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Upstream digital data science degree apprenticeship

Applications for this programme have now closed.

About bp

As a global energy business, bp leads the world in powering a cleaner, more sustainable future. And as our business is so diverse, so are the types of people we employ - from engineers and geologists out in the field, to IT professionals, research scientists, financial traders and retail workers. 


Because of this, our teams come from all kinds of different cultures and backgrounds – so your career at bp is always going to be exciting, challenging and full of incredible opportunities.


Study for a data science degree during your apprenticeship


To excel as a data science professional, you’ll need to be able to work at the crossroads between programming and business intelligence. A great data scientist is defined by their skills of using algorithms and make sense of the data to solve challenging business problems. To do this, technical knowledge is not enough. You’ll need to learn how to identify the problem, what questions to ask of data in the first place, how to look for a solution, and how to communicate the results in a language the business can understand. 

That’s why, on our data science apprenticeship, we have partnered with the University of Kent and we’ll pay for your data science degree. You’ll have the opportunity to take everything you learn from your studies and apply it directly to the business, which will help you develop your career as a data science professional in a world-leading multi-national organisation.


About dataWorx

For bp to become the leading digital Upstream business, we must put data at the heart of every decision. To achieve this goal, we’ve brought together our global expertise, tools and ways of working under our new dataWorx function – this is where your data science apprenticeship will be based. 


Our aim at dataWorx is to build an unrivalled, industry-leading environment, where data professionals can learn, grow, thrive and ultimately, achieve personal and collective success. 


Are you ready for the challenge?


We will sponsor your data science degree at the University of Kent.

Join our data science apprenticeship to:


  • Gain experience of every part of our global organisation in a structured four-year programme.
  • Study towards a data science degree at the University of Kent.
  • Enjoy exciting long-term career options and development with a future-thinking world leader.

The experience

On our data science apprenticeship, you’ll enjoy plenty of on-the-job experience, with up to 10 hours per week dedicated to formal learning. This will include core degree activity, as well as access to our own internal learning and development, to help you build technical, business and behavioural competencies.


You’ll have full support from your apprenticeship training provider and the bp HR early career programme team – as well as regular structured feedback on your development, progress to date and next steps. In addition, you’ll be guided at every step by an experienced mentor and buddy.

What to expect

On this four-year programme, you’ll split your time between a number of exciting roles. Each role will give you a comprehensive introduction to bp, our businesses, and our dataWorx function. In these rotational roles, you’ll gain knowledge of the sub-disciplines within dataWorx, and develop the technical, business and behavioural skills you’ll need to become a well-rounded data professional. 


The start of your apprenticeship

You’ll spend the first period of your apprenticeship in our central dataWorx organisation, building a foundational understanding of the oil and gas industry and how our business operates. You’ll learn about the different ways we use data science and digital technologies to help our business solve some of the biggest global challenges and supply energy to the world in a safe and responsible way. This foundation will be invaluable as you move into your next rotations. 


Broadening your development and building a specialised skillset

Your first year will be followed by several rotations. You’ll get an opportunity to work in two of our specialist domains, such as Subsurface, Wells or Production and support one of our regional, central teams - so you’ll get plenty of exposure. This will be followed by a rotation in one of our regional teams. During these rotations, you’ll be enabling the business to maximise value from data across the exploration, development, production and operations of the oil and gas fields. You’ll be tackling business challenges that require working with many types of information and data including seismic, well, spatial, and production data. These rotations will be dependent on the requirements of your study plan and available opportunities across dataWorx at the time. You’ll continue to be based in our Sunbury-on-Thames office for the duration of these rotations.


Aligning with our graduate programme 

You’ll develop alongside our dataWorx graduates and will be part of that broader early career community. If you meet the programme requirements and successfully complete your data science degree, you’ll formally graduate from the programme after four years. 


After qualifying: a rewarding career 

Beyond formal early career programmes, bp employees tend to move roles every two to four years (subject to performance and experience). We are committed to providing the guidance and tools to support your continued development and success. Throughout your career at bp, there will be many options for further development. Whichever route you choose to take, we can offer you a very rewarding career.

So, who are we looking for?

We believe in hiring people with the right core competencies and interest, rather than specific technical experience. That’s why, when it comes to our data science apprenticeship programme, we welcome applicants from a range of academic subject backgrounds. Most importantly, we’re looking for people who have a real passion to work in a global business, and a drive to support the people aspects of our business agenda.


To be successful, you must be committed and motivated to studying towards a data science degree qualification. You must also have the ability to work on your own initiative – and be able to work co-operatively as part of a team. You’ll have a keen eye for detail, excellent written, verbal communication and numeracy skills, and the ability to plan ahead and prioritise your workload.


Ideally, you would have had exposure to Python, R, Automation or any coding courses.

Recruitment process

  • Online application - this is your chance to show us what motivates you
  • SJQ - a set of untimed questions will look to see how you match up with bp values
  • Online tests - these will check your numerical, verbal reasoning and error checking abilities
  • Assessment centre - a motivation and values-based interview, a group exercise and lunch
  • Offer and feedback - a firm offer or guidance on how to succeed next time



To apply, you must be aged 18 or over at start of the programme in September 2020

If you’re studying A-levels or completing further education, you must be due to complete your qualification/s in 2020 (we’re unable to progress applications for students who will be part way through their studies when the programme starts). 


You'll also need to have: 

  • 96 UCAS points to include a C in Maths A-Level 
  • 3 GCSEs Graded C/4 or above (or equivalent) including English Language and Maths
  • Eligibility to study in the UK 


Preferred but not essential: Other subjects you studied may include Physics, Information Management, Data Science, Computer Science, Information Technology or Statistics. 

This programme is designed for school leavers and other individuals who do not have a degree. If you’re studying or have a degree, please apply to our student and graduate opportunities.


Details of any travel required as part of your degree will be clarified during the selection process. We’re happy to discuss any reasonable adjustments you may require.


The apprenticeship programme is based at our International Centre for Business and Technology (ICBT) in Sunbury-on-Thames. From time to time, you may also be required to travel to our central London offices.