Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship

for Apprentice Students

The Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship is a great way to start or progress a career in the chemical industry sector. It is your opportunity to get a foot in the door of a world-leading company or a specialist regional business, learn from industry professionals and develop key scientific and laboratory skills.

Our industry-leading programme has been developed in collaboration with a range of chemical industry employers and has been running since 2011. Now aligned to the Laboratory Scientist Degree Apprenticeship this course offers students a great opportunity to ‘earn while you learn’.

We have an excellent track record in enabling our apprentices to progress in their scientific careers by equipping them all with the required academic and vocational skills.

Our apprentices have won the Royal Society of Chemistry ‘Apprentice of the Year’ award in 2017, 2018 and 2019. This is awarded based on employer recommendations and shows the high value which employers place on the skill set developed by our students.

Our next cohort will be starting in September 2020.

▶ Video | Will Ashworth, AstraZeneca▶ Video | Jasmine Fernley, University of Manchester

What You Will Study

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 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

Delivery Model

The programme is taught via tutor-supported distance learning over four-years and apprentices also attend residential schools for one week each year. This means that there will be opportunities to work with employers based throughout England

Apprentices are supported by a supervisor in the workplace and will have regular reviews of progress with Manchester Met staff in person, by phone or video conferencing. 

The 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) 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.

How to Apply

You have to apply directly to an employer offering opportunities on the programme and vacancies are listed in the section below.

The application process varies by employer, but your first step should be to complete our registration form and we will keep you up to date with vacancies and support.

More detailed ‘How to Apply’ Information

To secure an apprenticeship you will need to apply for a position with one of our partner employers, which are listed in the sections below.

Please check back regularly to see our latest opportunities or register your interest using the button below to receive email alerts.

Register Interest