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Degree Apprenticeships

Research Scientist (Data Science Professional) Degree Apprenticeship - Programme under review - 2022 entry

Final award: 

  • IfATE Level 7 Research Scientist Apprenticeship Certificate
  • MSc Data Science Professional
Duration 3 years
Entry point(s) TBC
Application deadline

Dependent on employer, see How to apply

Campus Exeter and distance learning

Greg Salmon
Web: Enquire online
Phone: 01392 726995


  • Designed for aspiring leaders in tech and data looking to shape the strategic development of data science within their organisation
  • Taught by world-leading experts in their field
  • Discover the fundamental mathematical and computational techniques which underpin data science, machine learning and statistical modelling as well as the wider social context and specific applications of data science
  • Benefit from an excellent technical education delivered by the South West Institute of Technology
  • Gain skills in data science and get a formal qualification, while remaining in full time employment

View 2021 Entry

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10th in the UK for Computer Science

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Partner to the Alan Turing Institute and home to the Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence

Excellent facilities spanning a wide range of machine types and software ecosystems

Courses designed to launch and develop careers for those working in or entering data and technology-driven roles



Excellent technical education delivered through the South West Institute of Technology

Entry requirements

A good honours degree in a numerate subject. Apprentices will need proof of competency in Maths and Python programming (self-assessment worksheet will be provided). Evidence of English and Maths qualifications and grades, at a minimum of Level 2 (GCSE) will need to be provided prior to end-point assessment.

Individual employers will set selection criteria for their apprenticeships in discussion with the University.

Applicants must have a valid and eligible residency status to gain entry onto the apprenticeship – please see the ESFA guidance for further information.

Applicants whose first language is not English need to meet IELTS requirements of at least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.5 in any other section.

How to apply

Selection to this programme is made by employers; candidates will already hold a post with their employer and continue working for them throughout the duration of this apprenticeship. Candidates will need to speak to their HR department and/or manager to gain sign off to undertake this apprenticeship.

Once the employer agrees for candidates to go on the apprenticeship,they will then be required undertake an application for the University. If successful, candidates will be offered a position. Their place will be confirmed by us, and we will send further information about how to enrol as an apprentice.


Full programme cost: TBC

This apprenticeship is entirely funded through an Employers’ Apprenticeship Levy. Your employer fully covers the cost of the apprenticeship, apprentices do not pay for any of the eligible training costs. As an apprentice you will be an employee of your organisation, gaining a University of Exeter award alongside working and earning a salary.

Employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy will pay for the apprenticeship fees directly through that contribution.  See further information on the Apprenticeship Levy funding.

Employers who do not pay the Levy will be able to claim 95 per cent of the cost of the apprenticeship from the Government. Up to 100 per cent Government contribution may be available if the employer has fewer than 50 employees and:

  • Recruits an apprentice aged 16-18
  • OR an apprentice aged 19-24 who has previously been in care or who has a local authority education, health and care plan

Employers must pay their apprentices a salary at least consistent with national legislation.

Funding eligibility criteria

  • To be eligible for funding you must meet the criteria listed in the ESFA guidance. Full guidance is available here.
  • You must have a valid and eligible residency status to gain entry onto the apprenticeship – please see the ESFA guidance for further information.

Course content

This programme is currently under review and more details will be posted shortly. Be the first to hear about opportunities to join this programme by registering your interest.


Approximately 20 per cent of an apprentice's contractual working time will be given over to study. Our model is designed to be flexible around the needs of apprentices and workloads. No weekly day-release is required, mitigating disruption of their daily role and ensuring maximum flexibility.

Our current blended learning format incorporates:

  • A multi-disciplinary learning environment giving apprentices the opportunity to engage with a variety of perspectives and experiences
  • In-person teaching comprising of small group, evidence based learning
  • A range of online resources to support face-to-face teaching
  • Individual Research projects

Our dedicated Degree Apprenticeship partnerships team liaise closely with employer partners throughout the programme to ensure ongoing support. Each apprentice is allocated a Workplace Mentor and an Academic Mentor to help ensure their successful completion of the programme.

Apprenticeship Standard 

Alongside working towards their level 7  Research Scientist Apprenticeship Certificate; gained after completing the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours of the apprenticeship standard; apprentices will also be studying for an MSc in Data Science.

This programme aligns with the level 7 Research Scientist standard.

Read more


Addressing the needs of public sector employers

The Research Scientist (Data Science) Apprenticeship has been designed to focus on the needs of public employers to provide innovative solutions to the complex data challenges we face.


By the end of the programme apprentices will have developed their knowledge and skills in a variety of key areas, including: harnessing the power of data, cross-disciplinary problem solving; evidence-based practice and stakeholder engagement. Equipped with the tools and knowledge to successful utilise data, the apprentice will be better able to tackle complex contemporary challenges and add lasting value to their organisation.

The University’s Careers Service provides a range of support to help apprentices develop skills attractive to employers. Visit our careers service pages for more information.

Employer information

If you're looking to upskill your tech leaders to empower them to shape the strategic development of data science from inside your organisation whilst using new and innovative mathematical and computational techniques this programme is the solution for you.

Apprentices on this programme will develop technical, analytical and professional skills with direct application to the data science sector. They will be in roles where they can lead on business-critical projects; manage the design and implementation of projects and disseminate findings to key stakeholders to help improve your organisations performance.

Updated employer brochure coming soon. Data Science brochure