What is a degree apprenticeship?
A Degree Apprenticeship is a newer method of learning which incorporates work experience with a university degree, minus the cost of tuition. The idea behind the creation of Degree Apprenticeships is to allow students, who have a good idea of what they want to do, to gain invaluable work experience and a formal qualification.
Degree Apprenticeships are new territory for a lot of people and inevitably, with new territory presents unease, raising a lot of questions:
- What are Degree Apprenticeships?
- Is this a better option than going to university to study a traditional degree?
- Why don’t I have to pay tuition fees?
- Am I obligated to continue working for the company after I graduate?
The truth is, the answer to these questions varies and is based on where you study and the company you will be working for. At Pearson College London, we provide a range of Degree Apprenticeships with our industry partners, which include companies such as: Unilever, L’Oreal and Mondelez.
What advice is there when applying for one?
“Applying for a degree apprenticeship role is a combination of applying for a job role and a university place, so it is important to include aspects of yourself that are applicable to both, ensuring that you present yourself as a well-balanced individual, capable of the demands of the course.” - Katie Fiddaman, Pearson Degree Apprentice
- Have a good personal statement: the personal statement for the degree apprenticeship programmes only allows 500 words, so being concise is key! Start with a bold statement that displays your passion for the course specifically. Then, it is vital that you pack it full of relevant experience (other than exams), any volunteer work you may have done. Also, ensure you showcase full-time or part-time job roles that required relevant skills for this role.
- Take your time: 500 words may seem short but if you are concise, you will be able to fit enough information to sell yourself. Rushed applications that are not personalised stand-out to employers in a negative way: they give the impression that you don’t care.
"We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible and make a note of the interview dates in advance as it's highly unlikely we can reschedule. Also remember to add your qualifications (whether they're completed or due to be completed) as failing to record these is one of the biggest reasons applications are rejected" - Rezarta Rushiti, Admissions Officer
- Know your skillset and how this is applicable to the programme. Include your best skills first, justifying why they are relevant, then include other wider skills that would also be applicable. Include at least 3 relevant skills; for example, they could include: communication, leadership, resilience, organisation, teamwork or creativity. Try and also use a range of these to prove yourself as a well-balanced individual.
- Don’t leave it to the last minute because if there is something you might like to add later, you don’t have this opportunity if you apply a day before the deadline date. A lot of application forms are quite long, so you might need more than one sitting - ideally, apply at least one week before the closing date. The earlier the better!
- Know the company and job description because it is highly likely that you will be questioned on these aspects. Knowing the company is important for the interview process because it shows you have done research and therefore will impress the interviewer/ reviewer of the application. Knowing the job description is also important because the interviewer will try to compare you to the 'ideal candidate' and whoever matches up best will be rewarded the role.
“Make sure to include any relevant work experience that you have as this will make you stand out against the other applications. If you do not have any work experience then do not worry as there are plenty of other experiences you can talk about, for example business qualifications that you may already hold.” - Holly Garrett, Rotational Degree Apprentice
At Pearson College London, the application process is tailored to mimic a real life job application process, with the application form at the start, followed by various testing and assessment days, and ending with an interview process.
"Make sure you stay up to date with current affairs. It is important to be aware of what is going on in the wider business world and consider how it may affect the company you are applying for. By signing up to various news alerts you will stay up to date and be able to demonstrate to the interviewer that you have done your research on issues the company may be dealing with." - Sara Roberts, Applicant Advisor
The main piece of advice when applying to one of these schemes is to have something that makes you unique, or stand-out from the crowd.
If you are interested in our degree apprenticeship schemes, sign up to our vacancy wait-list.