FAQs: Degree and higher apprenticeships – What is the difference between a degree apprenticeship and a part time degree?

Degree Apprenticeships Toolkit

We’ve pulled together a list of FAQs regarding degree and higher apprenticeships.

Although degree level qualifications have been offered as part of some apprenticeship programmes ( for example day release degree courses etc.) for many years, the term Degree Apprenticeship has recently been adopted to have a more tightly defined meaning, and requiring providers to follow a specific process to offer such awards.   Even in degree apprenticeships however the educational qualification represents only part of the apprenticeship process.

The government’s expectation of what constitutes a Degree Apprenticeship  can be found on pages 12-13 of ‘The Future of Apprenticeships in England, Guidance for Trailblazers – from standards to starts (December 2015)’ which states:

  1. If you are considering bidding to develop a standard which you believe may be at level 6 or 7, there is an opportunity to include a degree in it. Degree Apprenticeships bring together the best of higher and professional and technical education, and see apprentices achieving a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship.
  2. They will involve employers, universities and professional bodies working in partnership, with apprentices employed throughout, spending part of their time at university (with flexibility as to how this is structured – e.g. via day release or block release) and part with their employer.
  3. Apprentices will complete a rigorous end-point assessment (EPA) which tests both the wider occupational competence and academic learning required for success in the relevant profession. The degree programme can be structured in one of two ways:
  • Employers, universities and professional bodies can come together to co-design a fully-integrated degree course specifically for apprentices, which delivers and tests both academic learning and on-the-job training. We think this will be the preferred approach for many sectors, as the learning is seamless and does not require a separate assessment of occupational competence.
  • Alternatively, sectors may wish to use existing degree programmes to deliver the academic knowledge requirements of that profession, combine this with additional training to meet the full apprenticeship requirements, and have a separate test of full occupational competence at the end of the apprenticeship.”


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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Related articles

IfATE Lifelong Learning Entitlement Consultation response

The Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education consulted on how the employer stamp of approval should be granted to qualifications...


IfATE Lifelong Learning Entitlement Consultation

The EPC response to this consultation can be found here. The Institute of Apprenticeships and Technical Education is consulting on...


Lifelong Learning Entitlement

By Joshua Mitchell, EPC Data Fellow What is the Lifelong Learning Entitlement The Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE) is a scheme...


Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) Apprenticeship Public Survey

IfATE has launched an Apprenticeship Public Survey for Engineering & Manufacturing. The survey relates to apprenticeship materials across seven routes...

Let us know what you think of our website