Information for apprentices

Degree apprenticeships offer the opportunity to study a complete Undergraduate Degree or Masters Degree programme, meaning that apprentices graduate with a Higher Education qualification and a Certificate of Apprenticeship. Higher Apprenticeships often contain components of Degree level studies, often incorporating an intermediate award.

A Degree or Higher Apprenticeship is an alternative to the traditional University route for young people and adults. You will become or will already be a paid employee of a company that will help you build your career, enable you to earn a Higher or Degree qualification and ensure you get the education, training and support to become the future stars in your chosen field.

An apprenticeship at Keele University is an opportunity to gain one of our academic degree or postgraduate qualifications whilst in full time work. Your employer pays for your training and you will be earning as you learn. An apprenticeship is a combination of on and off the job learning which develops the knowledge, skills and behaviour to make you competent in a particular job role.

Key facts:

  • You will be recruited into your apprenticeship role by your employer and enrolled on our course
  • You do not pay tuition fees
  • Typical starting salaries for degree apprentices are around £12-£18,000 per year

You must apply for your apprenticeship through your employer, not UCAS. Vacancies will be advertised on the Apprenticeship Service when they become available.

Careers at Keele University:

If you are looking to develop a career at Keele University, we offer high quality apprenticeships that combine learning and working. To find out more and about the scheme and any current opportunities please visit the Human Resources Apprenticeships page.

We are proud that Keele's apprenticeship approach has been praised by Ofsted read more here. 

There are two types of apprenticeship you can study with us:

Degree Apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship has a full degree integrated into it. If you are studying on a Degree Apprenticeship, and successfully complete both your apprenticeship and the integrated Masters or Bachelors Degree you will be awarded your Degree from Keele University. We will request your certificate of apprenticeship through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA).

Higher Apprenticeship

If you are studying for a Higher Apprenticeship, your award may not have an integrated Bachelors or Masters Degree but is likely to contain in intermediate award (for example a Foundation Degree or Postgraduate Diploma or, modules of HE level learning). For these apprenticeships you will receive certification of intermediate award or credit achieved and, we will apply for your certificate of apprenticeship from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA)



At Keele University, we are working with a number of employers to develop apprenticeships. 

When there are apprenticeship vacancies available with the University providing training, employers will advertise them on the Apprenticeship Service

Other useful guidance is available from:



Once your employer has agreed that you will be participating in an apprenticeship, they will supply you with a link to complete a short application to the University. This will enable us to collect any initial eligibility information and confirm your place on the programme.

Once your application has been successful, we will advise you about when your course starts. This will encompass a combination of teaching and induction activities to help introduce you to the University.

On Boarding

At that start of your apprenticeship we may need to collect a range of further evidence in relation to your apprenticeship eligibility and your needs in order to comply with the funding rules for apprenticeships. We need to create an ‘evidence pack’ for each learner so that the Education and the Education Skills funding Agency can check that all apprentices on our programmes meet criteria and that we are legitimately claiming funding.

Throughout your apprenticeship we need to work with you and your employer to ensure that you are progressing. This will be done through a variety of means including formal arrangements and less formal ones. Four times a year you can expect to participate in a progress/tripartite review meeting with ourselves and your employer. These are opportunities for everyone to sit down together, review where things are at and get feedback. The tripartite review is something that we expect you to be able to participate fully in. It is an opportunity to identify things that can help you achieve and opportunities to formally record key milestones.

When you get near the end of your programme of learning, we will meet and determine when you are ready for Gateway. This is the point at which your employer and the University will determine that you are a Gateway and are therefore ready to sit an independent End Point Assessment.

The End Point Assessment tests whether you meet the Skills, Knowledge and Behaviours outlined in the nationally agreed standard for your apprenticeship. How they are assessed is nationally standardised and will be highly relevant to your apprenticeship.


Find out more about all the support and services available to all those studying at Keele here, including accessing Student Serviceshealth and wellbeing support, and making the most of your academic life

About your course
The full details of your programme of study will be available in the programme specification for your apprenticeship. You should read this carefully.

The documents
Here is a brief guide to some of the documents we would expect you to be aware of as part of your apprenticeship:

Your contract of employment/contract of services – this outlines the job in which you are employed and any conditions and benefits attached to it. Although your contract is an agreement between you and your employer, we will need to ensure that:

  1. your contract relates to a job or training role aligned with the apprenticeship standard you are undertaking;
  2. the duration of your contract extends beyond the intended up to at least the intended completion date of your apprenticeship training.

The Commitment Statement – this is what is known as a ‘tripartite’ agreement between your employer, Keele University (the provider of training) and you (the apprentice). It details everything you need to know about your apprenticeship including when your training will happen, any policies you might need to be aware of and who is responsible for paying for particular components. We would never expect you to pay costs of your apprenticeship training.

The apprenticeship agreement – this document is signed by you (the apprentice) to confirm that you understand that you are participating in an apprenticeship programme. Your employer is responsible for ensuring you sign an apprenticeship agreement but we need to make sure it is in place.

The Initial Needs Assessment (INA) – we would normally expect you to participate in an initial needs assessment prior to the start of apprenticeship training. It is likely to comprise an online questionnaire where you can measure where you feel you are against the apprenticeship standard. It is important to realise that there are no incorrect answers! It is partly there to help us understand how we might be able to support you best and, to identify if there is likely to be any duplication between the training we are going to provide and training that you have already received.