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What makes the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship at Worcester special?

As defined in the Masters Degree apprenticeship standard, a senior leader is someone who has senior management responsibility, and this can include formal governance/director responsibilities. They are responsible for direction and vision, providing a clear sense of purpose and driving strategic intent. They take into account market trends and environmental influences, identifying longer-term opportunities and risks. They are responsible for developing ethical, innovative and supportive cultures with the ability to deliver results. They are a role model, with responsibility for those in senior positions/ significant organisational budgets.

A Masters Degree Apprenticeship enables you to study for a Masters level qualification with no need for a student loan, whilst in receipt of a salary from your place of employment.

The Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship combines the practical business leadership and management experience of the workplace with Masters level knowledge and skills to make you a more effective strategic decision maker.

Through part time study, which supplements your many and diverse strategic responsibilities, the course offers a unique opportunity to achieve Chartered Fellow or Chartered Manager status, enhanced business leadership and management competency, professional and Masters level qualifications.

The Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship is a new and highly innovative, flexible route to enhance your career, business success and personal fulfilment.



Key features

  • Gain a Masters level qualification while you work
  • Finance your studies through the apprenticeship levy (for larger organisations), or with the assistance of a 90% government contribution towards fees for SMEs
  • Boost your income and improve business success
  • Apply your study to your workplace (something which you understand)
  • Build a portfolio of work-based material to enhance your own personal and organisational performance
  • Access all course materials conveniently online

Who is the Masters Degree Apprenticeship for?

Designed for professional strategic leaders in the private, public or third sector and all sizes of organisation, who lead, manage and direct organisations. Specific job roles may include: Senior Leader, Section Leader, Executive, Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, senior military officer.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Work-related entry requirements

Under UK Government requirements, Degree Apprentices (including Masters Degree apprentices) must be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week and must have the right to live and work in the UK.

All candidates must be employed in a role related to the subject matter of the apprenticeship and be sponsored by their employer (if applicable). The support of the employer is articulated in an Apprenticeship Agreement. Applications can only be made through the sponsoring employer.

It is essential to demonstrate that all applicants are in paid employment in order to utilise a work-based setting for the undertaking of work based learning activities. Apprentices will be required to demonstrate agreement from their organisation to enable work based activities to be undertaken in relation to the programme. This will be negotiated with their employer (where applicable) through contractual commitments that are required by the apprenticeship. Prior experience will be reviewed, along with knowledge and learning to ensure that applicants are in a position to successfully enrol onto and complete the apprenticeship.

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or e-mail for advice.

Academic entry requirements

The academic entry requirements are as stipulated in the approved Programme Specification for the academic award.

These are as follows:

  • Candidates do not necessarily need to have had previous exposure to studies in business, leadership or management, but will normally have a first or second-class Honours Degree or equivalent in any subject and at least two years of business/management experience at a senior level.
  • The IELTS score for international applicants is 6.5 (with no less than 5.5 in each component). Other English Language qualifications will be considered.

Apprentices without level 2 English and Mathematics will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end-point assessment. Evidence of this will be collated by the University and provided to the end-point assessment organisation (e.g. CMI) as part of the Gateway process. The apprentice will also be supported to become digitally literate where this is important to their role.

Course content

What will you study?

The course will consist of 180 credits of learning, phased over a 30 month period. Here's an overview of the current modules available on the course. Regular updates mean the exact module titles may differ.

Year 1

  • Performance Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Operational Strategy
  • Finance
  • Retaining Talent

Year 2

  • Corporate Strategy
  • Leading & Managing Change
  • Managing Corporate Reputation
  • Strategic Approach to Finance
  • Innovate to Win
  • Coaching & Mentoring

Year 3

  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers.

Duration: Approximately 30 months part time leading to the endpoint assessment.

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

The University places emphasis on enabling you to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future positions with your current organisation, or others in the future, as well as academic achievement.

The Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship uses a work-based learning approach, which both informs, and is informed by, teaching, learning and assessment approaches. The programme combines a progressive structure to strategic management and business leadership, with a continuous on-the-job focus through agreed off-the-job learning. This takes place during the equivalent of one-day per week away from everyday duties and responsibilities, either at the University, your own premises or an agreed neutral venue.

Given the focus on work based learning through a Masters apprenticeship, there is an emphasis on personal coaching; and on active learning where attendees are invited to participate in learning activities, and also to reflect on their learning process.

The learning development of each attendee is kept in line with Individual Learner Plans agreed with you (and if relevant, your employer), and discussed through visits by a qualified apprenticeship coach, to the workplace to complement the study-based sessions.

Academic Year

Open programmes will have three entry points during the course of the year; September, January and April. Each week there will be a three hour session (2pm-5pm) with other Masters Degree Apprentices to inform your off-the-job learning, and a three-hour session (6pm-9pm) to complete the 'taught' component of the programme.


You are taught through a combination of action-learning sets, group discussions, lectures, seminars, presentations, visiting speakers, and e-learning.

Through your associate membership of the Chartered Management Institute, you will have access to a range of dedicated resources, designed by experts to support delivery of the apprenticeship, as well starting your journey towards the professional status of 'Chartered Manager'.

Contact Time

In a typical week you will have around 7 contact hours with a tutor/ facilitator / apprenticeship coach, scheduled over an afternoon and an evening, or via private study using the Virtual Learning Environment. This will be designated as your off the job learning, a requirement of all apprenticeships. Alternative delivery models e.g. block delivery, can be arranged for bespoke 'closed' programmes, in discussion with employers.

Independent self-study

Independent learning, which will be a feature of your time spent 'off-the-job', is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching Staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the needs of the Masters Degree apprenticeship, and who have experience in engaging with employers and those in employment. The team therefore includes professional practitioners, consultants, and trainers, as well as academics and researchers.

Our teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and we like our tutors to remain active through professional engagement. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Formative assessments are developmental and do not contribute to your overall module grade. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and do count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include reports, presentations, reflective journals, and personal development audits.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback supports learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with tutors/ assessors/ your apprenticeship coach as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the Senior Leader's Master's Degree Apprenticeship and the Executive MBA.


Where could it take you?

The University of Worcester is one of a small number of universities approved by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to deliver the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship. This programme provides you with the knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements required to enhance the performance of your organisation, interpersonal excellence and personal effectiveness as defined in the Masters Apprenticeship Standard.

You will, on completion of your Masters Degree apprenticeship, be able to register as a full member with the Chartered Management Institute and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management, and those with sufficient management experience can apply for Chartered Manager, or indeed Chartered Fellow status through the CMI. This is awarded following completion of an End Point Assessment, a common element of all Degree Apprenticeships. This will mean that it will take 2.5 years minimum to obtain your Masters Degree apprenticeship award.

At the end of your apprenticeship you will receive:

  • A Masters Degree (Executive MBA) at Level 7.
  • A Level 7 Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership
  • You, and if relevant, your employer, will be kept informed of your progress at every stage to ensure that your learning continues to align with what has been previously discussed and agreed.

Information for Employers

How does a Degree Apprenticeship work?

A Degree Apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to employ and develop key staff through your apprenticeship levy payments (as a levy paying employer), or with government funding support for smaller organisations. Apprentices can be a new recruit or existing member of staff. During their apprenticeship, attendees will have the opportunity to attend university on a one day per week basis, obtain a Level 7 qualification, as well as achieving their apprenticeship. This will take approximately 2.5 years.

How does government funding work?

  • The following arrangements will apply for all UK employers from April 2017: Employers with a payroll of more than £3 million per year will pay an Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5%. This will provide an allowance to 'spend' against apprenticeships via a digital account.
  • Employers with a payroll less than £3 million will not pay a Levy, but will still have access to 90% funding via a 'co-fund mechanism', to support their own degree apprenticeships. Here, the employer contribution will be 10% towards the tuition fee.

Click here for more details on government funding. 

What are the benefits to an employer?

The Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship has been designed by employers for employers as a mechanism to invest in talent and develop the leaders of today and for the future. It offers:

  • the opportunity to upskill key individuals in your workforce
  • attract new talent
  • develop the skills to build your business

How much will it cost?

Course fees

The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Those interested in more information about this course or the broader apprenticeship offer of the Business School, should in the first instance contact our Senior Administrator (Sally Docherty) or the Course Leader, Dr. Scott Andrews on the details below, or via our dedicated apprenticeship email address.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Sally Docherty

Senior Administrator

Dr Scott Andrews

Course leader