Reflection on higher degree apprenticeship development

Alastair Irons*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to share the experiences of designing, developing and implementing a higher degree apprenticeship programme.

Design/methodology/approach - The methodology used in this paper is a case study. Data have been gathered from students, employers and academic colleagues.

Findings - The findings from the case study are that the implementation of a higher degree apprenticeship programme for the first time is a complex and time-consuming process, but there are significant benefits and positive outcomes. The process of development and implementation requires commitment from all partners in the programme.

Research limitations/implications - This is only one case study and is based on the experiential findings from one institution with one employer. Whilst the findings cannot be generalised, it is hoped that others will gain insight from the shared experiences.

Practical implications - The practical implications from the case study are that there are a range of activities that need to be undertaken and completed before a degree apprenticeship programme can be implemented. Some of these activities can happen in parallel but others are dependent on each other. There are various stakeholders in the operation of the programme which adds to the complexity.

Originality/value - This case study is an original case study evaluating the experience of developing and operating a degree apprenticeship programme for the first time. It provides a description of the challenges and opportunities in developing and implementing the programme and as such hopefully will provide value to others as they go through similar processes of development and implementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-122
Number of pages11
JournalHigher Education, Skills and Work-based Learning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Collaboration
  • Development
  • Apprenticeship
  • Reflection
  • WBL


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