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Degree apprenticeships for employers

Develop future talent in your organisation through applied learning.

ARU is one of the UK’s leading providers of degree apprenticeships and in the top 10% of Higher Education providers in the country for skills and enterprise. Over 850 regional and national employers have chosen to partner with ARU on apprenticeships for our collaborative approach to finding learning and skill-shortage solutions.

We offer a comprehensive range of university courses that are designed to fulfil your workforce needs whilst providing exciting career development opportunities for your apprentices.

We will support you in attracting and developing high calibre apprentices who will bring talent, skills, energy, and diversity to your organisation, as well as developing and retaining your existing staff.

Why partner with ARU?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our dedicated Degrees at Work team are here to help. Get in touch today at [email protected]

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Our courses

Driven by employer demand, we offer apprenticeships in Management and Leadership, Digital Technology and Data Science, Health, the Built Environment, Public Services, and more.

Explore our Degree Apprenticeships
Dan, Lead Nurse at CUH Hear from our employer partners

Why our employer partners choose ARU Apprenticeships

Our employer partners explain why apprenticeships work so well for their organisations. They highlight benefits including cost-effective training, attracting and retaining the best talent, impact driven learning, to investing in and developing their workforce, and more

Key information

Apprenticeships offer participating employers a wide range of advantages and benefits. For example, your organisation can:

  • Shape your business for the future
  • Channel the Apprenticeship Levy funds to fulfil your organisation’s skills and learning priorities
  • Retain your most valuable people by encouraging them to grow and develop within your organisation
  • Attract high calibre recruits who bring talent, skills, vibrancy, and diversity to your organisation
  • Reduce the cost of attrition, while improving your organisation’s capabilities
  • Diversify your workforce through expansion of your talent pool
  • Tailor learning to your workplace needs
  • Promote your company as an ‘employer of choice’ – actively investing in developing skills, qualifications, and long-term careers.

Our dedicated Degrees at Work team will be on hand to help and advise you throughout the entire process. Our apprenticeship experts will help you decide if degree apprenticeships are right for your business, get you started, and provide ongoing support throughout the life of the apprenticeship.

An apprenticeship is a job with training, providing the opportunity to develop specific knowledge, skills, and behaviours (KSB) to prepare for specific job role. It is a collaboration between an education provider and an employer that benefits the employer and their employee.

Degree apprentices study with our university while they are working. They will be an existing team member or a new recruit to the organisation, of any age, and at any point in their career. So, your organisation will gain a highly skilled employee with higher level academic qualifications, relevant, practical skills, and an intimate working knowledge of your business and culture.

Supporting a degree apprentice will help you to fill the skills gaps in your workforce and to develop your existing talent through relevant degree courses, funded through the Apprenticeship Levy. Following an apprenticeship standard, which sets out the KSB required, your apprentice will be required to protect a certain number of their contracted working hours to learn ‘off-the-job’, either with the University (on campus or online) or in the workplace, as agreed and set out in the apprenticeship contracts.

We will monitor these hours and the progress the apprentice makes in acquiring new KSB through regular progress review meetings, which are attended by the apprentice and a representative of both ARU and your organisation. These meetings provide opportunities for you and ARU to work together in ensuring the apprentice is supported throughout their programme and given every opportunity to succeed.

An apprenticeship is concluded on the successful passing of an End Point Assessment (EPA). This is either integrated into the final assessments of ARU’s course or managed through an independent assessment body once ARU’s course has been successfully passed.

If you operate in England and your annual payroll is over £3 million, you pay a levy of 0.5% of your payroll into a Digital Account.

This account is exclusively used to fund apprenticeship programmes.

The Government will top up the employer’s account with a 10% bonus, so effectively you will draw £1.10 for every £1.00 you put in.

Funding for smaller organisations

If your organisation is not required to pay the levy, you will only pay 5% of the cost of the apprenticeship programme. The government pays the remaining 95%.

Additional funding is available for certain other criteria.

How does ARU access the funds?

Funds in the Digital Apprenticeship Service (DAS) account are exclusively used to pay for apprenticeship programmes. Funds will expire 24 months after they enter a digital account unless they are spent on apprenticeship training.

Once you’ve agreed to invest in apprenticeship training, and the apprenticeship has started, monthly payments will be automatically drawn from your digital account and sent to us as the provider.

This spreads the cost over the lifetime of the apprenticeship. You will see funds entering the digital account each month as you pay the levy, and funds leaving the account regularly each month as you pay for training.

To maximise the potential benefits of degree apprenticeships to your organisation, carefully consider the following:

Identify which degree apprenticeships would be most relevant to your business strategy

Where will your organisation be in five years’ time and, consequently, which skills should you be reinforcing or putting in place?

Carry out a skills audit

What is the range and extent of the skills presently available within your company? Which roles present the greatest challenge in recruitment and retention?

Identify future leaders

Which employees are demonstrating the traits and behaviours to become future leaders or major contributors to business growth? How can you invest in their development to improve the likelihood of retaining them? Answering these questions will help you to identify the ‘skills gap’ that could be effectively filled by degree apprentices.

Calculate the value of funds available

What funding might you expect to receive via the Apprenticeship Levy for investment in degree apprenticeships? What would be the most effective way of using these funds to meet your business objectives? Our specialist Degrees at Work team will provide expert advice on how to use degree apprenticeships to your best advantage. They will guide and support you at every stage of the process of setting up and implementing your degree apprenticeship programme.

At ARU we offer a rapidly growing range of degree apprenticeships across Management and Leadership, Digital Technology and Data Science, Health, the Built Environment, and Public Services.

View our full course list


For Anglia Ruskin University (ARU), higher and degree apprenticeships are a central element of our work to support the economic, cultural, and social wellbeing of our region and to deliver an outstanding and inclusive educational experience. ARU’s strategy Designing our Future commits our University to substantially increase the number and range of degree apprenticeships we offer.

This policy defines the rationale by which the University will subcontract apprenticeship provision funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the measures in place to ensure that any subcontracted delivery enhances our provision to apprentice and employer.

Rationale for subcontracting

ARU subcontracts apprenticeship provision if this enables us and our employers to enhance the quality of our offer and access specialist expertise and resources that would otherwise not be available to apprentices.

Our subcontracting falls under two categories:

  • Supporting the delivery of our qualifications where the subcontractor offers specialist input and expertise.
  • Delivery of additional qualifications required as part of the apprenticeship and which ARU does not deliver, including Level 2 English and Maths and established sector-specific qualifications.

Our procurement policy offers a framework to ensure that our subcontractors offer value for money. The quality of delivery is monitored in line with our subcontracting and outlined in our contract with the subcontractor.

Selection, approval and monitoring of subcontrators

Prior to engagement, all of our subcontractors go through a selection and approval process which ensures that:

  • our engagement is compliant with procurement law and ARU’s procurement processes;
  • they have an appropriate capacity and track record in providing high quality teaching and learning. This includes meeting relevant quality assurance requirements and outcomes of inspection such as Ofsted where relevant;
  • they pass our due diligence process. This includes ensuring their sound legal and financial status, that their funding sources are stable, they are not an extremist organisation and all required policies, including Prevent and Safeguarding, are in place;
  • the proposed delivery fits with the requirements of the standard and of the apprenticeship funding rules, including that it will enable us, our employers and apprentices to access specialist expertise and resources that would otherwise be unavailable;
  • the proposed delivery is in line with ARU’s strategies, academic regulations, codes of practice and business requirements.

Prior to engagement, a contract management plan is agreed with the subcontracted provider. This defines how ARU will manage the contract to ensure quality provision and value for the apprentice and employer.

All subcontracted delivery is subject to ARU’s quality controls as laid out in our Academic Regulations, Codes of Practice and other policies as well as annual financial checks. This includes observation of delivery, feedback from apprentices and monitoring the quality of assessed work. All assessment on ARU apprenticeships is moderated to ensure that the expected standards are met.

Subcontracted delivery is subject to an annual subcontracting standard assurance review, as required by the ESFA funding rules and Subcontracting Standard, and performed by an external auditor.

ARU ensure that employers are aware of, and agree to, any subcontracting arrangements before they commit to an apprenticeship programme with us.

Services and charges

ARU will provide a range of services when subcontracting to ensure high quality provision. These are defined in the contract management plan, and include:

  • A contract manager, who is responsible for managing the contract and ARU’s relationship with the subcontracted provider.
  • Support activities to support the quality of the subcontracted delivery and ensure a cohesive experience for employer and apprentice.
  • Management and monitoring of the quality of on-programme delivery and assessment, following the processes set out in ARU’s Academic Regulations and Senate Code of Practice for Collaborative Provision. This includes ensuring the subcontractor’s full involvement with ARU’s Annual Monitoring Reporting process, Module Evaluation processes and moderation of on-programme assessment.
  • Oversight of ARU’s Apprenticeships Subcommittee, to monitor the performance of the contact, quality of delivery and to ensure that the subcontracted delivery continues to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard and employer’s needs.

The overall contract value with each employer will be broken down into:

  • Funding retained by ARU for direct delivery of training and on-programme assessment – proportionate to the volume and level of teaching provided;
  • Funding payable to subcontractor for their delivery. The amount of funding payable to the subcontractor will be proportionate to the agreed volume of teaching and assessment undertaken, their sector expertise and other resources they contribute to the delivery of the programme.
    The amount of delivery and associated charges are identified as part of the procurement process, taking into account the regulatory requirements, the apprenticeship standard and the needs of employers and apprentices.

Funding retained by ARU for managing and monitoring delivery subcontractors, support activities offered to subcontractors and funding retained for quality assurance. The actual costs are determined on a case by case basis based on the requirements of the subcontracted apprenticeship programme – this is not expected to exceed 20% of the sub-contract value.

In addition, ARU’s written agreement with each employer outlines these costs, the services associated with them and each provider’s role within the delivery of the apprenticeship.

Management fees

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

As lead provider, ARU works with our Police Force partners to deliver our PCDA programme. ARU retains between £242-£342 per learner for the management of the programme.

Data Scientist Degree Apprenticeship

As lead provider, ARU works with Cambridge Spark to deliver our Data Scientist programme. ARU retains £300 per learner for the management of the programme.

Construction Quantity Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship and Construction Site Management Degree Apprenticeship

As lead provider, ARU works with Citrus to deliver our Construction Quantity Surveyor Degree Apprenticeship and Construction Site Management Degree Apprenticeship. ARU retains £60 per learner for the management of the programme.

Improvement Leader Degree Apprenticeship

As lead provider, ARU works with Unipart to deliver our Improvement Leader programme. ARU retains £300 per learner for the management of the programme.

Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English

As lead provider, ARU works with ACL Essex to deliver the Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths and English programmes to our apprentices. ARU retains £45 per learner for the management of the programme.

Read more about services and charges.


To ensure it continues to meet the University's needs and the requirements of the University's contract with the ESFA and all relevant funding regulations, this Policy is subject to annual review by ARU’s Apprenticeship Subcommittee, which reports through to Senate in terms of academic governance, and is signed by our Vice Chancellor.

Last updated June 2023

If you're already partnering with us, then we'd like to make you aware of some important information that you should know.

Safeguarding – keeping apprentices safe 

Complaints procedure

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Want to talk to someone?

If you’d like to discuss any aspect of degree apprenticeships, then our designated team of experts would be delighted to hear from you.