The Senior Leader Apprenticeship: Management and Leadership PgDip is a 20-month part-time programme. The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) consists of 11 modules, taken over the first 15 months of the programme. The PgDip is awarded on the successful completion of the End Point Assessment, which takes a further five months.

Course modules

Economics for Managers

Module Leader
  • Professor Catarina Figueira

    To introduce the concepts and techniques associated with Managerial Economics, i.e., Microeconomics (e.g. market analysis, price theory, rationality) and Macroeconomics (e.g. inflation, exchange rates and interest rates).

    • The initial few sessions are spent on discussion of the main concepts that serve the basis for the understanding of Economics and the business environment.
    • There is extensive discussion about the properties associated with different market structures and levels of competition.
    • The students are then introduced to important elements regarding the interplay between management and the firm’s objectives and this is followed by a comprehensive discussion about business strategy that builds on what was previously delivered and, as a consequence, the investigation of economic implications for a firm.
    • One important element of the corporate strategy relates to decisions about pricing and this is discussed in great detail.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  • Employ economic reasoning when making choices in the use of resources.
  • Recognise Evaluate the importance of marginal analysis and diminishing returns in the context of business and consumer decisions.
  • Appreciate Assess the various objectives which different firms may pursue and the consequent impact on managerial decisions, including those relating to price and output levels.
  • Analyse both the external environment and the internal capabilities of a firm and understand the forces shaping the firm’s competitive environment.
  • Critically evaluate Recognise the importance of developments in the macro economy and explore their impact on  for management and business performance.

Leading with Impact: Organisational Behaviour

Module Leader
  • David Carew

    Success in management, particularly at senior levels in organisations, depends on understanding organisations, the people in them and the relationship between the internal and external environments within which they exist; and in ensuring that they work effectively. 

    Organisations are run by and for people, and the success or failure of an organisation depends on the people in that organisation. 

    It is rarely an absence of planning that causes organisational difficulties; it is often the failure of management in understanding and managing complex personal, interpersonal and organizational systems that can lead to significant problems.

    Similarly, an acute and critical understanding of these dynamics can lead to profound and enduring success and benefit for the individual, the team, the organisation and, indeed, wider society.

    In this module students will be introduced to various aspects of people and organisations.  This module combines models, theories and ideas from organisational behaviour, psychology, sociology and International Human Resource Management, in order to provide students with an understanding in recognising, understanding and utilising what has been termed the "human factor" in organisations; including ways of conceptualising organisations and how people behave within them.  We shall consider the impact of the external environment; and begin to address notions of organisational change.

    Uniquely this module will also focus on application and will allow students to reflect on and apply theories and techniques in their own real-world context, utilising a structured journal approach in order to enhance their own Leadership behaviours.

    It may also be that students will wish to undertake an in-company project in this area; several of the faculty involved will be pleased to discuss this with you.

    • Individuals in the organisation (covering topics such as learning, personality, perception, motivation, psychological capital and emotional intelligence)
    • Groups and teams in the organisation
    • Management processes (including organisational change, leadership, organisational politics, and cross-cultural management).
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Differentiate ways of conceptualising people in organisations, for example using culture, ethics, well-being, diversity, organisational politics, management, and change frameworks
  2. Assess and evaluate the importance of relationships at work, group dynamics, effective teams and leadership in achieving effectiveness
  3. Critically engage with relevant models, theories and ideas in order to enhance personal capability linked to their personal and professional development agenda.
  4. Appraise how they have increased their personal influence and their capability to lead with impact

Leading Strategic Operations

Module Leader
  • Dr Abdelkader Aoufi

    To develop a theoretical and practical skill base of Leading Strategic Operations. This module provides students with an understanding of the Operations Management task and its contribution to organisational competitiveness.

    • Strategic role of operations
    • Process design and layout
    • Managing the process experience and operational risk
    • Tools and techniques of process improvement and risk analysis
    • Capacity management and coping zone
    • Lean and agile operations
    • Strategic quality management and improvement
    • Managing product and service Innovation
    • People in operations
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Propose and appraise the main components of operations strategy
  2. Analyse the capabilities of different types of operation including the trade-offs and risk involved in the chosen approaches
  3. Challenge strategies and operations in terms of resource allocation and business continuity/risk management and determine how operational processes may be designed, managed and improved and innovated
  4. Critically assess key issues and risks in the strategic leadership of organizations examining both processes and people implications
  5. Evaluate various organisational contexts, assessing how operations management involves cross functional links at the process level

Strategic Marketing

Module Leader
  • Dr Marwa Tourky

    A crucial competence for general managers is an understanding of marketing strategy: in simple terms, analysing how a marketplace of customers can be divided into segments, which of these segments are key targets for the firm, determining the firm’s optimal value proposition for each segment, and what financial and non-financial results can be expected over a planning period of typically 1-3 years. This module teaches Cranfield’s world-leading step-by-step process for developing such a marketing strategy and documenting it in a marketing plan. This process has been developed with hundreds of blue-chip companies worldwide over the last 30 years, informed by several Cranfield PhDs on the topic which have studied what works in practice. This planning process is documented in a leading textbook on the topic, McDonald & Wilson’s Marketing Plans, which has sold over half a million copies. This book is used as the course text. Students may wish to acquire a copy from the library or through purchase to help bridge from the course to planning for real in their subsequent management roles.

    • Strategic marketing in context
    • The strategic marketing planning process
    • Mission statements and organisational objectives
    • The Marketing Audit and analytical tools
    • Market maps and market segmentation
    • SWOT analysis
    • The Directional Policy Matrix
    • Marketing objectives and strategies
    • Product and pricing strategy.
Intended learning outcomes

On completing this module, the following outcomes will have been achieved and students will be able to:

  1. Understand the evolution and role of marketing and be able to evaluate the characteristics of a customer-centric organization.
  2. Select and critically reflect on a series of marketing strategy tools and techniques which are applied to business opportunities and problems.
  3. Have a critical understanding of the construction and evaluation of a strategic marketing plan.
  4. Compose a written strategic marketing plan for a senior management audience.

Leading Corporate Sustainability

Module Leader
  • Dr Annette Yunus-Pendrey

    Global sustainability challenges are shaping the way business operates in the 21st century. Businesses are under increasing pressure from multiple stakeholders (for e.g. shareholders, customers, employees, society) to manage their positive and negative impacts with clear responsibility and strategic intent.  Leading firms are choosing to respond to these challenges by generating sustainable value propositions to ultimately drive competitive advantage. For many this has meant re-engaging at the level of purpose and re-addressing their role in wider society and for human well-being.

    This module outlines the major sustainability challenges and explores the capabilities organisations require to respond positively to them. It will engage you in gaining a better understanding of how corporate action can be best configured to promote responsible and sustainable business strategies. In doing so, it will demand management students (as future business managers and leaders) to reflect on the long-standing debate about whether or not ‘the business of business, is still business?

    Watch video: An introduction to the Leading Corporate Sustainability module

    Leading Corporate Sustainability

    The content is organised around the sustainability management ‘compass’ below:

    The course content is structured as follows:

    Leading Corporate Sustainability

    Part 1: Setting the context

    Context setting

    • Managing corporate sustainability
    • Social and environmental trends

    The role of business

    • The role of business
    • Challenges and opportunities for business

    Exploring possible futures

    • Playing an interactive future sustainable scenario board game

    Part 2: Developing the capabilities

    • Setting a purpose
    • Formulating and implementing strategy
    • Working with stakeholders
    • Innovating
    • Collaborating
    • Valuing
    • Leading
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Identify global environmental and social trends and assess how these present both challenges and opportunities to business and analyse the capabilities businesses need to manage these.
  2. Classify the potential stakeholder groups businesses can work with to develop and implement their sustainability strategies and evaluate collaborative approaches
  3. Assess the role of personal leadership in an organization’s values, strategic direction and ability to execute its sustainability strategy
  4. Critically assess the content and reporting of businesses’ sustainability strategies
  5. Design and recommend a sustainability-oriented innovation for a selected business.


Module Leader
  • Dr Matthias Nnadi

    Financial Accounting: to give students a thorough understanding of company accounts, how they are constructed and how to interpret them. 

    Management Accounting: to look at and understand the key issues in the subject from the point of view of business leaders needing to make practical decisions in their organisation.

    • The fundamental accounting documents – Income Statement, Statement of Financial Position and Cash Flow Statement
    • Interpretation of accounts through ratio analysis
    • Cost/volume/profit analysis and breakeven
    • Allocation of overhead costs
    • Budgeting and variance analysis
    • Transfer pricing

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the fundamental principles of financial accounting.
  2. Prepare key financial statements from basic information.
  3. Analyse and interpret company accounts.
  4. Classify different types of cost, understand methods of internal pricing and conduct break-even analysis.
  5. Prepare budgets and interpret variances from budget.

Strategic Management and Leadership

Module Leader
  • Dr Mehdi Safavi

    Strategic Management and Leadership is concerned with the direction and scope of the organisation. This involves determining the purpose of the organisation, establishing objectives and formulating strategies to achieve the objectives. It predominantly explores how an organisation positions itself with regard to its changing environment, and in particular its competitors, in order to gain and sustain competitive advantage. This means that strategic management and leadership considers how an organisation’s internal resources and capabilities can be developed to meet the changing demands of customers, in such a way as to achieve the expectations and objectives of its stakeholders.


    We begin by examining the different levels of strategy and the joint importance of strategy content and strategy process by discussing generic strategies. We then explore strategic management at the business unit level, introducing the notions of industry analysis, resources and capabilities, and sustainable competitive advantage. In so doing, we explore various strategic tools and techniques for internal and external analyses. Finally, we address the challenge of how strategies can be turned into action and the particular role of strategic leadership within this.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Identify the key questions and critically analyse the associated challenges to be addressed in formulating an organisation’s competitive strategies.
  2. Create ways for organisations to sustain competitive advantage, building on a detailed understanding how an organisation and its leaders can harness its internal resources and capabilities and react appropriately to changes in its external environment.
  3. Appraise and differentiate between corporate, competitive (business unit) and functional strategies and the roles of leaders in leading strategic change.
  4. Critically apply a range of tools and techniques to illuminate the key questions of competitive strategy.

People Management and Leadership

Module Leader
  • Dr Joshua Haist

    This module is concerned with managing the organisation’s key resource – the people who work for it. It aims to help learners understand how effective people management can contribute to develop and sustain organisations. The module aims to develop an insight into the complexities of managing people in a changing environment. The focus of the module is to help learners understand the relationship between people management and organisational performance, including managerial roles and responsibilities, especially the crucial role of line managers.

    The module will provide an introduction to the main activities associated with resourcing, developing and day–to-day management of people in organisations. It is not the intention of the module to develop human resource management specialist, but rather to provide a general introduction to the people management issues that concern all managers.

    The module will draw on key academic contributions in the broad field of people management, including current research being carried out by faculty in the School of Management. Throughout the module, sessions will be highly interactive in order to develop critical insight and core skills in the people management field.

    • Strategic People Management
    • The Changing World of Work
    • Talent Sourcing
    • Talent Development and Succession Planning
    • Managing Performance
    • Rewards and Remuneration
    • Employment Relations
    • Employment Law
    • Building a People Strategy
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module a student should be able to:

  1. Evaluate the contribution people resources make to developing and sustaining organisations.
  2. Have a critical appreciation of the role, responsibility and scope of people management activities.
  3. Apply and evaluate a complex range of established models and factors which influence choices made in people management.
  4. Undertake critical analyses of a range of people management issues and be able to make considered, informed proposals to address them.
  5. Design people management strategies and critically explore their relationship with business strategies.

Supply Chain Management

Module Leader
  • Dr Lorenzo Prataviera

    The aim of the module is to provide theoretical and practical knowledge about:

    • The principles, elements, and performance dimensions of logistics and supply chain management.
    • The strategies used by companies when managing their supply chains by considering the types of products and the specifications of market. 
    • The procurement, sourcing, and manufacturing strategies applied by companies.
    • The principles and performance dimensions of physical distribution of products, and the strategies used by companies when managing their distribution networks. 
    • The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and sustainability in managing logistics and supply chain operations.


    Watch Supply Chain Simulation Game

    • Supply chain principles and strategies.
    • Sustainability of logistics and supply chain operations.
    • Procurement strategies.
    • Manufacturing strategies.
    • Physical distribution strategies.
    • The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
    • Integration and inter-organisational collaboration in supply chain.
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

  1. Identify and critically evaluate the principles and concepts related to logistics and supply chain management.
  2. Explain and apply the principles of global sourcing and physical distribution network design and discuss the interaction between the elements of supply networks.
  3. Explain and apply the principles of manufacturing and providing high variety and customised products.
  4. Identify the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and sustainability in the overall competitive strategy of supply chains.
  5. Formulate ways to improve supply chain integration internally and externally across companies to improve supply chain performance in terms of time, cost and service quality.

Management Consulting

Module Leader
  • Dr Monica Franco-Santos

    This is an integrative module allowing students to develop management consulting skills and apply their learning in a practical manner. It will use the insights generated through the Effective Cross-Cultural Management module to explore the cultural nuances of the company/national culture relevant to the case company. Students will work in their consulting teams and will role-play as a management consulting team, competing against the other teams. All teams will address the same business challenge: a genuine business issue in a particular company. Students will have a set of taught sessions on the ‘art and craft’ of management consulting. In parallel, they will work with their consulting teams to address the case company business challenge. They will engage with the problem; gather the relevant data; use appropriate tools/frameworks and propose innovative, pragmatic and achievable solutions.


    This module comprises conceptual knowledge about the foundations of management consulting and practical knowledge developed through a consulting project for a real organization which every year is chosen by the module leader. The module includes teaching and feedback sessions focused on the following:

    Consulting skills

    • Listening and questioning
    • Communication
    • Persuasion
    • Evidence-based problem solving
    • Critical thinking
    • Teamworking

    Consulting process

    • Diagnostic phase
    • Data collection and analysis phase
    • Design phase
    • Implementation phase
    • Education phase 
Intended learning outcomes

This module is intended to enable students to develop critical management consulting skills and apply them in the context of a real-life business problem. By the end of this module students should be able to:

  1. Identify and critically examine managerial problems and provide innovative ideas based on evidence to address them
  2. Explain and critically assess relevant processes, concepts and methods involved in management consulting projects.
  3. Practice critical thinking to diagnose problems and design potential solutions.
  4. Present ideas effectively to an audience of business executives.

Programme and Project Management

Module Leader
  • Stephen Carver

    This is an introduction to the subject. However, it is our contention that projects are the building blocks of strategy. Also, the module provides a logical and simple process by which you may approach their own modules and objectives, and may well be a valuable source of confidence for taking on major elective projects later in the year. 

    Project Management Introduction (PMI) demonstrates how management respects no boundaries (either in terms of functional silos – departments, etc. or theoretical disciplines). PMI provides additional opportunities to practice personal communication skills, and generally the module provides a basis for personal development and increased confidence and self-awareness.


    The central aims of this module are to develop an introductory understanding of: 

    • The fundamental principles of project management applied in the contemporary environment of enterprise projects.
    • The application of the main techniques and processes of project management in a team-based application of the planning/execution/control cycle.
    • On completing this module, you should be able to:
      • Develop an Executive Summary (a concise one page overview of the project) linking the project to higher level organisational objectives.
      • Scope the project by creating a Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).
      • Identify key task sequences and the critical path using network (logic) diagramming.
      • Set up a graphical representation of the schedule using the bar chart (Gantt), and track progress against the baseline schedule.
      • Use knowledge of resource availability to adjust schedules (resource levelling) and establish realistic milestones, lead times and deadlines.
      • Recognise appropriate levels of detail for the scoping and scheduling process, the change management, the progress reporting requirements and the delivery.
      • Develop and manage budgets and cash flow for a project.
      • Have used Earned Value techniques to assess achievement and produce forecasts.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Apply the key tools and techniques in project management.
  2. Identify, define, scope, schedule, track and bring to completion a project.
  3. Apply financial management process in a project management context.
  4. Brief and manage consultant project staff on behalf of your organisation.

Business Skills and Negotiations (MSc route only)

Module Leader
  • Dr Lyn Lanka

    The aim of this module is twofold.

    Firstly, it aims to help participants develop business skills and confidence in managing in multinational organizations. The module explores management and leadership issues arising from working within culturally diverse organisations and enables students to more successfully lead change leadership challenges.

    Secondly, it aids in the understanding of the principles of business-to-business negotiation, taking the opportunity to practice learned skills and obtaining feedback on their performance. It will provide participants with an understanding of how to manage commercial relationships through negotiation throughout the procurement cycle.


    This module has the following elements:

    • General Cultural Frameworks and Theories – Analysing Basic Assumptions and the Impact on Cross-Cultural Management;
    • Appropriate Behaviours and Positive Emotions – Managing cross-cultural adjustment processes;
    • Applying the Insights – Improving Cross-Cultural Negotiations;
    • Describing commercial relationships in the context of the business environment;
    • Examine supplier/buyer aspects of commercial relationships;
    • Identify barriers to successful commercial relationships;
    • Principles, process, strategy, and structure of B2B negotiation;
    • Negotiation practice sessions (Role-play);
    • Reflection - Evaluating Cultural Frameworks, Negotiation Approaches and Considering Personal Takeaways.

    Throughout, the interface between individuals and national/organisational culture will be explored. Participants will be encouraged to reflect personally on the cross-cultural context they are embedded in, on adjustment required to develop effective supranational skills, knowledge and behaviours as well as how to build social networks.

    Individuals will also be encouraged to reflect on the B2B skills they have learned and how they can put it into practice in the workplace.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Critically assess and apply key change management frameworks in order to operate with appropriate sensitivity and responsiveness in designing and implementing change;
  2. Create and operationalise holistic global talent identification and selection approaches that go beyond individual performance elements to factor in the special context of working abroad;
  3. Identify and evaluate the process, styles and approaches to negotiation in a business setting;
  4. Plan, design and implement successful B2B negotiations.
  5. Analyse and evaluate the different strategic B2B approaches to negotiation, determining when to apply each in the commercial arena;

Throughout, the interface between individuals and organisations will be explored. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on their own global working preferences and experiences as well as their skills, knowledge and behaviours in change management. Individuals will also be encouraged to reflect on the B2B negotiation skills they have learned and how they can put them into practice in the workplace.

Evidence-based Management (MSc route only)

Module Leader
  • Dr Valentina Battista

    The module is primarily designed to provide students with an understanding of what is required to conduct research in business contexts considering that todays’ managers

    • are paid to make decisions
    • are expected to make ‘informed’ decisions (i.e. based on evidence)
    • are evaluated on the basis of the outcomes from their decisions. 

    Therefore, understanding the process of producing evidence will ensure students to have the core skills to inform management decisions.


    Introduction to evidence-based management

    • The elements of evidence-based management

    Conducting research in management

    • Defining management problems
    • Reviewing the literature

    Using qualitative research methods

    • Interviews and focus groups in qualitative research
    • Qualitative data analysis: using NVivo

    Using quantitative research methods

    • Designing questionnaires and conducting surveys
    • Quantitative data analysis: using IBM SPSS statistics

    Presenting research evidence

    • Translating data into information to support management decisions
Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate evidence in order to inform management decisions.
  2. Assess and select appropriate methods of qualitative and quantitative data collection to gather a varied range of evidence to support decision.
  3. Choose and apply appropriate methods of qualitative and quantitative data analysis to gain insights from data and explore the implications of decisions.
  4. Utilise quantitative and qualitative analysis software.
  5. Access different sources of evidence to gain a comprehensive and critically reflective understanding of organisational issues.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff. As a result, they may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed above the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.