Leadership Practice (Apprenticeship Pathway)


  • Entry year 2024
  • Duration Part time 2 Years


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.

Programme content

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.

Course duration

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 optional Executive MBA or Leadership Practice MSc top-up pathways require a further six months of study, to be completed within five years of completion of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

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.

Course structure

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.


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.

General fees and funding information

Important Information

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.