MBA Executive (Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship Route)

Our MBA Executive (Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Route) allows you to invest in your leadership team by combining university education, work-based learning and ongoing professional development. While working as a valuable part of your team, your apprentices can prepare for a career at senior management level and develop the skills required to tackle complex, strategic business challenges in almost any field.

MBA Executive (Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship Route)

Course details

The Level 7 Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship programme specifically seeks to develop the future leaders of organisations by developing their critical knowledge of similar organisations, their management and the changing external contexts in which they operate. It’s designed to develop their knowledge and skills in strategic thinking for organisational success and challenge their leadership skills and style.

Our MBA Executive (Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Route) aims to prepare full-time business professionals for the challenges of senior management. The course has been informed by employers and designed in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to qualify as a Level 7 Apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship Levy guidelines. Study at the Institute of Management Greater Manchester complements learning in the workplace, supporting your apprentices as they learn to provide direction and vision, a clear sense of organisational purpose and drive strategic intent.

Your apprentices will spend 80% of their time at work and 20% at the University, usually on a block release basis. Our expert staff will guide them as they learn to take into account market trends and environmental influences to identify longer-term opportunities and risks. We’ll support them to become inclusive leaders, with the skills to develop ethical, innovative and supportive cultures that deliver results. Our dedicated team will also help them grow into their position as a role model with responsibility for others holding senior positions and significant organisational budgets.

Our flexible programme recognises the wide range of business and management environments and the specific challenges they pose. We’ll work with you to devise individual learning agreements for each of your apprentices, ensuring they fulfil the core and essential criteria of the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship, as well as develop additional skills and knowledge valuable for your organisation. Throughout the course, we’ll guide them as they build a portfolio of evidence representing the projects and tasks they have completed while working as part of your team.

If you’re looking for undergraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer who is offering apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MBA
  • Duration: 30 months

Course highlights:

  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will receive a Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Certificate, and be awarded an academic degree – the MBA Executive from the University of Bolton.
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support is offered by our team of highly experienced and enthusiastic lecturers who have worked in a wide variety of businesses ranging from multinational organisations to SMEs.
  • We’ll support your apprentices to develop sought-after skills focused on enhancing organisational performance in areas such as strategy, innovation, change, enterprise, risk management and finance, alongside effective personal and interpersonal behaviours like courage, good judgement and the ability to lead by example.
  • By helping apprentices gain in depth knowledge of areas such as employee engagement, leading and developing people and collaborative relationship building, we aim to foster their ability to create an inclusive culture, balance people and technical skills, and influence and negotiate to build effective collaborations.
  • During the final stage of the course, your apprentice will undertake a substantial work-based research project, the nature of which will be identified and developed through consultation between your organisation and the University. As well as offering your apprentice valuable experience, this live project can offer you genuine insight into potential opportunities or improvements that can benefit your organisation.

Key features:

  • We’ll encourage your apprentices to join the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), and guide them as they gather a portfolio of evidence ready to support their future application for Chartered Manager (CMgr) status.
  • This part-time course skilfully combines study in our vibrant Institute of Management environment with practical and focused work-based learning and experience in your organisation.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your apprentices to prepare work at home and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is ‘student-centred’, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • By studying alongside Senior Leader apprentices from other industrial sectors, your apprentices can benefit from a wider range of experience that supports cross-disciplinary and innovative thinking.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the Institute of Management. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.

Entry requirements

  • Start date: 21/09/2020
  • Location: The University of Bolton
  • Award: MBA
  • Duration: 30 months

Normally, applicants are expected to have both of the following: significant work experience in a business or management capacity; and a UK Honours degree/postgraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Applicants should also have Level 2 qualifications in English and Mathematics; for instance GCSE grade C or above or grade 4 to 9 (or equivalent).

Applicants will also be considered if they have substantial management experience, but do not possess a degree.

Applicants should provide references from their previous/employer(s) to indicate the level of business and management experience they possess. The reference should clearly state how long they have been employed and give a breakdown of their job content and roles and responsibilities.

All application forms will need to be accompanied by a reflective overview of the managerial responsibilities that applicants have undertaken to date.

Admission to this programme is only available to candidates who meet the following criteria. 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is participating in the Degree Apprenticeship scheme. 4) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to attend the University one day per week (times and dates to be determined). Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed.

If an applicant doesn’t possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade C or above or grade 4 to 9, or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy, they will be asked to complete initial assessments for English and mathematics. The results of these assessments will determine whether they are accepted on to the apprenticeship with their current qualifications, or a recommendation of delayed entry is made so they can undertake studies enabling them to achieve the required level of English and mathematics prior to commencing the apprenticeship.

Applicants may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of work.

If English isn’t the applicant's first language they will also need IELTS 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details. Find out more

To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, candidates should not normally have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship, unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Career opportunities

This MBA Executive programme is designed to meet the “Trailblazer” Apprenticeship Standard for Senior Leader (ST0480). Developed by employers in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the standard underpins a highly relevant qualification and professional development pathway that educates Senior Leaders who can lead, manage and direct organisations.

This qualification supports the development of professional strategic leaders in the private, public or third sector and in all sizes of organisation. Graduate apprentices will be ready to take responsibility for direction and vision, provide a clear sense of purpose and drive strategic intent. They will be able to take into account market trends and environmental influences, and identify longer-term opportunities and risks. Through inclusive leadership, they will be able to take responsibility for developing ethical, innovative and supportive cultures with the ability to deliver results.

What can I do with this qualification?

A wide range of employers – financial institutions, technology companies, blue-chip companies and SMEs – will find graduate apprentices holding our Executive MBA valuable. The universal appeal stems from the programme’s focus on collective business principles. On successful completion of the end point assessment after completion of the course, apprentices will be well placed to move from middle management to a more senior management role.

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, HE registrar and head of department/faculty.

Professional recognition

After successfully completing this MBA programme, apprentices may apply for membership of the Chartered Management Institute. Please note that terms and conditions apply. More details are available from

The University of Bolton will be seeking dual award agreement with the CMI for the Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership within six months of validation of this course.

Fees & funding

No fee information is currently available, please contact Student Data Management on 01204 903059 or for more information

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. Your organisation may be able to fund this Degree Apprenticeship though the Apprenticeship Levy (if your organisation is paying the levy).

The fees for a student’s course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

The University is currently awaiting Government guidelines as to EU fee charges for students commencing study in 2019/20.

UK undergraduate tuition fees are subject to UK government approval and are subject to the outcome of the Teaching Excellence Framework.


There are no bursaries associated with this programme.

Click here for more information on undergraduate bursaries

How to apply


Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Contact us section of this page.

For tailored support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit


International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Teaching & assessment


Modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

  • Leading and Developing People
  • Developing Collaborative Relationships
  • Finance and Risk
  • Sales Management and Marketing
  • Strategic Management
  • CPD/Portfolio Development Part 1
  • CPD/Portfolio Development Part 2
  • Research Methods
  • Dissertation
  • Innovation and Enterprise

Teaching, learning and assessment

To make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices, we apply a range of learning, teaching and assessment methods. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them to develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours essential to become a Chartered Manager, with particular reference to your organisation and their place within it. Your apprentices will spend approximately 80% of their time in the workplace, with the other 20% of their time being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning. Learning focuses on your workplace environment, and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded to achieve Chartered Manager status, and apply this expertise within your organisation.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials give them the opportunity to clarify their understanding of the topics we cover in lectures and seminars. We use case studies and practical scenarios to help apprentices apply their newly acquired academic knowledge to real-life problems, and gain valuable insights into contemporary practice in a working business environment. Apprentices will also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

Guest lectures and presentations by a variety of visiting speakers from relevant employment areas will offer apprentices the chance to further develop their knowledge and understanding.
Our assessment methods are designed to reflect what will be required of Chartered Managers in business and management settings. For example, the course requires apprentices to submit written reports, give presentations, develop their portfolio, complete a work based project, and develop interviewing and coaching skills. We also expect them to take written exams, write essays and reflective accounts, and play an active part in group discussions. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they needs to seek extra support from course tutors.


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Assessment methods

Level Assessment method
Level One Coursework (86%), Practical exams (14%)

Learning activities

Level Learning activity
Level One Guided independent study (80%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (20%)

Contact The University

Key facts

  • Course type:
  • Start date:
  • Location:
    The University of Bolton
  • Award:
  • Duration:
    30 months

Contact us

Fredrick Agboma
Programme Leader
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903697

Enquiry Team
University of Bolton
Telephone: +44 (0)1204 903903