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SLA Leadership

Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Leadership (+MA)

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 21 months including end-point assessment (EPA)
Suitable for
Those currently leading organisations, teams, people and projects; high-ranking staff looking to expand their leadership capabilities


The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Leadership enables your employees to develop their leadership capability and maximise team performance.

Faced with uncertainty and disruption, today's organisations are turning to new types of leaders. Employees need people who instil leadership in others through transparency, vision, passion and integrity. This Level 7 programme can transform your apprentice into a self-aware and analytical leader who is able to drive the organisation forward with confidence.

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

Learners on this programme typically have several years of management experience. 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. In their online application for this programme, they will need to demonstrate that they have the required management experience.

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

Other qualifications

Applicants will typically have a good degree (2:1 or higher) and a minimum of three years' management experience. If they have no prior degree, five years' management experience is expected. Our Admission Panel reviews all non-standard applications for suitability.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Leadership (+MA) 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 Level 7 Award in Leading Strategic Change - £50
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership - £500
  • Stage 3 of the Henley MA Leadership - £4,950

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

Phil is an experienced apprenticeship professional with over seven years in the work-based learning sector, following over ten year’s management and leadership experience in the retail industry.

Read more about Phil

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Leadership programme will be taught using a blended learning method that combines face-to-face workshops* with online and off-the-job learning. Apprentices will have the opportunity to learn from international academic staff at the cutting edge of their disciplines.

* Due to COVID-19, some face-to-face workshops may be delivered live-online.

You can opt for your organisation to join open, closed and/or consortium cohorts:

Open cohorts (max. 9 learners per organisation) are available throughout the year. These enable a small number of learners from an organisation to join with others from a range of organisations and backgrounds. Top-up fees on these cohorts may apply.

Closed cohorts (30-64 learners) allow the programme content to be contextualised around your organisation's objectives and may be taught at a convenient location for your nominated learners. Programme start dates can be planned together.

Sponsored cohorts (min. 5 learners per organisation) enable you to partner with complementary organisations working on similar strategic challenges. You may choose to join one of our open sponsored cohorts, or create a closed consortium cohort working with other organisations of your choosing e.g. those within your supply chain or from within your industry.

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

Programme induction

This apprenticeship begins with an induction to introduce learners to the course. The induction outlines the programme and its structure, as well as Canvas, our online learning platform. It also covers apprenticeship tutors, support for learners and assessment.

Stage 1: Developing strategic leadership capability

This module forms part of the PGDip Leadership (Senior Leader Apprenticeship) programme and, as such, sets out to provide the knowledge, skills and behaviours required by senior leaders in today’s world. The module covers the foundations of leadership, giving a broad introduction to the latest research, thinking and application of leadership.

It is designed to meet the learning outcomes of the Apprenticeship Standard, specifically including the overall strategic direction of their area of responsibility, encouraging employees to understand the organisation’s vision. This also covers how leaders might lead and respond to crisis management and find solutions that meet the needs of stakeholders in a responsible, ethical and inclusive way.

The module aims to:

  • Develop an understanding in individuals about the foundations of leadership, in the context of today’s complex and challenging organisational environment
  • Develop the capability in individuals to engage with leadership practices based on relevant leadership thinking
  • Develop a critical and analytical approach to leadership thinking and practice
  • Encourage programme members to discover and apply leadership strategies, tools and practices from a variety of leadership perspectives
  • Develop an awareness of the ethics, diversity and inclusivity issues in relation to leadership.
Academic authors
Chris Woodrow Updated Photo
Dr Chris Woodrow
20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module covers a range of topics relating to personal leadership transformation and is designed to meet the learning outcomes of the Apprenticeship Standard, specifically leading people development, and coaching, and mentoring arrangements for people within their area of responsibility. In addition, this module includes promoting an ethical, inclusive, innovative and supportive culture that generates continuous business improvement.

The module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their personal leadership development
  • Encourage the development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness of their leadership
  • Provide an understanding of the processes of coaching and mentoring, and the similarities and differences between them
  • Develop the behavioural skills to carry out the coaching process
  • Develop the awareness of the ethical and practical issues in relation to personal leadership development and the development of others.
Academic authors
Amal Ahmadi002 75e5pfidr
Dr Amal Ahmadi
20 [10 ECTS credits]

This covers the challenges of leadership in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, including leading and influencing projects to deliver change and transformation programmes. It also includes how to find solutions that meet the needs of the stakeholders in a responsible and ethical way.

The module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their individual leadership development/leadership responses in relation to complexity and change.
  • Develop an awareness of a range of perspectives on leadership of planned and emergent organisational change.
  • Encourage the 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 practical knowledge about effectiveness and assessing outcomes of leading change.
20 [10 ECTS credits]

Stage 2: Strategic and inclusive leadership

The module covers the leadership challenges of setting strategic direction, including the vision and purpose of an organisation. This includes analysing the external environment and the impact of organisational structures and marketing strategies.

The module aims to:

  • Develop the capability of individuals to plan, manage and reflect on their practical leadership skills in the organisation.
  • Encourage the development of behavioural skills in individuals to increase the effectiveness of their leadership.
  • Review knowledge of strategic leadership models within organisational structures and across supply chains.
  • Develop awareness of programme management, risk assessment and mitigating actions.
  • Recognise the importance of developing leadership capability within an organisational setting.
Academic authors
Dr stephen simister 75edwqchg
Dr Stephen Simister
15 [7.5 ECTS credits]

This explores the challenges of leading in an ethical, inclusive, supportive and collaborative culture, demonstrating responsibility to key internal and external stakeholders. This includes an introduction to neuroscience, reporting to relevant boards and influencing decision-making.

The module aims to:

  • Develop the understanding and capability of individuals to pursue purposeful, meaningful, responsible and inclusive leadership of self, teams, organisations, and society
  • Develop an understanding of the link between purpose, meaning, responsibility and performance
  • Increase awareness of the challenges of leadership and self-leadership with courage, resilience, integrity and reputation
  • Encourage programme members to discover and apply leadership strategies, tools, practices for ethical and inclusive leadership
  • Understand and apply leadership principles and instruments regarding personal integrity, organisational reputation, and ethical considerations
Academic authors
Jean Anne Stewart Cropped 75edwqchg
Professor Jean-Anne Stewart
20 [10 ECTS credits]

The module covers essential financial understanding for people in leadership roles, including contributing to decisions about organisational resource requirements (budgets, people, technology) and ensuring that their area of responsibility is compliant with internal and external governance, such as any regulatory and statutory requirements.

The module aims to:

To develop knowledge and understanding of finance and governance so that individuals can oversee financial strategies and related issues.

10 [5 ECTS credits]

Strategic business proposal

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

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
Anne4 75e5pfin2
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 be awarded:​

  • a Henley Executive Diploma in Leadership
  • the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship | Leadership.

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

  • a CMI Level 7 Award in Leading Strategic Change
  • 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 Leadership

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 and assignments fee: £500

MA Leadership Stage 3

Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership, learners can progress on to Stage 3 of the MA Leadership. 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.

MA Leadership Stage 3 fee: £5,000 (10% discount for organisations with more than six on one cohort).

MA Leadership Stage 3 fees:

The MA Leadership programme is subject to approval by the University of Reading (as of February 2023).


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 80,000 alumni across 150 countries

* Due to COVID-19, some face-to-face workshops may be delivered live-online.

Contact us

For more information about Henley’s apprenticeship programmes please contact

Telephone: (0)118 378 4030

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