student on construction site

Apprenticeship Degrees Verse Abudar

Striking the right balance

It was during a summer placement on his Civil Engineering with Architecture programme that Verse Abudar realised that full time study may not be the most useful route to a degree for him. Finding the purely academic route difficult, Verse was delighted to discover an alternative option available through the work based Graduate Apprenticeship (GA) degree in Civil Engineering at Strathclyde.

When someone suggested a Graduate Apprenticeship, where you could work and study to gain a degree qualification at the same time, I jumped at it!

Verse applied for a position with Interserve Construction Ltd beginning his role as a Graduate Apprentice Engineer and his studies at Strathclyde on our first Civil Engineering GA programme in 2019.

At Strathclyde, the work based elements are integrated into our degree programme as credit bearing modules and assessments. These elements have been purposely designed not to be additional work based tasks, but true on-the-job learning guaranteeing both learners and employers quickly see the value that apprenticeship degrees can add to their business. 



Professional accreditation in parallel

Academic outcomes have also been mapped to learning in the workplace through the currency of professional competencies ensuring learners can use their e-portfolio of evidence when applying for professional accreditation beyond their degree.

Strathclyde programmes have been designed with preparation for professional accreditation as a core element, and so we were thrilled when it was confirmed in early 2020 that the Civil Engineering GA is accredited having fully met the academic base for IEng and partially meeting the academic base for CEng by ICE, IStructE, IHE and CIHT. 

Verse also has his sights set on professional accreditation and his longer term career development. He is excited to continue putting what he learns during his academic programme into practice in his day job. The opportunity that his work based degree offered is allowing Verse to fulfil his dream to work in Civil Engineering whilst he also applies his new knowledge and skills into practice.

Down the line I’m looking to eventually be a Chartered Engineer. This course helps me do that and it gives me the opportunities to make those steps much earlier in my career

Designed in partnership with industry

The strong tripartite relationship between an employer, the learner and the University is the key to the success of work based Graduate Apprenticeship degrees and Strathclyde are committed to delivering a high quality experience for all employer partners.

Through engagement events and discussions, employers have shaped the apprenticeship degrees we deliver at Strathclyde.

I was really drawn to Strathclyde as it’s an institution that is really in touch with industry.  They’ve made sure that the work you’re doing compliments your study and both are intertwined. It’s not the case at all that one is a hindrance to the other

Strathclyde’s Civil Engineering GA Degree

During the first two years of the programme, learners will study four core modules addressing Engineering Mechanics and Materials, Structural Analysis, Soil Mechanics and Hydraulics, and Mathematics and Numerical Tools.

Years 3 and 4 are designed to develop higher level cognitive skills and enable the continued integration of knowledge, professional competencies and transferable skills via two 60 credit project modules with further opportunities for specialisation via optional modules.

Learning in the workplace

Verse, like all Graduate Apprentice, is supported throughout his studies by a dedicated Work Based Learning Advisor who meets with him learner on a regular basis to monitor their progress on the programme and support the development of their e-portfolio of work based learning evidence and claims of competence.

Through our approach, Work Based Learning is not designed to be additional workplace tasks, but acts as integral part of the degree programme.

Strathclyde’s GA programme allows candidates like Verse to directly apply their academic learning to real projects for their employers. The work based earning component and it's links to the professional registration process ensures that the work candidates carry out for their employers work towards meeting the academic and practical application required by Professional Institutions in the modern workplace.

Ian Hay, Graduate Apprentice Learning Advisor

Skills for the future

Graduate Apprenticeships are an opportunity for organisations to not only broaden the talent pool by recruiting new staff into their business but also to develop existing employees. Employers can nominate individuals who are in a suitable job role which will enable them to complete the work based learning elements of the programme.

Flexible delivery model

Strathclyde Graduate Apprentices have access to our award-winning digital platform and will complete over 75% of their learning via our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Myplace. In addition, Graduate Apprentices also attend on campus days typically one day per month for the duration of their studies. These on campus sessions allow for the face-to-face delivery of teaching and other activities whilst also allowing Graduate Apprentices to interact with their tutors and network with their peers.