Happy graduates outside a university after or before a degree ceremony

If you really want to get ahead in your career, a degree apprenticeship could be the right choice for you. You will need to have the right qualifications, and courses can take up to six years. But you will have the best of both worlds – a paid job, highly relevant work experience and the chance to study for a degree level qualification.  

There are differences to the way degree apprenticeships are offered in England, Scotland and Wales.  

What is a degree apprenticeship?

Degree apprenticeships are qualifications developed by employers in conjunction with universities and colleges. They are designed to fill skills gaps in the workforce and are an alternative to traditional degree programmes. The main benefit of a degree apprenticeship is that it gives people the opportunity to gain a degree while working at the same time. You don’t pay tuition fees, instead you will be earning a salary! You spend most of your time working for an employer, and part-time studying at a university. 

Degree apprenticeships in England

Eligibility & entry requirements 

To apply for a degree apprenticeship in England, you need to have Level 3 qualifications, which might be an advanced apprenticeship, BTEC, NVQ or A Level passes in two or three subjects, some of which may be relevant to your apprenticeship. You should be over the age of 18, living in England, and have the right to live and work in England. 


You do not have to self-fund a degree apprenticeship. You will be paid a salary by the employer for the job you are doing alongside the degree apprenticeship, and your tuition fees will also be paid by your employer.  

How long is a degree apprenticeship? 

Degree apprenticeships in England can take three to six years to complete. 

Apprenticeships levy & employer involvement 

The apprenticeship levy is paid by employers if their annual pay bill exceeds £3 million. It equates to 0.5% of their total pay bill. Employers can use their levy funds to pay the tuition fees of their degree apprentices. If employers do not pay the apprenticeship levy, the government pays 90% of the apprentice’s tuition fees, and the employer pays the remaining 10%.   

How do degree apprenticeships work in Scotland?

Scottish graduate apprenticeships are the equivalent of degree apprenticeships in England and Wales. They are the most advanced level of apprenticeship in Scotland. Graduate apprenticeships are designed to give undergraduate students experience of the world of work, at the same time as taking a degree. 

There are graduate apprenticeship opportunities in an increasing number of Scottish universities and colleges. Subject areas cover sectors such as Construction and Business, Civil Engineering and Cyber Security.    

Scottish employers see graduate apprenticeships as ideal opportunities to develop their staff.  

The role of the Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework (SCQF) 

The SCQF is the national qualification framework for Scotland and helps people of all ages and circumstances access education and training. The SCQF provides support and guidance for those seeking training, for employers, educators and advisors. It can help people plan their learning and develop progression routes to follow.  


Entry requirements for a graduate apprenticeship are similar to those for an undergraduate degree and will vary by course and institution. However, you will need to be resident in Scotland and have the right to work in Scotland in order to be eligible. 

You can apply for a graduate apprenticeship if you are aged 16 and there is no upper limit. Some courses may be restricted to applicants over 18 because of health and safety requirements.   


Funding for graduate apprenticeships is available from Student Awards Agency Scotland.   


Like in England, degree apprenticeships in Scotland take three to six years to complete. 

Degree apprenticeships in Wales 

A degree apprenticeship in Wales is the same as a degree level apprenticeship in England, and similar to a graduate apprenticeship in Scotland, and leads to a Level 6/7 qualification.  

Degree apprenticeships in Wales have been initially offered in a limited number of fields, such as Digital, Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing. 

Who is eligible for a degree apprenticeship? 

The usual entry requirements for entry onto degree apprenticeships in Wales are five GCSE passes at grades 9-4 and Level 3 qualifications such as A Levels, NVQs or a BTEC National. Some apprenticeship providers may insist on your A-Level passes being in specific subjects and certain grade ranges.  

Most applicants will be over the age of 18 as degree apprenticeships in Wales require Level 3 qualifications. You must live in Wales, have the right to live and work in the UK and not already be in full-time education.  

Duration of degree apprenticeships in Wales 

Degree apprenticeships in Wales can take one to six years to complete. 

Find out more about construction apprenticeships

Whatever level of construction apprenticeship you want to do, from intermediate to higher to degree level, there will be an opportunity near where you live. At Go Construct we have information on around 170 different job roles in construction, from architects to welders, as well as case studies and real-life stories of people working in the construction industry.  

Search for an apprenticeship near you

To search for apprenticeships you can use websites like Talentview, apply directly to employers or contact local colleges. Often your best chance of securing a degree apprenticeship is to work for a company that is actively involved in the degree apprenticeship programme.