Higher Apprenticeships - Level 4 & 5 Qualifications


Level 4 & 5 Apprenticeships are the next level from an advanced and below a degree apprenticeship.

Higher Apprenticeships offer on the job training whilst studying towards a Level 4 & 5 qualification to achieve a HNC, HND or foundation degree.

Higher Apprenticeships are the next level apprenticeship after an advanced Level 3 qualification and enable you to attain either a HNC, HND or foundation degree. Higher apprenticeships work in the exact same way any other apprenticeship does and you will spend up to 80% of your time "on the job training" while the remaining 20% of your training programme will be with a college, university or registered training provider.

Higher apprenticeships are great if you have finished your A-levels or college and want to enter the world of work and attain a degree due them overlapping with degree apprenticeships. You can start a higher apprenticeship at level 4 and 5 and gain a foundation degree and then progress to a bachelors or masters through levels 6 and 7, you will also receive an NVQ and BTEC qualification.

At this level of apprenticeship you will gain more responsibility given to you by your apprentice employer and may be required to manage a small team or take lead on a project, either way you will be fully supported by a mentor, your employers and the training provider.

What is the qualifying criteria for a Higher Apprenticeship?

To be able to study for a higher apprenticeship the qualifying criteria is a minimum of five GCSE’s with grades of A-C or 9-4 on the new grading system. These grades must include Maths and English to be able to start your higher apprenticeship along with a level three apprenticeship qualification which is the equivalent to A-Levels or a BTEC. However the majority of employers may require you to have studied subjects relevant to the higher apprenticeship you want to undertake. This is due to the importance of being able to adapt quickly to the required field you will be training in as the availability for higher apprenticeships is in demand, some employers may also offer these higher apprenticeships to existing employers to help with their career progression.

Where can I find a higher apprenticeship?

Higher apprenticeships are available from many companies and apprenticeship training providers, you can also register with apprenticeship websites like ourselves or the UCAS website where they advertise apprenticeships on behalf of employers and universities.

You may also consider contacting universities or colleges directly, before you do this research which subject area you would like to study in and then a simple google search to find nearby universities or colleges offering higher apprenticeships.

What industries can I do a higher apprenticeship in?

There is over 100 different higher apprenticeships available across over 150 industries supported by universities, colleges and apprenticeship training providers in the UK.

Here are just a few industries you can start on the job training to gain a higher level qualification:

• Accounting and Finance
• Construction
• Facilities Management
• Hospitality
• Information Technology
• Media and Publishing
• Retail
• Science
• Telecommunications

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a form of further education which offers on the job training for you to gain a nationally recognised qualification whilst studying part-time with an apprenticeship training provider, college or university through workshops or classroom training.

Apprenticeship training has to be delivered by a registered apprenticeship training provider which can also be an employer-provider, where the employer you are training through are on the register of training providers to be able to deliver their own training requirements. If an employer acts as an employer-provider they will usually employ a number of people such as Apprenticeship Assessors, Mentors and Managers to support you through your apprenticeship programme.

During your apprenticeship you will receive a salary and all the other benefits permanent employees receive. An apprenticeship job is only for a specified time as stipulated at the beginning of your apprenticeship training which can last anything from 12 months to 5 years.

To find our more about apprenticeships please refer to our What is an Apprenticeship? guide.

Why should you start an apprenticeship?

If you are considering your post 16 options you probably wouldn't have considered an apprenticeship a few years ago and would be struggling or worrying what to do when you leave school. It is a legal requirement for you to now stay in some form of further education until the age of 18 and you now have three options A-Levels, College or an Apprenticeship.

You can start an apprenticeship at the age of 16 through the Intermediate or Advanced level apprenticeship programmes across many industry sectors from Construction, Technology or even Marketing. There are no entry requirements for the intermediate apprenticeship, however you will need at least 5 GCSE's at grade 4 (previously C grade) or above to qualify for the advanced apprenticeship. On completion of the intermediate you will gain the qualifying criteria for a level 3.

The best reason for starting an apprenticeship is on completion of each level you will receive a nationally recognised qualification from an NVQ all the way up to a degree level apprenticeship such as a Bachelors or Masters.


How can you become an apprentice?

There are a number of ways to become an apprentice so we thought we would list them for you:

  • Register with websites like ourselves, there are others available.
  • Apprenticeship Job Fairs are great for meeting employers and training providers.
  • Contact training providers in your area, a simple Google search "Training providers near me" will give you the information you need.
  • Contact your local colleges or universities or visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training.
  • UCAS promote apprenticeship opportunities on their website on behalf of employers.

and finally......

  • Do some research on apprenticeships and find a topic or industry that you would like to start an apprenticeship in and then research local companies in those sectors and visit their websites to see if they offer apprenticeship training and apply directly with them.



How long do higher Apprenticeships take to complete?

A higher apprenticeship can take anywhere between three to five years to complete depending on the apprenticeship programme, the level you are studying and industry you are studying in.

Can I do a higher apprenticeship even though I already have HND or Degree?

You can do as many apprenticeships as you like at a specific level as long as you have the qualifying criteria, however you can't do more than one at the same time. The higher the apprenticeship level the better if you want to complete more then one as your qualification such as a degree is based on the subject and not the practical work you will be undertaking.

FAQs Higher Apprenticeships
Can I do more than one higher apprenticeship?

You can take more then one higher apprenticeship course, not at the same time, and as long as they are not in the same subject area.

How do I start a higher apprenticeship?

To start a Level 4 apprenticeship you would first need to register to become an apprentice with either a website like ourselves or colleges, universities and you can also apply directly on apprentice employers websites.

What subjects offer higher apprenticeships?

Higher apprenticeships are widely available across a number of different subject areas which includes cyber security apprenticeships or accounting and finance to name a few.

How much do higher apprentices earn?

Higher apprentices are paid a similar wage as degree apprenticeships as they can overlap as you reach level 5, on average apprentices at this level a paid between £18,000 - £28,000 per year.

When can I start a higher apprenticeship?

You can start a higher apprenticeship at any age as long as you have achieve the required qualifying requirements this can be achieved through an advanced apprenticeship, a-levels or college education.

FAQs Advanced Apprenticeships Higher Level Apprentice