Date of release: Friday, June 8, 2018

Greenwich has become the first university to be awarded Royal Society of Chemistry accreditation for its degree apprenticeship in Chemistry.

The award of chartered status recognises the well-developed skills, knowledge and professionalism of those working within the chemical sciences. The Royal society praised Greenwich's advanced laboratories; the high focus on professional transferable skills and innovative research; and the work placements on offer which enhance the breadth of students' practical skills.

Dr Sam Booth, Senior Lecturer with the university's Faculty of Engineering & Science, says: "We are delighted that our degree apprenticeship has been awarded accredited status. This publicly demonstrates how Greenwich is committed to high standards. It acts as an endorsement to all the employers and learners we are engaged with." 

Degree apprenticeships were first introduced in2015and were initially considered out of scope for accreditation, as it was often impractical to timetable 300 hours of taught laboratory time into the programme.

As degree apprenticeships have increased in popularity, the Committee for Accreditation and Validation (CAV) recently amended its rules. It found that, while the 300-hour laboratory rule was an important aspect in maintaining high standards, degrees that are delivered as part of an apprenticeship do provide students with valuable learning time within the workplace. Therefore, this 'working time' now contributes to the rule about required hours. 

Adam Gymer is doing a degree apprenticeship, combining four days a week at Pfizer's, the world's largest research-based pharmaceutical company, with one day studying at the university.

He says: "I receive a complete learning experience and have had great fun meeting new people. I have found the chemistry theory I've learned at Greenwich invaluable and am able to apply what I've learned in the classroom at work. The organic chemistry modules are especially useful. The more I know, the better equipped I am to tackle the chemistry at work."

David Smith,Chair of CAV, adds: "The University of Greenwich was able to meet the 300 hour laboratory rule by ensuring apprentices have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of differing methods and techniques, across both the work environment and taught laboratory practical sessions.

Ends

Notes to editors:

The University of Greenwich has been providing higher education for over 125 years and was originally founded as Woolwich Polytechnic in 1891. It was granted university status in 1992, and in 2016–17 its UK-based student body comprised over 15,500 undergraduates and 4,300 postgraduates. An additional 17,000 students were studying overseas.

The University of Greenwich is a public and research university with four faculties: Architecture, Computing & Humanities; Business School; Education & Health; and Engineering & Science. It's part of the University Alliance group and is silver rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework.

The university operates across three campuses: Greenwich and Avery Hill in London and Medway in Kent. Its renowned research has been globally received and endorsed by nine Times Higher Education Awards and four Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher & Further Education.

Notable alumni include Nobel Laureate Charles Kao, Blur musician David Rowntree and campaigner Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon.

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