Course details


2-2.5 years

Lecture/workshop days - dates/times

Face-to-face sessions will be delivered in blocks and we can be flexible, arranging them to fit around the workplace.

Course description

An alternative to a traditional MBA, this masters-level apprenticeship is for leaders who want to develop their direction and vision, learn how to take account of market trends and environmental influences, and identify longer-term opportunities and risks.

You will explore inclusive leadership and learn to develop ethical, innovative and supportive cultures that deliver results.

Which pathway?

You can choose to complete either an MSc in Strategic Leadership or a Professional MBA. If you already strategically head up a discipline or department, the MSc route will be best for you. If you are more operationally-focused and need to develop a greater understanding of the strategy across all disciplines and departments, choose the MBA route.


An MBA programme is designed for leaders and managers seeking to make an impact in public, private or third sector organisations of all sizes. It is considered to be key to progression into a successful senior leadership career for practising managers.

Student learning takes place in an academic environment and in the workplace, incorporating real work based scenarios that are applied in the context of new management practice. You will develop a strategic, holistic and integrated perspective of business, organisations and management

The programme includes a significant strategically focused project applied to your organisation providing the opportunity to personalise the programme aligned to business objectives and personal ambitions.

The programme is completed over 30 months, upon successful completion of the programme, learners may be eligible to apply for Fellowship of the CMI or ILM independently of the University.

Modules are carefully designed for the broad knowledge requirements of a senior manager/leader, covering:

  • The Sustainable Global Business Environment
  • Understanding HRM
  • Marketing in Organisations
  • Governance and Risk
  • Introduction to Business Research Methods and Data Analysis
  • Information Systems for Sustaining Competitive Advantage
  • Critical Perspectives in Strategic Management and Leadership
  • Strategic and Financial Performance Management
  • Improving Supply Chain and Logistics Operations
  • Independent Work Based Project

Join our webinar to find out how the MBA could support your career ambitions and support you progression from being a practising manager into a senior leadership position.

To successfully complete the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship, apprentices must successfully complete the MSc Strategic Leadership pathway qualification and the End Point Assessment (EPA). The apprentice will complete the off the job training in a practical period, which is usually 24 months, after this practical period the apprentice will be at the end point assessment gateway period. At this point, they will need to demonstrate the following to go onto complete the EPA:

  • Notification of Successful completion of the MSc Strategic Leadership qualification
  • Achievement of English and Maths at level 2 is required (GCSE A*-C or equivalent)
  • Completion of a work based project
  • Hold a portfolio to evidence achievement of knowledge, skills and behaviours

The MSc in Strategic Leadership will embrace the QAA benchmarks listed above. The overarching Programme Learning Outcomes given below are based on those which have been agreed by the University of Derby, for work based learning, which is pertinent to this specific programme.

Modules of Study:

Core Modules - 30 Credits:

Year 1 

  • Leading and Developing People
  • Leading Strategy 
  • Enterprise and Risk

Year 2

  • Leading Innovation and Change
  • Independent Work Based Project - 60 Credits

Year 3

Whilst studying on these modules you are building an e-portfolio of evidence of knowledge, skills and behaviours for your End Point Assessment 

  • End Point Assessment 
Students working at computers in the University's Bloomberg Suite

MBA Global (Including specialist pathways)

Our MBA Global is designed for a new generation of ambitious business professionals with a truly international outlook. Featuring specialist pathways in both Global Finance & Hospitality Management to reflect your career aspirations, it equips you to become a successful manager & inspiring leader.

Find out moreFind out more

Structure, certificates and assessment

This apprenticeship runs over a minimum of two years. You will be completing on-the-job learning and uploading evidence of this to an e-portfolio, at the same time as studying for either an MSc Strategic Leadership or a Professional MBA.

This academic study will make up 20% of the course and is delivered through 'blended learning' - a combination of face-to-face and online teaching. Face-to-face sessions will be in blocks and online learning can include group webinars, independent activities or reading for half a day per week between the block study sessions.


You will be assessed on projects you complete for your employer, which must have real impact - for you and for your workplace. Your employer will help us design these assessments. 

Your employer will be able to track your progress through an online portal.


Benefits to employers

Your apprentices will:

Entry requirements

Employment requirements

You must currently be in paid employment of at least 30 hours per week and your employer must cover the costs of the apprenticeship.

Academic requirements

Employers usually set their own selection criteria and entry requirements and we can work with them on this. However, typically an applicant for Senior Leader might be expected to have a recognised bachelors-level degree - such as a BA, BSc or BEng - or the equivalent, plus management experience.

Fees and funding

The fees will be paid for by the employer.

More information for employers

The cost of this apprenticeship will normally be in line with the funding band £18,000, but we will consider individual agreements, depending on student numbers and your involvement.

If you pay into the Apprenticeship Levy, this funding will be used.

Generous government subsidies are also available that reduce the fees for SME's to under £800!

How to apply

Apprentices will need to apply through their employer. Employers can find out more by contacting the Apprenticeships Hub - please see below for contact information.

Empower your workforce with block bookings

Take advantage of a short courses block booking to upskill your employees. Our short courses run on-campus and online and include new legislation and other up-to-the-minute issues. Get in touch today and we will tailor a package to meet the needs of your business.

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Contact us

Apprenticeships Hub +44 (0)800 001 5500

If you want to find out more about studying a short course, please contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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