University of Derby Degree Apprenticeships

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University of Derby Degree Apprenticeships

University of Derby Degree Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships are a model bringing together the best of higher and vocational education, and see apprentices achieving a full bachelor’s or master’s degree as part of their apprenticeship. These involve employers, universities, and professional bodies working in partnership. Apprentices are employed throughout, and spend part of their time at university and part with their employer; employers and universities will have flexibility to decide how best to structure this, e.g. via day release or block release.

Apprentices will complete a rigorous end assessment which tests both the wider occupational competence and academic learning required for success in that profession, in this case incorporating a bachelor’s or master’s degree. This 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 it 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 training requirements, and have a separate test of full occupational competence at the end of the apprenticeship (e.g. delivered by a relevant professional body).

In either case, degrees earned via this route will be awarded by world-class universities so will be held in equal esteem as degrees undertaken via the full-time traditional undergraduate route.

University of Derby Degree Apprenticeships, What are the benefits of Degree Apprenticeships?

This model has a number of advantages for employers, prospective apprentices, and universities:

  • Employers can attract new talent, particularly high calibre school-leavers, who are keen to earn a degree in a work-based environment. It will allow them to acquire the graduate/post-graduate level skills they need, where the training costs, including the degree, are co-funded by Government
  • The apprentice, like any other apprentice, must be employed and paid a wage throughout, will gain a full degree (bachelor’s or master’s) without incurring student fees or taking on a loan, and gain a head-start into their chosen profession compared with many of their counterparts – a highly attractive offer
  • Universities can strengthen links with local employers and offer more degree programmes that meet employer needs and are accredited by professional bodies, while also having a new product to offer to prospective applicants (possibly from more diverse backgrounds than their full-time intake).

University of Derby Degree Apprenticeships, How do they differ from sandwich degrees and work placements?

These build on the existing models of sandwich degrees (with students spending a year in industry) or work placements (with students doing industry placements in term time or holidays), but are different in several important ways: