Postgraduate Engineer Apprenticeship (R&D Pathway)

Level: 7 

Course duration: Typically 2 years (20-24 months practical training plus 4 months EPA)

Next start date: September 2024

Mode of delivery: Combination of face-to-face on campus and online study


The Postgraduate Research and Development Engineer Apprenticeship is a varied and multi-disciplinary programme seeking to equip learners with the complex problem solving and higher technical skills required to find innovative solutions and drive industry developments forward.

Delivered by experienced academics, practitioners and researchers from the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, with a strong input from industry, the apprenticeship aims to prepare technical professionals to become positive drivers of change. Apprentices undertake a workplace project, which is fully aligned with the research and development needs of their organisation, whilst benefiting from academic expertise of the project supervisor.

For apprentices who wish to develop their research further, this apprenticeship forms phase one of the Professional Doctorate in Engineering.

UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

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Who is it for?

This apprenticeship is ideal for employers looking to build a collaborative research and development partnership with one of the leading Schools of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics in the UK.

It is open to talented individuals, working full-time in a senior technical role, who are keen to develop a multidisciplinary outlook by undertaking company-relevant applied research. 

Entry criteria and costs

The cost of the Apprenticeship for 2024/25 entry: £26,500 (drawn down from the monthly employer levy)

Apprentices must be working in a suitable technical role which gives opportunity to put new learning underpinning the subject area into practice, holding either:

  • a first or upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in a Science or Engineering subject; or
  • a lower second-class honours degree where relevant experience can be demonstrated

As well as:

  • hold English and Maths Level 2 equivalent to GCSE A*-C or 9-4
  • be eligible to join the Apprenticeship scheme in England

Functional Skills English and/or Maths can be studied during the apprenticeship if eligible Level 2 qualifications are not already held; however, both must be completed before progression onto the End Point Assessment. It is an employer's discretion whether they may prefer these to be achieved by staff before enrolling on the apprenticeship.

How to apply

We welcome employers and individuals to contact the Apprenticeships Team by completing the expression of interest form below. Once submitted, we will be in touch to outline your next steps and/or arrange a meeting with the Faculty.

Learning outcomes

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Engineering (Research and Development) awarded by Oxford Brookes

  • Engagement with advanced scientific methods in an academic context
  • Apply the theoretical knowledge to solve problems in existing and emerging technologies
  • Thorough understanding of research methods that can be applied to the study of science and engineering
  • Practical training in data analysis, data-oriented decisions, numerical modelling, scientific writing and presentation skills.

Teaching overview

Core learning is typically delivered over 20-24 months. Apprentices study the equivalent of one day-a-week in ‘off-the-job’ training through a combination of face-to-face teaching and online study.

Progress in the workplace is monitored through regular contact between the employer, apprentice and their academic adviser.

Study Modules

  • Research, Scholarship and Professional Skills (20 credits, compulsory)
  • Specialisation modules selected from across the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics (40 credits, optional choices)
  • Dissertation and End Point Assessment Portfolio of Evidence (60 credits, compulsory)

End Point Assessment

The End Point Assessment (EPA) brings together evidence demonstrating that an apprentice meets the occupational and professional competencies expected of a Postgraduate Engineer.

Typically taken over 4 months, the EPA comprises of:

  • A Portfolio based Occupational Competence Validation Interview (Viva)
  • Professional competence assessment undertaken by a Professional Engineering Institution 

The Oxford Brookes experience

  • Unique opportunity to develop work-based research further by progressing onto our Doctorate in Engineering

  • 24-hour access to learning and teaching facilities, including state-of-the art labs, computer rooms and social learning spaces
  • Apprentices gain benefit from learning alongside the Faculty’s close-knit multidisciplinary postgraduate and research community
  • We have 20 years experience of delivering applied research in computing and engineering