Frequently Asked Questions
What are higher and degree apprenticeships?
Higher and degree apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed to help you gain paid practical experience at the same time as studying for a university level qualification. You'll be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week while also attending university. So you get to work, earn, learn and progress at the same time.
Degree apprenticeships include qualifications from level 4 ('higher' - equivalent to a foundation year of a bachelor's degree) to level 7 (equivalent to a masters degree).
What's the cost of higher and degree apprenticeships?
For you as an apprentice there's no cost to do a higher or degree apprenticeship. You'll be paid as an employee of the company you're working for as well as receiving a university education that's covered by your employer and the government. You may need to consider additional living costs though, such as moving away from home or commuting.
Is this the best route into employment?
By doing your higher or degree apprenticeship with Sheffield Hallam University, you'll be taught by people who are experts in your academic subject, gaining real-world experience and applied knowledge. Our courses are designed to help you bring together your experience and your studies to make the most of both. You'll also have access to excellent facilities and support services to help you progress.
How do I become an apprentice?
If you're interested in becoming an apprentice you should apply for a job with an employer who is offering a degree apprenticeship opportunity. We can help you prepare for this, and we run apprenticeship job fairs to help you find a role. We also help employers to recruit, so let us know if you want us to help you make a connection. If you already have a job you can talk to your employer about the possibilities and if they aren't aware you can let them know what's available. We can help and will be happy to come and meet you and your employer. We can advise on eligibility for funding as well.
Can I apply directly to university to do a higher or degree apprenticeship?
You must be employed to do a higher or degree apprenticeship. If you aren't yet employed for at least 30 hours per week, it's crucial that you apply directly to an employer who is offering a higher or degree apprenticeship as part of their training programme. Some of our employer partners include Nestlé, JCB, ASDA, the NHS and a wide range of local and national employers of all sizes. We can help you to find opportunities with our matching service and higher and degree apprenticeship job fairs, so please get in touch.
When do I decide? Can I apply for UCAS as well?
If you can't decide which route is best for you at this stage, you can apply for higher and degree apprenticeship job roles and full-time uni courses at the same time – to keep your options open until you decide. Remember you'll need an offer of employment, or need to be in employment already, to apply for a higher or degree apprenticeship. Make sure you also have commitment from your employer to support you through the apprenticeship. You and your employer can then get in touch to review the options by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a higher or degree apprenticeship for me?
Higher and degree apprenticeships are created through partnerships of employers working with education providers like Sheffield Hallam University to create opportunities for people like you. They come in all shapes and sizes, from foundation to degree and masters level. We're already currently offering a range of higher and degree apprenticeships in these subject areas;
- Architecture and chartered planning
- Construction and chartered surveying
- Design and creative
- Digital and technology solutions – from cyber security to software solutions
- Engineering – including materials, electronic and manufacturing
- Food and drink – a professional practice apprenticeship
- Health and social care – including physiotherapy
- Healthcare sciences
- Leadership and management – including Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and professional practice
- Supply chain and packaging
- Policing - train to be a fully qualified police officer with South Yorkshire Police
What will it be like to study as an apprentice?
There are many similarities with traditional full time study – the course content may be similar and you will be part of a group of learners that benefit from each other’s support and the university’s experts and facilities. Higher and degree apprenticeships are taught a little differently though. As well as being offered the knowledge and skills you’d expect from a high quality degree, we have experts in work-based learning methods to help you maximise the impact from your study and your workplace – together. Assessments can include reports, problem solving activities, presentations and in-company projects – all ensuring that you're able to integrate your academic study with on-the-job training.
Take a look at our apprentice stories to find out what life is like as an apprentice.
When will I attend university?
Apprenticeships are work-based qualifications, which means that a good deal of training and assessment is done in partnership with your employer. Attendance at Sheffield Hallam University will be required for the academic award, and will usually take place through day release or in some cases attendance blocks throughout the year.
Check our course descriptions to see how you'll study, which varies depending on the specific course, or read our apprentice stories to see how their study time has been integrated into their job role.
What will the apprenticeship job be like?
Your employer has to allow you to undertake off-the job training for 20% of your time. They'll agree with you and with the university on how to plan and support your development during and after your study. You, your employer and our course experts will work together to support your success.
Contact us and we can put you in touch with our course specialists and employers for more information. Or read our apprentice stories to find out what their experiences have been like.
Where will the apprentice job be based and will I need to move away from home?
Some employers we work with are based nationwide. The employer you work for may need you to be flexible and you may need to consider moving from your current location in some cases. This isn't always the case but will open more opportunities to you. For example, some of our student apprentices work with Nestlé in their offices near Gatwick or York, coming to Sheffield for about six weeks a year. However, we also work with an increasing number of local employers as well.
How long does a higher and degree apprenticeship take?
The minimum length of an apprenticeship is one year – though higher and degree apprenticeships at Sheffield Hallam University involve achieving a foundation, bachelors or masters degree, normally taking between 2 and 5 years to complete.