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What are higher apprenticeships?

Higher apprenticeships are top-level apprenticeships that give you the opportunity to gain a Level 4 qualification or above while working with an employer in an industry of your choice. These apprenticeships go all the way up to Level 7 – which are the equivalent of a Master’s degree, Postgraduate certificate or an NVQ at Level 7.

Earn while you learn

Higher apprentices have the opportunity to earn a decent wage while also learning on the job from industry experts.

Build a professional network

As a Higher apprentice, you’ll often be working with professionals across different sectors, and this offers you the opportunity to build a strong, professional network early on.

Strong career progression opportunities

As a higher apprentice, you’ll be offered plenty of opportunities to develop transferable and industry-related skills that can pave the way for future growth.

Latest higher apprenticeship opportunities


Cyber, BrightStart Higher Apprenticeship

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Finance Apprenticeship

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Explore top higher apprentice employers



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Real Estate


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Network Rail

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Jaguar Land Rover

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Higher Apprenticeships

Frequently asked questions

Got more doubts about higher apprenticeships? Take a look at some of the questions that are frequently asked about these apprenticeships.
What is the difference between a higher apprenticeship and degree apprenticeship?
Both these apprenticeships are closely linked - however, there are some differences between higher and degree apprenticeships. Higher apprenticeships offer you the opportunity to earn while you work towards a Level 4 qualification or above. These could be a Higher National Diploma, a professional certification or a foundation degree. Degree apprenticeships, on the other hand, enable you to complete an apprenticeship programme with a full Bachelor’s or Master’s degree.
Are higher apprenticeships a good alternative?
Higher apprenticeships certainly offer a great viable alternative to the traditional further education options as it gives you the opportunity to develop crucial and practical workplace skills that are transferable across jobs.
You’ll also be earning a wage during this period, as well as get a paid-for professional qualification that is nationally and often, internationally, recognised. These certainly make it a great alternative to the student debt that you may otherwise incur going down the traditional further and higher education pathway.
How long is a higher apprenticeship?
Higher apprenticeships can often last between one and five years, depending on the level of qualification that you work towards, as well as the individual employer’s programme. You could also choose to top up a higher apprenticeship with a degree-level one, and these could take slightly longer to complete.
What do higher apprenticeships pay?
Like all other apprenticeships, higher apprentices are also paid a wage throughout the duration of the apprenticeship programme. However, the rate of pay can differ significantly depending on the employer, the industry and the level of the higher apprenticeship. As a general rule, the higher the level of the apprenticeship, the better the way.
For instance, a Level 4 Retail Management apprenticeship could have a starting salary of £17,000 per year while a Level 6 Digital Marketing apprentice could start at circa £20,000.
What are the entry requirements for a higher apprenticeship?
The entry requirements for higher apprenticeships differ depending on the level and industry you’re looking at. However, most higher apprenticeship programmes are likely to require these as standard:
  • At least 5 GCSEs at Grade C or above (or 9-4 on the new system)
  • These should preferably include at least English and Maths. Science is an added advantage
  • If you’re looking for a higher level apprenticeship, for instance, Levels 6 or 7, you may also need additional qualification such as A-levels or an Advanced Apprenticeship qualification.We do recommend that you check the requirements for the specific apprenticeship programme that you’re applying for.
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