Scotland is building a world-class digital economy. As our technology community continues to grow rapidly, skills in data, programming, AI and digital transformation are becoming highly sought after in the marketplace. 

Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) are a ground-breaking initiative, creating degree qualified employees with key skills tailored to the needs of business. It is a way to study towards a degree while remaining in full-time employment. They are ideal for someone looking to upskill or retrain and are trying to enhance their career prospects.

Here's a reminder of the compelling benefits GAs provide:

  • They are a great way to attract new talent to a company or to upskill and reskill existing employees
  • All degree programmes are fully funded - meaning there are no additional costs to the employer or the employee
  • The programmes are designed by industry and employers to develop skills tailored to the needs of business
  • Work-based learning approach ensures practical application in the business environment
  • They are an excellent way to recover the Apprenticeship Levy the company may already be paying

What are they and who can apply?

Anyone aged over 16 living and working in Scotland can apply to become a Graduate Apprentice. They have been created to address skills needs in wide rage of growth sectors in the Scottish economy. The programmes have been designed by working hand in hand with industry and employers. GAs are split between University and work-based learning. Work-based learning is basically agreed activities in the workplace that count towards the degree in terms of learning and assessment.



A Graduate Apprentice has traditionally spent approximately 80% of their time in work and 20% in university. To provide additional flexibility for employers and students, we're delighted to confirm that all our programmes will remain accessible remotely. Learners will have the option to attend campus (depending on any restrictions in place) or to access learning from their workplace or home.

    An overview of the programmes available

    Our Graduate Apprenticeships are developing skills for the Digital Age. We're ranked top quartile for Computer Science in the UK (source: Complete University Guide 2022) and we currently offer the following Graduate Apprenticeship programmes focusing on building digital skills:

    BSc (Hons) Data Science

    • The demand for data talent is growing as businesses become much more data driven. Our BSc (Hons) Data Science Graduate Apprenticeships programme, not only builds data skills, it also develops talented people with hands-on, work-based experience.
    • Data Science sits at the intersection between Computer Science (including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning), Mathematics (including Advanced Statistical methods) and selected areas of Engineering. 
    • The programme will develop graduates with
      • business-focused data skills,
      • the ability to assess, analyse and report on company data
      • the ability to deliver data driven insights to focus growth on key areas and opportunities

    Read more

    BSc (Hons) Software Development

    • This programme is designed to provide a solid foundation in computing and the necessary applied skills.
    • The programme will develop graduates with the capability to code, build software programs and web-based applications using key technologies, languages and tools.
    • The programme helps develop highly skilled employees in the following areas:
      • Software Development and Testing;
      • Web Development;
      • Database Architecture and Development.

    Read more

    MA (Hons) IT Management for Business

    • The IT Management for Business programme degree develops specific skills and knowledge of information technology,
    • The course is designed to enable the participants to play a key role in the management of IT infrastructure, strategy, operations and projects within their organisation 
    • The programme helps develop highly skilled employees in the following areas:
      • IT Consultancy
      • IT System Operation
      • IT System Management
      • IT Network Planning and Control
      • IT Project Management

    Read more

    Interested in finding out more?

    If you'd like to find out more, just complete the short form opposite and a member of the team will get straight back to you. We look forward to hearing from you!

    Please note you need to have an employer to be accepted on to a Graduate Apprenticeship programme. If you don't currently have one, or are new to the workforce, we recommend that you visit, where you will find all current Graduate Apprenticeship vacancies. 


    Why Heriot-Watt University?

    Heriot-Watt has a proud tradition of industry-focused education. Our degrees are highly regarded for their professional relevance and we have an excellent record of preparing students for successful careers. Heriot-Watt is consistently ranked in the top third of Computer Science departments in the UK for our research and teaching quality. Read more




    Find out more today

    Please complete the short form below and a member of our team will get straight back to you.