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Postgraduate study
Senior Leader Apprenticeship

Senior Leader Apprenticeship

Incorporating an MBA fully mapped to the apprenticeship standard, the Senior Leader Apprenticeship aims to develop reflective, entrepreneurial and responsible leaders with the knowledge and skills to lead their organisations in a complex global environment.


Professional apprenticeship


Course overview


Study at Teesside University International Business School

See what it’s like to study at our modern, enterprising and dynamic business school

At Teesside University, all learners are offered the opportunity to gain recognised accredited qualifications supporting long-term career progression beyond the apprenticeship. While an MBA is not part of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA), and therefore not eligible for Apprenticeship Levy funding, our SLA provides learners the opportunity to gain an MBA fully mapped to the apprenticeship standard, funded at no additional cost to the employer.

The SLA programme provides a platform for aspirational senior managers. They gain the ability to adapt and demonstrate entrepreneurial thought, originality and insight, applying this knowledge to influence strategic decision making and managing unpredictable situations. They are also challenged to drive innovative leadership skills back into their organisations.

The apprenticeships aims to:
foster entrepreneurial spirit: learners develop their mindset and are encouraged to think creatively, taking calculated risks in business
develop business leadership skills: learners cultivate leadership qualities including 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 apprenticeship is designed with flexible delivery to cater for a diverse range of learners from a variety of professional backgrounds. There is an emphasis on applying 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.

The total cost of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship is a maximum of £14,000. Organisations can fund £14,000 of the fees through their Apprenticeship Levy. Non-levy paying employers, such as SMEs, can request funding through the Apprenticeship Service. If accepted, this involves co-investment. The employer pays 5% towards the cost of apprenticeship training (a maximum of £700). They can apply to the government to cover 95% of the levy funding, up to a maximum of £13,300.

Learners who complete the Senior Leader Apprenticeship will also be awarded with an MBA. As this qualification is not part of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship and therefore not eligible for Apprenticeship Levy funding, the University offers this qualification as an added value element, funded by the University and free of charge to employers.

Teesside University is a flagship provider of Professional Apprenticeships, enriched by international academic excellence in research and innovation, and developed in partnership with industry.

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

The apprenticeship is delivered as a blended model with eight workshops on campus each year. Apprentices are also supported through our digital learning offer. This flexible experiential learning approach fits with busy work and life schedules.

The apprentice learns authentically with their peers to develop solutions to strategic challenges in organisations. They also actively participate in online discussion groups and virtual seminars, with access to a variety of other digital materials to shape their learning.

How you are assessed

Apprentices are assessed through a range of formative and summative methods. The end-point assessment is designed to assess learners’ knowledge and skills in an impartial way, to confirm their understanding and achievement of the apprenticeship requirements.


Entry requirements

To be accepted on to an apprenticeship course you must have support from your employer and meet the course entry requirements.

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 apprenticeship, 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.

The employer must confirm to the University that you will support the apprentice on the apprenticeship 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 apprenticeship. 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

Successful apprentices typically progress in their organisations. They could move into general or senior management, strategic leadership, internal consultancy or project leadership 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. Find out more.

Professional apprenticeship

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

Find out more


  • Not available full-time


2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants

Fee paid by the government and your employer

More details about our fees

  • Length: 2 years plus 6 months end-point assessment
  • Attendance: Blended delivery
  • Start date: September, January and May

Enquire now

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