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5. Higher Level Qualifications

IT Software Solutions for Business competitorThere is a wide range of higher level qualifications open to young people who have level 3 qualifications (see section 6), including over 37,000 different degree courses. There are also foundation year courses if your child does not meet the requirements for direct entry to a degree. The UCAS website ( provides comprehensive information about higher education courses and centres.

Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships - are available to young people who are 18 with a level 3 qualification. They provide a new route to the professions allowing young people to gain high level skills and qualifications at levels 4 to 7.

They provide access to jobs that only graduates could do in the past. Higher Apprentices can do a foundation degree (level 4) and possibly a BSc/BA/ BEng (level 6) or even an MSc/MA/MEng (level 7), depending on their employer. If your child is considering higher education this could provide an excellent route as, alongside their qualification, they would get on-the-job training and gain skills needed for the industry. Higher Level Apprentices get paid at the same time. Costs for the qualification vary but will often be covered by a combination of the employer and government.

Around 75 Higher and Degree Apprenticeships are now available. They offer a positive option as major companies including Nestle, IBM, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BT, Jaguar Land Rover and KPMG become involved.