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Senior Leader Apprenticeship Business Administration

Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration (+MBA)

At a glance

Subject area(s)
Business and administration
£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 typically have a degree and several years of management experience


The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration programme enables learners to build their leadership and management capabilities while addressing 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.

Key benefits

Learners on this programme typically have a degree and a minimum of 3 years' management experience, or 5 years' management experience if they have no prior degree.

Before they can apply to join any of our apprenticeship degree programmes, learners need to be formally nominated by you, their employer. A three-way agreement also needs to be put in place between Henley Business School and the University of Reading; you, the employer; and the apprentice.

Entry requirements for the individual

To apply

Anyone wishing to apply to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration should first discuss this with their line manager. Applications for this programme are done via the employer.

Management experience

Learners on the Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Business Administration will typically have several years of management experience already. However, in their baseline assessment, they will need to demonstrate the need for new learning of the knowledge, skills and behaviours as outlined in the apprenticeship standard.

Applicants need to demonstrate through their CV and personal statements that they have experience in a minimum of three of the below areas:

  • Involvement in strategic planning and decision-making, the objectives and effects of which are measured outside of standard operational activities
  • Responsibility for coordinating the work of others in a team, whether internal or external to their working environment and whether corporate, project or event-based
  • 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). They will need to demonstrate how their specific input has shaped these outcomes
  • Responsibility for developing and improving the performance of people, innovation, creative output, processes or technology, whether for internal or external application
  • Responsibility for managing specific projects or teams, both within or external to the organisation. They will need to clarify the size and nature of the tasks and how they have managed or directed others
  • Achieving results through influencing others (internal or external stakeholders/customers) rather than through direct authority
  • Working internationally, or experience of relevant multi-cultural exposure

If you would like to review your CVs and personal statements before completing the online application, our Apprenticeship team is happy to help. Email us at

English and maths requirements

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

Employers will be asked to ensure that applicants can provide evidence of these qualifications before including them on a cohort form.

For more information, view our FAQ page

Other qualifications

A good first degree or the equivalent professional or international qualification is typically required, plus a minimum of 3 years' management experience. However, we do welcome applications from candidates with exceptional management experience who may not meet all the formal criteria for admission.

We are happy to consider applications from nominated learners who do not hold a degree but who have a minimum of 5 years' experience at a senior or strategic level. Our admission panel reviews all non-standard applications for suitability.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship is £14,000 which can be funded by your organisation's apprenticeship service account.

Additional fees for progression onto other qualifications

  • CMI Strategic Management and Leadership Practice certificate - £50
  • Postgraduate Diploma Business Administration - £500
  • Stage 3 of Henley Flexible Executive MBA - from £5,500 - £11,000 dependent on commitment levels from the client

The next open cohort will run on 14 March 2022. Contact our business manager for further information.

How it is taught

The programme is taught using a blended learning method that combines face-to-face workshops*, online and on-the-job learning with independent self-study. ​

There is a starter workshop, plus seven days of action learning workshops and two personal development workshop days. These sessions may be held at Henley’s Greenlands campus or at another external venue, subject to the groups'/your employer’s requirements.

* Due to COVID-19 related restrictions, face-to-face workshops may need to be delivered live-online.

Off-the-job training

Apprentices will spend 20% of their time on ‘off-the-job training’. This is a mandatory component of an apprenticeship that the employer must support them with. Both the learner and employer need to agree how this time is set aside around the learners work commitments' as it is training that they will undertake during their paid hours. Off-the-job training is not exclusive to workshops and online study sessions - other examples include:​

  • Practical training: shadowing, mentoring and industry visits​
  • Chairing or attending meetings (outside the normal job function)​
  • Learning support and time spent writing assignments​
  • Meeting with the apprenticeship tutor​
  • Working on their evidence portfolio​

Suppport for the apprentices

Learning coach ​

The learners will engage regularly with the learning coach who will give guidance on how to implement their new knowledge in the workplace. In liaison with the line manager they will support the apprentice on selecting the topics for their work-based projects and help keep them focused on the sprint as they work through each module. Learners will have set sessions with them, but they will also be able to assist with queries along the way.​

Apprenticeship tutor ​

The apprenticeship tutor supports the learners and line manager through the apprenticeship journey. The tutor will meet regularly with the learner, either within the workplace or virtually, to provide pastoral and learning support and review and assess the evidence gathered for the portfolio.​

Line manager ​

Additional support for the apprentice comes from their line manager. We will engage with them to ensure they understand the details of the programme and format for learning as well as the requirements for off-the-job training. Line managers will also be involved in agreeing impactful work-based projects, meeting with the apprenticeship tutor, and if required, allocating apprentices' a mentor.​

During the action learning workshops and through some of the online learning apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from our academic staff, whose knowledge and expertise underpin the modules they will study.​

During the programme the learner will explore a series of themes and how they may impact the role of leader and manager in today’s fast paced business world. They will also look at how to address these challenges across different aspects of their organisation. The majority of the learning will take place in the workplace as they integrate their new knowledge and skills and relate them to their role, responsibilities and business objectives.​

There are seven modules which are delivered over an eight-week learning sprint. They are taught by our specialist academic staff who are experts in their field. ​

Learners will complete a work-based project​ for each module.​

After all the modules are completed there is an​ End-Point Assessment (EPA)​ an objective and independent assessment to include:​

  • Strategic business proposal ​
  • Evidence portfolio​

Learning sprints

Each module is delivered in consecutive eight week 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 and add value​ to their role.​

The action learning workshops with other learners allows them to work through issues, share ideas and challenge perceptions.​

The eight week learning sprint

  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. Submission of project, evaluation of learning.

Work-based projects

In the work-based projects the learners will need to demonstrate practice of the following behaviours: ​

  • Working collaboratively​
  • Taking personal accountability aligned to clear values​
  • Being curious and innovative​
  • Valuing difference and champion diversity
  • Seeking continuous professional development opportunities for yourself and your wider team​.

Personal development is integral to the programme and runs as a thread throughout the course.​ The programme includes two workshop days for personal development.​

The personal development course will enable apprentices to reflect on their own self-awareness' and present a structured and critical approach to self-development. This can be used to drive new behaviours.

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.​

Learning to manage relationships across multiple stakeholders, learning to influence, negotiate and use advocacy skills. Understanding brand and reputation management​.

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.

The assessment process allows learners to showcase the impact of their work and learning with the submission of a work-based project at the end of each module. ​

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

On successful completion, you will be awarded:​

  • 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 (EPAO), 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 3 months with option for individuals to pay for full membership thereafter).

Henley Postgraduate Diploma in Business Administration

An optional, additional academic qualification is available subject to further assessment of work-based projects and an associated fee (separate to the apprenticeship). Once awarded, this allows progression to Stage 3 of the Henley Flexible Executive MBA.

Assessment of work-based projects fee: £500

Henley Flexible Executive MBA Stage 3

Upon successful completion of the 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.

MBA Stage 3 fees:


  • Individual: £7,500*/£11,000**

Employer funded

  • Corporate cohorts with over 35 learners: £5,500
  • Individuals funded: £7,500*/£11,000**

*when committed to at contracting stage for Senior Leader Apprenticeship.
** after commencement of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship.

Closed cohorts

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

Open cohorts are currently 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.

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