How Long Does it Take to Complete an Apprenticeship?

Posted by: Mia Lewis Post Date: 23rd February 2018

Completing an apprenticeship is the perfect stepping stone into your choice of career. You are still viewed and respected as an equal to your colleagues, yet given the support and time you need to learn the skills that will aid you in completing your job role successfully. But I hear you ask: just how long does it take to complete?

Less time than doing a degree!

How long does it take to complete an apprenticeship?

One big advantage of doing an apprenticeship is that in most cases, they take less time to complete compared to a university degree and will provide you with real-world experience and a qualification which will still be looked upon highly by an employer.

Did you know that 3 in 4 apprentices are kept on by their employer upon completing their apprenticeship?

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The time it takes depends on the level

As you’ll know, apprenticeships come in all shapes and sizes, so as you’d expect, the higher the level, the longer it takes to complete the programme. All apprenticeships will vary slightly, but to try and make it clearer we’ve included a table below to explain roughly how long a course will take, depending on the qualification level you do.

Apprenticeship bracketLevelEquivalent academic levelApproximate length of apprenticeship
Intermediate25 GCSEs at A* – CA minimum of 1 year
Advanced32 A-Level passesBetween 15 – 18 months
Higher4, 5, 6 and 7Foundation degree and aboveBetween 3 and 5 years
Degree6 and 7Bachelor’s and Master’s degreeBetween 3 and 6 years


To read more about the different apprenticeship levels, click here.

Additional factors which affect the time

Now you have a rough guideline of how long it should take to complete an apprenticeship, we should mention that there are a few factors which could impact the time it takes. For example, if you haven’t quite met the apprenticeship requirements with your GSCE grades, you will need to complete your functional skills training for English, Maths or ICT. This can lengthen the time it takes to complete your apprenticeship as it doesn’t count towards the 20% off-the-job requirement.

However, you may have previously earnt a related qualification which can reduce the course content you have to cover and therefore reduce the time it takes to complete the qualification.

Kick start your career through the apprenticeship pathway.

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