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Applications have opened for 50 fully funded degree apprenticeship places at Ulster University Business School, following a partnership with PwC Northern Ireland.

The programme, which begins in September, combines a part-time BSc Hons Leading on Customer Operations with hands-on experience working within PwC. As well as a degree, funded through the Department for the Economy’s Higher Level Apprenticeship programme, students also receive £19,500 salary, guaranteed placements and a job offer on the condition of a 2:1 degree.

It’s the latest addition to PwC’s Flying Start degree series that includes its Technology Degree Apprenticeship programme which has already recruited its fourth year of students. Designed to support the continued expansion of Operate, PwC’s fastest-growing division, students who receive a 2:1 or above in their degree are automatically offered a job within its team.

Since launching in 2017, Operate has contributed to significant growth of the PwC NI team, which now stands at 2500 employees. Continued investment in the region also prompted the firm’s decision to move to Merchant Square, a £70m development in the heart of Belfast city centre. PwC moves into the building in the summer.

Aimed at improving social mobility, PwC NI’s Student Recruitment Lead Deborah Stevenson said this innovative programme will support future workforce needs:

“By investing in apprenticeships we’re not only building a diverse workforce, we’re also addressing the problem of education migration. It’s important that we challenge ourselves to be more innovative when it comes to helping future talent, so that opportunities are open to all. This is key to ensuring Northern Ireland is a place where our students choose not only to study but to stay and work, ensuring our sustainable economic growth.

“One of the most important aspects of education is experience, particularly in the modern workforce. By combining traditional university learning with hands-on business experience, the students who graduate from this programme gain a valuable advantage when it comes to taking the next step on their career journey.”

The programme is focused on a growing industry. Organisations are turning a period of disruption into a catalyst for positive change and a foundation for sustainable growth, meaning they need more than just advice. High quality, hands on delivery support across complex operations is key to this and over the four year programme, the apprentices will undertake an industry-relevant and practical curriculum.

The time spent working with PwC will see them involved in a wide-range of client-facing activities in areas like helping to tackle financial crime and manage complex customer and business operations.

Professor Gillian Armstrong, Director of Business Engagement at Ulster University Business School said:

“Ulster University Business School is committed to providing more flexible, responsive and alternative pathways to higher level skills development and the part-time BSc Leading on Customer Operations degree apprenticeship builds on our already well-established provision, reflecting the changing needs of organisations within the business and shared services sector.

“Not only will this programme support valuable opportunities for new employment within the region, but it will also help employers access high level skills and capabilities needed to create a sustainable future workforce, whilst safeguarding the region’s excellent reputation as a vibrant global business services sector.”

Programme teaching will be delivered at Ulster University’s new state-of-the-art Belfast Campus, opening in the autumn. Applications for September 2021 are now open.

To apply please visit: