Degree apprenticeships: advice for university departments – Agreeing the business case

Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit

We’ve pulled together a checklist of things for university departments to consider when proposing to get involved in degree apprenticeships.  It’s still evolving so please do contact us if you have experience or advice you would like to add.


As for all new programme proposals, numbers of students required in order to make a programme viable is crucial. This needs to be clearly stated and written into the contracts that will be signed. This is vital anyway; but particularly vital when offering a degree apprenticeship programme that is formed around a number of employers, consortia, trade federations and SMEs. If for example the university contracts to run such a programme for 20 students and there are only 17/18/19, then this can lead to all sorts of debates and discussions – and conflicts – if for example every employer except one has delivered the numbers promised. This must be clearly understood, and must also be recognised and addressed as a key part of the contract.  Close co-operation between the lead academic department and the HEI’s finance and planning services will be needed and, as we said earlier, a very different approach taken to evaluating viability than for a standard academic programme.  The longer term and broader relationship to be developed with the company will need to be taken into account, for example, along with the opportunity to access a new funding source.


Any views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein are solely that of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, policies, or position of the Engineering Professors’ Council or the Toolkit sponsors and supporters.

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