What are higher and degree apprenticeships?

Degree and higher apprentices study whilst they work. Apprentices are employed and receive a wage, and typically attend University part time, one day a week, for blocks of time or study online.

An apprentice’s professional competence is assessed at work. Degree apprenticeships can include qualifications such as undergraduate, postgraduate, professional qualifications or a professional assessment/license to practice. Apprenticeships include training and study which incorporates a recognised qualification such as a bachelor’s degree, foundation degree or master's programme.

For the final stage, the apprentice will be entered for an End Point Assessment. A successful End Point Assessment means the apprenticeship will be complete.


UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

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How apprenticeships compare to other qualifications


Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

Level 6

Level 7


5 GCSEs A*-C
Full level 2 Vocational Qualification
A levels
Full level 3 Vocational Qualification,
eg BTEC ED Access to HE Dip
Yr 1 Full-time degree (Hons)
Yr 2 Full-time degree (Hons)
HND Foundation Degree
Degree (Hons) Postgraduate programmes,
eg Master's


Intermediate Advanced Higher Degree (and some Higher with professional qualifications)

Most higher apprenticeships are offered at level 4 and 5 and often include a foundation degree. Degree apprenticeships are at level 6 and 7. While degree apprenticeships include a degree or postgraduate qualification, some include professional assessments of competence or a license to practice, such as Qualified Teacher Status for the Teacher Apprenticeship.