About higher and degree apprenticeships

The University is on the Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers and offers higher and degree level apprenticeships.

These programmes are developed in partnership with employers to improve the knowledge and skills of their workforce and address organisational needs.  


Higher and degree apprenticeships at the University are available at levels 5 to 7. Level 5 is equivalent to a Higher Education Certificate/ Diploma or a foundation degree, level 6 is equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree, and level 7 is equivalent to a Master’s degree. A number of our apprenticeship programmes also include award of a Univeristy of Leeds degree. 


Each higher or degree apprenticeship programme is mapped to an occupational standard (see apprenticeship standards on the Institute for Apprentices and Technical Education website). The standard sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours an apprentice is required to learn to be occupationally competent. There is an assessment plan for each standard, which sets out the requirements for end-point assessment and award of the apprenticeship. 


The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) requires that all apprenticeships must be a minimum duration of 12 months, after prior learning has been considered. The practical period of an apprenticeship is the period for which the apprentice is expected to work and receive training. When an apprentice has reached their planned training completion date and ‘gateway review’ date, the employer and training provider meet to discuss if the apprentice is ready to sit the end point assessment. See end-point assessment.

The expected duration of apprenticeships offered by the University is detailed on the relevant course information page (see ‘apprenticeship programmes’ below) and specified in each apprentice’s individual learning plan. 


Apprentices must spend a minimum of of 6 hours a week on off-the-job training, which is learning done outside of an apprentice’s normal working duties, but within their working hours. The employer and training provider decide how the off-the-job training is delivered and this is documented in the individual learning plan for each apprentice (which forms part of the training plan, formely known as the commitment statment). 

Progress against the learning plan is reviewed at regular tripartite meetings between the employer, apprentice and training provider (see tripartite meetings). Apprentices are required to track and provide evidence of their off-the-job learning hours. 

  • Off-the-job training may include regular day release for study, block release and special training days or workshops. It must be directly relevant to the apprenticeship standard and can be delivered at the apprentice’s normal place of work as long as it is not part of their normal working duties. It can cover practical training such as shadowing, mentoring and industry visits. 

  • On-the-job training helps an apprentice develop the specific skills for the workplace and they should be supported by a mentor. Once an apprentice completes their apprenticeship they should be able to demonstrate that they can perform tasks confidently and completely to the standard set by industry.  


Apprentices do not pay fees for the apprenticeship programme. Funding for apprenticeships is covered entirely by the employer and the government. 

Employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million must pay the apprenticeship levy and can use this money to pay for training and assessment for apprenticeships. Non-levy paying employers with new apprentice starts will have at least 95% of the apprenticeship training and assessment costs paid for by the government and make a 5% cash contribution (co-investment) to the cost.

Apprenticeship programmes

See the higher and degree apprenticeship programmes currently offered at the University.