Can I Go To University After an Apprenticeship?

Written by Calvin Bowers

One of the biggest stereotypes of apprenticeships is that they aren’t for people interested in going to university. Many people believe that either you do an apprenticeship, or you do A-Levels and go to university. This is entirely false. In fact, anyone can start an apprenticeship, and there are a few ways you can combine uni with one.

Perhaps A-Levels weren’t right for you because you wanted to study a more skills-based, vocational subject, and now you want to progress and take that knowledge to the next level. Much to some people’s surprise, if you have chosen to do an apprenticeship instead of doing A-levels, you can still go to university afterwards. The university application system, UCAS, ensures you can apply with a variety of qualifications and achievements.

Furthermore, university is open to people of all ages through mature student entry programmes. So even if you did an apprenticeship a long time ago and have been working since, university is still an option for you. Institutions like The Open University specialise in mature students and those who may not have traditional qualifications.

Another way you can access university after an apprenticeship is by continuing with an apprenticeship at degree level. Degree apprenticeships are the highest apprenticeship level, and they enable students to gain a university degree while training and gaining work experience.

Are My Apprenticeship Grades Equivalent to A-Levels? 

There are three different types of apprenticeships, each equivalent to a different level of qualification. To get into university, you need Level 3 qualifications; most commonly, this is AS, and A-Levels, however advanced apprenticeships are also a Level 3 qualification.

Advanced apprenticeships are the second apprenticeship level after intermediate, and they are roughly the equivalent to two A-Level pass grades (grade C). This means that doing an advanced apprenticeship is another route into university.

Each university and higher education institution sets its own entry requirements for each course, which means that different universities will require different qualifications to get into a particular course. Some universities may require students to have A-Levels before applying, however not all of them.

Students apply to university through UCAS using a points system. This means that every university course has a certain amount of points required to study that course. And each qualification and grade has a different number of points. As advanced apprenticeships are a Level 3 qualification, they carry UCAS points. Which means you can use them to apply for university. To find out how many points you have, visit the UCAS points calculator.

What to Consider 

If you are considering going to university after an apprenticeship, make sure to consider some of these things:

  • Degree apprenticeships: Would a degree apprenticeship suit you better than doing a traditional degree? There may even be a degree apprenticeship connected to the one you are already doing, which would make it even more relevant to your current role.
  • Relevance: Is a degree relevant to the area of work that interests you? With some exceptions, university mainly focuses on academic subjects rather than vocational ones, which means if you have a job in mind, there may be a better route.
  • Cost: University can be very expensive, but the government provide a plethora of schemes and grants to ensure that all students get the chance to go to university. Make sure to read up about these before you go.

For more help and advice related to students, visit Developing a Student. Don’t forget to check out the apprenticeships currently advertised on our jobs board before you leave!

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Last Updated: Monday August 8 2022
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