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Postgraduate study
Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Master of Business Administration)

Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Master of Business Administration) MBA

The Master of Business Administration (MBA) programme is a constituent part of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA) which aims to develop reflective, entrepreneurial, innovative and responsible leaders with the necessary knowledge and skills to lead their organisations in a complex global environment.


Course overview


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The SLA programme provides a platform for aspirational senior managers to challenge themselves and drive innovative entrepreneurial leadership thinking and practice back into their respective organisations at a strategic level.

Our MBA equips the apprentice with the ability to adapt, demonstrate entrepreneurial thought, originality and insight, and apply knowledge to influence strategic decision-making, creativity and innovation in complex and unpredictable situations.

The apprenticeships aims to:
• foster entrepreneurial spirit: learners develop an entrepreneurial mindset and are encouraged to think creatively and take calculated risks in business
• develop business leadership skills: learners cultivate leadership qualities which include teaching effective communication, decision-making, problem-solving, and strategic thinking skills
• enhance management skills: learners focus on building a strong foundation in various aspects of management in their organisation, including operations, finance, marketing, and human resources
• promote global awareness: learners develop an understanding of international markets, cross-cultural management, and global economic trends.

The apprentice should be employed while studying part-time for an MBA degree from Teesside University International Business School, and fees are paid by the government and you as the employer. The programme is designed to be flexible in its delivery, to cater for a diverse range of learners, from a variety of professional backgrounds, and places a large emphasis on the application of knowledge in the organisational setting. The apprentice develops their personal, professional, critical thinking and reflective skills to prepare them to manage, lead and transform organisations - and make a positive difference to society more generally.

If you are an apprenticeship levy-paying employer (with pay bills over £3m) you pay for apprenticeship training from your online levy accounts through the government's apprenticeship service. You as an employer, also receive a 10% government top-up to your online accounts. If you are a non-levy paying employer, you only pay 5% of the apprenticeship training cost, with the remaining 95% paid by the government.

Please note, we can only respond to enquiries from employers, or individuals with agreement from their employer to undertake an apprenticeship.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Current Issues in Business and Society

In a rapidly changing world, businesses and society face many challenges, opportunities and dilemmas. You explore these issues, drawing on multidisciplinary thought leadership, including business, social sciences and the humanities. This approach develops your critical thinking and exposes you to different perspectives to enhance your managerial decision-making skills. The module takes inspiration from the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a basis for topical content, adapted to the dynamic nature of the global business environment and what is happening in the world at the time of delivery. In addition, this module provides inspiration and ideas for research with the hope that you take a much more critical approach to your research – given the exposure to a wider theoretical and contextual base.

Entrepreneurial Leadership

You consider the nature of entrepreneurial leadership, with a specific focus towards structure, culture and strategy. You utilise a range of case studies and live examples and inspect selected strategy development concepts, linked to public, private and third-sector organisations. You evaluate the relationship between entrepreneurial leadership and organisational performance.

Global strategy: Challenges and Choices

As the global business environment becomes ever more complex and volatile, there is a need for organisations of all shapes and sizes to think and act more entrepreneurially, innovatively and creatively in order to be able to change and adapt. This interdisciplinary module provides you with an understanding of the internal and external factors that impact strategic decision-making. You are introduced to a variety of strategic theories, tools and concepts, all in the context of the external environment and its impact on strategic challenges and choices. You are exposed to a variety of academic and practical material that you apply to your own organisation, or a live-case organisation, in order to appreciate the importance of developing and implementing innovative strategic plans for the success of the organisation, its key stakeholders and society more broadly.

Leading Yourself and Others

You develop your self-reflection and self-leadership skills and engage with 360-degree analytical tools to help identify your personal leadership strengths and areas for development. In a fast-paced 21st-century organisation, leaders need to be adept at navigating internal and external challenges, therefore a creative and entrepreneurial approach to leadership is essential to organisational agility and success. Through action learning sets and working with peers, you develop skills in coaching and mentoring to develop the teams in your organisation.

MBA Dissertation

You integrate learning and development and synthesise knowledge and understanding of theory and practice. You work towards this through undertaking a major project related to a business issue of significance within your organisation(s).

The Sustainable Organisation

You are introduced to the concept of the sustainable organisation, with a particular emphasis towards socio-economic impact. You analyse the relationship between various stakeholders and evaluate the relationship between entrepreneurship, philanthropy and sustainability. You gain an understanding of business in society and contemporary issues relating to philanthropy, and consider the role of government and policy-makers in shaping the legal, fiscal and cultural context for philanthropy and classical economics, and the role of the rational economic organisation.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Study is structured around up to eight days per year of face-to-face group learning, as part of the two year part-time programme. Experiential learning is facilitated through a blended learning approach to fit with busy work and life schedules.

The apprentice experiences a range of learning methods to develop their knowledge and understanding – ranging from workshops, field trips, and live participant organisation based case studies and projects, simulations, action learning sets and a variety of interactive learning, utilising various learning technologies. The apprentice learns authentically with and through their peers to develop solutions to strategic challenges in organisations.

The apprentice can access all the module materials through our online platform, Blackboard. They also actively participate in online discussion groups and virtual seminars and have access to a variety of podcasts and other digital materials to shape their learning. All their assignments are submitted electronically.

They reflect on their professional practice and analyse their values and behaviours to develop as a responsible strategic leader, capable of thinking critically and creatively.

The apprentice develops their personal, professional, critical thinking and reflective skills to prepare them to manage, lead and transform organisations - and make a positive difference to society more generally.

How you are assessed

There are a range of formative and summative assessment methods to suit the demands and requirements of the applied nature of the programme. These include business reports, case study analysis, presentations, self-diagnostic assessments, reflective reports and a research proposal and associated dissertation. All assignments are submitted electronically.

All the modules have an End Point Assessment (EPA) which is in the form of report writing, presentation, or dissertation.
EPA is the final assessment process at the end of an apprenticeship. This is designed to assess learners’ knowledge and skills in an impartial way to confirm an apprentice’s understanding. The learner is expected to attend EPA workshop sessions after completing the dissertation.


Entry requirements

To be accepted on to a degree apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer, and also meet the course entry requirements - you can find these below.

The apprentice must be an honours graduate of any discipline, with a minimum of a 2.2 obtained from a recognised University, or hold an equivalent professional qualification acceptable to Teesside University International Business School.

Before starting their Teesside University apprenticeship, learners must hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths. Find out more.

Job role responsibilities
Apprentices must have a minimum of two years, graduate level, full time work experience in a relevant role, such as management, administration, professional or a supervisory capacity.

The apprentice may still be considered for entry if they do not meet the criteria, if they have significant management experience or a record of achievement in business and leadership.

Given the work-based approach to assessment that underpins this programme, the apprentice should be currently employed, preferably in a management role and refer to their roles and their organisations in the completion of their assessments.

You as the employer must confirm to the University that you will support the apprentice on the programme before the application can be progressed.

Advanced standing
Apprentices who have completed a recent level 7 business related professional qualification may be offered advanced standing onto the programme. Given the diverse range of professional qualifications and the diverse range of credit value for these qualifications, applications are considered on an individual basis following the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning process.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

Typically graduates move into general or senior management and strategic leadership roles, internal consultant or project leadership roles or into external consultancy roles. The apprentice builds on their existing work experience and skills, and the programme enhances their ability to lead and manage change.


Professional accreditation

Chartered Management Institute The course is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). On successful completion of the SLA, the apprentice is also eligible for a CMI level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice.

Degree apprenticeship

A degree apprenticeship combines vocational work-based learning with study for a university degree. Designed in partnership with employers, degree apprenticeships offer it all - a higher education qualification, a salary, and invaluable practical experience and employment skills.

Find out more


  • Not available full-time


2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants

Fee paid by the government and your employer

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years
  • Start date: September, January and May

Enquire now

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