The Higher Level Apprenticeships programme is part-funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund (ESF) Programme 2014 - 2020 and the Department for the Economy”.

Higher Level Apprenticeships

Part of: Types of apprenticeships

If you've completed A Levels or equivalent, you may be interested in a Higher Level Apprenticeship, which offers the opportunity to gain quality training and a recognised higher qualification while in paid employment.

Higher Level Apprenticeship qualifications

Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs) currently offer you qualifications from Level 4 to Level 6 (Honours degree). The majority are at Level 5 (Foundation degree).

The length of a Higher Level Apprenticeship will vary depending on the programme you chose, but will be a minimum of two years.

Benefits to apprentices

By taking part in a Higher Level Apprenticeship, you can gain the skills that employers need and that are relevant to the local economy, therefore improving your prospects of good earnings and sustained employment.

Other benefits include:

  • earning while you learn
  • achieving professional-level qualifications without paying higher education tuition fees
  • increased opportunities for career progression
  • a clear pathway to achieving ambitions in the workplace

Benefits to employers

Higher Level Apprenticeships allow employers to train staff to the level needed so they have strong technical and good employability skills.

An apprenticeship can:

  • fill higher level skills gap
  • attract higher calibre staff
  • increase productivity
  • develop existing staff

Eligibility

Opportunities are available for you to gain qualifications from Level 4 upwards if you are a new employee or an existing employee in a new job role. Entry requirements will depend on the apprenticeship pathway.

To take part in the Higher Level Apprenticeship programme you need to:

  • be employed or be about to take up paid employment as an apprentice with a Northern Ireland based company
  • work a minimum of 21 hours per week (which includes time for ‘off-the-job’ training)
  • meet the entry requirements of your chosen occupation
  • be the minimum school leaving age in Northern Ireland

Higher Level Apprenticeships available

Higher Level Apprenticeships are available through the colleges and universities below.

College titles and abbreviations

Currently, Higher Level Apprenticeships are available in over 20 occupational areas including ICT, Professional Services, Engineering, Life Sciences, Accountancy and Health Care. See below for full details.

Sector Title College / University Qualification
Agri-food manufacture Food and drink manufacture CAFRE Foundation degree in food and drink manufacture
Built environment Architectural engineering and energy SWC Foundation degree in architectural engineering and energy
  Civil and environmental engineering

SWC

Foundation degree in civil and environmental engineering

  Civil engineering

BMC

 

Foundation degree in civil engineering

    NWRC Foundation degree in civil engineering (with CertHE exit award)
  Construction

Northern
SERC

Higher National Certificate (HNC) in construction and the built environment pathway construction

    SERC Higher National Certificate (HNC) in construction and the built environment pathway building services - engineering
    SERC
NRC
HNC in construction and the built environment pathway civil engineering
  Construction engineering with surveying SWC Foundation degree in construction engineering with surveying
  Energy environment and sustainability SWC Foundation degree in energy environment and sustainability
  Gas management SERC LOGIC certificate in gas safety management
Business and administration Business technology UU BSc (Hons) business technology
  Accounting and management UU

BSc (Hons) accounting and management

  Global capital markets UU MSc global capital markets
  Management SERC Foundation degree in leadership and management
Childcare and youth work Children's care, learning and development

SERC

 

 

Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education (CACHE) Diploma in leadership for children’s care, learning and development

    NWRC City & Guilds Diploma in leadership for children's care, learning and development
Engineering and manufacturing Advanced manufacturing

Northern

Foundation degree in electrical and electronic engineering

    Northern
SERC
Foundation degree in mechanical and manufacturing engineering
  Civil engineering UU BEng(Hons)/ MEng(Hons) in  civil engineering
  Manufacturing engineering SWC

Foundation degree in engineering, with specialisms in manufacturing (two years)

Foundation degree in engineering, with specialisms in manufacturing (three years)

  Mechanical engineering NWRC Foundation degree in mechanical engineering
  Mechatronic engineering SWC

Foundation degree in engineering with specialisms in mechatronics (two years)

Foundation degree in engineering, with specialisms in mechatronics (three years)

  Mechatronics SERC
SRC
Foundation degree in mechatronic engineering
Finance and accounting Accountancy

 BMC
Northern
NWRC
SERC
SRC
SWC

Accounting Technicians Ireland (ATI) certificate/ diploma for accounting technicians 

  Insurance SWC CII diploma in insurance
Hospitality, events and tourism International hospitality and tourism management NWRC Foundation degree in international hospitality and tourism management
ICT and Digital Cloud and application development BMC Foundation degree in cloud and application development
  Computing

SWC

 

Foundation degree in computing

    SERC Foundation degree in computing software development
    UU Foundation degree in computing
BSc(Hons) computing systems
  Computing infrastructure SRC Foundation degree in computing infrastructure
  Cyber security QUB MSc applied cyber security
  Cyber security and networking infrastructure BMC Foundation degree in cyber security and networking infrastructure
  Software development NWRC Foundation degree in software development 
  Software engineering with digital technology partnership QUB BEng software engineering/ BEng Hon computer science
Life and industrial science Applied industrial science (chemical science) SRC Foundation degree in applied industrial science (chemical science)
  Applied industrial science (life science) SRC Foundation degree in applied industrial science (life science)
  Applied industrial science UU BSc(Hons) applied pharmaceutical sciences
  Pharmaceutical analysis QUB MSc pharmaceutical analysis
Motor vehicle Automotive management SERC Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) diploma in automotive management
  Advance automotive studies - heavy vehicle master technician SERC Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) certificate in advanced automotive studies
  Advance automotive studies - light vehicle master technician SERC Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) certificate in advanced automotive studies (light vehicle)
  Advanced automotive studies - lift truck engineering SERC Institute of Motoring Industry (IMI) certificate in advanced automotive studies
  Advanced automotive studies - transport refrigeration master technician SERC Institute of Motor Industry (IMI) certificate in advanced automotive studies
Social care Health and social care SERC Level 5 diploma in leadership for health and social care services (adults' management) Wales and Northern Ireland

If you're interested in doing a Higher Level Apprenticeship, contact the relevant Further Education college or University for further information.

If you're  not sure about which apprenticeship you want to follow, or want more information on what the Apprenticeships programme can do for you, contact the helpline:

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