Degree Apprenticeships: Contextualised Learning

KIITE is involved in shaping curriculum design and delivery for Keele University’s Degree and Higher Apprenticeships portfolio, working with employers to develop apprenticeship programmes in a variety of sectors.

With a range of experience in the Higher and Further Education sector - from outreach to business engagement and curriculum design - our Engaged and Experiential Learning Team works in consultation with employers to develop the apprenticeship package that best suits their needs.

Over the past two years, key considerations for the team have been developing the academic viability of learning via this route, challenging reductionist approaches to labelling degree apprenticeships as purely vocational, and demonstrating their academic parity and international transferability.

Degree Apprenticeships are a combined approach to vocational and higher education. They give employers the opportunity to develop staff through work based learning and university led teaching. For apprentices, they offer an opportunity to qualify and earn, whilst contextualising their learning in the setting that they are employed in. The result is an apprentice who is proficient in the workplace and fully embedded in the culture of the organisation, as well as qualified to industry standard at Higher or Degree level.

Lou Taylor-Murison, Development Manager (Engaged & Experiential Learning) within KIITE, who has been leading the development of our apprenticeship programmes explains:

“Applied and contextualised learning offers an opportunity to re-evaluate the academic benefits of the skills derived from the pursuit of knowledge and rigour. This is an opportunity to understand how the cycle of academic learning and application in the workplace can forge a new, but nonetheless academic, pedagogy.”

Following the launch of the Nursing Associate Apprenticeship in September 2018, Keele University will also be launching its first Senior Leader Apprenticeship in February 2019. Incorporating a Masters of Business Administration, the exciting new programme provides an opportunity to combine study and work for mutual benefit.

Find out more about our apprenticeship programmes.