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Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration (+MBA)

At a glance

Subject area(s)
Business and administration
Qualification level

Level 7

£14,000 (can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account)
Course length
Up to 20 months including end-point assessment (EPA)
Suitable for
Learners on this programme typically have a degree and several years of management experience


The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration programme equips learners with the key leadership and management skills to address challenges within your organisation.

It is a highly engaging programme that combines personal learning and development with group work, team-based peer learning and support.

During the programme, learners will explore a series of themes and how they impact managers' and leaders' duties in the fast-paced business world.

Next available dates (open cohort)

Start date

Nomination deadline

25 September 2023

5 June 2023

13 November 2023

7 August 2023

Key benefits

As the employer, you need to formally nominate learners before they can apply to our apprenticeship programmes. You must also enter a three-way agreement with the apprentice and Henley Business School / the University of Reading. Find out more about the application process

Entry requirements for the individual

Applicants to this apprenticeship should be in a role which allows for the learning of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship to be demonstrated.

Learners will typically have a degree and at least three years of good managerial experience. Those with no prior degree should have at least five years of good professional experience with managerial responsibilities.

In their CVs and personal statements, applicants need to demonstrate experience in a minimum of three of these areas:

  • Involvement in strategic planning and decision-making. This includes its wider aims and effects.
  • Responsibility for coordinating team efforts. This may be internal or external to their workplace. It can be corporate, project- or event-based.
  • Responsibility for meeting financial targets and working with budgets. These outcomes may result from collective efforts. They should demonstrate how their specific input has shaped these outcomes.
  • Responsibility for developing the performance of people, innovation, creative output, processes or technology. This may include internal or external applications.
  • Responsibility for managing projects or teams internal or external to their organisation. Applicants must clarify the size and nature of tasks and how they have directed others.
  • Achieving results by influencing others rather than with direct authority. This could include internal or external stakeholders and customers.
  • Working internationally, or experience of relevant multi-cultural exposure.

If you would like us to review your CVs and personal statements before completing the online application, email our helpful Apprenticeship team.

English and maths requirements

Nominated learners MUST hold Level 2 qualifications in English and maths (i.e. GCSEs at Grades 9-4 or A*-C, or equivalent) before starting their Henley apprenticeship programme.

We ask you, the employer, to ensure applicants can provide evidence of these qualifications. You must do this before including them on your cohort form.

For more information, view our FAQ page

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration (+MBA) costs £14,000. You can fund this with your organisation's apprenticeship service account. All employers must have an account to access the apprenticeship service.

Dates for the next intake are yet to be confirmed. Please contact our apprenticeships team for further information.

Additional fees for progression onto other qualifications

  • CMI Strategic Management and Leadership Practice certificate - £50
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration - £500
  • Stage 3 of the Henley Flexible Executive MBA - £11,000 (early bird discount available)

The combination of on-the-job learning in the workplace and both formal and informal off-the-job training is vital for the success of an apprenticeship. As part of the Henley community, apprentices follow a learning plan that includes taught sessions, workshops, one-to-one meetings and self-study. During this time, apprentices also continue in their day job and are encouraged to apply their learning in the workplace.

Off-the-job training is a requirement of the apprenticeship and must account for a minimum of six hours per week (equivalent) of the apprentice’s working hours. Delivered through a mix of activities, by Henley and in the workplace, this training must provide new learning relevant to the apprenticeship and not be part of their normal duties. The off-the-job workplace training could include, attending meetings or conferences, stepping up and taking on new responsibilities or shadowing colleagues.

An apprentice's line manager has a key role to play in the apprentice's progress, as well as enabling them to make a difference in the workplace. Line managers are encouraged to engage with the learner’s apprenticeship tutor to explore how they can facilitate opportunities for the relevant off-the-job training and work-based projects.

Read more on how to support an apprentice with the Henley Essential Apprenticeship Guides

Clare Calderan is an experienced lecturer and consultant in financial management and banking, with over 20 years' experience in the industry. She has worked both in insolvency at Deloitte & Touche and Investment Banking at HSBC before continuing her career in further education.

Read more about Clare

Apprenticeship programmes are taught using a blended learning method that combines face-to-face workshops with online and on-the-job learning.

Personal development

Personal development is integral to the programme and is embedded throughout the course.​ As such, our programme includes two workshop days for personal development.​

The personal development course enables apprentices to reflect on their own self-awareness and present a structured and critical approach to self-development. Learners can then apply this to new behaviours.

Modules and sprints

Teaching sessions may take place at our Greenlands campus or external venues, depending on the group's requirements. Most learning happens in the workplace as learners integrate their new knowledge and skills with their role, duties and objectives.

Learning sprints

Learners will work at pace with the support of an apprenticeship learning coach, who will help them apply their learning to the workplace.

Apprentices will share the action learning workshops with other learners to work through issues, share ideas and challenge perceptions.

The eight-week learning sprint

The programme is structured into eight weeks with unique purposes:

  1. Identify and agree work-based project with employer and learning coach.
  2. Study relevant content via Canvas, Henley’s digital learning platform.
  3. Explore scope and aims of work-based project with learning coach.
  4. Apply learning in the workplace.
  5. Action learning workshop.
  6. Development of the work-based project.
  7. Progress checks with the learning coach.
  8. Project submission and evaluation of learning.

Work-based projects

During their work-based projects, learners should demonstrate the following behaviours:

  • working collaboratively
  • taking personal accountability aligned to clear values
  • being curious and innovative
  • valuing difference and championing diversity
  • seeking continuous professional development opportunities for themselves and their wider team.

Developing strategy in a​ changing world

Compulsory modules

The module examines the concept of leadership, its purpose and effectiveness, before exploring organisational mission, culture, values and diversity. The concept of strategy is examined, and organisational structures are discussed. The concept of strategic thinking is central to the module, along with the importance of the organisation’s value proposition.

Students will learn about the organisation’s external and internal context, global and horizon scanning perspectives, technological and policy implications, and multiple stakeholder contexts. The learner will also gain insights into business modelling, as well as an understanding of how to use horizon scanning and conceptualisation to deliver high-performance strategies.

Global perspectives are also considered, through an examination of internationalisation and international management strategies.

Strategy is also considered from a market and customer perspective, giving the learner an appreciation of new market strategies, changing customer demands and trend analysis. Learners gain insights into customer value propositions, to complement their understanding of organisational value propositions

In addition, the module covers the topics of governance and accountability and the link to sustainability. The learner, therefore, gains knowledge and understanding of how to deliver high-performance strategies focusing not just on growth, but also on sustainable outcomes.

Academic authors
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Professor Marc Day

The module evaluates how innovation and disruptive technologies can impact organisations and understanding the drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture, and sustainability.

By the end of the module, it is expected that programme members will be able to demonstrate their ability to know and understand:

  • Innovation
  • The impact of disruptive technologies (mechanisms that challenge traditional business methods and practices)
  • Drivers of change and new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people and culture, and sustainability
  • Systems thinking, knowledge/data management, research methodologies and programme management

In addition, programme members will be supported to develop skills to be able to:

  • Initiate and lead change in their area of responsibility
  • Create an environment for innovation and creativity, establishing the value of ideas and change initiatives and drive continuous improvement
  • Act as needed as a Sponsor/Ambassador, championing projects and transformation of services across organisational boundaries
Academic authors
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Dr Stephen Simister

Ensuring responsible leadership​ and governance​

Compulsory modules

This module examines the concepts of ethics and values-based leadership, before exploring approaches to embedding corporate responsibility in organisations. Exploring ethics and values-based leadership; investigating regulatory environments and legal, health and safety, well-being and compliance requirements; and evaluating techniques to manage risk, including environmental impact and cybersecurity.​

Enterprises need a deep understanding of how to devise ethical strategies and manage risk if they are to thrive in today’s challenging world. Competitive strategies, including marketing communications strategies in a digital world, are discussed. Effective decision-making is of paramount importance in organisations and this, along with the concept of entrepreneurialism are examined. In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, an understanding of crisis and risk management strategies has never been more pertinent, and these are considered in this module. The importance of leadership is highlighted, as a means to drive a culture of resilience in an organisation. Conversely, the ‘dark side’ of leadership is also explored, to equip students with the ability to challenge strategies and operations in terms of ethics, responsibility, sustainability, resource allocation and business continuity.

Academic authors
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Professor Kevin Money

Identifying trends that impact financial strategy, applying relevant economic theory to decision-making, and understanding financial governance and legal requirements.​

The module is designed for the practising manager, recognising that every aspect of the business has an impact on the bottom line. Organisations that do not effectively plan, control and monitor their financial resources are unlikely to achieve their operational targets and strategic business objectives. As such, this module covers core topics in financial accounting, management accounting, finance, microeconomics and procurement to provide a strong foundation for managerial planning, control and decision making. The module is designed to address the critical issues of planning and management control to enable managers to direct the resources available to an organisation in the most efficient and effective manner so that they make decisions, which are essential to achieve their business objectives.

Academic authors
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Dr Niran Subramaniam

Leading through stakeholder relationships​

Compulsory modules

Creating an inclusive culture, encouraging diversity and difference; learning to articulate and translate vision into operational strategies.​

Building engagement and developing high performing, agile and collaborative cultures.​

Strategic business proposal

The final stage of the apprenticeship is the end-point assessment (EPA), comprising an Evidence portfolio and final Strategic business proposal. ​

Compulsory modules Credits

This module sets out to provide knowledge, skills and behaviours required by senior leaders in today’s world.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship programmes provides learners with the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to put together an effective strategic business proposal. At the end of this apprenticeship programme, the learner must decide upon a title and scope for the strategic business proposal, which is signed off by the End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO).

The strategic business proposal forms part of the end point assessment for the SLA, as well as comprising a 15-credit module for the Postgraduate Diploma.

Academic authors
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Dr Anne Dibley
15 [7.5 ECTS credits]

*The module or course content descriptions set out on this page are correct for those being taught in the current academic year. Modules or course content marked as optional are indicative and may be subject to change. Please note, constraints in timetable scheduling may mean you are unable to take some optional modules at the same time as others.


Apprentices submit work-based projects at the end of each module to show the breadth and impact of their learning.


On successful completion of the programme, apprentices will receive:​

  • a Henley Executive Diploma in Advanced Strategic Management & Leadership
  • the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration.

For employers that choose the CMI as the end-point assessment organisation, their apprentices may also achieve:

  • a CMI Level 7 Award in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice
  • Chartered Manager status (on successful EPA)
  • ​CMI student membership (programme duration plus three months, with option for individuals to pay for full membership thereafter).

Henley Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration

Learners can gain an optional, additional academic qualification subject to further assessment of work-based projects. This requires an additional fee separate from the apprenticeship.

Assessment of work-based projects fee: £500

Henley Flexible Executive MBA Stage 3

Upon successful completion of the Henley Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration, learners can progress on to Stage 3 of the Henley Flexible Executive MBA. This requires further study and additional fees.

Please note: an Stage 3 cohort may not be immediately available, and a learner may need to wait for 6–12 months following their Senior Leader Apprenticeship. All workshop and assignment submission dates are subject to change by Henley Business School. Henley Business School reserves the right to postpone an intake start date if the minimum number of students is not reached.

MBA Stage 3 fee: £11,000

An early bird discount of 30% is available to all learners who express an interest in progressing onto the MBA before the end of Stage 1 of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration.


For clients wishing to run a closed cohort, we have the flexibility to deliver the programme at locations nationwide. If you do not wish to use your organisation's facilities, we are happy to arrange an alternative teaching venue that may be more convenient for your staff.

Open cohorts are also delivered at venues across the country. The first and last workshops are typically taught at our Greenlands campus near Henley-on-Thames. Set in sweeping parkland on the banks of the River Thames, this beautiful campus provides an inspiring and reflective environment for focused work and study.


Through the Henley Business School Library and the virtual learning environment, learners can access a multitude of resources including books, journals, market research reports, dissertations, working papers and company information.

Find out more about our facilities and how to find us

Why choose Henley?

For over 75 years, Henley Business School has developed confident and resilient business leaders.

Our apprenticeship programmes deliver:

  • A high-quality education rooted in the latest business thinking. We are triple-accredited for the quality of our provision
  • A direct contribution to business value through learning which focuses on live strategic issues. We work with you to identify the people who will benefit most from the programme and whose participation will have the greatest impact on the organisation
  • A blended learning experience - all our apprenticeship programmes feature face-to-face learning*, enhanced and supported by our mobile digital platform. This gives participants access to learning wherever they are and allows the cohort to collaborate outside the classroom
  • A flexible approach - in addition to our open cohorts, we offer closed cohorts that can be delivered at locations nationwide* and contextualised to your organisation
  • Individual membership of our alumni network, which includes over 87,000 alumni across 165 countries

* Due to COVID-19, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online.

“This programme is perfect for those who are passionate about applying learning in the workplace. It enables learners to bring their new insights to life, through the real-world challenges that they will address during the programme. This means that the programme has a lasting impact on the organisation, but also, crucially, a lifelong impact on the individual too.”
Dr Anne Dibley, Programme Director

Contact us

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about our apprenticeship programmes, please contact:

Telephone: 0118 378 4030

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