Finding an apprenticeship
Who offers apprenticeships?
Many employers across England support degree apprenticeships. The University of Brighton is working with more than 130 employers across sectors as diverse as business, construction, engineering, education, health and social care.
Can I apply for a degree apprenticeship if I'm not employed?
No, you need to be employed, but you can make a start by identifying which degree apprenticeship programmes you would be interested in, then search and apply for apprenticeship vacancies that are being offered by employers. These are advertised on the government website www.gov.uk/apply-apprenticeship or the UCAS Career Finder.
You can also contact organisations to enquire if they would consider taking you on as an apprentice. Check out our step-by-step list of actions you can take.
How can I get my employer to sponsor an apprenticeship?
If you are already employed and have found an Apprenticeship Standard against which you’d like to study, then ask your employer if they are willing to sponsor you through an apprenticeship programme.
Degree or degree apprenticeship?
It can be a tough decision choosing between a degree or a degree apprenticeship. Here’s a handy comparison to help you choose the right path for your career
Pay tuition fees
Employer/government funds your study
Receive a student loan and/or grant
Get paid a salary – no loan to repay
Full-time study with options for placements
Work at least 30 hours per week with 20% time for university study
Traditional student lifestyle – halls of residence and social life on campus
Full-time work with less time on campus
Average study time: 3 or 4 years
Average study time: 3 to 5 years
Developed by academics, often with employers' input
Developed by employers and academics, against standards developed by employer-led groups
Immersive educational experience with lectures, seminars and self-study
On-the-job learning combined with intensive study sessions
Opportunities to work on live briefs from employers.
Project work is part of your apprenticeship and all based on your job.
The table above shows a comparison between regular degrees and degree apprenticeships
Entry requirements and applications
What age do I need to be?
For most degree apprenticeships you need to be 16+. There is no upper age limit.
What are the different levels of apprenticeships?
- Intermediate apprenticeships are equivalent to 5 GCSE passes (Level 2)
- Advanced apprenticeships are equivalent to 2 A-level passes (Level 3)
- Higher apprenticeships are equivalent to foundation degrees (levels 4 and 5)
- Degree apprenticeships are equivalent to a full bachelors or masters degree upon completion (levels 6 and 7)
University of Brighton offers Higher and Degree Apprenticeships.
What qualifications do I need for a degree apprenticeship?
Each apprenticeship has its own entry requirements, which can be found on the programme pages. Generally, you need a level 3 qualification such as an Advanced Apprenticeship, NVQ or A-levels. You’ll also need level 2 (or equivalent) English and maths.
If you don't have the correct qualifications, we can support you through our partner, Functional Skills UK. We will make sure you have enough time to complete your qualifications to the highest standard possible. You should discuss this with your employer and the academic lead before you apply.
When should I apply?
You can start applying for higher and degree apprenticeships at any time, but please check specific programme pages for application closing dates. Apply through our application portal.
How do I apply for a degree apprenticeship?
Firstly, confirm your employer is happy to support you and fund the apprenticeship, and is fully aware of the commitments involved, then access our application portal and create an account. Select ‘Apply to new course’ and select either ‘Undergraduate course’ or ‘Taught postgraduate course’ and type ‘Apprenticeship’ into the keyword box. Next, choose the programme you want to apply to, and select a start date. Finally, complete your application form and submit it to us for review.
How to write a degree apprenticeship application
When completing your degree apprenticeship application, you’ll need to write a personal statement. Use this to tell us about your motivation and enthusiasm, and demonstrate your suitability for the programme. It will help your application to include examples of relevant work, voluntary or study experiences and transferable skills you will use when you become an apprentice.
You should include:
- why you chose to apply for an apprenticeship and why at Brighton
- how you will apply your current skills, knowledge, and experience to the programme
- success and achievements relevant to the course and your aptitude for study
- how the programme fits into your career plans and ambitions.
Download our Careers Skills Workbook to help you with your application – it includes examples of paragraph structures and core skills.
Programme lengths and assessments
How many hours will I work and study?
You should work for a minimum of 30 hours per week and you study for 20% of your working hours, typically equivalent to four days work and one day study day per week. If you’re employed fewer than 30 hours per week, your employer will need to check with us to make sure you meet the course criteria.
How long does a degree apprenticeship last?
The length of a degree apprenticeship depends on the level of qualification and what is agreed between your employer and the university. Our degree apprenticeships generally last between one and six years. Check individual programme pages for more details.
Can a degree apprenticeship be done part-time?
Yes, part-time apprenticeships (minimum of 16 hours per week) can be agreed with an employer if there’s a reason you can’t work full-time, for example, care responsibilities.
Can a degree apprenticeship be extended?
Yes, there is some flexibility and the length of the apprenticeship can be extended with your employer’s permission.
How will I be assessed?
Once you have completed your academic degree programme and demonstrated the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of your chosen occupation, you take an End Point Assessment (EPA). EPAs vary but usually include a formal exam and an interview with an independent assessor. After completing the assessments, you will achieve your final award and complete the programme.
Who issues the final awards for degree apprenticeships?
The University of Brighton issues your academic award such as your bachelors degree. You may also receive membership or eligibility tot apply for membership of a professional body. Your certificate of completion is awarded by Apprenticeship Certificates England (ACE).
Work and university life
What is the role of the university as training provider?
University of Brighton assesses your progress and supports you during their apprenticeship. We work very closely with the employer to ensure that apprentices receive:
- an induction programme
- a detailed training plan
- regular progress reviews
- mentoring and general support throughout the apprenticeship.
This will all be documented in a commitment statement that is part of the Apprenticeship Agreement, an individual learning plan that the provider, the employer and apprentice all sign up to.
Is a degree apprenticeship a permanent job?
No. When you apply for an apprenticeship the length of your employment will be set out in your Apprenticeship Agreement. Many apprentices stay with their sponsoring employer and get a permanent job afterwards, but this is at the discretion of the employer.
Can I transfer my degree apprenticeship between employers?
Changing employers during the apprenticeship is possible but can be complicated. This must be agreed by the university, including a record of what was achieved in the previous employment and what will be covered in the new job.
What is the difference between off-the-job and on-the-job learning?
Off-the-job learning is undertaken outside of day-to-day duties of your role. This could include attending university sessions (in person or online), self-directed study or continuous professional development courses. Off-the-job learning follows an agreed schedule between you, your employer and the training provider (the University of Brighton). On-the-job learning is what you develop naturally in the workplace. On-the-job learning should include mentoring and coaching from colleagues, managers or supervisors to help you to develop your skills.
Do I get a full university experience?
Apprentices enrolled with the university receive similar benefits as the rest of our students, including access to online learning and library facilities. You won’t live in university halls, but can use facilities and join clubs and societies. However, remember that an apprenticeship is first and foremost a job that encompasses a formal qualification, so it is a very different experience to being a full-time student.
What do I agree with my employer and the university?
At the start of the apprenticeship, you sign a three-way Apprenticeship Agreement with the training provider (the University of Brighton) and your employer. This details the occupation you will be trained for, the dates of the apprenticeship and overview of the training provided. You also sign a Commitment Statement. This includes the training content and schedule, what’s expected of each party and details on how to resolve complaints.
Support and guidance
What learning support is available?
Our Work-Based Learning Support and Guidance Tutors (WBLSGTs) strengthen the bridge between on- and off-the-job learning. They liaise with employers, workplace mentors and academic tutors to ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of your progress during regular tripartite reviews. They provide non-judgmental, one-to-one guidance and support on issues affecting your ability to succeed. They also sign-post to specialist services in the university and agree supportive action plans with the employers for workplace learning.
What help is available for disability and dyslexia?
Degree apprentices may be able to get additional support through the university (but not the Disabled Students Allowance). You may also be able to apply for Access to Work funding for work-based equipment and software. Get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team for further information.
What happens if I am made redundant during my apprenticeship?
In the unfortunate event that your employer makes you redundant before the end of your apprenticeship, we can offer support and guidance to help you look for employment for the rest of your apprenticeship programme. As your training provider, we may still be able to offer training in the short term while our careers team support you to find a new employer. If you are at risk of redundancy or have been made redundant, contact the Apprenticeships team on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if there are current vacancies with our partner organisations. Or visit our Apprentices Advice Centre.
Other key support services
University of Brighton has a wide range of support services available to apprentices through Student Services.
For information on events, activities, plus support services and campaigns, contact Brighton Students' Union.
Who pays the course fees?
The cost of your learning programme is covered by your employer through their Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account, so it costs you nothing!
How much does a degree apprentice get paid?
In the first year of an apprenticeship, you must be paid, as a minimum, in line with the national minimum wage for apprentices. After a year in the workplace, this should increase to the national minimum wage or more. Your employer may choose to pay more than this amount, but this is discretionary. Check the current minimum wage rates: www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates.
Do degree apprentices get student loans?
Higher and degree level apprentices don’t get student loans. This is because the learning fees are funded by your employer and the government.
Living costs and benefits
Higher and degree level apprentices must fulfil the standard eligibility criteria to apply for means-tested benefits such as Universal Credit, Child Tax Credit and Housing Benefit. Our Student Advice Service can help with questions about benefits.
If you are in full-time study, you could be exempt from paying Council Tax. Check GOV.UK for more information: www.gov.uk/council-tax/who-has-to-pay. Although some programmes require study on a day-release arrangement, this can still be classed as full-time study. You will need to obtain a letter from the Student Information Desk at any campus and send this to your Council Tax department when you enrol on the programme.