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Apprentice FAQs

We understand that you may be interested in applying for a Higher and Degree Apprenticeship but may have questions and queries about the process.

We have compiled some specific frequently asked questions below, which we hope will help provide answers but please feel free to contact us today to discuss your specific needs.


An apprenticeship is a job with training to industry standards. Apprenticeships are employer-led:

  • Employers set the industry standard
  • Employers fund the apprenticeship
  • Employers are responsible for employing and training the apprentice

DAs are developed by employers, universities, and professional bodies working in partnership and combine working with studying part time at a University.

The DA brings together two qualifications – an academic qualification, either undergraduate or postgraduate and the apprenticeship as defined by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE). See Apprenticeship standards / Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education for information on the knowledge, skills and behaviours and assessment plans linked to the apprenticeship standards.

As an apprentice you must be employed throughout your programme, you will spend part of your time at university and the rest with your employer.  This can be on a day-to-day basis or in blocks of time, depending on the programme and requirements of your employer. Details of our Degree Apprenticeships can be found here.

In addition to DAs, there are also Higher Apprenticeships (HA), these are like DAs but do not have an aligned academic qualification. We currently offer the following Higher Apprenticeships;

Apprenticeships have some unique features that you don’t often find in other academic programmes or training provision, the information below is intended to give you some insight into these areas, but you are advised to also consult the IFATE and specific programme webpage.

To be eligible for an apprenticeship programme you must be employed in a job role which allows you to gain the technical knowledge, practical experience and wider skills and behaviours aligned to the apprenticeship standard and supported by your employer who, needs to meet their requirements as stipulated by Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA), and your application to study with us will need to meet the programme entry requirements as stipulated on the course webpage.

All applications will be reviewed through an initial assessment to assess your existing knowledge, skills, and behaviours against those required to achieve occupational competence in the apprenticeship standard and the academic award you are applying for. All learning for an apprenticeship should be new learning, and as result the length of your programme of study my change if you are eligible for recognition of prior learning/experience.

Apprenticeships are funded through the apprentice levy, not student loan funding. The employer will contract directly with the University. Further details can be found at Key facts you should know about the apprenticeship levy - GOV.UK(

A range of sectors offer apprenticeships, and each sector is bound by a sector specific apprenticeship standard. The standard sets out the occupation/job role, what the apprentice will be doing, and the skills they will develop in order to complete the apprenticeship.

The apprenticeship commitment statement is a mandatory document signed by the employer, you and the university usually before the commencement of the programme. It should be signed by all parties prior to beginning of your study. The document sets out a list of expectations from the you, and how the University and your employer will support you and additional information about the programme.  It is a working document which will be continually reviewed, used to inform discussion on progress (tri-partite) reviews and kept up to date with any material changes to your work or learning environment.

All apprentices must be employed in an appropriate job and be supported by their employer to spend at least 20% of their normal working hours aligned to the apprenticeship (referred to as Off the Job training).  OJT must deliver new knowledge, skills and behaviours that are directly related to the apprenticeship standard.

To ensure you are making the appropriate progress, regular (4 times a year) meetings are held between the you, your employer, and your University workplace coach to ensure appropriate progress is made, and any required support is available and in place.

Within the world of apprenticeships, the Gateway process sits between the on-programme delivery of the standard and the end- point assessment (EPA). The Gateway is a major milestone and is there to satisfy the requirement that the apprentice, their employer and the University agree that you are ready for EPA.

As an apprentice you will have a final assessment referred to as an end-point assessment (EPA), which is either part of the University credit structure (integrated) or in addition to the university credits (non-integrated), as prescribed by IfATE.


The EPA allows you to demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and behaviours you have developed from your academic and professional learning against the competencies identified in the specific standard you are aligned to. The EPA will be assessed by an independent assessor from the register of end-point assessment organisations. If you are successful in your EPA, you will be awarded the apprenticeship. Further details in relation to the EPA can be found here.

For those undertaking an apprenticeship at level 3 or above, it is a mandatory requirement to hold or achieve an approved level 2 qualification in both subjects, equivalent to grade C or 4 GCSE, before you can successfully complete the apprenticeship.  If you cannot evidence or do not hold these qualifications, the University will support you, via a specified provider, to achieve these.

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