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5 cool degree apprenticeships you could start in 2018

Here at Success at School, we love degree apprenticeships because not only do they give you training in a high-skilled job, they're also a chance to work towards a degree in a directly related subject - with £0 of tuition fees.

They’re perfect if you want to work, study, train and earn a wage all at the same time – and even though they’re new, there are some pretty cool opportunities out there already. They’re also great because they give you employability skills which employers say graduates are often lacking in.

We took a look at what’s on offer right now and picked out a few of the coolest-sounding degree apprenticeships you could start in 2018.

'Here are 5 cool degree apprenticeships you could apply for next year' 

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What is a degree apprenticeship?

An older staff-member mentoring an apprentice

With a degree apprenticeship, you'll receive training in a high-

skilled job from experienced colleagues

We won’t go into the detail here – if you want to know, check out our article on degree apprenticeships. But we will give you a few key facts. With a degree apprenticeship, you will:

  • Work towards vocational qualifications and a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
  • Gain on-the-job training from experienced colleagues.
  • Earn a wage.
  • Have your college or university tuition fees paid by your employer and the government.

Remember – apprenticeships usually start in September (like degrees), so you might find that schemes appear to be closed when you have a look. Never fear – check again in a few months as they might well be open for 2018 applications.


This programme is currently offered by Nestle, the food company. Through a mix of on-the-job training and study at the University of Lincoln, you’ll learn about the science behind designing and making chocolate and sweets. You’ll learn how foods are made in the factory – including the all-important crafts of chocolate and toffee moulding! – and how the process is overseen from start to finish. Could be for you if you’ve got a sweet tooth…

You will need: 3 A-levels, including a science-based one

You will get: Food manufacture BSc from National Centre for Food Manufacturing, University of Lincoln


The solicitor degree apprenticeship is brand new – you used to have to go to uni to become one (and of course you still can if that’s your preferred route)! It usually lasts six years and you’ll study towards a law degree (called an LLB in the lingo) while working in a law firm. You’ll finish up the programme by completing the vocational Legal Practice Course which you need to take the final exams you need to pass to become a solicitor. Several law firms are offering this apprenticeships, including Bond Dickinson, Sinclairslaw and Eversheds, and you may even find opportunities near you by searching online.

You will need: 3 A-levels

You will get: Law degree (LLB), Legal Practice Course

An apprentice lab scientist
Lab science apprentices will gain a chemistry or biology degree

Laboratory science

Lab science apprenticeships are currently available at drugs companies like AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Charles River Discovery. You’ll study biologyand/or chemistryat university and apply your learning in the lab to help discover new drugs and therapies, and develop new experimental techniques. In future, lab science apprenticeship schemes might become available in other science-based industries, including the chemical and biotechnology sectors.

You will need: 2 A-levels, including chemistry/biology

You will get: Chemical science/bioscience degree

Software engineer

The BBC is running a really exciting software engineering degree apprenticeship. Apprentices get the chance to work on the BBC’s “dynamic services” – which means interactive platforms like their websites, apps and iPlayer. You’ll learn lots of new coding languages and approaches to programming both in your day-to-day work and while studying towards your degree in digital & technology solutions. The entry requirements are quite generous too – as well as solid GCSEs, you just need an A-level in a relevant subject. It’s a great opportunity if you can show flair and enthusiasm through previous coding experience. If the Beeb isn’t for you but you like the sound of the scheme, you’re in luck – digital & technology degree apprenticeships have really taken off, so have a Google around and you may well find something you like the look of.

You will need: An A-level in a relevant subject

You will get: Degree in digital & technology solutions

A Range Rover in a JLR factory

An JLR degree apprenticeship in engineering gives you the

chance to study for a BEng at Warwick University


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) run a great engineering apprenticeship scheme which is great if you want to get under the bonnet of a car – and design and improve what’s in there! You get to choose your specialist area– options include product design and electrical engineering. You’ll work towards lots of vocational qualifications, including engineering diplomas and a foundation degree. Towards the end of the programme, you’ll study towards an engineering degree at Warwick University (yes, the Warwick University!)

You will need: A-levels in maths and a STEM subject

You will gain: Engineering BEng

If training for a high-skilled plus a fully paid degree sounds too good to be true, check out our infographic guide to degree apprenticeships to get the lowdown in two minutes.

Image credits

Lead image via Flickr, lab mentor and student via US Defense, lab apprentice via US Defense, Car factory via Wikimedia Commons