Apply the laws of physics, chemistry, engineering and maths Specialist Science Apprenticeship

Think applying physics, chemistry, engineering and maths to real-world engineering takes a degree-level education? You'd be right – and that's exactly what you'll get as a Specialist Science Apprentice, only without the need to attend university. After just one year of this three-and-a-half-year scheme, you'll have the potential to earn a BSc (Hons) degree – with the possibility of gaining a Masters once you complete your apprenticeship.

Dividing your time between offices and some of the world's premier laboratories, you'll learn to blend theory with practical skill. You might be helping to develop new chemical processes, inspecting parts using x-ray and ultrasound, or enhancing your forensic analytical skills to help us manufacture for future success – wherever in the world our products are used. 

You'll be exposed to all parts of our business: civil aerospace, defence aerospace and marine. Trained by world-class experts to join the next generation of scientists, you could be involved in areas as varied as inspection, metallurgy, materials science, failure investigation, chemical processing, coatings, research and development, forging and mathematical modelling.

Put simply, our Special Science Apprenticeships are as diverse as the opportunities they could lead to.

Non Destructive Evaluation (NDE) Apprenticeships
NDE is comprised of five main technologies; x-rays, ultrasonics, eddy currents, magnetic particle inspection and fluorescent penetrant inspection. Rolls-Royce use all of these to ensure that surface and internal defects don’t exist within its products. We also work with world-class universities to ensure our inspection technologies continue to be the best. NDE can be used in our manufacturing facilities, as well as on-wing where we develop inspection techniques to ensure the engine is serviceable whilst in service.

To find our more, visit the official British Institute of Non Destructive Testing.

Materials Laboratory Apprenticeships
Within this role you’ll be exposed to different uses of materials, failure investigation studies, research and development, process control, improvement activities and computer modelling. You’ll work in a variety of manufacturing processes used during component manufacture, such as: chemical processing, laser processes, machining, welding, heat treatment, casting, forging, and various coatings.

We work with world-class research institutes to ensure that materials on engines have high strength and are lightweight, so we can make environmentally friendly engines and continually innovate. Your time will be equally spent between the office and laboratories.

Based in Derby, with placement opportunities at various Rolls-Royce sites throughout the UK.

Get paid
At Rolls-Royce, as well as training you for a well-paid career, we'll pay you a competitive salary from day one of your Apprenticeship. How much depends on your role and location, but you'll start on around £10,795 a year.

From the moment you join Rolls-Royce, you'll be a valuable member of the team and we'll make sure your work is well-rewarded.

Get qualified
On this Apprenticeship, you'll have the potential to study to BSc(Hons) degree level with later opportunities for a Masters degree

Get experienced
All our apprentices go on our Outward Bound Professional Programme to help develop some of the other important skills you'll need at Rolls-Royce. Through exciting, fast-paced activities outdoors and in the classroom you'll improve your teamwork, self-confidence and communication skills. You'll push yourself in new and different ways. And your experiences mean you'll come back to work an even stronger member of our team.

  • Do a real job in an advanced engineering business
  • Learn alongside world-class engineers
  • Earn valuable qualifications
  • Get paid a real wage
  • Get career support from day one
  • Enjoy a competitive pension, and 33 days' holiday per year (inclusive of Bank Holidays).

Our apprenticeships involve a fair amount of academic work. For that reason, we'll need you to have already achieved a certain level in your education:

  • A-Level (or equivalent) – Two or more at grade A* to C in Maths, Physics, Engineering or Chemistry or any other technical subject.
  • GCSE – Grade C or above in Maths (higher paper), English, Science and at least one other subject (ideally something technical like Design and Technology).

Enthusiasm for practical and theoretical science
Beyond your academic qualifications, we'll be looking for evidence that you're genuinely interested in and enthusiastic about developing a career in your chosen area.
This Apprenticeship is ideal if you've enjoyed a mixture of practical and theoretical physics and chemistry studies at school, have a good practical understanding of ICT and can demonstrate an enthusiasm for technical related subject as part of your interview.

Fast learner, and evidence of achievements
Importantly, you'll be articulate, numerate, driven and a fast learner who's good at engaging people at all levels. We'll also be looking at where you might have demonstrated your drive and motivation; for example sports, languages, organising a significant event, Duke of Edinburgh or charity work.

Stage 1: Once you've decided which Apprenticeship is for you, you'll need to find an appropriate vacancy and apply online.

Stage 2:   If you are applying to a role in the UK and have submitted your online application, you will immediately receive two emails – one to acknowledge that you have submitted your application, and the second email inviting you to take some online assessments.  You will then have ten days to complete them – but before you do, try out some sample question by visiting

You will need to complete all of the assessments provided for your application to be considered.  We have also compiled a number of frequently asked questions to support you.

Please note, not all emails are compatible with our systems so please check your spam/junk folders to ensure that you have received both emails.

Stage 3 : If your application is successful, you'll be invited to our assessment centre. The day consists of ability tests, interviews and a group exercise:

  • Ability Test - as the tests you completed on-line were unsupervised you will be asked to re-sit one of them when you come in to see us. You may wish to re-visit the on-line practice questions at
  • Group Exercise - we will ask you to participate in a group activity that will allow us to observe how you work with others in a team environment.
  • Motivational Interview - we would like to know a bit more about your practical achievements. Think about a time you've made, designed or planned something and be prepared to talk us through what you did and what new skills you learnt.
  • Technical Interview - we would like to gain an understanding of how well you are able to learn and understand information that relates to our business. We are also interested in your understanding of Rolls-Royce and the different sectors in which we operate.
  • Competency Interview - you will be asked to give examples of times you've demonstrated some of the competencies that are important to us.

Stage 4: If you're successful at the assessment centre, you will be contacted within 1 week and told the good news.


Monday 1st SeptemberOngoing