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Apprenticeship Degrees: What are they like?

by Ridley&Hall in Natalie Stephenson-Quayle, News, Newsletter posted July 13, 2022.

As someone who didn’t want to go to university full time and preferred to learn in a more ‘hands on approach’, I decided that an apprenticeship degree was right for me!

Let’s start by debunking the myth that an apprenticeship isn’t as hard as university! An apprenticeship degree is where you work full time, as well as completing your university studies.

I currently work 4 days a week and attend university 1 day a week. I complete some of my studies on a work day evening or sometimes on the weekend, but mainly on my university day. It really depends on how much content I must go through before the lecture. I then attend my two-hour lecture where we look at course content, exam questions and scenarios. When I say I ‘attend university’ my course is online, therefore, I don’t physically attend.

Not only that, I have a separate coursework module which is asynchronous to this. The coursework modules do not have lectures, only an introduction workshop at the start of each one. They are straightforward and easy to understand; however, they can be a lot of work if you fall behind on completing each week’s workshop!

Admittedly, it can be stressful at times. The workload for different modules varies. Every 12-15 weeks you start a new module. The module itself is 10 weeks long, and the other 5 weeks account for mock exams, revision workshops and the final exam for that module.

A significant benefit of doing an apprenticeship degree is that you earn whilst you learn. I get paid for doing my job, and I don’t have to pay for my course fees. This takes the burden of debt off my future self!

At Ridley & Hall, we have a great support system for the apprentices. We gather each month for a meeting to provide an update on how we are doing and whether we need support. Emma Pearmaine, Managing Director of Ridley & Hall joins us on this call and takes a pragmatic approach.

The course is long and is a huge commitment. I was worried that 6 years down the line after I had qualified as a solicitor that I wouldn’t enjoy the job! As with a trainee solicitor, I will be moving around different areas of the firm, exposing me to different areas of law. This gives me the reassurance that, even if I don’t like working in one area of law, there are still lots of other areas out there for me to chose from.

I am excited to see where this course takes me and to achieve my goal of becoming a solicitor and thanks to Ridley & Hall I can do that.

Natalie Stephenson Quayle

Natalie Stephenson Quayle – Paralegal

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