Contact us to find out more about the Senior Leader Apprenticeship.
Top reasons to study with us
Flexible blended delivery fits your studies around your work, home and family commitments, with digital learning and in-person sessions covering a range of themed module content.
Successful completion of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship leads to the award of a Lancaster University Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Practice.
Option to top up to a Lancaster University Executive MBA or Master's in Leadership Practice upon completion.
Develop your strategic leadership capabilities through our Senior Leader Apprenticeship, with learning that has an impact on practice from day one.
You will advance your practice of leadership, learn how to get the best from your team through talent management and nurturing high performance, embrace strategic thinking and behaviour, gain vital knowledge on ethical and sustainable practices, and develop the management of innovation and change.
Your studies are tailored to meet Senior Leader Apprenticeship standards and will lead to a Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership Practice. Tuition fees are funded through the Apprenticeship Levy.
Our digital delivery means you will learn flexibly to fit around workplace realities while gaining new knowledge and skills that can be applied in your professional role. Workshops provide in-person interaction and learning alongside a valuable network of fellow apprentices from diverse sectors and organisations.
Upon completing the Senior Leader Apprenticeship, you can choose to top up to Lancaster University’s Executive MBA or Leadership Practice MSc. This requires a further six months' study, to be completed within five years of completion of the Apprenticeship, and with fees paid separately.
All members of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Programme will benefit from:
- Facilitated and flexible digital learning that works alongside your professional role;
- 12 days of in-person teaching in four blocks across the two years, supplemented by optional in-person and blended delivery;
- Individual one-to-one support from a university apprenticeship mentor and an academic learning coach;
- Modules delivered by experienced practitioner-teachers;
- Peer learning within and across organisational boundaries;
- Study support for students new to higher education or those returning to HE after a long break.
- Access to Lancaster University amenities, including the Library, Careers, health and wellbeing services and sports facilities.
The full Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme takes two years, including an End Point Assessment. Some participants may complete the Apprenticeship more quickly by claiming module exemption based on previous academic, professional or experiential learning.
The next programme will start in September 2024. The closing date for applications is 30 April 2024.
The Senior Leader Apprenticeship is suitable for current and aspiring senior leaders in public, private or third-sector organisations. You will typically have a first degree and at least 3 years of management/leadership experience. Admission to the programme is dependent on aptitude and experience; prior qualifications are not always necessary.
To comply with Apprenticeship regulations, all SLA candidates must be UK residents and work at least 50% of their time in England.
Minimum grade C/4 in GCSE English and mathematics (or Functional Skills level 2 equivalent).*
Admission to the Executive MBA pathway requires a first degree and five years of relevant management/leadership experience.
* Applicants who do not meet the maths/English entry requirements will be considered on a case-by-case basis for exceptional entry. If admitted, Apprentices must achieve Functional Skills Level 2 in both subjects by the end of the first year of the programme.
You will study a range of modules as part of your course, some examples of which are listed below.
Information contained on the website with respect to modules is correct at the time of publication, but changes may be necessary, for example as a result of student feedback, Professional Statutory and Regulatory Bodies' (PSRB) requirements, staff changes, and new research. Not all optional modules are available every year.
Accounting and Finance
It is imperative that managers understand the role and purpose of finance in organisations whether this be the financial reporting requirement, internal decision making or capital structure decision. This module attempts to impart this understanding. The course will provide a general understanding of theoretical and practical financial issues, particularly the use of financial information and analysis in strategic decision making.
Managers need to understand the fundamental concepts of economic analysis to aid good decision making. This module develops this knowledge by demonstrating their relevance and building your understanding of microeconomic and macroeconomic problems related to business.
Business Ethics and Sustainability
The responsibilities of managers and leaders are wide ranging and expanding to include wider ethical, environmental and social issues. This module aims to provide exposure to these issues with a view to examining the assumptions, practices, strategies and consequences of business and management activity. Ultimately, we strive to prepare future decision-makers for the challenges and uncertainties of an increasingly interconnected, interdependent and complex world.
This module examines theories, models and frameworks underpinning entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial approaches to leadership and management and for understanding the complexities surrounding innovation. You will have the opportunity to identify and assess entrepreneurial opportunities within your own organisation. You will also:
- examine the impact of decision-making approaches, data, disruptive technologies and drivers of change
- consider creative, ethical and sustainable ways of working
- reflect on your own entrepreneurial leadership skills.
Human Resource Management
Regardless of one’s role or position within an organisation, all managers must address human resource management issues, often on a daily basis. In fact, line managers are usually tasked with the implementation or adherence to human resource policy such as the enactment of family leave or skills development training. Yet, most managers have very little experience and even less training in HR practices.
While not a comprehensive summary of all HRM and HRD theory, this elective module explores the significant theoretical underpinnings loosely associated with human resource management that address organisational policies and practices that can be implemented to effectively manage people at work. The module provides different ways of understanding what influences behaviour in organisations (management and workers) and offers an understanding of how to interpret what happens in your organisation.
The module is designed for students who have little to no background in human resource management or development and/or do not work within human resource functions. As such, it seeks to explain the role of human resource management – specifically the management of people, culture, and communication – within organisations and demonstrate its strategic relevance for all managers from all aspects of the organisation. The module focuses on the interface between managers and the enactment of HR policies and argues that care for the human capital is a form of leadership practice. Case studies are used to explore and critique the concepts.
Leadership and Organisational Behaviour
This is a practically focused module which explores key ideas relevant to leading and managing organisations. You will critically evaluate your own practice using frameworks and tools with real practical relevance. The module focuses on the world of work, considering leadership in the context of issues such as motivation, culture, power, and structure.
The aim of this module is to improve your understanding of operations management and its contribution to the success of an organisation. We will discuss the key integrating role of operations as the connection between strategy and the delivery of a product or service to a customer. The tools and concepts that will be covered in this course apply to both manufacturing and service operations, and so will be relevant for all organisations.
Personal Learning and Development
The Personal Learning and Development module underpins your apprenticeship by providing a framework and tools for you to identify your strengths and development needs. You will work with the support of your personal coach to plan and negotiate your personal and professional growth. This module also provides timely career advice and guidance as you progress on your Apprenticeship journey.
Fees and funding
Apprenticeship levy fees
The £14,000 fee for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship is funded through the Apprenticeship Levy.
Organisations with an annual payroll of more than £3 million pay 0.5% of their payroll into the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which they can use to fully fund apprenticeship training costs. Smaller organisations can also benefit, as the Government will subsidise 95% of apprenticeship costs for organisations that do not pay into the levy.
If you have further questions about your organisation’s eligibility for the levy, please contact us.
There may be extra costs related to your course for items such as books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation, you may need to pay a subscription to a professional body for some chosen careers.
Specific additional costs for studying at Lancaster are listed below.
Lancaster is proud to be one of only a handful of UK universities to have a collegiate system. Every student belongs to a college, and all students pay a small College Membership Fee which supports the running of college events and activities. Students on some distance-learning courses are not liable to pay a college fee.
For students starting in 2023 and 2024, the fee is £40 for undergraduates and research students and £15 for students on one-year courses. Fees for students starting in 2025 have not yet been set.
Computer equipment and internet access
To support your studies, you will also require access to a computer, along with reliable internet access. You will be able to access a range of software and services from a Windows, Mac, Chromebook or Linux device. For certain degree programmes, you may need a specific device, or we may provide you with a laptop and appropriate software - details of which will be available on relevant programme pages. A dedicated IT support helpdesk is available in the event of any problems.
The University provides limited financial support to assist students who do not have the required IT equipment or broadband support in place.
Application fees and tuition fee deposits
For most taught postgraduate applications there is a non-refundable application fee of £40. We cannot consider applications until this fee has been paid, as advised on our online secure payment system. There is no application fee for postgraduate research applications.
For some of our courses you will need to pay a deposit to accept your offer and secure your place. We will let you know in your offer letter if a deposit is required and you will be given a deadline date when this is due to be paid.
What is my fee status?
The fee that you pay will depend on whether you are considered to be a home or international student. Read more about how we assign your fee status.
Fees in subsequent years
If you are studying on a programme of more than one year’s duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. Read more about fees in subsequent years.
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The information on this site relates primarily to 2024/2025 entry to the University and every effort has been taken to ensure the information is correct at the time of publication.
The University will use all reasonable effort to deliver the courses as described, but the University reserves the right to make changes to advertised courses. In exceptional circumstances that are beyond the University’s reasonable control (Force Majeure Events), we may need to amend the programmes and provision advertised. In this event, the University will take reasonable steps to minimise the disruption to your studies. If a course is withdrawn or if there are any fundamental changes to your course, we will give you reasonable notice and you will be entitled to request that you are considered for an alternative course or withdraw your application. You are advised to revisit our website for up-to-date course information before you submit your application.
More information on limits to the University’s liability can be found in our legal information.
Our Students’ Charter
We believe in the importance of a strong and productive partnership between our students and staff. In order to ensure your time at Lancaster is a positive experience we have worked with the Students’ Union to articulate this relationship and the standards to which the University and its students aspire. View our Charter and other policies.