes are also accredited by professional bodies or will prepare you for professional exams.
  • Study is part time and mainly online so it will fit around your work and personal commitments
  • You’ll gain new skills and knowledge that relates directly to your job role and your organisation which will transform the way you work.
  • As your studies are designed to fit around your work, you will continue to receive your full salary while you study.
  • By gaining new professional skills and the theory behind what you do, you’ll become even more valued in your organisation and be ready to move up the career ladder.

Back to the top

How much will it cost me?

If your employer has a UK payroll over £3 million, they will be paying the apprenticeship levy. This means that there are no tuition fees to pay as the cost of the apprenticeship will be covered by your employer’s apprenticeship levy. 

Back to the top

Am I eligible?

Your employer may set their own eligibility requirements for degree apprenticeships, so it is best to check with your line manager on your company’s policy.

Typically we require:

  • Level 6 degree apprenticeship: Three A Levels (or equivalent)
  • Level 7 degree apprenticeship: An honours degree (or equivalent)

Additional entry requirements from the government include:

  • A minimum of Grade 4 or C in GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent
  • Be a UK/EU/EAA resident for at least three years prior to starting the course
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship starts
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Right to work in the UK.

If you aren’t sure if you meet the entry requirements, please contact our Apprenticeship Team with the name of the programme you wish to apply for and details of your academic and professional qualifications.

Back to the top

What degree apprenticeships does Aston offer?

We offer a growing range of degree apprenticeship programmes at both level 6 (undergraduate) and level 7 (postgraduate) covering business, engineering, IT and healthcare.

Discover our full range of degree apprenticeships

Back to the top

Aren’t degree apprenticeships just for young people?

It’s a common misconception that apprenticeships are just for young people. Our degree apprenticeships are designed in partnership with business and industry to upskill existing staff in their organisation as well as recruiting new talent.

Take a look at the stories of some of our degree aprpentices

Back to the top

What if I already have a degree?

If you already have a degree level qualification, you may still be eligible for degree apprenticeship funding.

Your degree must be significantly different to the apprenticeship programme you wish to enrol on to make sure that you are gaining new skills and knowledge.

It may be possible to accredit prior learning and reduce the length of the degree apprenticeship if you have a small amount of overlap. This is assessed on a case-by-case basis so please email with details of the qualifications you hold ad the name of the programme you want to enrol on.

If you hold an undergraduate degree, you might want to consider studying a level 7 (postgraduate) degree apprenticeship which includes qualifications such as MSc, MBA and PGdip. These programmes can be suitable for graduates, those with professional qualifications or extensive experience in their sector.

Back to the top

How long will the apprenticeship take?

Our degree apprenticeships range from two years to five years depending on the programme. You can find out more information on our course pages.

Back to the top

What qualification will I get at the end?

Upon successfully completing a degree apprenticeship, learners are awarded an apprenticeship certificate as well as a degree or degree level qualification. For level 6 degree apprenticeships this is a bachelors degree and for level 7 programmes this is a postgraduate diploma, masters degree or MBA.

In addition, some degree apprenticeships give the opportunity for apprentices to achieve accreditation with professional bodies.

Back to the top

How do I apply?

To apply for any of our degree apprenticeships, you will need to be in employment. 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.

If you are nto in employment, you will need to find a position offering the degree apprenticeship you are interested in. We share details of vacancies with our partner employers and you can find information about all degree apprenticeship opportunities on the government's find an apprenticeship website.

Back to the top

When can I start?

All of our degree apprenticeships offer a September/October start date, but some of our more popular programmes offer multiple entry points throughout the year.

You can find out more details about programme entry points on our course pages.

Back to the top

What support is provided?

You will be supported from both Aston University and your employer throughout your degree apprenticeship. You’ll be assigned a personal tutor who will advise you throughout your studies. You can get involved in mentoring and many companies offer a buddy system in addition to support from your line manager.

Back to the top

How will I fit studying in around working?

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace carrying on with your everyday workload and you’ll complete your studies part time.

The way you learn depends on the degree apprenticeship. Some programmes are taught predominantly through 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. Other programmes require longer periods of time spend learning on campus or are entirely work-based.

Study time is structured to fit around your job, as are exams. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer to ensure that you are on track with your work and study commitments.

Back to the top

You might be interested in:

Couldn't find the answer? Ask the team: