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How to Apply to our
Degree Level Apprenticeship Programme

Applying to become an economist is more open and fair than it has ever been. We will look to assess your skills, experience as well as your strengths and will give you the best opportunity to showcase these.

What do your current Apprentice Economists have to say on the GESDAP?

What is the Government Economic Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme (GESDAP)?

The Government Economic Service Degree Apprenticeship Programme (GESDAP) is the UK’s first economics degree apprenticeship. It gives students the opportunity to gain valuable experience whilst receiving a fee-free degree from The University of Kent. 

The programme offers a unique opportunity to work in a central government department or agency on some of the most important social, environmental, and economic issues our country faces, whilst studying for a degree in economics. You could be working on issues like:   

  • How can government support UK businesses to compete in a changing world?
  • How can government support people to kick-start their lives after prison?
  • How can government act to protect the environment?

Our apprentices usually spend four days per week working in their government department, and one day studying online with the University of Kent.  Our first cohort of apprentices graduated in 2023 and 97% achieved a 2:1 degree or above!

Why Study Economics?

  • It teaches you the skills to make well informed decisions and solve problems
  • It is always relevant as it looks at the world around us
  • Extremely varied and leads to a wide range of careers, such as journalism, analysis and policy advisory
  • It is one of the highest paid professions

Study with the University of Kent

The University of Kent was selected to deliver the programme because of the strength of their economics courses and the support they offer to apprentices throughout the programme. This is delivered via blended learning, a mixture of distance and face to face teaching, so there is no need to travel to the University regularly. On successful completion, you will gain an economics degree and four years’ experience of working in the Civil Service setting you up to build a brilliant career as an economist.

The Government Economic Service Degree Level Apprenticeship is now closed for applications.

“One piece of advice I would give to those who are thinking about applying is that I would recommend reading into what the Civil Service is, their values and what the degree entails. This will help you to stand out in the application process, as it shows you know what you are applying for.”


Apprentice Economist, 2021 Cohort

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  • Minimum of five GCSE (including Maths at grade B (6) or above and English Language at C (4) or above) or equivalent
  • Minimum of 96 UCAS points under the 2017 tariff point system (e.g. CCC at A Level or equivalent qualifications, not including General Studies)
  • We don’t expect you to have studied economics previously but we are keen to know what interests you now

You can check how many UCAS points you have by using the UCAS Tariff Calculator at

Individuals will also need to demonstrate that they have resided in the UK for at least the previous 3 years before the start of the apprenticeship, meet the relevant immigration requirements and their eligibility under the Civil Service Nationality Rules (CSNRs). Nationality requirements are explained in more detail on the Civil Service nationality rules webpage.

A range of central government departments and agencies provide apprenticeship placements through the programme. This year apprenticeships are available in Birmingham, Bristol, Coventry, Croydon, Darlington, Harwell (Oxfordshire), Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Salford, Sheffield, Titchfield (Fareham), Wolverhampton, York.

Locations vary according to government department. Please see individual job descriptions for details.

Salaries vary according to department and locations. This is the minimum apprentices in the 2024 cohort would be paid:

London minimum £26,780

National minimum £24,000

Please see individual job descriptions for salary details.