The Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Executive MBA in partnership with Grant Thornton aims to provide the full senior leader experience. It combines the core knowledge, skills and behaviours recognised by the Apprenticeship Levy’s Senior Leader Apprenticeship and Executive MBA themes during the first 15 months, with a complementary part two experience which fully develops the leadership qualities and academic foundations of an Executive MBA.

This part-time programme meets the requirements of the revised Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard. Eligible organisations can use their Apprenticeship Levy to cover Part 1 of the programme tuition fee. Part 2 can be funded by the employer or employee. Please visit our Executive MBA programme page if you will be funding the fees personally and not as an apprentice.

Overview

  • Start date29 September 2021
  • Duration28 months
  • DeliveryYou will be assessed through a mixture of exams, written projects and presentations
  • QualificationMBA, Level 7 Apprenticeship
  • Study typeExecutive / Part-time
  • CampusCranfield campus

Who is the programme suitable for?

The Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Executive MBA in partnership with Grant Thornton is aimed at Senior Leaders with mid- to senior-level experience, looking to develop the skillsets required to lead a department or business.  

  • Minimum of five years' post-qualification work experience. 
  • A strong degree and/or professional qualification or demonstration of high levels of achievement, exceptional career progression or evidence of leadership potential.
  • English language: full details of how you can meet this requirement can be found in our 'Entry Requirements' section.

Please note: a full assessment of your prior skills is required for all Apprenticeship applications, to ensure that candidates meet the requirements when drawing on the Apprenticeship Levy and that the apprenticeship is the most appropriate training programme for the individual.

What does the programme look like and what will I learn?

SLA Exec MBA structure

As you begin the course, you will spend 15 months learning the core tenets of becoming a senior leader. These modules will allow you to reflect on your current role and focus on developing your business’s needs. The next 13 months of the programme will deepen your understanding of your organisation and its context. You will become a more skilled and resilient senior leader whilst developing knowledge in areas such as data analytics, operations management, and managing strategic innovation. The first part of the programme is designed to set the foundation for your Senior Leadership journey with a strong focus on your business and helping you to develop an understanding of your team's strategic importance and your contribution to your business by becoming a more effective leader.

Modules & pathways

Part 1: Compulsory Modules

Organisational Behaviour 
Strategic Management
Strategic Marketing
Operations and Supply Chain Management
Accounting and Finance
Data Analytics
Leading Sustainable Business
Managing Strategic Innovation
Economics and Business Strategy
Global Macroeconomics and Business Environment
Reputational Risk Management


As you begin the course in part 1, you will spend 15 months learning the core tenets of becoming a senior leader. Each module will allow you to reflect on your current role and focus on developing your business’ needs. Part I will deepen your understanding of your organisation and its context whilst working towards your Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard. You will become a more skilled and resilient leader whilst developing knowledge in areas such as data analytics, operations management, and managing strategic innovation. Part 1 is designed to set the foundation for your Senior Leadership journey with a strong focus on your business and helping you to develop an understanding of your team's strategic importance and your contribution to your business by becoming a more effective leader.

Part 1 concludes with an End-Point Assessment (EPA), completed over five months, including the student’s Strategic Business Proposal, supported by your employer. In preparation for your EPA, you will focus on work-based projects, reflective statements, peer reviews, and progress appraisals with your sponsor and coaches to build your apprenticeship portfolio. Here you will evidence the new knowledge, skills, and behaviours that you have gained during your Apprenticeship and how you have utilised them to solve complex problems or lead change within your organisation. View the full list of all knowledge, skills and behaviours.


Part 2: Compulsory Modules

Challenges for Leaders: Managing People and Change
Leading with Impact
Disruptive Technologies
Research Evidence and Decision Making
Negotiating in Business and Organisations
Business Research Project


Part 2 of your programme will inspire your leadership progression with Cranfield’s world-leading faculty and research, challenging you into thinking beyond your current role, to propel your thinking, your toolset, your career and your business to new heights. Here, you will build on your Senior Leader Apprenticeship learning by extending your understanding of your business over and above particular functional expertise, whilst further developing your leadership capabilities. Part 2 aims to propel your career progression by preparing you to carry out senior strategic roles successfully. In particular, you will: 

  • Become a more effective, analytical and adaptable leader.
  • Focus on strategy development and apply best practice in your organisation. 
  • Become a high-performing Senior Leader able to drive the business forward, meet future challenges, solve complex problems, and implement change. 
  • Gain an internationally recognised qualification from a prestigious and highly ranked business school. 
  • Gain international exposure by carrying out an international business assignment. 
  • Discover the confidence and competence to take on new challenges. 
  • Join an exclusive network of alumni in over 160 countries around the world. 

At application stage you will have two key choices:

  1. Your Part 2 subject pathway into Commercial, Entrepreneurship, Defence Export or Finance.
  2. Your international exposure. 

Commercial Pathway

Organisational Resilience
Strategizing in Challenging Contexts
Programme and Project Management


The commercial pathway will nurture leaders to devise strategies that respond to, or drive strategic innovation in their business, and deliver successful change management projects through skilled management of stakeholders.


Entrepreneurship Pathway

Leading and Managing the Family Enterprise
Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation
Entrepreneurial Finance


Entrepreneurship education has a strong tradition at Cranfield. Early on, it was recognised that innovation and growth in the economy are critically dependent on the skills, capabilities, and entrepreneurial spirit of our future business leaders.

Entrepreneurship generates employment, contributes to GDP, and creates innovation by setting up high-growth ventures that make entrepreneurship an essential component of the DNA of existing large organisations and family businesses.

On the entrepreneurship pathway, students will explore the world of entrepreneurship from the founder, corporate entrepreneur, investor, and advisor perspective through three modules; Leading and Managing the Family Enterprise, Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation, and Entrepreneurial Finance.


Defence Export Pathway

Legal, Ethical and Political Defence Security Frameworks
 Defence and Security Marketing
Defence and Security Offset
Strategic Trade Controls and Compliance


The pathway has been designed to respond to the needs of defence export specialists working for modern, dynamic organisations within the evolving defence market. The Defence Export pathway allows participants to gain a comprehensive understanding of the legal and political frameworks in which defence institutions function and the regulatory regimes affecting defence exports.

Participants will have an opportunity to analyse strategic marketing and key account planning processes within the defence and security sectors and evaluate marketing communications, including lobbying, techniques in defence and security settings.


Finance Pathway

Managing International Mergers and Acquisitions
Corporate Financial Strategy
Corporate Finance Transactions

An understanding of finance is necessary in leading strategic business decisions. The pathway will cover the basics of financial strategy for corporations in terms of their financing structures and needs. It will also equip students with the intellectual and practical skills required to manage mergers and acquisitions in domestic and international contexts. 

How do I learn?

Our blended programme enables you to fully immerse yourself in your studies and to network with faculty and peers during your time at Cranfield. Whilst the majority of your course will be face to face, we have built in a number of complementary digital elements to allow flexibility in your learning.

You will take part in business simulations designed to strengthen your critical and creative thinking. Case study learning will help you to apply the theories, tools and techniques to business and develop your ability to think strategically. You will carry out much of your work in small, diverse learning teams.

You will receive feedback from your colleagues, assess each other’s work, and sometimes submit or present assignments as a team. Cranfield’s unique feedback system helps you to review and evaluate your performance within your team. Using specialised tools developed by Cranfield faculty, you will learn about how you work in a team, how your colleagues perceive you, your leadership style, and how to get the best out of yourself and others.

The support you receive

Students will regularly engage with an apprenticeship tutor who will guide them on implementing their new knowledge in the workplace. Students will have set sessions with them, but they will also assist with queries along the way. 

Our dedicated apprenticeship tutors will support both the student and line manager through the apprenticeship programme. The tutor will meet regularly with the student to provide guidance and support in the practical application and evidence of the apprenticeship Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours required to be met before the End Point Assessment takes place. 

The student will also receive additional support from their line manager. We will work with them to ensure they understand the details of the programme and format for learning and the requirements for off-the-job training and monitoring of progress. In addition, students will receive support throughout their studies from their:

  • Learning team
  • Course Director
  • Apprenticeship tutor
  • Student and Academic Support Members

Global exposure

You can choose to make your programme global. The International Business Assignment (IBA) is chosen at application stage and allows you to take your learning outside the classroom and into an unfamiliar environment where you see the world through new eyes. Through the powerful combination of meaningful engagement with international business and a sharp focus on leadership, the IBA is for many a pivotal part of their EMBA journey. You will experience diverse business environments and deepen your understanding of the impact of culture on business practice. The experiences gained will challenge your values, recalibrate your worldviews, and change your mindset.

You can choose between two different kinds of Global Exposure.

The IBA Study Tour will allow you to travel to some of the most exciting economies in the world. During your visit, you will meet with business leaders, get privileged access to leading companies and meet notable alumni in your chosen destination.

This includes spending a day at a partner business school where you gain key insights through lectures on topics such as the state of the local economy, employment practices and business culture.

The rest of the week is devoted to hosted visits to private corporations or public sector organisations, your group project, and additional events such as meetings with journalists, politicians and alumni during the evenings.

The IBA Field Trip will allow you to work in small teams and apply practical skills to support the growth of a small business in a developing nation. You will meet high potential entrepreneurs and their teams and provide support in helping them overcome barriers and grow a sustainable business. We recognise that you can’t change the world in a week, so each engagement is designed to be focused and scalable, and to have a real impact, both in terms of capacity building for the companies concerned and your own managerial capabilities.

Through the combination of meaningful engagement with emerging businesses and a sharp focus on leadership and personal development the IBA marks a step on your Executive MBA journey, bringing together different strands of your EMBA in a powerful experience that makes you reflect not just on what you know but also who you are and what you do.

Should travel restrictions mean students are unable to travel they will have the option to complete the International Business Environment module (IBE). This module will not require students to travel. The overall aim of the module is to equip participants with an understanding of a number of different aspects of international business, and how learning on the MBA programme might be applied to international organisations. The module will expose students to a basic understanding of the challenges facing business leaders who want to internationalise, as well as discussing the business environment in a range of different contexts, and real-life experiences of internationalisation. Students will be asked to reflect on how national context affects business decisions and leadership in other regions.

How do I fund the programme?

Programme Standard
programme 
With International
Business Exposure 
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Commercial
£27,000
£29,500
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Entrepreneurship £27,000
£29,500
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Defence Export £27,000
£29,500
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Finance
£27,000
£29,500


Fee notes

  • The fees outlined apply to all students whose initial date of registration falls on or between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022.
  • All students pay the tuition fee set by the University for the full duration of their registration period.
  • Additional fees for extensions to the agreed registration period may be charged.
  • Eligibility for Home fee status is determined with reference to UK Government regulations. As a guiding principle UK or Irish nationals who are ordinarily resident in either the UK or Republic of Ireland pay Home tuition fees. All other students (including those from the Channel Islands and Isle of Man) pay Overseas fees.

The Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Executive MBA is a 28-month programme consisting of two core payments. Part I can be fully funded by the UK Apprenticeship Levy (£14,000). Part II can be funded by the employer or student and is priced at £13,000. Completion of the programme will award the student an Executive MBA. Applicants will be asked to confirm their desired funding route at the application stage. 

We are delighted to offer bursaries for exceptional students.

Frequently asked questions

View commonly asked questions

How to apply

Next steps 

Please ask your employer to submit an Expression of Interest form to indicate their willingness to sponsor you. 

Expression of Interest form

For a more detailed conversation with one of our Executive Admissions Team members, please contact us

Applications for apprenticeship routes have to come via the Expression of Interest form.  Apprenticeship applications received via the application button on the non-apprenticeship pages will not be processed.

Deadline date for applications: 30 July 2021