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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 four Graduate Apprenticeships:

  • BSc (Hons) IT: Software Development
  • BEng (Hons) Engineering: Design & Manufacture
  • BSc or BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering
  • BA (Hons) Business Management

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. 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.

Last updated: 29/01/2018