Higher level apprenticeships

Take your employees' careers to the next level. Find out how we can support your business to nurture talent and develop leaders through our funded higher level programmes.

What are higher level apprenticeships?

Higher level apprenticeships offer school leavers, aged 16 or over, the opportunity to get a a recognised qualification up to Masters level while in paid employment in the private sector.

Most programmes are fully funded by the Department for the Economy. Some of the programmes require a small contribution from employers.

Apprentices combine working with studying to gain skills and knowledge in a specific job and to attain a higher level award.

Who can apply?

Apprentices can be new or current employees.

You must pay the apprentice at least the minimum wage as outlined by the Government

Your apprentice must:

  • be eligible for their selected programme
  • work with experienced staff who will support and mentor them
  • learn job-specific skills
  • get time for training or study during their working week and provide evidence of how this is achieved (at least 20% of their normal working hours).

Employers must:

  • attend regular review meetings with their apprentice
  • work with Ulster to deliver the training
  • work closely with Ulster to meet the programme requirements set by the Department of the Economy.

What employers are saying

FinTrU is delighted to be supporting the Financial; Technology Higher Level Apprenticeship programme. FinTrU is committed to giving local talent the opportunity to work on the global stage with the largest international investment banks and the Higher Level Apprenticeship enables students to gain industry recognised qualifications, whilst applying that knowledge to their career at FinTrU." Ross Gillespie, Head of Technology at FinTrU

Available programmes



  • MSc Global Capital Markets

    Candidates will develop critical awareness of the international financial and professional services environment and gain an appreciation of professional ethical standards and conduct. This Masters programme covers a broad range of modules in finance, technology, ethics, governance, regulation and project management.

    Learn more about the entry conditions for the programme and check the eligibility of your apprentice.

    Please note that all programmes listed here are subject to Department for the Economy funding.

  • MSc Business in Technology

    The first of its kind in the UK, the new MSc Business in Technology (MBT) was created to meet the increasing demand for technology professionals to lead, influence and develop strategies for transformation and organisational growth.

    The course is ideal for people experienced in a technology or tech-led project roles who want to progress their careers in senior management and leadership in the technology or professional services sector.

    This four-year course offers a broad range of modules in leadership, consultancy, data science and transformation.

    Learn more about the entry conditions for the programme and check the eligibility of your apprentice.

Take part in a higher level apprenticeship

There are several steps to take part in a higher level apprenticeship:

  1. Choose a suitable programme for your business or organisation.
  2. Check what funding is available, including incentive payments of up to £3,000 for each apprentice enrolled before 31 March 2021.
  3. Contact the apprenticeships team to check if their selected apprentice is eligible and if an additional contribution is required.
  4. Sign a higher level apprenticeship contract.

How long it lasts

Higher level apprenticeships must last for at least two years. They can last up to 7 years depending on what the apprentice is studying.

Get help

For more information contact the apprenticeships team.

We would like to develop higher level apprenticeships that support businesses across different sectors. Please get in touch with us to discuss your business requirements.