Qualifications and levels of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships have equivalent educational qualifications and take one to five years to complete depending on the level.


  • Level 2- equivalent to GCSE’s
  • This can take 15 months and if you don’t have GCSE’s in English and Maths, you’ll usually be required to take a functional skills in these subjects.


  • Level 3- equivalent to two A-levels 
  • Typically apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 take approximately 15 months and you will also need to have two or more GCSE’s (or equivalent), grades A to C. If you haven’t attained this level you will complete the functional skills alongside the apprenticeship.


  • A higher apprenticeship is a great alternative to university, as it enables you to gain valuable on-the-job experience and a work-based degree while earning, so you can avoid incurring student loan debts. It is for individuals of all ages who are not in full time education. You can undertake this apprenticeship even if you have a degree already, as long as the apprenticeship is in a different specialist subject.
    • Level 4 and 5 equivalent to a higher education certificate/diploma or a foundation degree.
    • Level 6 equivalent to a bachelor degree. 
  • Typically apprenticeship at the higher levels can take between 14 to 36 months. You will generally be required to have English and maths prior to commencing a degree, but some degrees allow you to do the functional skills alongside the degree if you are able to demonstrate you are working at the required level.