Apprenticeship Degrees blogDesigning Apprenticeship Degrees

When Strathclyde began our apprenticeship degree journey back in 2017, we knew these blended learning, work based degrees were going to be different.

With a wealth of experience in delivering teaching degrees with associated on-the-job training, work based learning was not a new concept to us nor was developing online courses. However we had not combined online programmes and work based learning before or delivered that across sectors such as engineering, business or science.

Apprenticeship degrees at Strathclyde are not off the shelf, they are newly designed programmes that meet the needs of both employers and learners alike

In addition, the input of employers whom these types of degrees were designed to benefit was crucial. For Strathclyde, it was time for a new approach.

Through our employer engagement events, we worked in partnership with employers to determine what they needed apprenticeship degrees to deliver for their businesses. Academics from our departments worked with SDS colleagues on Technical Expert Groups and we engaged with relevant professional bodies on how these work based degrees could contribute towards professional accreditation.

Institutionally, we invested heavily in additional staff, both academic and professional services to support the development and delivery of apprenticeship degrees. We also gave significant consideration to what we wanted these degrees offer. They had to be practical and flexible whilst reflecting and replicating the excellent student experience which Strathclyde is renowned for in our traditional on campus teaching. Even with over 75% of our apprenticeship degree content delivered online, a high quality teaching and learning experience for our students was our top priority. 

In response, our Learning Technologists based in the Education Enhancement Directorate worked closely with our expert academic staff across departments to plan and develop interactive online activities which enable our apprenticeship learners to get the most from their degrees.

In parallel, the Learning Technologists established and successfully implemented structured processes and governance to ensure the online elements of our apprenticeship degrees were of the highest quality.

The result? High quality, interactive, coordinated activities delivered for our learners on a weekly basis. Activities ranging from short videos (never any more than 10 minutes!), interactive forums, quizzes and webinars which enhance the learning experience and ensure it's engaging, practical, interactive and useful in the work place.

Learners are very much in control of where and when they study but what and how they learn has been carefully planned and developed by a team of expert academics and Learning Technologists.

At Strathclyde, we pride ourselves on being 'a place of useful learning' and have continued to achieve that through this new type of degree programme.

If you are interested in learning more, take a look at this video produced by our Learning Technology colleagues on Developing Online Courses detailing their approach to managing this large scale institutional project.