Page content

To keep pace with the demand for highly skilled operational leaders, Ulster University Business School (UUBS) is calling on employers across Northern Ireland to join its market-leading Degree Apprenticeship in Customer Operations Management.

The newly refreshed part-time BSc (Hons) Leading on Customer Operations Higher Level Apprenticeship is the first university accredited course designed to recognise the growth, professionalism and importance of leading customer operations in today’s increasingly competitive business environment.

Starting in September 2021, the three to four year scheme offers employers across Northern Ireland a unique opportunity to develop talented and knowledgeable customer operations professionals with an in-depth understanding of three critical areas; business processes, technology and customer experience.

The programme combines practical work-based training with academic learning and is suitable for employers seeking to upskill existing staff or attract new talent - enabling businesses to address specific skill requirements and build the future talent base required to achieve organisational goals.

Because of the employer-led and industry-focused nature of this Degree Apprenticeship, the knowledge, skills and behaviours developed are directly relevant to employers from day one.

Ruth Mercer, Course Director at Ulster University Business School said:

“Open to all industry sectors, our BSc (Hons) Leading on Customer Operations Degree Apprenticeship is designed to meet the growing demand for customer-centric leaders who can inspire teams towards positive business change. Apprentices will undertake a professionally relevant education while gaining well-rounded, real-world experience with a business, placing students in good stead for an exciting career in an ever-evolving customer operations function.

We are delighted to offer such an exciting and contemporary programme that responds to market needs, and are very much looking forward to working in partnership with the wider business sector to support their growth ambitions and further boost vital skills development in the local workforce.”

Businesses already partnering with UUBS on the scheme include multinational banking and financial services firm, Danske Bank, global professional services organisation, PwC and international leader in digital transformation, Atos.

Caroline Van Der Feltz, HR Director for Danske Bank commented:

“At Danske Bank, our Danske Futures programme with Ulster University is one that is aligned to our wider purpose, strategy and culture as a business and employer. Investing in the programme has meant that we have been able to increase the entry points to our organisation, create a pipeline of skilled colleagues to meet the future needs of our business and has helped us build stronger links with education and industry locally.

With the BSc in Leading on Customer Operations, we’ve been able to work with Ulster University throughout to ensure the degree meets our needs, with reviews and adjustments to the curriculum in line with our business needs. The programme has improved our diversity and allowed us to attract talent and offer an alternative to the traditional university route to those who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to undertake a degree programme. Already, out of twenty people recruited to the programme in 2018/2019, ten have been promoted to higher grades through competitive processes and development, with engagement extremely high within our Danske Futures colleagues.”

Widespread integration of technology in the workplace has had a transformative impact on how businesses operate, positioning customer experience as a competitive differentiator for many companies. Organisations, particularly those operating in the business and shared services sectors, are experiencing a significant need for individuals to operationalise strategies and lead change while keeping the customer at the heart of the business.

Funding for Degree Apprenticeships is provided by the Department for the Economy (DfE) through the Higher Level Apprenticeship (HLA) financial support scheme.  In addition, firms can avail of financial support of up to £3,700 per apprentice, through the DfE Apprenticeship Recovery Package until the 31st March 2022.

If you are interested in providing an apprenticeship place, please contact Ulster University Business School’s Business Engagement Team at