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Sponsored Degree Programme Structure

A sponsored degree programme lasts between three and five years – pretty much the same as if you were to take the university route. Unlike a standard university course though, the range of study focuses and working experiences will differ quite a lot from year to year.

Here’s an example of how a typical sponsored degree programme might be set out:

First year…

Full-time study at university, complete with all the joys of Freshers’ Week, university societies and student halls whilst you get to grips with the first modules and exams of your undergraduate degree. Oh, and it’s possible your employer will give you a bursary for this year as well to help you along the way!

Second year…

Further study at university interspersed with a placement with your employer. You’ll spend around three months in the workplace doing real work within a department. So if the focus is accounting for example, you might join the audit team.

Third year…

Typically a placement year. This is when you’ll fully embrace work at the employer’s office on a full-time basis. You may also complete exams for a professional qualification and any other necessary university assessments alongside work.

Fourth year…

The working world conquered, fourth year is your glorious return to campus to complete your finals whilst you bask in the new-found perspectives you have developed on your placement year. There’s also likely to be another short placement back in the employer’s office before you graduate.

By the time you have completed a sponsored degree programme you will be at the same stage as a graduate who has gone through the university route – and you’ll probably have much more work experience!  

By Jos Weale, Editor,

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