Equipping you to lead and manage in the future world of work.

Transformative. Innovative.

Designed to future-proof your leadership pipeline while delivering commercial value, the Senior Leader Executive Programme is a unique, executive-level apprenticeship for groups of existing and high-potential managers and leaders.

This programme is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) through its award of the Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice, on successful completion enabling you to gain a professionally recognised qualification, along with a Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship.

Our offer

The programme has two enrolment options to meet your specific organisational needs.

Closed cohort

An organisation who can identify a closed cohort of a minimum of 30 individuals, benefitting from flexible intake options and tailored programme content, with the valuable opportunity to apply learning across departmental functions.

Open cohort

An organisation with one or more individuals who will join a group of like-minded aspiring leaders from other organisations, benefiting from networking cross-industry.


This programme meets the requirements of the revised Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard. Organisations can use £14,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy to cover the programme tuition fee. View Fees and Funding information

This is a non-award bearing course where successful completion will result in Chartered Manager Fellow status (CMgr FCMI) and the award of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship.

Upskilling strategic leaders

Build a strong foundation of new knowledge, skills and behaviours which enables you to advance your existing leadership competencies and champion the ability of others. Become a transformational leader and a key driver of organisational change.

Creating workplace impact to address future skill need

Transform existing workplace practice through using specific module content addressing sustainability, resilience and digital innovation. You will be able to apply your knowledge and skills to find appropriate solutions to business challenges.

Personal development

Develop as a well-rounded citizen, through the acquisition of necessary skills and behaviours which help you to develop your teams, your organisation and contribute to your community and wider society.

Application of learning to workplace practice

Use your enhanced leadership capabilities acquired through on-programme learning, to positively change workplace practice.


  • Duration15 months + 5 months End-point Assessment
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus, Live online

Programme impact

The Senior Leader Executive Programme is an opportunity for organisations to use their Apprenticeship Levy at scale to harness the necessary leadership skills which will enable apprentices to challenge existing thinking and identify new ways of responding to organisational challenges. Apprentices will learn new and innovative ways to future-proof themselves, their team and the organisation, whilst applying their learning to create valuable workplace impact.

For individuals

  • Set strategic direction, embed vision and a clear sense of purpose, whilst tracking longer-term opportunities and risks.
  • Address your organisation’s future skills needs and act as a champion of transformational change, responding to contemporary issues and macro trends.
  • Act as a role model for authentic and inclusive leadership practice.
  • Use coaching and mentoring to lead, develop and retain talent in your function and within the wider organisation.
  • Monitor and interpret disruptive industry trends and technological change.
  • Deliver commercial and strategic outcomes that fulfil your organisation's long-term purpose, leveraging collaborative relationships and interpersonal excellence to land and embed transformational change.
  • Acquire the personal and professional development skills to progress your career as a senior leader.

For organisations

  • Enhance succession planning by creating a network of change makers.
  • Develop and retain key talent.
  • Improve diversity and inclusion.
  • Address future skill needs.
  • Facilitate digital transformation or culture change.
  • Boost innovation.
  • Increase leadership agility.
  • Improve organisational resilience.
  • Boost wellbeing.
  • Build a ‘test and learn’ mindset.

Who is this for?

The Senior Leader Executive Programme that will be funded by the apprenticeship levy is suitable for:

  • High-potential and emerging leaders.
  • Functional leads and department heads.
  • Existing directors and executives.

What you will learn

Our Senior Leader Executive Programme provides you with a leading-edge opportunity to develop a suite of new knowledge, skills, and behaviours. You will learn to build sustainable, ethical, innovative, and supportive work cultures that get the best from people and enable transformational change across organisational functions. The programme will enable you to develop personally as a leader into one who places curiosity at the centre of your approach as a high-performing leader.

Develop competencies beyond your existing skill set

Challenge your own personal and professional development by drawing on new competencies, enabling you to actively keep pace with, and respond to change, using a leadership style that enables agile transformation.

Future-proof yourself and your organisation

Acquire a range of development tools and techniques that are sustainable and will add significant value as you can effectively respond to ever-changing organisational need.

Cultivate and maintain relationships

Develop collaborative relationships with a variety of internal and external stakeholders to influence decision making and lead effectively on projects to deliver organisational strategic goals.

Respond to changing organisational trends

Respond to social, economic and technological trends within your area of responsibility, identifying and promoting new opportunities and addressing organisational challenges.

Unique and practical programme features

  • Application of new learning to real-life practical challenges, using the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the apprenticeship to ensure you add impact to your organisation.
  • Up-to-date and contemporary programme content, drawing on the expertise of experienced academics and business practitioners to provide you with an inspirational, challenging and thought-provoking learning experience.
  • Modules designed explicitly to help you to future-proof your organisation by exposing you to the areas of likely future skill need, including sustainable business, digital innovation and organisational resilience.
  • The opportunity to acquire personal and professional development skills which go beyond the module content.
  • Peer-to-peer support through online discussions, drop-in sessions, and digital masterclasses.
  • Attain an integrated suite of leadership development tools.
  • Engagement with Cranfield’s renowned faculty – drawing on their research, thought leadership and global perspective on key issues to equip you with powerful insights.

Course details

Course delivery

Module dates


Delivery Mode

October 2023 Intake (provisional)

March 2024 intake (provisional)

Orientation and Programme Overview

1 day face-to-face at Cranfield

October 2023

March 2024

Personal Development, Study and Research Skills

1 day face-to-face at Cranfield

October 2023

March 2024

Developing the Strategic Leader

2 days face-to-face at Cranfield

November 2023

April 2024

Macro Trends in the Global Economy

2 days live online

January 2024

May 2024

Developing Organisational Strategy

2 days face-to-face at Cranfield

March 2024

July 2024

Finance for the Boardroom


1 day live online

April 2024

August 2024

Sustainable Business

3 days face-to-face at Cranfield

May 2024

September 2024

Strategic Marketing

2 days live online

July 2024


November 2024


Organisational Resilience and Risk

2 days face-to-face at Cranfield

September 2024

March 2025

Leading and

Developing People to Optimise Performance

2 days live online

November 2024

May 2025

From Strategy to Implementation

2 days live online

January 2025

May 2025


Programme orientation

Meet and engage with your cohort face-to-face at Cranfield; network and learn about the fundamental apprenticeship and programme elements.

  • Be introduced to the apprenticeship requirements, including the content relating to the collation of your strategic work-based evidence and off-the-job commitments.
  • Meet your Cranfield apprenticeship tutor.
  • Acquire an insight into your programme modules, which include: Macro Trends in the Global Economy; Developing Organisational Strategy; Sustainable Business and Organisational Resilience and Risk.
  • Reflect on your current competencies as a key starting point for your personal and professional development and use this to monitor your progress during the programme.

Module 1: Personal development, study, and research skills

Gain the necessary study skills and research principles so that you can effectively operate as an independent, self-managed and confident learner, throughout the duration of your apprenticeship. Key personal development strategies will be introduced, enabling you to build capacity in skills that go far beyond technical and vocational learning.

  • Minimise any potential anxiety arising from being absent from formal academic study for a significant period of time by learning the fundamentals of what is required to study and research at Level 7.
  • Learn how to apply your existing competencies to achieve the programme outcomes.
  • Be introduced to personal development opportunities so that you can fulfil your full potential and support your wider team to achieve the same.

Module 2: Developing the Strategic Leader

Learn the complexities of strategic leadership within an organisational context, exploring the theoretical perspectives, approaches, behaviours and skills which can enhance your professional practice. Unpack and critically review your leadership ability to respond creatively to complex organisational challenges and understand how to set and deliver sustainable strategic goals.

  • Evaluate the role of the strategic leader in shaping organisational responses to complex transformative change.
  • Understand the leadership skills and behaviours required to deliver strategic goals.
  • Consider and practice different leadership styles, including those associated with ethics and value-based leadership.
  • Develop strategic decision-making skills to help inform future change initiatives.

Module 3: Macro Trends in the Global Economy

Be introduced to key disruptive macro trends, such as technological advancements and sustainable practices and learn how to respond to these using economic and strategic tools to inform an appropriate organisational response.

  • Explore the most recent trends in the UK and Global Economy.
  • Understand the drivers of organisational change and the associated risks and opportunities.
  • Consider the role of economic decision making, including financial and non-financial information.
  • Identify disruptive trends, including those associated with digital and sustainability.

Module 4: Developing Organisational Strategy

Understand your role as a strategic leader, in the context of designing, developing, and implementing organisational strategy. Learn how to shape an organisation’s strategic direction through trend analysis, whilst addressing drivers of change and new ways of working that influence strategic decision making.

  • Understand how to develop strategy and ensure its effective implementation, considering people and resource constraints.
  • Consider the key drivers of change and their influence on decision making.
  • Learn how to set the overall strategic direction within your area of responsibility.
  • Identify the skills needed to lead on projects to deliver the organisational strategy.

Module 5: Finance for the Boardroom

Be introduced to the finance function of an organisation so that you understand the scope, complexity, and role of finance and how it informs strategic objectives. You will learn how to critically assess methods for analysing financial data and information required to make strategic decisions.

  • Understand financial decision making.
  • Develop the skills to oversee organisational budgets based on KPIs.
  • Interpret financial statements to inform strategic decision making.
  • Assess the impact of legal requirements and procurement strategies in delivering effective financial governance. 

Module 6: Sustainable Business

Gain an insight into the senior leader competencies required, to act as an advocate and champion of sustainability, enabling you to develop and implement appropriate strategies, and lead the required innovation and change to future-proof your organisation.

  • Develop the capacities to operate as a sustainable, strategic leader.
  • Assess and acknowledge a range of stakeholder needs.
  • Consider the role of financial and non-financial information, in the context of sustainability.
  • Understand the role of innovation in products, services, and business modelling when designing sustainable approaches to organisational issues. 

Module 7: Strategic Marketing

Build the capacity to understand the strategic context in which your organisation’s marketing strategy is designed, developed, and delivered. You will learn the process which informs strategic marketing and the communication skills required to effectively design marketing strategies that directly promote your organisation’s strategic aims.

  • Identify the organisation’s brand strategy.
  • Understand the leadership skills needed to effectively design and deliver marketing communications.
  • Use data in the context of strategic marketing approaches.
  • Understand digital marketing and disruptive technological trends, including the impact of sustainable marketing approaches. 

Module 8: Organisational Resilience and Risk

Understand how resilience can help to build the capacity for continuous adaptation and innovation, adding to the necessary agility for you and your organisation to respond to internal and external disruptive trends. You will learn how to lead your organisation to ensure it is better placed to be adaptable and effective in dealing with crisis and risk situations, using appropriate organisational resilience strategies.   

  • Understand the emerging risks, disruptions, and disturbances impacting on your organisation.
  • Acknowledge the strategic, performance-based, organisation-wide view of resilience and risk.
  • Lead and respond to crisis and risk in an effective and sustainable way, taking responsibility for your organisation’s resilience strategy.
  • Build the competencies needed to lead strategically in a context that must be able to respond effectively to changing internal and external demands.

Module 9: Leading and developing people to optimise performance

Enrich your understanding of how to effectively lead and develop people to enhance the performance of your organisation. You will explore the role of social capital and recognise the importance of developing strong strategic networks to enhance organisational culture and wellbeing.

  • Understand the importance your social capital in the wider context of leadership and performance.
  • Utilise your personal development skills to enhance your ability to effectively manage a range of diverse stakeholders.
  • Determine your role in designing and leading organisational approaches relating to the development of people across functions.
  • Learn your role in promoting engagement, mental health and wellbeing as an enabler of performance. 

Module 10: From Strategy to Implementation

Consolidate your learning on the apprenticeship by applying your newly found competencies to the final module where you will explore your role in developing and leading on the strategic management of projects, to add value and create impact into your organisation.

  • Understand your role in the design of strategic projects and programmes.
  • Utilise project management methodologies and tools.
  • Recognise project complexity and the role you play in providing purpose and direction when implementing strategic initiatives.
  • Analyse data and identify relevant KPIs to inform project management outcomes and support strategic decisions. 


Cranfield School of Management is one of an elite group of business schools worldwide to hold triple accreditations from:

Triple Accreditation

The Senior Leader Executive Programme is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute. At the end of the apprenticeship, successful completion will result in Chartered Manager Fellow status (CMgr FCMI).

CMI logo

The Senior Leader Executive Programme is led by Cranfield Executive Development and draws on the expertise of faculty from Cranfield School of Management, one of an elite group of triple-accredited business schools and consistently ranked as one of the top 30 business schools in Europe for executive development.

How to apply

Next steps

Our team of executive development experts will be happy to talk to you about your development needs, please email us or call +44 (0)1234 754500.

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