Higher and degree apprenticeships

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Earn while you learn

Higher and Degree Apprenticeships provide you with an excellent opportunity to study towards a degree while working and earning.

Apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity as an alternative route into Higher Education without the debt or as a way to upskill your qualifications with the support of your existing employer to further your career.

To be eligible for an Apprenticeship you will need to be in paid employment either full time or part time in a relevant job role to the apprenticeship course you're applying for.

If you are a prospective apprentice who wants a head-start in the workplace, we're here to guide you through your options. If you are an employer, looking to develop new recruits or reskill/upskill qualified staff, please see our information for employers.

 We currently offer apprenticeships in the following subject areas:

Why apprenticeships?
  • Earn a salary while you study - you'll be employed throughout your apprenticeship.
  • No tuition fees or student loan* - the government and your employer pay for your course.
  • Get a head start in your career with practical work experience.


To be eligible to be an apprentice, you must satisfy the requirements of the Education and Skills Funding Agency Apprenticeship funding rules.

This means that you must:

  • be aged 16 or older at the start of the apprenticeship;
  • not be enrolled on another funded apprenticeship or another funded further education or higher education programme at the time you start your new apprenticeship;
  • be employed in a full-time job (minimum of 30 hours per week) or have a signed contract to start a full time job role, which is relevant to the apprenticeship you’re applying for;
  • meet the qualification entry requirements of the apprenticeship standard and be able to provide original qualification certificates at enrolment;
  • only apply for an apprenticeship unrelated to any qualifications you hold at the same or higher level than the apprenticeship you wish to apply for; the apprenticeship being applied for must be unrelated in subject and content from any qualification already held;
  • not expect funding for a repeated qualification; the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will not fund apprentices who are repeating the same qualification;
  • not be asked to contribute financially to the direct cost of your apprenticeship fees or use a student loan to finance any apprenticeship;
  • over the duration of your apprenticeship, you must spend at least 50% of your working time in England;
  • Meet the eligibility criteria listed in the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Apprenticeship funding rules for August 2023 to July 2024

*Individuals studying for a Higher or Degree Apprenticeship are not eligible for a Student or Maintenance Loan from Student Finance England.

Study an apprenticeship at Essex

We currently offer apprenticeships at three levels, across three subject areas:

  • Higher Apprenticeships (Level 5) leading to a Foundation Degree qualification
  • Degree Apprenticeships (Level 6 and 7) leading to a Bachelors or Masters qualification
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'Good' Ofsted rating for degree and higher apprenticeships

The delivery of apprenticeship programmes at the University of Essex have been rated as ‘good’ by Ofsted inspectors. The Ofsted report said University of Essex apprentices “highly value their courses” and “appreciate the support they receive from their lecturers and personal tutors”.

Apprenticeship subject areas

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Are you an employer, looking to upskill your staff or recruit new talent?

Boost your business with our training for apprentices and advice on making the most of your Apprentice Levy.

Get in touch
Daniel King Business Engagement Manager
Telephone: 01206 872137
Samantha Williams and Jordan Flint Apprenticeships Officers
Telephone: 01206 872137

The University makes every effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to courses may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.