The Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) is an alternative to traditional full-time university study that combines working, learning and earning, with benefits to students and employers in Scotland.

Developed to enable students to ‘work, learn and earn’, the GA is a work-based degree which utilises the workplace as a place of learning.  

Beginning in September 2018, QMU will offer a BA (Hons) Business Management Graduate Apprenticeship programme which will largely mirror the content and structure of our BA (Hons) Business Management programme. This integrative learning programme enables students to gain academic credits from their work experience. 

For participating employers, Graduate Apprenticeships are a great way to motivate and up-skill existing employees and to make their business more productive. It offers a high value, low cost option for employers to attract, retain and up-skill talent.


Benefits for students on GA degree courses

  • The opportunity to 'work, learn and earn' so you can complete a degree without getting into debt
  • You'll spend most of your time learning on the job, but will also be a university student
  • You’ll spend approximately 80% of your time, 4 days per week, in the workplace, and 1 day per week studying
  • The work you do counts towards gaining your qualification meaning you could gain your degree much quicker
  • You’ll be able to apply the things you learn in your degree to your workplace and vice versa
  • As you’ll already be in work, you won't need to start looking for a graduate job once you’ve completed your degree
  • You’ll give yourself a competitive edge in the jobs market by building practical and job specific skills while you study, through work-based learning

Benefits for participating employers

  • A GA allows you to support the education of existing employees to enhance their personal development, knowledge and skills while improving staff retention
  • GAs are open to employers of any size and are designed to meet your needs
  • GAs put theory into practice through work-based assessments that contribute to the success of your organisation
  • Cost effective way to train, develop and upskill your workforce
  • No fee charged to the employer or apprentice during the degree
  • Attract new talent with an alternative, or addition to traditional graduate schemes
  • The learning and development opportunities the scheme offers apprentices will make them more motivated and productive employees

Why QMU?

  • We are in the top three higher education institutions in Scotland for employment of undergraduate leavers: 97.1% of our undergraduate leavers are in employment or further study six months after graduation, placing us third in Scotland on this measure (HESA, 2018).
  • Our GA in Business Management is particularly focused on the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, which accounts for at least 99.5% of the businesses in every main industry sector
  • We offer a friendly and supportive learning environment at our purpose-built campus
  • We are conveniently located six minutes by train from Edinburgh, with accessible parking available
  • We have a student-focused, innovative campus with superb facilities for learning, teaching, living and fun
  • We use a range of innovative teaching methods from work-based learning to an online virtual learning environment, which will support the GA programme
  • We are a socially responsible university: a winner of numerous ‘green’ awards and focused on courses which allow our graduates to make a difference in the world

For information on the programme and on how to apply, contact the Programme Leader, Dr Andrew Bratton (abratton@qmu. on +44 (0) 131 474 0000

How does the Graduate Apprenticeship scheme work

  • The Graduate Apprenticeship programme is a work-based learning programme that has been developed to enable participants to 'work, learn and earn'.
  • Work-based learning forms the central learning for participants where they will apply the skills and knowledge acquired through their degree towards activities in the workplace
  • This integrative process of learning and skills development means that participants will have the opportunity to gain academic credit for learning gained from their work experience
  • Participants combine university study and work-based learning to enable them to complete their BA (Hons) Business Management in the same time as if they were undertaking a full-time traditional degree
  • The programme will be delivered with a combination of campus-based face to face sessions supported by online distance learning, using our well established virtual learning environment
  • Participants will typically spend 1 day per week on campus and 4 days per week in their workplace
  • The face to face element will allow participants to build strong networks and friendships with their peers
  • Participants have to be with an employer registered with the scheme
  • Employers can enrol an existing employee onto the programme or hire a new recruit

Employers can express their interest and sign up by contacting the Programme Leader, Dr. Andrew Bratton (


How to apply

  • The programme is available to people currently living and working in Scotland. There is no maximum age limit and you can apply if you’re aged 16 or over
  • If you have already completed a degree with SAAS funding, you could still do a Graduate Apprenticeship, particularly if it’s a career change to something new. So, if you’re looking to learn while you work, this could be the perfect opportunity
  • If you are a school leaver or not in employment but think that a Graduate Apprenticeship could be for you, you can apply the same way you’d apply for a job. The vacancies are advertised on the Apprenticeships Scotland website
  • If you’re already in employment but are interested in the scheme, speak with your employer to find out whether they have plans to get involved in Graduate Apprenticeships

Typically, we would expect a minimum of four Scottish Highers (or equivalent). Your application will be assessed on an individual basis, taking into account any previous industry experience you have. If you have already completed a Foundation or a Modern Apprenticeship in a related subject, this will also contribute towards meeting the entry requirements

You can also register your interest in our Graduate Apprenticeship courses and we will let you know when a suitable employer is recruiting. To register, email: the Programme Leader, Dr. Andrew Bratton



Graduate Apprenticeships Enquiries

For all enquiries, including how to register interest and apply, and how to find out when suitable employers are recruiting, please contact the Programme Leader, Dr Andrew Bratton.

Show Contacts

Graduate Apprenticeships Enquiries

Dr Andrew Bratton Programme Leader