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Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership)

At a glance

  • Designed for senior managers
  • Created based on extensive research with leading employers across a range of industry sectors
  • Provides your employees with a deep, multi-faceted understanding of modern leadership
  • Balances interactive teaching sessions with practical experience
Subject area(s)
Leadership, Strategic Management
£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


The Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership) enables your employees to develop their leadership capability and maximise their team's performance.

Faced with uncertainty and disruption, today's organisations are turning to new types of leaders: those that instil leadership in others with their transparency, vision, passion and integrity. Through the programme, your apprentice can become a leader who is analytical and self-aware, a leader with a strong sense of responsibility who understands how to make people thrive and has the confidence to take your organisation forward.

Key benefits

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

Learners on this programme will 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. On their online application for this programme, they will need to demonstrate they have the necessary management experience.

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

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

Additional fees for progression onto other qualifications

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

  • CMI Level 7 Award in Leading Strategic Change - £50
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership - £500
  • The final stage of Henley MA Leadership - £4,950 (This fee is subject to approval of progression onto this programme by the University of Reading)

The first open cohort is expected to start in Spring 2022.

How the apprentice is supported

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 on 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​

Support for the apprentices

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 on 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.​

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, face-to-face workshops are currently delivered live-online. Find out about our remote education offer for apprentices.

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.

Programme induction

Programme introduction, structure, Canvas, apprenticeship tutors/support 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
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Dr Chris Woodrow

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
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Dr Amal Ahmadi

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.
Academic authors
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Dr Divyata Sohal

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
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Dr Stephen Simister

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
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Professor Jean-Anne Stewart

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.


Strategic business proposal

This is currently in development.

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 learners may be awarded:

  • Henley Executive Diploma in Leadership (Senior Leader Apprenticeship)
  • The Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Leadership) ​

These awards are subject to the approval of this programme by the University of Reading.

For employers that choose the CMI as the End-point assessment organisation (EPAO), 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 3 months with option for individuals to pay for full membership thereafter).

Henley Postgraduate Diploma in Leadership

Subject to approval by the University of Reading*:

An optional, additional academic qualification is available subject to further assessment of work-based projects & assignments and an associated fee (separate to the apprenticeship). Once awarded, this allows progression to the final stage of the MA Leadership.

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.

MA Leadership final stage fees:

£5,000 (10% discount for organisations with more than six on one cohort). These fees are TBC and will be confirmed on approval of this programme by the University of Reading. (October 2021),

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 80,000 alumni across 150 countries

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

Contact us

Progression onto the final stage of the MA Leadership is subject to approval by the University of Reading.

For more information about Henley’s apprenticeship programmes please contact

Telephone: (0)118 378 4030