Eligible organisations are able to use £14,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy to cover the programme tuition fee, which incorporates the Management and Leadership PgDip (Part I). There is then the option to continue and complete the MSc in Management and Leadership (Part II).

Our Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) programme is delivered in partnership with business advisory firm, Grant Thornton. The programme provides a distinctive and collaborative learning experience which develops students’ leadership and management capabilities enabling them to become reflective and evidence-based leaders of the future.

Businesses can use apprenticeship levy funding to cost-effectively develop employee management and leadership knowledge and skills enabling them to apply best practice and be more effective within their organisation. Students gain a comprehensive knowledge of core business functions enabling them to show leading-edge insights and knowledge in a variety of management areas and think more strategically about business and management.

On successful completion of the apprenticeship programme, which incorporates the Management and Leadership PgDip (Part I), successful students have the option to progress onto the Management and Leadership MSc (Part II), which enables them to cement their learning and complete a significant work-based project within their organisation. Graduates will have a deep understanding of contemporary business issues and a capacity to assume active leadership roles.

This page is for employers and prospective students interested in the Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip via the Apprenticeship Levy. If you are looking for information about the self-funded part-time Management and Leadership MSc, please view here.


  • Start date18 September 2023
  • DurationPart I: 20 months (15 months taught element plus 5 months for the End Point Assessment). Part II: 6 months progression to full MSc
  • DeliveryPart I taught modules are mapped to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard (SLA). These are assessed through assignments that relate to a wide range of management and leadership themes. Part II, the written thesis project, is written individually and submitted at the end of the course.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus, and Grant Thornton, London

Who is it for?

  • Early-career professionals who want a "real-world" business education which they can apply directly back to their workplace.
  • Second career professionals seeking a change into management and leadership positions.
  • Self-motivated managers who are keen to improve themselves, enhance their skills, knowledge and abilities, and become more effective leaders.

Informed by industry

The University has drawn on its world leading research and connections with industry across the globe to inform the course. Many of our faculty have also held senior positions in the private and public sector and continue to engage with industry and Government through consultancy, teaching and research. They are supported by a team of international visiting industry speakers and academics who bring the latest thinking and best practice into the classroom.

Key information

Benefits for businesses

  • Develop your employee’s management and leadership knowledge and skills, enabling them to apply best practice and be more effective within your organisation.
  • Managers gain an understanding of how to develop leadership capabilities in themselves, and others, enabling them to meet your business challenges.
  • Managers gain a contemporary and comprehensive knowledge of core business functions enabling them to show leading-edge insights and knowledge in a variety of management areas.
  • Managers are encouraged to think strategically about business and management, and ensure organisational functions and groups are motivated and aligned to meet objectives.
  • Develops your managers’ self-awareness and confidence to lead and/or operate effectively as a member of a team.

Benefits for individuals

  • Join a programme that provides new insights, knowledge and skills that can shape your future career.
  • The collaboration of Cranfield and Grant Thornton in the delivery of this course ensures you will be exposed to industry-leading education, incorporating teaching from current practitioners, business simulations and one-to-one leadership coaching.
  • Develop your understanding of core business functions and latest management thinking, while at the same time enhancing your leadership skills, and prepare yourself for future senior leader roles.
  • Develop a strategic mind-set to enable the achievement of business objectives.
  • Develop the self-awareness and confidence to successfully lead and operate more effectively as part of a team.
  • Apply your newly acquired knowledge, skills and abilities immediately in your workplace.
  • Study with a cohort of talented professionals drawn from a range of industries and backgrounds, building your network and giving insights into international practice.
  • Become a member of our highly ranked* alumni network and join a network of 70,000+ alumni across 169 countries.

*Ranked 2nd in the UK and 18th in the world in the Economist full-time MBA ranking 2021.

How we teach you

How it is taught
Parts I and II are taught through a blended learning method which combines face-to-face teaching, online and on-the-job learning with independent self-study.

Off-the-job training
Students will spend 20% of their time on off-the-job training. This is a mandatory component of an apprenticeship that the employer must support. Some of this time will be spent on the taught element of the programme, but may also include practical training, attending meetings outside the normal job function, work shadowing, attending conferences and workshops, and time spent writing assignments.

Support for students
Students will engage regularly with a learning coach who will give guidance on how to implement their new knowledge in the workplace. Students will have set sessions with them, but they will also be able to 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 evidencing of the apprenticeship Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that are 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 as well as the requirements for off-the-job training and monitoring of progress.

Awards on completion

On successful completion of Part I, including End Point Assessment, the student will be awarded:

  • The Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Management and Leadership

On successful completion of Part I and Part II, the student will be awarded:

  • Management and Leadership MSc

Progression route to the Management and Leadership MSc

The MSc has been designed in two parts. The first consists of the 20-month Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme, and the second consists of one module and a thesis (including the evidence-based management module). Part two begins after successful completion of the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA).

Course structure

The MSc thesis provides students with the opportunity to deepen their skills and knowledge. Choosing an industry or work-related topic and figuring out how to approach it prepares them for project management in the workplace. Learning how to consolidate differing opinions whilst asserting their own ideas and opinions is essential in report and review writing, and in navigating difficult business discussions. Thesis writing teaches students to develop flexibility when presenting an original argument and improves time management and organization of thinking. It pushes students to express themselves authoritatively and fluently in writing.

A student undertaking study from start to finish without deferment or suspension, will complete the academic and apprenticeship elements in 26 months.

Fees and funding

Our Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip programme is a 20-month programme. This 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. For students choosing to progress on to Part II of the programme, to complete the Management and Leadership MSc, the additional fee of £5000 can be funded by employer or employee and would need to be payed at month 16.

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.

Course details

The Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip consists of 12 modules that are studied over a 15-month period through one week of teaching each quarter. During this time, students build their portfolio of work-based evidence with support from their employer and their Cranfield Apprenticeship Tutor. Students also have peer coaching alongside their studies. This concludes with an End-Point Assessment (EPA), completed over a five-month period, which includes the student’s Strategic Business Proposal, supported by their employer.

Following successful completion of the Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip (Part I), students have the option to progress onto the Management and Leadership MSc, which involves a further six-month period of study and includes an additional compulsory module, research preparation and an organisation-based or relevant research project (Part II).

Course delivery

Part I taught modules are mapped to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard (SLA). These are assessed through assignments that relate to a wide range of management and leadership themes. Part II, the written thesis project, is written individually and submitted at the end of the course.

More information

On application you will be enrolled onto Part I of the programme and begin your studies. Throughout the course you will have regular communication with your Course Director to discuss your progression choices on to Part II and full completion of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Management and Leadership MSc.


  • Economics for Managers
  • Organisational Behaviour for Leaders
  • Leading Strategic Operations
  • Strategic Marketing
  • Leading Corporate Sustainability
  • Accounting
  • Strategic Management and Leadership
  • People Management and Leadership
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Management Consulting
  • Programme and Project Management
  • Business Skills and Negotiations (MSc route only)
  • Evidence-based Management (MSc route only)

View more information about modules

Teaching team

Our faculty are passionately committed to improving the practice of management. As leaders in their field with hands-on business experience, they understand the challenges of putting theory into practice. Their experience is reinforced by close links with organisations through consultancy projects, teaching on executive development programmes and sponsored research. This ensures that what you learn at Cranfield is always current and cutting edge. The Course Director for this course is Dr Robby Allen.

Your career

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip will enable you to develop your knowledge, skills and abilities while applying what you learn directly in your workplace. The programme will support your career progression, preparing you to successfully carry out senior leadership roles in the future.

You will work with accredited coaches, members of faculty and careers advisors throughout the course enabling you to:

  • Discover and develop your leadership and team-working style
  • Identify how to enhance your personal effectiveness
  • Work out where you want to go professionally
  • Learn the techniques of effective team leadership
  • Become more sensitive to situations, cultures and contexts
  • Prepare to lead change and face future challenges.

Our Career services team offer: individual career consultations, speaker events, alumni networking, networking workshop, personal and executive career coaching, leadership assessment centre, and more practical skills-based workshops on writing CVs and cover letters, and interview skills.


Find out more about the Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip with our programme specific frequently asked questions.

View FAQs

How to apply

Next steps 

Our students do not always fit traditional academic or career paths. We consider this to be a positive aspect of diversity, not a hurdle. We are looking for a body of professional learners who have a wide range of experiences to share. If you are unsure of your suitability for our Apprenticeship programme, we are happy to review your details and give feedback before you make a formal application.


For queries relating to…

  • general information about the course, course modules etc. please contact Dr Robby Allen, Course Director at Robby.Allen@cranfield.ac.uk
  • admission related enquiries and entry requirements, please contact our Admissions Team at studysom@cranfield.ac.uk or call +44 (0)1234 758081
  • employer related enquiries, fees and funding, and the expression of interest/application process, please contact our Apprenticeships Team at apprenticeships@cranfield.ac.uk

Employers: please complete our Expression of Interest form

Prospective students: 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.

Deadline date for expressions of interest: TBC
Deadline date for applications: TBC

Expression of Interest form

Application Process guide