Websites and Links
UCAS The University & College Admissions Service – has a wealth of information on university courses, apprenticeships and more.
Course Search – whatever year you’re in, this is a great place to start to get an idea of courses and their content, entrance requirements (GCSE & A Level), and the different types of university:
Degree Apprenticeship Search – if you’re looking for an alternative to university then a degree apprenticeship could be an option. This search helps you find all the available vacancies:
Vacancy Snapshot – Amazing Apprenticeships latest tool to help you find upcoming Degree Apprenticeship opportunities
National Careers Service – explore different careers, search by skill or look for a course
Not Going to Uni – does what it says on the tin! Everything non-uni related – apprenticeships, training, employment opportunities, gap years and more…
Careerometer – Labour Market Information
The LMI for All project provides a tool which can be used to explore and compare key information about occupations to support the process of identifying potential careers.
This tool helps you to compare national average wages and working hours various occupations.
- Simply type in a job that you’d like to investigate and then select a match from the list to see the data
- You can then include a second choice to view the comparison, if required
The Careerometer widget provides access to a selection of headline data relating to pay, weekly hours of work and future employment prospects. The data is organised by occupation: simply type in the title of the job you are interested in and the widget provides a series of options from which you can select the most relevant to you.
There are a number of options for students after they finish their A levels. The most popular being university study, but with a growing number of Degree Apprenticeships on offer, there is an alternative way to gain a degree.
Universities such as Warwick, Queen Mary, Pearson College, Sheffield Hallam and Birmingham now all offer degree apprenticeships sponsored by a number of companies including Aldi, Jaguar Land Rover, Mace, Capgemini, Accenture, Barclays, the Army and M15, to name but a few! Degree Apprenticeships will be for a minimum of four years, as a standard three-year course is fit around full-time employment. Some may last longer, but may also give students the opportunity to gain a professional qualification, such as Chartered status for accountants or surveyors.
You can apply for some opportunities via UCAS, but for a lot of vacancies you will need to look at the company websites directly. It is worth noting that these vacancies fit in with the needs of the business, and not the UCAS application timeline, so opportunities will be advertised at various points in the year, which means a bit of detective work and research on the students part!
Amazing Apprenticeships have now developed their ‘Vacancy Snapshot’ page, which makes looking for vacancies, or at least registering interest for them, a little easier. The link can be found in the ‘useful websites’ section above.
Degree Apprenticeships are also run differently depending on the business needs and the university provision. The most common set-up will usually be that students work for four days with the employer and then have a day at university. During the holidays they work five days a week, and during exam season the employer will usually allow them time off for revision and to sit the exams. However, there are exceptions to this. For example, apprenticeships run through PwC allow students to attend university full-time for most of the year, completing short placements during the Easter holidays and then a years placement for the final year.
The Advantages of a Degree Apprenticeship
- Your tuition fees are paid for by your employer, so no student debt!
- You are paid a salary, which is usually very competitive and often goes up as you progress through the programme
- You will finish your degree with valuable work experience, having been a full-time employee of the company from day one
- You will usually have at least one mentor within the company, as well as your tutor at university, so you’ll be fully supported
- Companies usually offer you a few different areas to work in, so you can move around the company and find the right department for you, as well as gaining experience in different areas
Possible Disadvantages of a Degree Apprenticeship
- You’ll be working full-time as well as studying for your degree, so whilst your university friends are in the Student Union bar, you’ll probably be completing assignments in the evenings or at weekends
- All Degree Apprenticeships are run differently and you probably won’t be entitled to student accommodation, or even be living near the university, so you will have to find your own accommodation if you move away from home
- You won’t get all the holidays that traditional university students get (Christmas, Easter, summer etc.), but you will still have holiday entitlement like any other employee
There are several stages of application for a Degree Apprenticeship including the initial application, online tests, video or phone interview, assessment centre days and a formal interview face-to-face.
Spotlight On: The Smallpeice Trust
The Smallpeice Trust was founded in 1966 by Dr Cosby DP Smallpeice to support young people in their pursuit and passion for science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
They offer a range of residential courses for yr8 up to yr12 students. The courses take place in the school holidays and are based at universities around the country. You get to stay in halls of residence, have lectures and workshops on site and get a taste for university life whilst indulging your passion for STEM.
The Smallpeice Trust work closely with CyberFirst, who train students with an interest in cyber security and cyber defence. Other courses on offer include:
- Nuclear Engineering at Lancaster University
- Naval Architecture at Plymouth University
- Motorsports Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire
- CyberFirst Defends at various locations
For a full list of courses, prices and dates as they become available, click here