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FAQs

Degree apprenticeships FAQs

Degree apprenticeships are the new way to get the work experience you need for a successful career. Put simply, you'll work while you study for your degree.

You'll apply for a degree apprenticeship vacancy from a wide range of employers and you'll spend most of your time working and gaining a wealth of professional experience. You may already be in full time employment, in which case a degree apprenticeship is an excellent route for personal development. You can find out more from our employee section of the website.

You'll spend at least 20% of your time working towards your degree through on-campus study days, online learning such as webinars through our virtual learning environment, work shadowing, mentoring and work-based projects. The benefit is that you immediately see how theory works in practice.

  • You’ll get a degree without any student debt as your employer will pay your tuition fees for you.

  • You’ll be awarded a full honours degree just like students that follow the traditional university route.

  • Degree apprentices graduate with up to five years of professional work experience which gives them an edge when it comes to furthering their careers.

  • Not only are there no tuition fees to pay, degree apprentices are paid a full salary by their employer for working and studying.

Check the up-to-date listing of the degree apprenticeships on offer at Aston University and programmes that are currently in development.

Each employer sets their own entry requirements so for accurate information it is best to check their website. Typically degree apprenticeship candidates will need three A Levels (or equivalent) for a level 6 apprenticeship.

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.

No, there’s no age limit as long as apprentices are over 16 years old. So no matter what stage of your career, a degree apprentice could be a great way to build on your knowledge and develop your career.

For more information, visit the employee section of our website.

Yes, graduates are eligible for degree apprenticeship funding, however, the apprenticeship must be significantly different to the degree you already hold to ensure that new skills, knowledge and behaviours are gained.

There are no tuition fees to pay as they are covered by the employer and the government.

Degree apprenticeship lengths vary from programme to programme, ranging from two to five years. 

A level 6 degree apprenticeship will last between three and five years. A foundation programme will typically last two years and a level 7 degree apprenticeship at Aston University will last two and a half years.

At the very least you will be paid the National Minimum Wage. It is up to the employer if they offer more than this or have salary reviews throughout the apprenticeship, so you should do your research before applying. 

Upon successful completion of degree apprenticeship programmes, you will be awarded a degree. You can find out the degree title you will be awarded in the key information section of the course pages.

You will be invited to attend a graduation ceremony where you will collect your degree certificate and celebrate your achievement with fellow Aston graduates.

You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction.

Unlike the traditional university route, you do not apply through UCAS for a degree apprenticeship. Instead you will be applying directly to the employer that is offering the apprenticeship. You can find out more details about what the application process involves in the next section.

You can find apprenticeship vacancies with our partner employers listed on our website and the government’s Find an Apprenticeship website.

The application process varies from employer to employer. The typical application process follows this route:

Online application

Just like applying for a job, you’ll need to complete an online application filling in your details and answering questions about your academic and work history and some questions that relate to the role.

Testing

If you are successful in the first stage, you may then be invited to complete some online testing such as aptitude, attitude, numeracy, logic or literacy testing. These tests are to determine your ability to perform specific tasks related to a range of situations.

Interview

The next stage can involve one or more interviews that may be conducted on the telephone, online or face-to-face. 

Assessment centre

The final stage is attending an assessment centre where you will be given a range of activities to assess your skills and character that could include a group task, an individual interview, a presentation, further testing and a tour of the facilities.

Yes, you’ll need to find an employer that is advertising a degree apprenticeship vacancy. You can look at the vacancy listings for our partner employers, the recruitment section of the website of any organisations that you are interested in or the government’s Find an Apprenticeship website.

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.

You should also visit the Employee section of our website for information tailored to your circumstances.

It varies from employer to employer and when the company has demand for more staff. Sometimes we know 10 months in advance and sometimes it is just a couple of months. We recommend that you check regularly on the websites of employers that you are interested in.

All degree apprenticeships at Aston University offer a September start. For our most popular programmes such as Digital and Technology Solutions and Chartered Manager, there are multiple starts throughout the year.

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. 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 mixture 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.

Online sessions take place through Blackboard, Aston's Virtual Learning Environment. You can log in at set times to watch the sessions live, or if you have other commitments, you can watch the recording at a later date. 

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.

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.

As you are applying for a full-time role, you won’t need to apply for student accommodation. It is important that you think about where your role is based and how far you are willing to commute, or if you are willing to move away from home. You will spent the majority of your time at work so you should look for accommodation near your workplace rather than near Aston University.

Your employer will discuss with you the travel/accommodation arrangements for on-campus study days.

Just like any other Aston student, you’ll have full access to take part in all aspects of student life. You’ll be able to join societies and sports groups and make use of all the facilities on campus.

A degree apprenticeship is different from the typical student experience as you will be working most of the time. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be enjoying yourself. Apprentice have the opportunity to meet face-to-face at the on-campus study days giving them the chance to make new friends and go out after lectures are finished for the day.

Our apprentices say:

“People said I would be missing out on the university experience, I don’t believe I missed out on anything. I’ve spent the last five years doing exactly what I wanted to do and I’ve gained a degree without any debt. My degree apprenticeship has been a life experience.”

Hugeutte Makamu, Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentice

“Some people initially said to me I would miss out on being a uni student, they’re the best years of your life, and I did worry but then you realise you have a lot more freedom. Instead of going to uni and being in debt, I have a job, a salary, I am learning valuable skills and gaining a qualification, and I get the chance to go on several holidays a year!”

Anika Mehangra, Digital and Technology Solutions Degree Apprentice

Read their stories

As a degree apprentice, you are already gaining excellent professional experience with your employer. At the end of your apprenticeship they will want you to continue your career with them as they have invested time and money into training you up to become a model employee.

The majority of our graduate degree apprentices have stayed on with their employer. They have been promoted (sometimes multiple times) throughout their apprenticeship and are often leading teams in management positions.

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