Welcome to your apprenticeship at Solent!
Higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships give you the opportunity to earn and learn, to upskill in your chosen field, and achieve recognised and transferable qualifications. This is completed without the cost of tuition fees and with the support of your employer. At Solent University, we know that while your expertise will be different to joining university from college as a full time student, it will still be a worthwhile and unforgettable experience.
What to expect
Your apprenticeship programme will have a timetable developed with your job in mind. The structure of our apprenticeships usually follow a blended format with some classroom contact and supported structured learning using our Solent Online Learning (SOL) platform. You may be studying on a day release model, weekend sessions or block learning, depending on the programme you join. Your assessments have been designed to take into account your course structure and employment demands. The 20% off-the-job requirement of your apprenticeship can be quickly and easily logged on SOL and will be discussed in your progress reviews to ensure you are on track and moving forwards.
One of the biggest challenges when completing an apprenticeship course is managing your time effectively for work, life and learning. Read about Lewis's experience of his apprenticeship at Solent below. As you read, think about how you might start to prepare to manage your time so you can get the most out of your course while balancing other commitments.
Case study: Lewis's apprenticeship experience
What course you are studying?
I’m studying the Level 5 Operations and Departmental Manager apprenticeship.
What led to you decide to do an apprenticeship?
While I'd been able to obtain a management role with the council, I hadn’t taken the time to learn the underpinning skills that make a manager successful. The apprenticeship was advertised within my organisation and after a short application process, I was supported to apply for the opportunity.
Can you give us an overview of your career/education history to date?
Having left college with A-levels, I started an apprenticeship in a customer service role. After successfully completing my NQV apprenticeship, I obtained a permanent position with the company and stayed there for a few years. I then joined Eastleigh Borough Council, again within a customer service role. Over the next few years I was promoted several times until taking on my current position in December 2016.
What are your hopes for the future after completing your apprenticeship?
Once I’ve completed my apprenticeship I’d like to continue my studies by progressing onto a higher level course. I aim to stay with the Council and continue to build my knowledge through experience while applying the theory I’ve learnt during the apprenticeship.
How are you finding the work/life/study balance so far?
It's been a challenge, but it’s very rewarding. I’m very lucky in that I know, no matter what, my employer will support my studies. They are as committed to my learning as I am and it certainly helps to calm any pressures I feel.
How do you ensure you get the balance right?
Dedication and planning. It’s very easy to leave things to the last minute, however if you can chip away at studies you’ll reap the rewards.
Would you recommend this apprenticeship route to others?
I’d definitely recommend this specific apprenticeship to others as it’s supported by some very talented lecturers and provides a well-rounded scheme of work. Apprenticeships in general are brilliant - they offer you the chance to put learning into practice instantly and allow you to earn while you learn!
How are you finding life at Solent University?
I’m enjoying the time I get to spend on campus and all the support I need is there when I need it.
How we support you
Most of our specialist support services are based around the Student Hub, a central space where you can access all of the information and support you may need during your time at University. The Student Hub is the first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your course, including questions about your timetable, assessments and extenuating circumstances.
During your career you will have learnt a wide range of specialist skills and proficiencies. Despite this, you may find that when you arrive at university you are asked to do things that you have never done before. Our study skills and academic support services (Succeed@Solent) will be available throughout the duration of your course, offering advice and one-to-one support on a range of topics including:
- Public speaking and presentation
- English language skills
- Academic research
- Essay writing and referencing
- Revision techniques.
Find out more about the support services available to you from the Student Hub.
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