Entry requirements for apprenticeships in England

The level of apprenticeship you start at will depend on the qualifications you have, the job you are applying for, and apprenticeship standard the employer wants to use.
Relevant to

If you start with an intermediate or advanced apprenticeship, you can progress your career and work your way up through the higher level apprenticeships to achieve a master’s degree in some career areas.

Each apprenticeship vacancy will specify the entry requirements, and qualities the employer is looking for. For higher and degree apprenticeships, employers are generally asking for A levels and other Level 3 qualifications. You also need to check the job description for any essential and desirable skills they’re looking for, and specific qualifications required. 

Level Entry requirements
Intermediate (Level 2) – generally considered to be equivalent to five GCSE passes. Applicants need to be over 16 years old, and show they have the ability to complete the programme.
Advanced (Level 3) – generally considered to be equivalent to two A level passes.

Some industries want apprentices who have three or more GCSEs, but other employers don't specify any formal qualifications. Some may ask for previous experience in the industry.

Check apprenticeship vacancies to see if there are any specific subjects and/or grades you need to have.

Higher (Level 4 and above)
Level 4
 – equivalent to an HNC, a foundation degree, or the first year of an undergraduate degree.

Levels 5 and above – equivalent to a full degree.

Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A – C (9 – 4 on the new grading system), and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National. Some will expect or require applicants to have subjects related to the particular apprenticeship.

Check apprenticeship vacancies to see if there are any specific subjects and/or grades you need to have.

Degree (Levels 5 to 7) – these are new and enable apprentices to achieve a full bachelor's or master's degree as part of their apprenticeship.
Levels 5 and 6 – equivalent to a full degree.

Level 7 – equivalent to a master's degree.

Entry requirements can include at least five GCSEs grades A – C  (9 – 4 on the new grading system), and Level 3 qualifications, including A levels, NVQ/SVQ Level 3, or a BTEC National. Some employers have specific entry requirements. For example, recent IT degree apprenticeship adverts have required an A level (or equivalent) grade range of ABB to CCC. Many employers will expect or require applicants to have qualifications in subjects related to the particular apprenticeship.

Check apprenticeship vacancies to see if there are any specific subjects and/or grades you need to have.

Read and download  UCAS' guide to apprenticeships (638.67 KB) 

Find out more about the different levels of apprenticeships