Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship

Spring 2021 dates to be confirmed

Recently the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) reviewed the Senior Leader apprenticeship standard. The outcome of the review, published in July, was the removal of the mandatory qualification element of the apprenticeship. What this means is that Senior Leader apprentices no longer have to achieve a postgraduate qualification before their End Point Assessment. This will apply to all starts after 01/01/2021. We believe that the qualification element of this apprenticeship is important to employers and apprentices and so we are already exploring delivery options for this apprenticeship for 2021 starts. An update will be posted shortly. Please do contact us for more information.

The Senior Leader Master's Apprenticeship from De Montfort University (DMU) can accelerate development for strategic leaders. It will expand knowledge and understanding of strategic business areas, and enhance organisational performance.

This programme is aligned to the Level 7 Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship standard designed by employers in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).


Who is the apprenticeship is for?

It is suitable for professional strategic leaders in private, public or third sector organisations of all sizes, for individuals who lead, manage and direct organisations. Specific job roles may include; General Manager, Senior Manager, Section Leader, Executive, Director, COO, CFO, CEO, CIO, Senior Military Officer.

Download our Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship guide.

Find out more about the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

What is an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship is a 3 way development programme agreed between employer, apprentice and DMU as the provider. It is an opportunity for new or existing staff to undertake significant development focussed on their own workplace. 

What are the commitments?

For the employer:

  • Commitment to dedicating a minimum of 20% of your apprentice’s contracted working hours to apprenticeship development activities
  • Providing a Workplace Mentor to support your apprentice whilst they are on programme
  • Providing development opportunities for your apprentice

For the apprentice:

  • Dedicating a minimum of 20% of your contracted hours to apprenticeship development activities
  • Engaging with and completing all apprenticeship programme activities
  • Creating and building a portfolio and completing the apprenticeship End Point Assessment process

Delivery model

This blended work-based programme is taught over 18 months and includes eight compulsory modules, a four day outdoor residential, and a 60 credit work-based project.

Each module is delivered in a two day block approximately every ten weeks, during which participants will gain valuable input from academics, practitioners and industry guest speakers all who are experts in their field. In addition, apprentices will be expected to complete additional work away from the university (much of this will be work-based).

The programme will commence with a two day induction that will introduce participants to the programme team and will provide valuable insight into individual modules.

We estimate that on average successful completion of each module will take 15 hours study/development per week; approximately half of this will be covered by the 20% off-the-job learning hours. How the remaining study hours are completed should be discussed and agreed between the employer and apprentice.

Programme modules

Year 1

Global Strategy

15 credits

Enterprise and Innovation

15 credits

Performance Measurement and Management

15 credits

Workforce Planning

15 credits



Year 2

Relationship Management

15 credits

 Change Management  15 credits
Risk Management 15 credits

Developing Collaborative Cultures and Work-Based Project

15 credits

Research Methods and Work-Based Project

60 credits


The Masters programme is designed to enable participants to apply the academic theory to their own organisation and role. There are a variety of assessment methods including; reports, essays, group presentations, podcasts, reflective diaries and case studies. In the last 6 months of the programme the apprentice must undertake a work-based project, which will bring together elements of their learning from different parts of the programme and show their accumulated knowledge and understanding of management and its application in their organisation. 

Masters business portfolio

All students are required to create a portfolio which will capture the knowledge, skills and behaviours developed on the programme and in the workplace. This will contribute to their End Point Assessment and enable participants to reflect, plan and evaluate their development. Portfolio software will be used to capture all information and training will be provided to all participants on how to use the software.

End Point Assessment

The End Point Assessment (EPA) for the programme will include the presentation of the work-based project and an independent professional discussion to review the completed portfolio. The topic of the work-based project will be agreed between the employer and apprentice, and must be of benefit to the business. 

Final degree award

All successful Apprentices will achieve:

  • MSc Management (an accredited Master’s Degree awarded by De Montfort University)
  • Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship
  • CMI level 7 Diploma in Leadership and Management

Entry requirements

The programme is designed with professionals in mind, and this is reflected in the entry requirements. All applicants need to be employed by an organisation who has confirmed they will support their participation in the programme. Applicants require:

A minimum of two years management experience and a degree at 2:1 or above.


Significant management experience (3 years minimum) and a strong track record of achievements in business and/or relevant professional qualifications. 

Bespoke delivery options

We are able to offer a bespoke programme to meet employer requirements but this will be subject to a minimum cohort size and will need to align with the Senior Leader Master's Apprenticeship standard.


“How you build people up and equip them with the necessary skills and abilities to do a lot of those roles is not always straightforward, so a programme like this is fantastic. It’s ideal for catering to the needs of those individuals who have great potential in an organisation but need the additional training.”
Andrew Riddick, graduate trainee at University Hospitals of Leicester.


For more information, contact us by completing our online enquiry form.

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