Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship

for Employers

The Laboratory Scientist Higher and Degree Apprenticeship enables businesses to develop their own graduate laboratory scientists. An innovative blend of higher education with work-based learning, to rapidly develop apprentices into confident laboratory professionals.

The Laboratory Scientist programme has been developed with employers and is accredited by the Royal Society of Chemistry, enabling successful apprentices to apply for Registered Scientist (RSci) status.

The apprenticeship focuses on the fundamental knowledge, skills and behaviours to make an impact in a number of roles, including:

Case Study | Stephen Stewart, GlaxoSmithKline▶ Video | Hear from current apprentices

Programme Content

FdSc Chemical Science

The programme content delivers the technical knowledge and investigative skills for a role in a laboratory.  Typical units of study may include:

  • Chemical Concepts 1 (Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry)
  • Health, Safety, Environment and Functional Skills
  • Laboratory and Scientific Skills 1
  • Business Improvement
  • Chemical Concepts 2 (Advanced Physical, Inorganic and Organic Chemistry)
  • Laboratory and Scientific Skills 2
  • Environmental Management and Sustainability (for the Chemical Sector)
  • Negotiated Learning Contract.

After three years participants will complete the Higher Apprenticeship and achieve a FdSc Chemical Science.

BSc Chemical Science

If participants choose to continue to study for a further two years they can achieve a BSc (Hons) Chemical Science. Units may include:

  • Advanced Chemical Concepts A (Further Inorganic and Organic Chemistry)
  • Work-based Project and Professional Development
  • Advanced Chemical Concepts B (Further Inorganic and Physical Chemistry)
  • Advanced Topics (in Applied Chemical Science)

The programme is flexible so that employers and apprentices can choose elements that are best suited to their own business requirements. The work-based projects, negotiated with employers, also offer students the opportunity to apply their learning directly to their organisation and its business context.

Delivery Model

Students study via tutor-supported distance learning and attend residential schools for one week each year, which is equivalent to 31 working days over the five-year programme. This makes the programme easily accessible to learners throughout England.

Apprentices will need to be supported by a supervisor in the workplace and there will be regular reviews of progress, conducted by Manchester Met staff.

Final Degree Award

At the end of the third year of study, apprentices will have completed the FdSc Chemical Science. If apprentices continue for an additional two years, they can achieve a BSc (Hons) Chemical Science qualification.

Completion of either award allows apprentices to apply for Registered Scientist (RSci) status with the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Entry Requirements

Direct entry from school or college will normally require three A-levels (with one being Chemistry, Maths or Physics) or equivalent, equating to a minimum of 88 UCAS tariff points. Prospective candidates should also have Maths and English GCSE grade A-C or equivalent. We will individually evaluate candidates who do not meet these requirements, but have workplace experience.


Employers with a payroll in excess of £3 million will be subject to the Apprenticeship Levy and any funds paid out can be used to fund participation in apprenticeship programmes. Employers with a payroll below £3 million are eligible for funding, which will cover at least 90 per cent of the cost of apprenticeship programmes.

Find out more about funding

Get Involved

We will support you every step of the way to implement apprenticeships at your organisation, whether you intend to upskill current employees or attract new recruits.

Please get in touch with us by emailing or calling our Apprenticeships Team on 0161 247 6641.

Can existing employees apply?

Yes. As long as they meet the entry requirements or have suitable work experience, they can apply for the programme. There is no age limit.

How many degree apprentices will Manchester Metropolitan University accept from each organisation?

There is no minimum or upper limit for the number of apprentices that can enrol from each company.

When is tuition fee payment due by employers?

Employers pay their contribution towards the students’ tuition fees annually at the beginning of each academic year.

Do degree apprentices have to work within the local area?

No. Manchester Metropolitan University provides a flexible programme of study, making the programme accessible to degree apprentices across the UK.

Do degree apprentices work when the University is in recess?

Yes. Degree apprentices are full-time employees and perform duties in accordance with the employers’ needs as with all apprenticeships.