A level 4 apprenticeship is equivalent to the first year of an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Certificate (HNC). An HNC is a BTEC qualification awarded by Edexcel in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, an HNC is a Higher National awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority.
Level 4 is called a higher apprenticeship, following the advanced apprenticeships of level 3 and preceding degree apprenticeships (level 6-7). Higher apprenticeships usually take two to five years to complete, depending on the industry and qualification.
The basic entry requirements for a level 4 apprenticeship are the same as advanced apprenticeships. You must be aged 16 or over, be living in England and not in full-time education. As with all apprenticeships, specific requirements may vary between roles and companies. If you don’t already have GCSEs in English and maths, there may be an opportunity to take Functional Skills, an alternative to GCSEs, as part of the apprenticeship. Entry requirements for a level 4 apprenticeship may also be tougher than for level 3.
You will be in paid full-time work but also study for your level 4 qualification. Since this is equivalent to your first year of an undergraduate degree, level 4 apprenticeships also carry UCAS points which can be used to apply to university.
We’ve answered more of your questions about higher apprenticeships right here.