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A new way to get a degree

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) offer an alternative to the traditional routes into university education. If you’re currently in work but have the talent to study to Honours degree level, or if you’re thinking about leaving school but would prefer to go into work rather than become a full-time student, a Graduate Apprenticeship is for you.

A GA will enable you to complete an Honours degree at the same time as working, and in the same time as it would take if you were studying full-time.

The split between work and study is roughly 80:20, so you’ll spend most of your time at work. You will also earn a good wage throughout your time at UWS, meaning you can complete a degree without getting into debt.

Get a job, get paid & get qualified

This combination of working, learning and earning means you will be able to apply the things you learn in your degree to your workplace and vice versa.

Unlike traditional routes into degree-level education, you’re already in work so won't need to start looking for a graduate job once you’ve completed your degree.

UWS is currently recruiting for five Graduate Apprenticeships degree courses. Full details of these degrees can be found using the links below:

Brochures are also available to download:

*Subject to validation

These degree courses are only offered as part of the Graduate Apprenticeship programme.

In the future additional Graduate Apprenticeships matched to growing sectors of the economy will be developed. These will be advertised when they become available.


To apply to become a GLA you must be:

  • Living and working in Scotland 
  • At least 16 years old (although some employers require a minimum age of 18 due to health and safety considerations in their sector). There is no maximum age set on who can become a GLA.
  • Employed – a GLA is a full-time job which allows you to gain an Honours degree in the same amount of time as it would take to complete if you were in full-time study. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for GLAs will depend on which apprenticeship you are applying for.

Typically, we would expect a minimum four Scottish Highers (or equivalent) at BBBC or equivalent.

Your application will be assessed on an individual basis, taking into account any previous industry experience you have.

If you have already completed a Foundation or a Modern Apprenticeship in a related subject, this will also contribute towards meeting the entry requirements.

However, if an apprentice doing a GLA at SCQF level 10 (Honours degree level) exits before completing the course, they will only be able to leave with a GLA at SCQF level 8 (Dip HE level) if they have successfully completed their studies beyond SCQF level 8.


GLAs are fully-funded, which means you will not pay tuition fees. As a full-time apprentice you will also receive a wage from your employer.

Any additional costs in relation to books, course materials and travel should be discussed with your employer.

Accelerate your career

GAs have been mapped to professional body standards so Graduate Apprentices will be able to apply for membership to relevant professional bodies upon graduation.

In addition, you may be able to progress through professional standards and accreditations at a faster pace.


If you’re already in employment but you have the potential to study at Honours degree level, speak with your employer to find out whether they have plans to get involved in Graduate Apprenticeships.

If you are a school leaver or not in employment but think that a Graduate Apprenticeship could be for you, you apply for one the same way you’d apply for a job.

Graduate Apprenticeships vacancies offered by UWS will be advertised on Skills Development Scotland’s dedicated apprenticeships website.

Alternatively, you can register your interest in the apprenticeships we offer and we’ll let you know when a suitable employer is recruiting. To register, email:

Due to the way Graduate Apprenticeships are funded, only students from Scotland can apply.

Success stories

Andrew Begg on Graduate Apprenticeship at UWS in Engineering Design & Manufacture

Engineering a bright future at UWS

Andrew Begg, who lives in Glasgow, works as a Technical Services Engineer at Newsprinters’ Eurocentral operation in Glasgow. He is currently benefiting from undertaking a Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in Engineering Design & Manufacture at the University’s Paisley Campus.

Andrew said: “I have worked as a mechanical engineer in manufacturing for 19 years which included a five year apprenticeship which began in 1998. I am committed to lifelong learning and during that time I gained an HND in mechanical engineering and an HNC in mechatronics ending in 2006. Over the last two years I have gained a CMI Level 5 in management and leadership.

“I was attracted to the GA course at UWS as I felt the content mix of core engineering and engineering management skills were a good progression from my previous experience. Studying at degree level is something I wanted to achieve for a long time but due to work commitments attending a traditional university course was not possible. I currently work a mix of day and night shift so the flexible approach of class time, online study and the work based learning (WBL) made it possible for me to undertake this course.”

Nicole Strain on Graduate Apprenticeship at UWS in IT Software Development | UWS

Making IT happen at UWS

Nicole Strain, from Bishopton, is currently in 4th year of her Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) in IT: Software Development at the University’s Lanarkshire Campus.

Commenting on her GA experience Nicole, who works as a Data Analyst for Glasgow-based, Mail Marketing Scotland Ltd, said: “I had heard some great things from friends about UWS and its IT provision, so was very keen to undertake the GA at the University’s Lanarkshire Campus when the opportunity arose.

“The GA is great - being able to work full-time gaining work experience while getting a graduate level education is the best of both worlds. The academics at UWS are so helpful and the GA has been a fantastic experience. 

“I would highly recommend anyone who has the opportunity to undertake a GA at UWS to grab it with both hands!"

Last updated: 06/04/2018