This part-time programme meets the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard. Eligible organisations are able to use £14,000 of their Apprenticeship Levy to cover Part 1 of the programme tuition fee. Part 2 can be funded by the employer or employee. Find out more about our Master’s-level Apprenticeships.

Our Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc programme has been developed in partnership with CIM Academy, the only Accredited Study Centre owned and run by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The programme has been designed to meet the needs of the modern senior marketer and offers up-to-date academic theory, commercial insights and practical application. All of our students have CIM membership for the duration of the course.

The programme has been designed in two parts. Part 1 enables students to gain an understanding of both general management functions, including strategy, finance, leadership and organisational behaviour and change management. In addition, students cover specialist and advanced subjects related to strategic marketing, including strategic marketing planning, customer management, digital marketing, communications, and consumer behaviour.

On successful completion of Part 1 students are qualified to progress onto Part 2, the Marketing and Leadership MSc, which enables them to cement their learning and complete a significant work-based project within their organisation. By completing both parts, students will achieve both the MSc and the CIM Marketing Leadership Programme (Level 7).

Businesses can use apprenticeship levy funding to cost-effectively develop employee marketing and leadership knowledge and skills enabling them to apply best practice and be more effective within their organisation. Students gain leading-edge insights into marketing and leadership that can be applied directly within their organisation and are able to think more strategically about marketing management and leadership.

Our Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc is informed by Cranfield’s Strategic Marketing MSc – a top-ranked marketing MSc, 5th in the UK and 15th in the world by QS World University Rankings: Masters in Marketing 2022 – and Management MSc – ranked 5th in the UK and 36th in the world in The Economist Which MBA? Masters in Management (MiM) 2021 ranking.

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


  • Start dateApril 2025
  • DurationPart 1: 20 months (15 months taught element plus 5 months for the End Point Assessment). Part 2: 6 months progression to full MSc and CIM Marketing Leadership Programme (Level 7)
  • DeliveryPart 1 taught modules are mapped to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard (SLA). These are assessed through assignments that relate to a wide range of marketing and management themes. Part 2, the written thesis project, is written individually and submitted at the end of the course.
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typePart-time
  • CampusCranfield campus, CIM Moor Hall

Who is it for?

  • Experienced marketing professionals who are seeking, or are required, to take on leadership roles involving the development of market strategy, managing customer relationships and contributing to business growth.
  • 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 marketing and leadership positions.
  • Self-motivated marketing managers who are keen to develop 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 and teaching. They are also 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 marketing 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 and specialist marketing practice enabling them to show leading-edge insights and knowledge in a variety of management areas.
  • Managers are encouraged to think strategically about business and marketing, 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 and prepare you for future senior leader roles.
  • Develop your understanding of core marketing concepts in order to enhance customer experience and marketing effectiveness.
  • Develop strategic marketing capabilities that enable the delivery of innovation and better communication of your organisation’s value proposition.
  • Develop a strategic mindset for the execution of growth strategies and 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.
  • Become a CIM member and start your route to becoming a Chartered Marketer.

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
  • Marketing and Leadership Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)

On successful completion of Part 1 and Part 2, the student will be awarded:

  • Marketing and Leadership MSc

Progression route to the Marketing and Leadership MSc

The MSc has been designed in two parts. Part 1 consists of the 20-month Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme, and Part 2 consists of an actionable project-based thesis (including an individual consulting proposal). Part two begins after successful completion of the Apprenticeship End Point Assessment (EPA).

Programme structure

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

It’s been really valuable exploring and fully debating views with the lecturers and my peers. The course group is from different backgrounds, roles and industries and we have all formed a solid bond.

The experienced lecturers are very engaging and encourage involvement, interaction and debate which benefits my learning style.

I like all of the modules – I have particularly enjoyed the Leadership module; and I have really enjoyed the value propositions, growth and innovation, as well as the customer relationships modules.

There is something relevant and useful in each of them. The lecturers are fantastic, and it’s such a unique experience, at whatever stage in your career you find yourself.

* These are the views of the individual, not endorsed by the company they work for.

I’m loving the Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc at Cranfield School of Management. It has not only substantiated my industry experience but given me new ways of applying my learning. I’m excited at the prospect of putting all the tools gained into practice for many years to come.

Course details

The Cranfield Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc is delivered in two parts:

  • Part 1: 11 modules are studied over a 15-month period. 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.
  • Part 2: Progression to the Marketing and Leadership MSc over a further six-month period including an individual consulting proposal and an actionable project-based thesis.

On application you will be enrolled onto Part 1 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 2 and full completion of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc.

Marketing and Leadership module schedule


  • Understanding Markets and Competitors
  • Organisational Behaviour for Leaders
  • Understanding Customers
  • Value Propositions
  • Growth and Innovation
  • Customer Relationships and Delivery Channels
  • Marketing Communications
  • Accounting and Finance
  • Evaluating Marketing Effectiveness
  • People Management and Leadership
  • Leading Change

View more information about modules

Course delivery

Part 1 taught modules are mapped to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Standard (SLA). These are assessed through assignments that relate to a wide range of marketing and management themes. Part 2, the written thesis project, is written individually and submitted at the end of the course.

Actionable project-based thesis

You will develop an individual consulting proposal which will critically appraise how you will design, develop and implement a solution to a business issue. You will then conduct a project within the organisation described in your consultancy proposal addressing a relevant business problem identified, expressed in the form of a research question.

Teaching team

Our faculty are passionately committed to improving the practice of marketing and leadership. 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 master’s programmes, executive development programmes as well as sponsored research. Faculty are frequently sought for commentary in the media on marketing matters and as speakers at international, academic and industry conferences. This ensures that what you learn at Cranfield is always current and cutting edge. In addition to the above, faculty command various research interests including branding and marketing communications, complex buyer-seller relationships and retail marketing. They are also developing international thought leadership profiles in their particular fields. The Course Director for this course is Dr Annmarie Hanlon.

Your career

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship+ Marketing and Leadership MSc 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.
  • Start your route to becoming a Chartered Marketer.

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.

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 and/or the MSc, 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 Annmarie Hanlon, Course Director at
  • admission related enquiries and entry requirements, please contact our Admissions Team at 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

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.


Expression of Interest deadline: TBC
Application deadline: TBC

Expression of Interest form

Application Process guide