A Guide to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships


Want to gain your qualification, learn professional skills, progress your career, plus earn a wage? With a degree apprenticeship you can achieve a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree while you gain real-world experience – they are great routes into rewarding careers.

In this guide, we discuss higher and degree apprenticeships in more detail to help you decide if they’re right for you.

The Facts

Apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 16, living in England and are available at intermediate, advanced, higher and degree levels.

All apprenticeships are genuine jobs so all apprentices earn a salary. You must be paid at least the national minimum apprenticeship wage and many employers pay significantly more. Apprentices should work enough hours each week so that they can undertake sufficient, regular training and on-the-job activity, search ‘become an apprentice’ on GOV.UK for further information.

Entry requirements depend on the sector and prior skills. If you have achieved A-levels you may still be expected to start at intermediate or advanced level as some sectors, such as engineering, require you to build up your occupational skills.

How Are They Structured?

Higher and degree apprenticeships are available at levels 4 to 7. They combine work with study and may include a work-based, academic or combined qualification or a professional qualification relevant to the industry. Levels 4 and 5 are equivalent to a Higher Education Certificate/Diploma or a foundation degree, level 6 is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree and level 7 is equivalent to a Master’s degree. Typically, higher apprentices study part-time at college, university or with a training provider. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete.

How Do I Find a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship?

There were 494,900 apprenticeship starts in 2016 to 17 in a wide range of workplaces including Cap Gemini, Ford, ITV, Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Barclays and the BBC. With so many opportunities on offer you can find the apprenticeship that’s
right for you.

Applying is easy, just visit GOV.UK/apply-apprenticeship. There are between 12,000 and 20,000 apprenticeship vacancies on
the site at any one time.

If you require any support with your Find an apprenticeship application please contact:

0800 015 0400 (free from landlines and mobiles)
Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

For professional advice on making the right choices, visit:
or call: 0800 100 900 (free from landlines and mobiles).

What Do the Students Say?

“My apprenticeship has benefitted me in every way possible. I’ve learnt key skills in engineering, mechanical and hydraulics, as well as the theory behind all of it.”

Holly Broadhurst – Higher Design Engineering Apprentice, J C Bamford Excavators

We’re Here to Help

If you’re still not sure or have a question that needs answering, contact us today. We’ll do our best to help or find out the answer for you. You can also follow the National Apprenticeship Service for all the latest information:



Search for apprenticeships on GOV.UK or call 0800 015 0400.