Course overview

The Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration (Incorporating the City & Guilds NVQ Level 3 Diploma) gives learners the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification. Ideal for those already working in an office or business administration environment, perhaps having previously undertaken the Level 2 Diploma, the programme will develop your current administration skills through further workplace training, whilst giving you the opportunity to gain a nationally recognised qualification.

You will learn how to supervise others and contribute to the wider strategy of your department or organisation, gaining greater technical, administrative and managerial skills in the process. Depending on your job role and the units you choose to undertake you could gain skills in areas such as managing information, team supervision and project management.

If you are not already employed in an administration environment, but would like to undertake this programme, please contact us as we may be able to help you find an apprenticeship position within a suitable organisation.

Key facts

  • Attendance: This course is work-based; therefore you will not be required to attend college. Instead all tuition, support and assessment will be provided in the workplace, online and via email and telephone contact. You will be supported by one of the College’s work-based learning assessors and will be mentored by your employer/supervisor in the workplace.
  • Duration: 18-24 months
  • Start date: You may start this programme at any time during the year.
  • Location: You must be working in the Cambridgeshire area. If your business is located outside of this area, please contact us as we may be able to meet your training needs.

Course content

The course structure allows you to enhance your managerial, technical and administration skills; you will complete the following mandatory units:

  • Communication in a business environment
  • Principles of business communication and information
  • Principles of administration
  • Principles of business
  • Manage personal and professional development

You will then choose from a range of optional units, examples of these include:

  • Resolve administrative problems
  • Analyse and present business data
  • Produce business documents
  • Chair and lead meetings
  • Manage a budget
  • Principles of leadership and management
  • Manage an office facility

Functional Skills

Unless you are exempt, if you are undertaking this qualification as part of the Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration you will also undertake Level 2 Functional Skills in Maths, English and ICT, and complete Personal, Learning and Thinking Skills.


Course assessment consists of undertaking online examinations, completing a portfolio and passing work-based practical assessments.

If you are undertaking Functional Skills you will also undertake exams and practical assessments to complete these.

Entry requirements

You will ideally have a minimum of five GCSEs at grade C or above or have undertaken the Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

Advanced Apprenticeship

If you are undertaking this qualification as part of the advanced apprenticeship you must be living and working in England and employed in a suitable administration environment, earning at least the National Minimum Wage for Apprentices. Unfortunately if you have a level 4 qualification or above (e.g. HNC/HND/Degree) you will not be eligible to undertake an apprenticeship.

For those not meeting the apprenticeship eligibility criteria, the NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration is also available to study as a qualification in its own right.

Course fees

Please note that course fees listed below apply to courses starting before the 1 May 2017. Fees for courses starting on, or after, 1 May 2017 will be published in due course.

We offer two different payment options; payment in full, or our ‘Pay as you Learn’ monthly payment scheme – details of these payment options can be found here. Sources of financial help can be found on our student finance page.

Before making any change in your financial undertakings it is recommended that you seek advice from an independent source, for example the Money Advice Service.

Advanced Apprenticeship in Business Administration

Age at start of course Annual Fee Scheme (?) Pay as You Learn Scheme (?) Awarding Body Fees*
16-18 No fees payable No fees payable  No fees payable
19-23 £1,025 payable by employer £69 per month payable by employer  £203 payable by employer
24+ £1,095 payable by employer £72 per month payable by employer £203 payable by employer
Overseas Not available Not available  Not available

NVQ Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration

Age at start of course Annual Fee Scheme (?) Pay as You Learn Scheme (?) Awarding Body Fees*
16-18 £1,400 £89 per month  £160
19+ £1,987 £132 per month  £160
Overseas Not available Not available  Not available
If you are over 19 years of age you may be entitled to apply for an Advanced Learner Loan to help fund your studies! Find out more…

* Awarding Body Fees are recharged at cost and may be subject to change.

These are current figures and may be subject to change.

The differences in course fees reflect the level of funding that is available as a result of government policies and priorities. These may be the result of age, employment status, previous education achievements or location for example, and are outside the control of CAW Business School.

What next?

This qualification will allow you to, not only provide complex administrative support to your organisation, but take on more responsibility at work too, perhaps laying the foundations for a senior administrative or managerial role. Administrative staff are in high demand in the public, private and charity sectors; therefore a formal qualification demonstrates your practical administration skills and abilities, standing you in good stead when applying for administrative roles.

Alternatively, you could continue studying towards the Higher Apprenticeship/NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Business and Professional Administration or look at undertaking a higher education qualification such as a HND/degree or a professional qualification such as Leadership and Management, in order to further expand on your existing skillset.


“We really liked the concept of modern apprenticeships, work based learning is a two-way street and both the company and the individual apprentice can benefit greatly. Skills learned and problems solved are very real, they apply to actual workplace situations that an apprentice can easily relate to. So whilst going through this learning process, the apprentice can feel the fulfilment and satisfaction of achieving meaningful goals that make a direct contribution to our company.”

Ian Laidlaw, Managing Director, Analytik Ltd.

What our Business School students say:

“I have enjoyed learning new skills and applying some of these to my current job”
“The tutors are very helpful and supportive and provide me with regular reviews on my progress”
“The course fits around my everyday work making this easy to complete”
“The tutors are extremely helpful and always manage to find time to provide support and answer any queries”