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Supporting Degree Apprenticeships

An expert-led PebblePad symposium - noteworthy ideas guaranteed.



With demand for degree apprenticeships expected to be high, many higher education institutions are in the process of assessing their readiness to address the challenges of degree apprenticeship delivery. This symposium aims to spark discussion around the planning, implementation and delivery of degree apprenticeships, from effective employer-engagement to supporting remote learning, through to the flexibility of an organisation’s technology armoury to support the creation of diverse competency frameworks, which can be securely assessed by external parties.

PebblePad symposiums are always high on value and low on cost, and this expert-led event is no exception. That’s why we think it should be marked in indelible ink in the calendars of anyone involved in supporting degree apprenticeships, end point assessment (including the role of eportfolio) and for those involved in all things strategy and vision in the context of degree apprenticeships.

Date, Time, Location

Event expired
Supporting Degree Apprenticeships
Date: Thursday, 14th December 2017
Time: 10.00 - 15.30
Address: thestudio, 7 Cannon Street, Birmingham, B2 5EP, UK
Facilitators: Adrian Anderson, Prof Jonathan Green, Lisa Gray, Patrick Viney



  • 1000 - Registration and Refreshments
  • 1030 - Welcome
  • Adrian Anderson - Chief Executive UVAC (Universities Vocational Awards Council)
      Successfully Establishing Degree Apprenticeships in Higher Education
      Adrian will talk about the background to degree apprenticeships, the employer/institution/learner relationship, integrated degrees and end-point assessment.
  • Professor Jonathan Green - Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, University of Birmingham
      An institutional case-study
      Jon will discuss how the University of Birmingham is responding to the opportunities and challenges of degree apprenticeships including how they are working closely with industry partners to design programmes to prepare young people for the changing world of work and to equip them with industry required skills.
  • Lisa Gray - Senior Co-Design Manager, Student Experience, JISC
      The digital dimension
      With the recent transformation of apprenticeship delivery in England with the introduction of new, employer-led standards and accompanying growth of provision, Jisc are exploring how they can best support higher and further education institutions looking to deliver new higher and degree apprenticeships. "Are universities and colleges prepared for delivering to what could be a new and diverse cohort of learners? What are the expectations and needs of employers? Do our current technologies support this new landscape? Where can a digital approach add value? These are some of the questions that we’ll explore during this session, as Jisc introduces new research into this new and exciting area."
  • Shane Sutherland - Founder and CEO, PebblePad
      Decoding Levelness and Academic Language
      In 2010 and 2011 PebblePad worked on a Jisc-funded project led by Dr Phil Gravestock at The University of Gloucestershire. The aim of the project was to create a tool which helped translate vocational terminology into language more familiar in an academic context. Referencing the resultant vocabulary to credit and qualifications frameworks like FHEQ, QCF and SEEC allowed users of the tool to reference outcomes written from the vocabulary to different academic levels with reasonable confidence. The tool is freely available and is likely to be valuable to those involved in co-creating curricula for degree apprenticeships
  • 1300 - 1330 - Lunch & refreshments
  • Julie Irwin - Assistant Director, Learning and Teaching, Buckinghamshire New University
      Developing a work-based learning (WBL) framework – for the development of apprenticeships in higher education
      The shift from traditional delivery mandated for Apprenticeships presents real challenges for curriculum development in HE. There is a requirement for a credit-based academic framework designed specifically for Apprenticeships as a work-based programme. The embedded use of academic credit and the achievement of intended learning outcomes, enables the award of credits to be defined in relation to the learning in addition to course content. The principle of outcome-based credit means that learning that takes place outside universities and in the workplace, can be recognised. The concept and definition of level is also central in representing opportunities to recognise a broader spectrum of higher level learning outside the university. The WBL framework to support curriculum design/development has proved successful in Apprenticeship programme development at Bucks.
      The framework has proven to provide real support to the curriculum development and to teams who have not delivered work-based programmes before. It has also formed the basis for employer engagement conversations regarding Apprenticeship delivery. The advantage of a framework is that it sets out the underlying principles of WBL; that of experiential learning, gained day to day on the job, as opposed to traditionally taught modules. Through the workshop Bucks would like to encourage the development of frameworks to guide curriculum development.
  • Patrick Viney - Senior Technology Enhanced Learning Adviser (Degree Apprenticeships), University of Northumbria
      Degree Apprenticeships – The Evidence Challenge
      Degree apprenticeships present a unique challenge to higher education institutions in respect of the gathering, sharing and use of workplace experiences and evidence. In this presentation, Patrick Viney, Senior Learning Technologist for Degree Apprenticeships at Northumbria University will explore these challenges and demonstrate the Chartered Manager Degree Apprentice solution developed at Northumbria University. The Northumbria solution utilises PebblePad and ATLAS to provide a framework for capturing workplace evidence and through a process of structured reflection and academic reflective writing creates an on-going synergy between workplace experiences and academic learning. Ultimately, during the end-point assessment, the apprentice will be able to present the best of their evidence in a PebblePad portfolio to demonstrate their learning and competence against the wide range of apprenticeship standards.
  • Joy Robbins - Lecturer in Educational Development (PDP), University of Bradford
      Joy will explore ways and means of carrying out the ongoing and end-point assessments of Degree Apprenticeships using PebblePad. The session will present a brief analysis of the main assessment types for the 33 current degree apprenticeships laid out in the government’s Apprenticeship Standards, and then look at possible educational designs to realise those assessment paths. Evidence from practice will include Bradford’s own degree apprenticeships, but will also pull significantly on lessons learned and best-practice approaches developed over time from the wealth of work-based assessment delivered in our many work-driven degrees. This interactive session will prompt you to examine what assessment designs make the most sense for your current or upcoming degree apprenticeships.
  • 1530 - Close

As with all PebblePad hosted events there will be ample opportunity for discussion, idea sharing, idea creation, lunch and cake.

*Programme subject to change


Who should attend?

  • Directors of Careers & Employability
  • Apprenticeship course leaders
  • Learning technologists involved in degree apprenticeships
  • Careers advisors and staff involved in embedding employability in the curriculum
  • Any member of staff involved in creating strategy, policy and innovation
  • Directors of Education
  • Apprenticeships Managers
  • Business Development Managers
  • Programme Managers and Directors
  • Heads of Learning
  • Deans of Schools
  • Heads of Partnerships
  • Heads of Departments
  • Lecturers
  • Heads of Partnership Teams
  • Project Managers

Please note the above is not an exhaustive list and we see the event benefiting any professional involved in future ready initiatives within their organisation.