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 page is for students seeking a Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Executive MBA via the Apprenticeship Levy. If you are looking for more information on the Non-Apprenticeship Executive MBA please visit the programme page.

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. 


  • Start date13 September 2023
  • Duration28 months
  • DeliveryYou will be assessed through a mixture of exams, written projects and presentations
  • QualificationMBA
  • 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+ Executive 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

EMBA Part 1 compulsory modules

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 1 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

EMBA Part 2 compulsory modules

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. 
  • Discover the confidence and competence to take on new challenges. 
  • Join an exclusive network of alumni in over 160 countries around the world. 

Commercial Pathway

Commercial pathway

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

Entrepreneurship pathway

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.

Finance Pathway

Finance pathway

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

How do I fund the programme?

Programme Standard
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Commercial
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Entrepreneurship £27,000
The Cranfield Executive MBA - Finance

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 the Republic of Ireland pay Home tuition fees. All other students (including those from the Channel Islands and the 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), which will be collected monthly through the DAS system after initial registration, with the final 20% collected through DAS on completion of the End Point assessment.

Part II can be funded by the employer or student and is priced at £13,000, which is payable in two equal instalments. Payment one of £6,500 will be made at initial registration, of which £1,500 is non-refundable. Payment two will be made at month 16, consisting of a further £6,500.

Completion of the programme will award the student an Executive MBA.

We are delighted to offer bursaries for exceptional students.

Useful information

View FAQs

How to apply

Next steps 

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

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.

Expression of Interest form


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

Application Process guide


September 2023 start
Expression of Interest deadline – 30 June 2023
SLA+ application deadline – 14 July 2023