PwC Offers Degree Apprenticeships to Upper Sixth Students

PwC Offers Degree Apprenticeships to Upper Sixth Students

We are absolutely thrilled for our Upper Sixth students, Phoebe and Aimée, who have been offered highly competitive Degree Apprenticeships by one of the largest professional services firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

For those wanting to gain a degree, the traditional and most popular way is by going to university.  However, with a growing number of companies offering Degree Apprenticeships, this route is fast becoming a very credible and exciting alternative.  Apprentices are employed from day one; tuition fees are paid by the employer and the government and, as an employee, apprentices also receive a salary so there is no need for student loans.  The unique combination of classroom-based learning and workplace experience ensures knowledge is put into real life business context sooner rather than later, whilst simultaneously developing a range of other skills and starting to build a valuable industry network.

A Degree Apprenticeship offers a unique and invaluable opportunity to launch a career whilst also securing a good quality degree and, as Phoebe and Aimee describe below, places are, unsurprisingly, hard won.  Many congratulations to them both.



I found out about the PwC Apprenticeship Degree from a Duke of Edinburgh email and immediately booked onto the University of Birmingham’s Open Day, where I learned about the PwC Virtual Park and Virtual Insight Week.

PwC is famously one of the ‘Big Four’ international professional support service companies.  I learned lots about them during their Virtual Insight Week in Summer 2022 – an interactive week of talks, activities and networking.  Those who attended the event were invited to an office event in London in September 2022, where we had the opportunity to meet new PwC graduates and ask them questions - I had a lot!

What I love about the PwC Computer Science degree apprenticeship is that you are considered an employee from the first day of university, as an 18-year-old.  As well as the one-year placement in Year 3, you are expected to complete placements during the summers but apart from that you have the same full university experience as all other students.

The selection process was long and required a lot of preparation.  Through attending the Virtual Insight Week and online talks I was able to learn about PwC and the wide variety of different teams they have – even down to a specialist drone team.  The PwC degree has its own UCAS code and is one of your five UCAS choices.  The initial stage was a behavioural assessment using games that tested our memory, speed, patience and ability to recognise emotion.  Successful candidates were then invited to an online virtual interview where we had to record ourselves for five minutes giving answers to different questions on ourselves and PwC.  PwC made it very clear throughout the process that they wanted us to know about the company so I did a lot of research across their whole website.

Success in the online interview led to the final stage - a group task.  In groups of five or six unknown candidates, we were tested on our ability to work under timed conditions and assess our business acumen.  The end result and offer of a place came in a phone call received in the middle of London on a school trip; needless to say, I was delighted!



When deciding what I wanted to do after leaving school, I realised that I was much more interested in seeing how my knowledge and understanding would help me in the real world – I wanted to be able to see a purpose in what I was learning.  Through many discussions with my teachers and some of last year’s Upper Sixth, I began to not only look at universities, but also the prospects of degree apprenticeships.  Many of these come out after the January UCAS deadline so, in wanting to keep all my options open, I began my search for university courses. 

Whilst looking at the University of Birmingham course list, I found that there was a Computer Science Degree with an Industry Partnership with PwC.  I found this quite appealing due to the nature of the apprenticeship.  Rather than a day-release system, this course would enable me to complete essentially a normal BSc Hons with a year in industry as well as summer placements, but with all placements guaranteed at PwC.  I would also qualify with a Level 6 Digital Technology Solutions Apprenticeship Qualification.

Ahead of me was the application process. I applied through UCAS for the apprenticeship and then filled out an additional application form for PwC.  Then began the extra rounds of the application which were more like applying for a job. 

I completed a behavioural assessment online which was composed of puzzles and games.  There was then an interview slightly different to normal.  I had to record myself answering questions which appeared on the screen.  This was quite daunting as I could not get any visual feedback from an interviewer as I was talking, but there were a lot of useful tips and practice opportunities sent in the information we received.  There was then a short wait to find out if I had reached the final round: the group online assessment.  Rather surprisingly, I really enjoyed the chance to work with other people who had applied for an apprenticeship with PwC in the group assessment.  Collectively, we had a task to help a company progress and individually, we had to research an area to help them do so.  A discussion followed as to which we believed was the best order of priority, looking at both long-term and short-term goals.  This gave me an insight into what working at PwC would be like, which really cemented that this was a road I wanted to go down, and I am so pleased to have secured a place.