Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship

for Employers

The Laboratory Scientist 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 enables successful apprentices to apply for Registered Scientist (RSci) status from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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

Our next cohort will be starting in September 2020; please contact us to find out how to get involved.

Case Study | Stephen Stewart, GlaxoSmithKline ▶ Video | Will Ashworth, AstraZeneca▶ Video | Jasmine Fernley, University of Manchester

Book now for our Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship Employer event on 3rd March 2020

Programme Content

The programme teaches both academic and vocational aspects of the Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship. It has been developed in collaboration with employers to ensure apprentices develop and demonstrate all the knowledge, skills, and behaviours required to progress within the chemical industry and make an impact for their employer.

Academic Units

The programme teaches fundamental and advanced aspects of organic, physical, inorganic, and analytical chemistry. The units cover themes such as:

  • Spectroscopy and Chemical Analysis
  • Transition Metal Chemistry
  • Thermodynamics and Kinetics
  • Addition, Substitution, and Elimination Reactions

Furthermore, apprentices have a choice of optional units in years 3 and 4 of their degree programme, allowing them to tailor their learning to their specific interests and/or workplace environment. Optional modules include:

  • Applied Chemistry for Industry
  • Green Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Vocational Units

The programme includes vocational units to ensure apprentices develop the vocational knowledge and skills required by the Apprenticeship. While still retaining all the academic rigour of our standard units, they are designed to help students develop a strong understanding in areas of vital importance to a scientific workplace - for example, health & safety and continuous improvement.

Specific units include:

  • Introduction to Workplace Regulations
  • Business Improvement
  • Laboratory Scientist Skills (1&2)

Key Skills Units

Furthermore, the apprentices will undertake units that improve written and oral communication, as well as problem-solving and research skills. These skills are directly translatable to the workplace and the assessments are tailored to reflect their everyday application in the scientific workplace. Units that address these areas include:

  • Communication and Research Skills
  • Project and Personal Development

Wherever possible 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 for four years and attend residential schools for one week each year. 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

All successful apprentices will achieve a BSc (Hons) Chemical Science qualification. Completion of the 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 104 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 or have qualifications such as BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in a scientific discipline.


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 95% 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 3720.

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.