National Apprenticeship Week: Higher and degree apprenticeships at UWE Bristol – April

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April is currently studying a higher and degree apprenticeship as a Chartered Town Planner at UWE Bristol.  Here’s what she had to say about higher and degree apprenticeships.  

April shares her experiences of higher and degree apprenticeships

Find out more about our higher and degree apprenticeships. 

I chose to do a higher degree apprenticeship because I graduated in 2013 and for a long time, I really wanted to do a masters. I didn’t know what I wanted to do it in, there were issues with funding and trying to find the balance of going part time at work and going back to university. So, for me, the higher and degree apprenticeship gave me the opportunity to do the degree alongside a relevant job and gave me opportunity to get back to university.

Prior to the apprenticeship, I had absolutely no planning knowledge. So, I’m doing the Chartered Town Planner apprenticeship and yeah, I didn’t know anything about planning. I had very minimal knowledge. By doing the degree alongside the work experience it sort of opened my eyes up to different areas within the sector that I could work in and helped me to understand what it is that I enjoy about planning and where I want to go in the future. I’ve met a lot of people within the field, whether that’s people I work with, people I’ve studied with, or people I’ve met at training events. And it’s just set me up to do something completely new.

For me, the reason to do the apprenticeship was to get that balance between work and studying. And I think that having to make the decision to do one or the other means that you miss out on a lot of things. The apprenticeship has been challenging, it’s taken a lot of commitment and motivation, but it’s meant that I’ve been able to sort of pursue both of those routes at the same time, and I think that’s what’s worked for me.

I think that doing an apprenticeship means that you have to be really strict with your time management. You’re trying to juggle, effectively, a full-time job with one day a week that you get to study alongside a qualification. So, it’s really being strict with yourself, but also giving yourself space to really focus on both of those things.

In terms of transferable skills by undertaking the qualification at the same time as working. It means that you get to obtain that knowledge at university, but then also apply it to real life practice. So, you’re doing that sort of on your day-to-day job. And I think that supplementing the work experience with the qualification, at the same time, means that you can progress a lot quicker, and you can become a lot more confident in both those areas.

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