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Information for apprentices

Studying a higher and degree apprenticeship is an exciting and recognised way to gain university level skills and qualification while earning a salary. Apprenticeships provide the opportunity to start a new career or gain new qualifications to help you progress in your current career with support from industry-leading experts and our state-of-the-art facilities.

We work with some of the UK's largest organisations to develop apprentices into successful employees.

What are degree and higher apprenticeships?

An apprenticeship is a work-based programme of study that lets you earn as you learn. They combine on-the-job training with degree-level academic study while you work towards a recognised qualification. Our apprenticeships are available at two levels:

Higher apprenticeships

These are equal to a Level 4 or 5 qualification. Level 5 qualifications are equivalent to a foundation degree.

Degree apprenticeships

These are equal to a Level 6 or 7 qualification. They are equivalent to a bachelors and masters degree.

How is an apprenticeship different to a degree?

A higher or degree apprenticeship combines the academic study of a degree with work-based learning. You will develop your skills and apply them in a real, working role while working towards a recognised academic qualification.

Which level is for me?

Whether you study for a higher apprenticeship or a degree apprenticeship will depend on the apprenticeship you’re interested in. If you’re already employed, it will be determined by the needs of your employer. Higher apprenticeship – you’ll study at Levels 4 or 5 equivalent to a foundation degree. 

Degree apprenticeship – you’ll study for a full Bachelors degree (Level 6) or a full Masters degree (Level 7). Higher and degree apprenticeships will require a level 3 qualification, subject to school and level of standard. But don’t worry if you don’t meet these criteria our university is committed to diversity and inclusion and will consider applications from those with relevant experience on an individual basis.

Typical entry requirements
  • Level 2 maths and English (GCSE, functional skills or equivalent)
  • 64-112 UCAS points from relevant level 3 qualifications, e.g. A levels/BTEC. Evidence of relevant previous learning or experience may be considered on an individual basis.
  • Must have a contract of employment to cover you for the duration of the apprenticeship for a minimum of 30 hours a week.


Who are they open to?

Higher and degree apprenticeships are suitable for everyone from college leavers to existing employees who are looking to progress in their chosen career.

Opportunities span across all sorts of different occupations in many sectors, such as business, engineering, health, digital and more.

To be eligible to become an apprentice, you'll need to fit the following criteria:

  • Level 2 maths and English (GCSE, functional skills or equivalent)
  • Have 64 – 112 UCAS Points from A-levels/BTEC or other qualifications or experience
  • Must have a contract of employment to cover you for the duration of the apprenticeship for a minimum of 30 hours a week.
  • Lived in the UK for at least 3 years

Will I get paid?

Yes! Apprentices are paid a wage like any other job. You get paid by the employer you’re working for.

The fees for the apprenticeship are covered by your employer and the government. This means you have nothing to pay back at the end of your programme of study.

Why Staffordshire University?

This is an exciting time for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships at Staffordshire University. We work with some of the country’s largest employers and we’re continually working to introduce an even wider choice of apprenticeships. Staffordshire University is within the top 5 largest apprenticeship provider in the UK, offering a large portfolio of specialist programmes. Staffordshire University were awarded a ‘Good’ by Ofsted in January 2022, emphasizing our commitment to our apprenticeship offering.

Busting apprenticeship myths

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Craig Lawrence
Arconic Apprentice

The best thing about being an apprentice is the introduction into the career and hands-on experience that you are getting, while getting your degree. I would 100% recommend getting into apprenticeships from an early age. I believe if you want a good solid career with an education, this is the way to go.

David Winter
Commercial Development and Contract Performance Manager, UHNM NHS Trust

Working at UHNM whilst studying as an apprentice with Staffordshire University is helping to develop me and my future whilst delivering value and new skills today, for the NHS.

Melodie Hulme
UHNM Trust

I enjoy taking on new challenges and developing my own skills. I am currently studying towards my Operational Management Degree at Staffordshire University as part of the apprenticeship scheme with the NHS.

I feel that personal development is a very important part of everyone's role and I am always looking to improve on current skills and look for opportunities where i can learn new ones.