Being a higher or degree apprentice

A higher or degree apprentice will have a job and study part-time, with an assessment and skills development programme in place. This enables the apprentice to earn while learning, and gain valuable skills and knowledge in a specific job role. 

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 higher apprenticeship programmes include award of a University 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. 


The apprentice develops their knowledge, skills and behaviours through a wide range of learning in the workplace and through formal off-the-job training. An individual learning plan is agreed for each apprentice. This forms part of the training plan (formely known as the commitment statment), which is signed by the apprentice, the employer and training provider.   

Progress against the learning plan is reviewed at regular tripartite meetings.  Apprentices must participate in active learning every 4 weeks and are required to record  their off-the-job learning hours using the OTJ activity log in PebblePad.   

English and Maths 

Apprentices are required to hold or achieve an approved level 2 in both English and Maths (functional skills) before they can commence their end point assessment and successfully complete an apprenticeship. 

End point assessment

End point assessment (EPA) takes place at the end of an apprenticeship when the formal training is completed. It is an assessment of the knowledge, skills and behaviours the apprentice has learned, which confirms if they are occupationally competent and can be awarded an apprenticeship. See end point assessment.

Apprentice handbook

The University of Leeds Apprentice handbook contains all the information that apprentices need to know about their programme. It provides an overview of the core topics and terminology used on apprenticeships and guides apprentices to useful sources of information.