Degree apprenticeships

Degree apprenticeships are an integrated work-based qualification that combine real-world workplace learning with a higher education qualification. Employers, universities and professional bodies work in partnership to design degree apprenticeships that benefit both students and employers.

Quality guaranteed

Degree apprenticeships are part of the Welsh Government’s aim to increase the number of higher level apprenticeships, including those at degree level, as set out in its apprenticeship plan. They are fully funded by the Welsh Government through HEFCW, the higher education regulator.  As such, employers can be confident that degree apprenticeships will be subject to the same quality assurance as other higher education provision, and comply with the Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for Wales (SASW).

Degree apprenticeships are currently available at level 6, equivalent to a full undergraduate bachelor’s degree, in the priority areas of:

They are available in partnership with universities in Wales.

Read a complete list of universities and degree apprenticeships on the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales website.

The apprenticeship model in Wales differs to the apprenticeship model in England. Higher education providers in Wales are able to deliver degree apprenticeships in England if they are on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP).

How do they work?

Employers in Wales can offer a degree apprenticeship in IT, engineering or advanced manufacturing through a partnership with a university in Wales. Degree apprentices gain workplace experience, while simultaneously working towards a degree level qualification that can also include professional qualifications relevant to industry.

Degree apprentices are employed and paid a salary throughout the course duration. A degree apprenticeship will be a minimum of three years and usually up to a maximum of five years in length. Degree apprentices spend around 20% of their time at university and the rest with their employer.

Information for employers

Recruit a degree apprentice

Recruiting a degree apprentice from your existing workforce or a new employee couldn’t be easier, and degree apprentices are available to all employers in Wales regardless of size. Working together with a university in Wales, you will plan the degree apprenticeship for your apprentice, be that in Welsh or English, allowing a tailor-made, business specific approach.

Your university will agree with you the qualification, assessment and programme processes.

Complete list of universities and degree apprenticeships:

What are the costs?

There are two costs associated with a degree apprenticeship - the degree apprentice’s salary costs and the tuition fee costs of higher education study. You have to pay the first cost. You don’t pay the second.

The Welsh Government fully funds the cost of the tuition fees.

The benefits for employers

Investment in developing your employees with industry-led degree apprenticeships can transform your business.

Degree apprenticeships can:

  1. Enable cost-effective high value training – you cover the degree apprentice’s salary costs and the Welsh Government covers the cost of study.
  2. Allow learning to be applied directly to the workplace. 
  3. Lead to innovation, increased productivity, efficiency and business growth.
  4. Create a motivated, highly-skilled and qualified workforce.
  5. Develop mentoring and supervisory skills in your staff.
  6. Fill skills gaps to meet demands now and in the future.
  7. Identify and grow talent for succession planning.
  8. Provide an attractive ladder of opportunity and career progression to support and retain your workforce.
  9. Be designed flexibly around your needs.

Help and support

If you are new to apprenticeships, you can access further help and support from an Employment Engagement Advisor by: