Professional Economist - Higher Apprenticeship - BSc (Hons)

This four-year Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme was developed with a number of agencies, firms, banks and government departments which were led by the Government Economic Service that is the largest employer of economists in the UK.


The programme is based on interactive e-learning, on and off-site academic support and one residential week at the University of Kent Canterbury campus. The degree apprenticeship will be delivered using a blended learning approach. This will include directed self-learning via the universities e-learning platform, and face to face teaching close to work places.

The work of a professional economist typically involves:

  • identifying an issue that affects their organisation
  • approaching it by analysing data
  • drawing on their knowledge of economic theory to interpret the data or make informed predictions about the future
  • communicating their findings with clarity to other economist and non-economists

Professional economists are highly sought after in the graduate job market.

The development of the Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme was led by the GES. The programme is also open to private and public sector agencies and firms that employ economists.

The University of Kent was selected by the GES to be the sole provider, due to the strength of our economics courses and the support provided to apprentices.

Degree apprentices obtain both a university degree and an apprentice qualification. The Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship is integrated in that the End Point Assessment for the apprenticeship qualification is part of the degree programme and is delivered and assessed by the School of Economics at Kent. The End Point Assessment tests the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours required of a Professional Economist and as approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships.

Degree apprentices receive a salary, have an employment contract, spend a minimum of 20% of their work time on off-job (academic) training and pay no tuition fees. The off and on job training is designed to fit the roles apprentices will take on after completion of their two qualifications.

The University of Kent’s School of Economics developed the curriculum in consultation with a range of economists and the GES. The content and delivery is different from conventional UK economics degrees. It is geared to the needs of those working as economists in the private and public sectors. The curriculum takes an applied, data based and practical approach to the teaching and learning of economics, and includes the development of such important skills as planning, team working, adaptability and leadership.

About the Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships

Kent launched the Centre for Higher and Degree Apprenticeships in 2016 to build on this experience. The Centre works in partnership with regional and national employers to develop apprenticeships tailored to their needs. The Centre supports academic schools on all aspects of delivering apprenticeship training. 

Underpinned by excellent academic teaching and learning, the Centre has devised a number of programmes of study that relate closely to workplace roles.

About the School of Economics

The School of Economics is dedicated to excellence in applied research and teaching. The March 2019 Periodic Programme Review of Economics was very positive about the design and delivery of economics programmes. In particular, employability, placement programme, innovation in curriculum and assessment, approachability of staff, virtual learning environment and addressing problems were singled out for praise.  This excellence in teaching is reflected in consistently being in the top ten of economics departments for graduate prospects. 

Many of our staff have worked for or serve as expert advisers to UK, European and International agencies, including the World Bank, the GES, Bank of England, Competition and Markets Authority, various energy companies, OFGEM, NIESR, European Commission, the European Central Bank, OECD, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Department for Transport, and other government departments. This experience enables our staff to bring real life examples of the use of economics into our teaching, and provide modules that develop the knowledge and skills required by professional economists. 

Entry requirements

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications. Typical requirements are listed below. Students offering alternative qualifications should contact us for further advice. 

It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

These are minimum entry requirements but please be aware that specific entry requirements vary by employer.

  • medal-empty

    A level

    120 UCAS points

  • medal-empty GCSE

    Mathematics grade B or 6

  • medal-empty Access to HE Diploma

    The University welcomes applications from Access to Higher Education Diploma candidates for consideration. A typical offer may require you to obtain a proportion of Level 3 credits in relevant subjects at merit grade or above.

  • medal-empty BTEC Nationals

    The University will consider applicants holding BTEC National Qualifications (QCF; NQF; OCR).

  • medal-empty International Foundation Programme


  • medal-empty T level

    The University will consider applicants holding T level qualifications in subjects closely aligned to the course.

Supported by the University of Kent, each employer will decide on their entry requirements and selection process for the programme. See the website for further information about the GES application process as well as frequently asked questions

A number of other employers recruit Professional Economist apprentices and for more information on this, please email

Applicants without traditional qualifications are considered on an individual basis. Should you not meet all of the academic requirements, the employer will consider relevant work experience that may also be acceptable. 

To be eligible for an apprenticeship, you have to have the right to work in England.

English Language Requirements



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Course structure

Duration: 4 years

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.

The programme covers the Professional Economist Standard.

Stage 1

You take the following modules (90 credits)

  • Working with Economic Data on Digital Platforms
  • Principles of Microeconomics
  • Principles of Macroeconomics
  • Applied Statistical Analysis for Economics
  • Economic Policy Analysis 
  • Mathematics for Economics

Stage 2

You take the following modules (90 credits)

  • Microeconomic Analysis
  • Macroeconomic Analysis
  • Applied Econometrics

Stage 3

You take the following modules (90 credits)

  • Economic Policy Analysis & Evaluation
  • International Economics
  • Modern Economic History
  • Economic Debates
  • Economic Growth
  • Public Economics 

Stage 4

You choose two from the following list of modules (90 credits)

  • Open Economy Macroeconomics
  • Topics in Economics Research 
  • Industrial Economics and Regulation
  • Labour Economics

End Point Assessment (this forms 60 credits of the 90 final year credits)

  • Economics Dissertation
  • Economics Technical Assessment
  • Competency Based Interview

Additional costs

Additional costs

Employers should refer to the website and search ‘esfa funding rules’ for information about what costs can and cannot be included within the apprenticeship.


We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Learners do not pay tuition fees and will receive a salary paid by the employer. The government apprentice levy pot provides funding that covers the tuition costs of the Professional Economist Degree Apprenticeship Programme.

Apprentices are responsible for their own accommodation and living costs, this includes finding suitable accommodation and travelling to and from work each day. This does not include training related costs such as the accommodation and travel for the mandatory residential week held each year.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching, learning and assessment is through a blended delivery of; recorded and on-line content;  an annual residential course; face-to-face classes; webinars; tests; work related projects; exams; weekly problem and question sets; quizzes; forums and bimonthly review meetings. The programme involves both off and on job training and is closely related to the requirements of economists working in the public and private sectors. 

Contact hours

Each academic year of the programme will comprise of 900 learning hours, this includes both direct contact hours and private study hours.  The precise breakdown of hours will vary according to module. 


The core responsibilities of a Professional Economist are to produce rigorous, relevant and impactful economic analysis to drive decision-making at all levels – from operational decisions to strategic business and policy decisions. Professional economists work in a wide range of industries and sectors, from economics, engineering and management consultancies to large banks, to private firms, to the civil service and wider public sector.

Examples of applied economics include: analysing the comparative benefits of investing in new transport lines, hospitals, or schools; advising clients on their likely market size and share, such as predicting the number of mobile phones they can expect to sell; helping write the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Budget or advising the Bank of England on interest rate policy; advising organisations on the economic impact of climate or technological change and what their business or policy response should be. 

Economists work in central and local government, central banks, financial firms, regulatory agencies, consultancies and businesses. Professional economists usually work in teams and, at this level, the apprentice will typically be working for more a senior economist as part of a team – for example by collating data, performing analysis of trends, writing briefing reports, analysing market share and size of companies, and presenting this analysis. Completion of this degree apprenticeship will enable individuals to work across employers of professional economists in the private, public and third sectors.

Apply for Professional Economist - Higher Apprenticeship - BSc (Hons)

This forms part of an apprenticeship and cannot be applied for as a standalone programme. Please see the apprenticeships website for more information on becoming an apprentice or offering an apprenticeship with your company.

Contact us


United Kingdom/EU enquiries

Get in touch with our dynamic team for support and advice on all aspects of employing, training and assessing an apprentice.


T: 01634 888459 or 888467 


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T: +44 (0)1227 823254