MA Leadership - Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship

Course overview

Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship

An Apprenticeship is first and foremost a job with substantial training and the development of transferable skills. Apprentices must be in paid employment for the duration of this and will combine working with studying for a qualification, this allows them to apply the learning to current global and relevant company issues. Henley's Executive Education - MA Leadership has been approved as meeting the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship. This programme develops the learner’s leadership capability and equips them to maximise the performance of their team.

This programme is available to:

  • Organisations wishing to send groups of employees on a closed cohort which may be contextualised specifically for your organisation
  • Organisations partnering with complementary organisations to form a cohort as a consortium
  • Individual employees on an open cohort

Organisations can choose whether to send employees on an open or closed cohort; either way, individuals study and share experiences with like-minded professionals from a wide variety of managerial backgrounds and business industries.

It is ideally suited for those who are in a leadership role who may currently be leading organisations, teams, people or projects.

Master the art of exceptional leadership

This programme allows learners to discover and become the leader they’ve always aspired to be. Becoming a leader who is analytical, self-knowing, with a strong sense of responsibility; someone who understands how to make people thrive, and who has the confidence to take the organisation forward.

The Henley MA Leadership - Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship is a Master's qualification from a triple accredited business school and a Level 7 Apprenticeship which simultaneously develops the learner's leadership skills to have an immediate practical advantage both to their career, but also your organisation.

Work based learning

The programme is designed so that students apply their learning in the workplace, through work-based assignments. The programme therefore lends itself perfectly to the Apprenticeship degree, where the learner is required to combine real time work with study that is truly work-focussed and productive. This gives the Apprentice opportunities to develop, practise, and evidence knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet the SLMDA Standards within their normal working environment.

CMI membership:

The CMI is the only chartered professional body in the UK that is dedicated to promoting the highest standards in management and leadership excellence. Over 130,000 managers use its services on a daily basis and CMI has constantly been at the forefront of all aspects of management training and thinking.

What’s included in this Apprenticeship, and how is this different to the MA Leadership (non-Apprenticeship route)?

On successful completion of the MA Leadership, learners will receive the following awards:

  • Henley MA Leadership Master’s Degree
  • Chartered Manager status (via the exemption route, which involves completing a submission form. A fee of approximately £115 will also be required, as well as the associated membership fee.)

On successful completion of the MA Leadership, Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) learners will receive the following awards:

  • Henley MA Leadership Master’s Degree
  • Chartered Manager status (This will be granted on successful completion of the End-Point Assessment (EPA))
  • Level 7 Apprenticeship Certificate.
Read Less

Why Henley?

By working in long-term partnerships with our clients, we can help to maximise the value of Levy contributions. We aim to utilise the fund to meet our clients’ strategic objectives and achieve their ambitions for their employees and organisations.

At Henley we empower individuals to become great professionals and outstanding business leaders, who think with clarity and act with confidence and conviction. Working with their Apprenticeship Tutors learners will be encouraged to utilise the new learning to benefit both the teams within which they work and the wider organisation.

The alumni network

Individual learners will meet with others both on their cohort and likely those on other cohorts from previous years. Together they can form the most valuable network throughout their career. From day one, they join Henley’s alumni association, a group of over 80,000 spread across 160 countries. There are regional and international alumni groups and Special Interest Groups providing a priceless series of events, mentoring programmes, career advice, and industry contacts and information

The environment

The programme is currently taught at our Greenlands campus on the banks of the River Thames in Oxfordshire within 30 acres of beautiful conservation parkland. We are less than an hour’s drive from Heathrow Airport, within easy reach of London and close to many major motorway links. It is perfect for quiet reflection as well as stimulating debate with other leading business minds and provides an ideal learning environment for busy executives: you have the space and surroundings required to stretch your mind and think away from the pressures of the office.*

Classes are delivered in board-room style seminar rooms to facilitate group work and discussion.

Resources include the Library that holds books, journals, market research reports, dissertations, working papers and company information. (These materials are also available online through the virtual learning environment.) The modern new space provides the perfect place for study, including a 24-hour Quiet Study Space.

Leisure facilities include a fully equipped and professionally staffed fitness centre, outdoor sporting facilities, on-site accommodation and restaurant.

*Greenlands may not exclusively be used for programme delivery. For client choosing a closed cohort we have the flexibility to deliver the programme at a nationwide set of locations including your own offices if required.

Henley support

Organisational support

Each client is is assigned an Account Director or Manager to support them with the on-boarding of new learners onto this Apprenticeship programme and will work together throughout the application and enrolment process.

Individual learner support

  • Personal development: Is woven into the fabric of the Henley programmes. We take a whole-person approach which acknowledges the complexity of balancing work, home, study and career. In addition to a high level of individual support while studying at Henley, services are available to assist your career ambitions, including coaching, networking, mentoring, and recruitment resources.
  • Apprenticeship Tutor: Henley will assign an apprenticeship tutor to support the individual learner and their line manager through the apprenticeship journey. Tutors will communicate and meet regularly with the apprentice within their workplace or virtually to provide the learning support, and review and assess the evidence gathered for their evidence portfolios.

Employer support

Employers provide support to learners as part of the employers’ commitment to their employees. Organisations are contracted by the Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) to give a minimum of 20% off the job training time. Off-the job training is defined by the ESFA as: “training received by the apprentice, during the apprentice’s paid hours, for the purpose of achieving their apprenticeship” This 20% off the job training is not exclusive to class sessions although they do count. Some other examples may include:

  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring and industry visits
  • Chairing or attending meetings (outside the learner’s normal job function)
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments
  • Meeting with the Apprenticeship Tutor
  • Working on the evidence portfolio.

How we teach you

The Henley Way

Helping our programme members become exceptional is at the heart of everything we do. The Henley Way is highly practical, collaborative and academically rigorous. We develop confident leaders and professionals who are able to take a fresh perspective and have the energy, capability and resilience to ensure that they and their organisations are successful.

The Henley Way is much more than a set of principles. It is ingrained in our spirit and fundamental to our purpose and heritage, characterising the way we can help our learners deliver exceptional performance.


We engage with programme members at the deepest level, fostering a shared spirit of curiosity, exploration, investigation and learning. We collaborate with them in order to challenge assumptions and mindsets and get to the heart of the real business issues they face.


By creating a safe environment that promotes self-reflection, they can ask themselves those crucial questions that allow them to learn more about what informs their strategic business decisions and actions.


We work closely with programme members to diagnose their strategic individual and organisational aims. We then identify programmes that are best aligned to these goals, or we can co-evolve a learning design specifically aimed at achieving these strategic outcomes.

Rigour and relevance

We draw on world-class research and originate leading-edge thinking – but theory remains theory unless it is applied to real-world business. All of our programmes are delivered by experienced academic staff who integrate academic rigour with commercial application. What programme members learn translates into business results.


Our customers rely on our long history and global reputation for successful executive education and development. These strengths underlie our responsible and collaborative way of working with client to co-create the very best executive learning experiences and commercial outcomes.

At Henley we know we cannot just be exceptional – we are here to help our clients become exceptional.

Apprenticeship learning

As part of the Apprenticeship programme, learners are expected to provide evidence of how they have incorporated the classroom and theoretical learning back into the workplace. This evidence of learning needs to be recorded and is used to help develop the learner’s evidence portfolio, which they will use as part of their End Point Assessment at the end of their Apprenticeship.

How to apply

How to nominate employees

For a learner to join any of Henley’s Apprenticeship Levy Degree programmes a three-way agreement needs to be put in place. This triangular agreement includes: Henley Business School, University of Reading, the employers and the employees (individual learners).

Once this is complete employers are asked to complete a cohort form which formally nominates selected employees and is an initial assessment on nominees’ eligibility. Once the Employer Framework Agreement is in place and nominations have been received, individual learners are sent the online link to apply.

Check Apprenticeship funding eligibility

Before individuals can apply employers need to check employees are eligible to receive funding.

First - Determine whether your business is a Levy payer.

Second – Nominated individuals need to be eligible to receive apprenticeship funding

  • Their work contract must cover the 31 month duration of the programme
  • They must not be already undertaking another apprenticeship, or another DfE funded FE/HE programme, at the same time as the start of this programme.
  • They must spend at least 50% of your working hours in England over the duration of the apprenticeship
  • They must also have the right to work in England
  • If they already have a Master’s degree in Business Management, please talk to our Degree Apprenticeship team, as some previous Master’s degree programmes may mean they are ineligible for funding on this programme.
  • Maths and English qualifications at Level 2, or equivalent.

For individuals who are ineligible to be funded by your organisation’s Digital Account, the Henley MA Leadership (non-levy funded) is available.

Henley MA Leadership eligibility check

In addition, to be accepted on the MA Leadership programme, nominees must either have a first degree from a British University or its equivalent and 3 years management experience or a minimum of 5 years management experience.

For further information on the individuals application to the programme please see our entry requirements.

Contact Image

Contact Us

For more information about Henley’s apprenticeship programmes please contact us by email at or by phone on  (0)1491 418733 .

Important Information

Programme Length: 25 months, part-time (including time for the End Point Assessment)

Price: £17,900 (This can be fully funded by your organisation's digital account)

Next open cohort intake:

To maintain the diversity of the learning groups we recommend no more than 5 individuals from one organisation on each cohort.

NOTE: Closed cohorts are available for organisations to which dates can then be agreed. Contact the Apprenticeships team for further information

Autumn 2020 - Key deadline dates:

  • Employer Nomination Forms to be signed and returned by 15 July 2020
  • If the Employer Framework Agreement between your organisation and the University of Reading has NOT already previously been signed it will need to be signed and returned by 15 July 2020
  • Applications open from 17 July 2020
  • Application deadline 31 July 2020

Course modules

The module descriptions set out on this page are correct for modules being taught in the current academic year. Optional module listings are indicative and may be subject to change

What to expect

The programme combines peer group learning, work-based practice, action learning and reflection – supported by a comprehensive virtual learning environment – to provide you with a deep, multi-faceted understanding of modern leadership. It offers a balance between highly interactive teaching sessions and practical experience, to give you all the skills you need to excel in business today. In the process, you will learn from experienced academic staff and business leaders, explore both classic and emerging leadership perspectives, and discover how to guide business units, teams and individuals through periods of change.



October 2020 timetable

Stage 1: Developing yourself as a leader

Stage 1 typically takes seven months and includes eight days of in-person workshops. It involves 2 core modules plus 1 optional module. Assessment is made up of three 5,000 word assignments.

Develop your understanding of leadership theories, including the management of individuals, teams and organisations. Improve your ability to:

  • Engage with leadership practices based on relevant thinking
  • Take a critical and analytical approach to leadership thinking and practice
  • Understand and apply leadership strategies, tools and practices from a variety of perspectives.

Full module description

Enhance your personal leadership skills, and your ability to:

  • Be self-aware
  • Plan, manage and reflect on your personal leadership style
  • Develop your behavioural skills to increase the effectiveness of your leadership
  • Explore the ethical and practical issues in leadership

Full module description

Stage 2: Leadership of the team

This stage typically takes seven months and includes eight days of in-person workshops or presentations. It involves 2 core modules plus 1 optional module. Assessment comprises two 3,000 word assignments with presentations and one 5,000 word assignment.

This module develops learners’ leadership practice, and improves their ability to:

  • Lead teams and organisations with purpose and responsibility
  • Recognise the link between performance and the manager’s role
  • Retain integrity and reputation as a leader
  • Apply new strategies, tools and practices in their leadership
  • Apply leadership principles.

Full module description

This enhances practical leadership skills through a short project within a different department or division of the organisation. Improves the capacity to:

  • Plan, manage and reflect on practical leadership
  • Manage behavioural skills
  • Be self-aware
  • Consider the risks and practical issues in relation to leadership.

Full module description

Elective modules for Stages 1 & 2

Depending upon the elective module chosen, they may be taken in either stage 1 or 2. They are delivered by a combination of face-to-face workshops, small group activities, personal reflection and self-study, over a period of several months, alongside other modules in this stage of the programme.

This module is specifically aimed at developing coaching and mentoring skills in the programme members. It is delivered by a combination of face-to- face workshops, small group and coaching supervision groups, personal reflection and self-study, over a period of several months, alongside other modules covering leadership concepts and frameworks.

Module aims:

  • Give an understanding of the processes of coaching and mentoring, and the similarities and differences between them
  • Increase the level of self-awareness, and awareness of others, amongst the programme members
  • Develop the behavioural skills to carry out both processes
  • Create an understanding of the appropriateness of each type of intervention for specific purposes in the organisational context
  • Understand the importance of supervision for both activities, and how to manage boundary and ethical issues
  • Enable leaders to make the most of opportunities to be coached and/or mentored themselves in order to become more effective.

Full module description

This module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their facilitation interventions
  • Encourage development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness and appropriateness of their facilitation
  • Increase the level of self-awareness in programme members
  • Develop the awareness of the risks and practical issues in relation to facilitation and leadership.

Full module description

This module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their individual leadership development in relation to complexity and change.
  • Develop an awareness of a range of perspectives on planned and emergent organisational change and its leadership.
  • Encourage individuals to reflect on their role as change leaders.
  • Encourage development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness and appropriateness of their complexity informed change leadership interventions.
  • Develop awareness of the ethical and practical issues in relation to complexity and change leadership.
  • Develop and practical knowledge about effectiveness and assessing outcomes of leading change

Full module description

This module is specifically aimed at developing student’s project leadership skills.

It should be noted that for the purposes of the module, ‘project’ is used as a generic term to include programmes and portfolios.

This module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their individual personal leadership development in relation to projects.
  • Encourage development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness and appropriateness of their project leadership
  • Develop an awareness of the specific contextual nature of projects, especially with regard to temporary organisations and the impact this has for leadership.
  • Develop the awareness of the ethical and practical issues in relation to project leadership

Full module description

This module is specifically focused on the concept of technology as an enabler and provider of competitive advantage as an aspect of digital leadership.

Digital technology leadership is specifically aimed at developing leadership skills in programme members regarding technology concepts and the application of leadership principles. It aims to develop technology leadership in individuals, teams and organisations.

Full module description

This module aims to:

  • Develop the understanding and capability to engage in leadership that is mobilising and maintaining energy in teams, units, and organisations
  • Help programme members discover what organisational energy is and its impact on performance
  • Help them link the human potential to their team’s and organisation’s core purposes, crucial initiatives and transformations
  • Help programme members understand energy diagnostics and energy profiles
  • Discover and apply leadership strategies, tools and practices to mobilise and maintain energy in teams, units, and organisations
  • Explore practices of engaging, inspirational and visionary leadership, concepts of inspiring followership, and self-leadership to sustain high energy–high performance
  • Help understand and apply practices of (re-)vitalising management systems, such as strategy, culture and leadership.

Full module description

This module aims to:

  • Provide a thorough underpinning of understanding on the foundations of neuroscience and leadership behaviour
  • Give examples of leadership coaching case studies, with neuroscience commentary illustrating how and why the coaching interventions work
  • Enable the learner to reflect upon their own leadership experiences and challenges, and experiment with both coaching others and receiving coaching themselves on real life leadership issues
  • Develop an understanding of why the requirements of leadership are challenging for people, and how leadership development interventions, including coaching, can be used to improve leadership practice in organisations.

Full module description

Stage 3: Leadership in the organisation

This final stage takes seven months and includes six days of in-person workshops.

Assessment is made up of one 5,000 word assignment, one 3,000 word learning reflections piece, and a 12,000 word study/dissertation.

This module helps to develop leadership in others. With this end in mind, learners will:

  • Plan, manage and reflect on their individual personal leadership
  • Develop their behavioural skills
  • Consider how to develop future leaders
  • Improve awareness of ethical, moral and practical issues.

Full details of the module

The leadership study/dissertation is a major research-based project in which you investigate a significant business problem and recommend solutions.

It will develop and build on key elements of the learning throughout the programme, and apply it within a practical context. Learners should choose a challenge in their own organisation as a basis for their leadership study project.

Full details of the module


Thought out the course each module will be assessed through work based course work.

Apprenticeship Gateway and End Point Assessment

Once the Leadership study/dissertation is completed learners enter ‘Gateway’ and will then need to prepare for their Apprenticeship End Point Assessment. End Point Assessment (EPA) is the final assessment for an apprentice to ensure that they have met all Senior Leader Master's Degree (SLMDA )standards. EPA is separate to any qualifications or other assessment that the learner will have undertaken so far.

The EPA takes place via a 1-1 meeting with the Independent Apprenticeship Assessor. Each Apprentice’s Portfolio of Evidence and work-based project will be reviewed in advance of the EPA against specific criteria, which will be applied on a sampling basis. The evidence portfolio will be assessed in relation to whether the SLMDA standards have been sufficiently covered.

The EPA meeting will include a Professional Discussion based on the evidence portfolio, and the learner will ‘showcase’ (e.g. make a presentation) of the Work Based Project and participate in a Q&A session on this Work Based Project.

In order to complete the End Point Assessment, the Apprentice needs to meet the requirements of the gateway:

  • The Apprentice holds a Level 2 qualification in English and a Level 2 qualification in Maths (or an accepted equivalent)
  • The Employer and Provider are jointly in agreement that the Apprentice is competent in the role and ready for End Point Assessment
  • The Apprentice has been registered for a minimum of 12 months
  • The Apprentice has evidenced that they have successfully completed their MA Leadership Master’s degree

The Portfolio of Evidence and work-based project are complete. The Evidence Portfolio should demonstrate how learning has been applied in the workplace, and how knowledge, skills and behaviour have been developed, in line with meeting the SLMDA standards. The work-based project will be based on the Leadership study/dissertation project, which the Apprentice will have completed in Stage 3 of the MA Leadership programme.

End Point Assessment

The EPA takes place via a 1-1 meeting with the Independent Apprenticeship Assessor. At least two hours per Apprentice is allowed for the Apprentice’s showcase and interview, professional discussion and grading.

Entry requirements

This programme is best suited for those currently leading organisations, teams, people and projects.


To complete an Apprenticeship programme, it is mandatory that individuals have obtained Level 2 (Grade C or above G.C.S.E or equivalent) qualifications in English and Maths. Employers will be asked to ensure that applicants can provide evidence of Level 2 before including them on a cohort form to start the University application process. The Government has provided a useful link for those who may have mislaid their certificates.

For the MA Leadership to gain the maximum learning benefits we ask that each learner has a minimum of:

  • Three years’ management experience
  • A good undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification

We also welcome applications from candidates with exceptional management experience (5+ years) who may not meet the formal academic criteria.

Management experience

Programme members are expected to meet a minimum of three of the below.

  1. An involvement in strategic planning and decision-making the objectives and effects of which are measured outside of standard operational activities.
  2. A responsibility for co-ordinating the work of others in a team whether internal or external to your working environment and whether corporate, project or event based.
  3. A responsibility for meeting financial targets, managing or working with budgets the outcomes of which may be determined by the efforts of more than one person. Demonstrate how your specific input has shaped these outcomes.
  4. A responsibility for developing and improving the performance of people, innovation, creative output, processes or technology whether for internal or external application.
  5. A responsibility for managing specific projects or teams both within or external to the organisation. Clarify the size and nature of the tasks, and how you managed or directed others.
  6. A role that primarily achieves results through influencing others (internal or external stakeholders /customers) rather than through direct authority.
  7. Experience of working internationally or of relevant multi-cultural exposure.

Fees & funding

Price: £17,900

All this can be paid through your organisation's digital account.

See here for details on how to set up your organisations digital account.

For those organisations without a Levy account, the Henley MA Leadership will still be running as an Executive Education Open Programme