Nottingham University Business School
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Executive MBA Senior Leadership Degree Apprenticeship

business students

This programme offers employers the opportunity to attract, support and enable talented employees to deepen their management and leadership skills in the key disciplines of modern global business.

Fact file
Qualification Executive MBA Senior Leadership
Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI)
Duration 3.5 years part-time
Entry requirements Normally a minimum 2:1 degree and/or relevant professional qualifications plus five years' work experience that includes management experience.

Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grades 4 - 9) or above in English and maths.
Other requirements Be working 50% of time in England in a role with opportunities to learn, apply and develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours outlined in the Senior Leader Standard. Please note, the apprenticeship route is only available to UK/EU/EEA nationals or apprentices that have lived and have had a right to work in the UK for three years or more.
Start date January 2020 and September 2020
Fees £24,975 (will remain the same for 19/20 and 20/21 entry, up to the end of July 2021)
Campus Jubilee Campus
School/department Business


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Contact the degree apprenticeship team

Applications for degree apprenticeships are made through employers and apprentices cannot apply directly to the University. For details, see our information on degree apprenticeships.



The Level 7 Executive MBA Senior Leadership degree apprenticeship programme combines the best of research-led education with the world of work. It gives your apprentices the opportunity to learn the fundamental disciplines of management and combine that with their real-world experience.

The programme enhances the management capabilities of senior managers and prepares individuals for senior strategic roles. Enhanced knowledge and confidence enables them to be effective leaders in your organisation.

Why choose the University of Nottingham?

As a founder member of the prestigious Russell Group, we are celebrated for our academic excellence, leading research and world-class facilities. Teaching takes place at our Nottingham University Business School on the award-winning Jubilee Campus.

Training your talent at the University of Nottingham demonstrates a strong commitment to a rigorous yet sustainable career development pathway.

Key facts 

  • Our Executive MBA is ranked among the top 100 worldwide, according to the QS Global Exceutive MBA Rankings 2018
  • We are part of an elite group of EQUIS and AMBA accredited business schools 
  • We are ranked 6th in the UK for research power in the latest Research Excellence Framework, with teaching underpinned by the latest developments 
  • More than 19,000 Business School alumni connect you to a powerful global network of business contacts

Full course details

This three-year degree apprenticeship programme awards an Executive Masters in Business Administration degree and Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

The programme has a modular structure, with individual modules each having a weighting of 10 credits. A 10-credit module represents 100 hours of learning, which will include formal teaching, independent study, group work which may be required in the evenings during block modules, revision, assessment preparation and on-the-job learning and development.

The programme requires the successful completion of 180 credits. 120 credits are from taught modules, while the remaining 60 credits can be earned through the individual management project. Total contact time is around 420 hours. Teaching for the programme is normally by five-day, block-based modules with contact time around 32 hours per module.

The apprenticeship features

Individual needs assessment

As part of the application and enrolment process, we will carry out an individual needs assessment. This will enable us to determine their existing levels of skill and knowledge, and build a personal plan which will set out all the learning, tutorial support, and resources provided by the University.

Tripartite reviews

As part of our continued support for each apprentice and the degree apprenticeship, we offer termly tripartite reviews between the employer, apprentice and the University to formally assess progress in the academic programme and work-based learning.


Apprentices are assessed through a mixture of exams, coursework and a portfolio of work. The degree apprenticeship also includes an end point assessment, which comprises of a review of their final project and portfolio, followed by an interview with representatives from Nottingham University Business School, the sponsoring employer and an independent assessor.

Support team

Each of our degree apprenticeship programmes are designed to include full support for the apprentice and the sponsoring employer. We provide: 

  • an account manager to look after the employer relationship 
  • a degree apprenticeship officer to support each apprentice throughout the end-to-end programme 
  • an assigned academic work-based mentor for each apprentice
  • workplace visits during the apprenticeship 
  • a dedicated academic management project supervisor
  • an academic personal tutor

Course content

The core subjects will develop knowledge of the fundamental management disciplines, which apprentices can apply and integrate with real business issues. The elective subjects enable apprentices to concentrate on more specific subjects to enhance individual interests and career requirements.

The management project undertaken in year three is a company-based project, which will enable apprentices to immediately and directly make an impact on your business.

The overall objective of the school's Executive MBA Senior Leadership programme is to nurture managers and business specialists, and so improve the quality of management as a profession.


Core modules

All modules have a weighting of 10 credits and are compensatable (unless otherwise stated). Modules are taught in intensive blocks.

Year one

Induction (compulsory but non-credit bearing)

The induction has been arranged to prepare you for your apprenticeship and academic studies at the University of Nottingham. The sessions provide you with the information, skills, systems and networks to support you throughout your apprenticeship and Executive MBA Senior Leadership degree.

Leading and Managing People

The core topics covered by this course include leadership, power, group and teams, change, culture, learning, conflict, diversity and motivation.

Operations Management

This module covers:

  • the role of operations management in services
  • comparative analysis of similarities and dissimilarities and manufacturing and service operations
  • unique features of services
  • the development and delivery of a service package
  • design of service operations
  • strategies for balancing capacity and demand
  • strategies for structuring and managing queues in services
  • understanding and managing customer expectations and perceptions in services and their implications on quality of service provision
  • tools and techniques for service quality management
  • strategies for creating, developing and expanding services nationally and globally
  • the role of ICT in enhancing strategic and operational efficiencies of services
  • service supply chain management

The ideas and concepts will be illustrated and delivered through examples and case studies.

Business Economics

In the mixed economy, society's productive resources are allocated by a mixture of planning (government and firms) and decentralised decision making (individuals and markets).

The module provides an introduction to the economic analysis of resource allocation at the level of individual consumers, firms, markets and the overall economy to show how these alternative economic principles can be used to promote the optimal allocation of resources for society as a whole.

Strategic Management

This module examines the process of strategic management, focusing on the nature of strategy formulation and implementation. The analysis of strategy concepts and case study examples will be used to develop awareness of the factors that must be considered in strategic decision-making. Topics include:

  • strategic vision and mission, environmental and industry analysis
  • generic strategies
  • core competence
  • growth and diversification
  • internationalisation and the execution of strategy

The module offers an overview of the nature and practice of marketing at both the strategic and tactical levels. You will be introduced to a variety of conceptual frameworks and will be expected to apply them in relation to case study companies and your own business experience.

Key themes to be addressed include:

  • the nature and role of marketing and marketing management
  • connecting with customers and building strong brands
  • shaping and managing the marketing offering
  • communicating and delivering value

Year two

Finance and Accounting

This module provides an introduction to the theory and practice of financial accounting and reporting, management accounting and finance. Both commercial and not-for-profit organisations will be considered.

Financial reporting is the process of presenting financial (and other) information to a range of stakeholders in order to ensure appropriate accountability and stewardship. You will be encouraged to consider the need for integrity in financial accounting and reporting, and the potential limitations of regulation and standards.

Management accounting is concerned with the preparation and presentation of accounting information to aid managers in their jobs of planning, decision making and control. New and traditional management accounting techniques are analysed in the context of a changing management context with its emphasis on strategy, costing and performance metrics. The content of the module is aimed primarily at managers and not accountants.

The finance section emphasises two of the major financial decisions, the investment decision and the financing decision - where the money comes from and how it is best used within the organisation.  

Research Methods (compulsory preparation for the Business Analysis Project)

The management project requires you to conduct business analysis and research a business issue with the aim of providing implementable recommendations. This session introduces you to methods and techniques required to undertake rigorous analysis for the project.

Entrepreneurship and Creativity

Theorists and policy makers now understand the link between entrepreneurial activity and economic development, and creativity and innovation underpin all successful  entrepreneurship.

Successful entrepreneurship is characterised by a set of identifiable skills that are useful in any domain, and these skills are best developed in an integrative and engaged environment, where theory can be practically applied. This module will use the Ingenuity creative problem solving model to integrate the content and simulate the entrepreneurial environment.

The module's focus will be on generating, evaluating and selling innovative ideas in a team context. Whilst led by academics, practitioner engagement will be central to the module's successful delivery. This will be achieved through a combination of guest lectures and mentoring by experienced entrepreneurs.

Leading Change and Managing Risk

Content to be confirmed.


Plus one optional module.

Year three

Further Research Methods (compulsory preparation for the Business Analysis Project)

This session introduces data analysis techniques for both qualitative and quantitative data.

Sustainable Decisions and Organisations

This module integrates and reflects upon the interdisciplinary nature of the programme and challenges your understanding and application of the material presented on the core modules.

This is undertaken by focusing on the role of different business stakeholders in achieving economic and environmental sustainability - through an examination of their possibly contradicting and contradictory objectives, values and decision-making processes.

We have a wide range of practitioners featuring in the module. You will have to present and defend your integrated sustainable strategy to a real board, consisting of practitioners with experience of board membership. You will also run a real media conference consisting of journalists from the press.

Business Analysis Project (60 credits)

This module requires you to undertake independent research in a topic relevant to business or management.

The specific topic is subject to an approval process.


Plus two optional modules.

Optional modules

Optional module choices should be a minimum of 30 credits from the elective modules list below. Each module – subject to availability – is taught in an intensive block, with a weighting of 10 credits each. All modules are compensatable.

Innovation Management

This module covers the following:

  • What is Innovation Management? - definitions and models of the process
  • Innovation Strategy - the national and competitive environment; innovation processes within multinational firms; innovation processes within large public sector organisations; the systems of innovation specific to small high technology firms
  • Management techniques for innovation - shared vision, effective team working and a creative climate
  • Learning from Markets - marketing technological and complex products and learning through alliances
  • Integration of Approaches - Key themes, learning to manage and measure innovation and through the group presentations - Appraisal of innovation management within different organisations
Venture Capital and Private Equity

The module covers venture capital and private equity provide risk capital to firms at various stages of their life-cycle. This involves selecting investments, structuring deals, valuation of investment opportunities, leveraged buyouts (LBOs), managing portfolio firms, and exit.

Business Intelligence in the Digital Economy

This module explores the role of Business Intelligence (BI) in transforming the way companies strategise and organise for change to induce sustainable growth and innovation, new organisational forms, and intellectual property.

BI is prevalently relevant to the digital economy. Being digitally fluent is a must to lead and manage, and to respond to changes in competition and markets.

International Study Tour

This module aims to introduce contemporary business practice in an international context through a mixture of classroom learning and field visits to organisations in the destination country. The module also aims to enable you to reflect on the application of theory to practical business management issues.

The module further aims to enhance your understanding of the international dimensions to business in terms of other national corporate and consumer cultures and business environments.

* Please note that the International Study Tour module incurs an additional cost, please contact the Degree Apprenticeship Team for more information.

Strategic Market Relations: Building, Managing, and Leveraging Market Relationships

This module covers the following sessions:

  1. What is a market? A service ecosystem approach to understanding markets
  2. Organisational buying behaviour and market structures
  3. How do markets work? Creating and shaping new markets and maintaining market dynamics.
  4. Market relations and sustainable competitive advantage
  5. Forming business networks: business network partnership attraction
  6. Business-to-Business marketing strategies
  7. Innovation in business networks
  8. Managing business networks: communication, coordination and learning in business networks
  9. Strategic market relations in the digital world
  10. Branding and building loyalty: value co-creation in network partnerships
Business Ethics

This module examines ethical issues and dilemmas, covering a range of complex and controversial problems relating to business in a global economy. The main concepts and theories underpinning the business ethics field will be introduced, and you will have the opportunity to apply these to business situations.

More specifically, the module explores pertinent issues of human rights, globalisation and sustainable development, and places these within different philosophical and cultural perspectives. The module also explores the role of professionals from an ethical perspective, and situates these explorations within a political-economic framework.

Project Management

The module covers:

  • definitions and classifications of projects
  • objectives in project management - time, costs, quality
  • activity identification
  • resources and resource management
  • critical path method, programme evaluation and review technique, and resource scheduling
  • performance measurement and costs
  • project lifecycles and models
  • project teams and leadership in project management
  • managing risk in projects
  • critical chain planning method
  • analysis of project success and failure
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • project management software
Commissioning and Service Redesign

In all health service organisations, services are evolving formally and informally. This module will look at the formal ways in which services change, in response to changing health needs and thus commissioning processes; and how organisations can respond through effective service re-design.

Ethics, Governance and Risk

This module considers current issues about governance, ethics and risk in the healthcare sector, and places recent approaches to these in a longer historical and broader social context. The module contents will reflect current concerns in health policy, and will have a focus on the UK context.

The module will include an examination of:

  • concepts of governance
  • current developments in NHS governance
  • the challenges presented by innovative health technologies
  • the imperatives driving new developments in research ethics
Health Finance, Economics and Decision Making

This module examines financial and economic decision making in healthcare, with relevance to the public sector more generally. The aim of the module is to help non-specialist managers who work in - or with - healthcare organisation understand the financial environment and provide them with the basis to discuss financial issues, as well as consider the financial and economic basis for making decision.

You will be introduced to tools and techniques for a range of financial activities such as setting budgets, making investment decisions, forming contractual relationships and including financial issues in strategic plans. You will also be introduced to the core concepts in health economics such as Quality Adjusted Life Years, risk and value; these concepts will be particularly useful in making a case for organisational or service change.

The module will include a number of critical cases and give you the opportunity to discuss your own organisational challenges with the experienced session leads.

Games and Strategies for Business

This module provides an introduction to decision theory and the theory of games with particular emphasis on the application to business problems and managerial decision making. Participants are introduced to the main concepts and tools of the theory and the techniques of practical analysis of business ecision problems.

In addition, the module covers the main theoretical insights these approaches have produced into competition and conflict as well as co-operation and pro-social behaviour between economic and business decision makers.

Corporate Finance

The module examines the ethical and practical justifications for the idea that companies should operate in the interests of shareholders and also the counter arguments in favour of a stakeholder perspective.

The module then deals in turn with the major financial decisions made in organisations (capital budgeting, capital structure, dividends, mergers, working capital). Decisions are analysed first in the context of well functioning capital markets. Capital market imperfections and behavioural biases on the part of managers and investors are then considered.

Leadership and Change Management

This module is about leadership based on the observation that the leadership needs of organisations vary by the stage of the organisations existence. Leading an entrepreneurial start-up requires different skills from leading a mature organisation. Consequently organisations need to be aware of their progress through the organisation's lifecycle and evolving needs.

This module examines the stages of an organisations existence and the associated evolving leadership needs, plus additional situations such as leading in a crisis.

The module focuses on identifying leadership needs and the necessary decisions together with the appropriate leadership style. As a secondary theme there will also be a number of sessions focussing on leadership qualities and styles which will encourage participants to reflect on their own development as leaders. A number of models of leadership are considered and different leadership perspectives. Understanding of the concepts is achieved predominantly but not exclusively through the use of case study material.



The above is a sample of the typical modules that we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Due to the passage of time between commencement of the course and subsequent years of the course, modules may change due to developments in the curriculum and information is provided for indicative purposes only.

Fees and funding

The cost for the Apprenticeship for 2019/20 entry is £24,975 (£18,000 of the apprentice’s fees are funded by the Apprenticeship Levy).

Employers report and pay the levy to HMRC through the PAYE process. The government then provides an annual allowance so businesses can draw down the full amount of their levy funds to spend on apprenticeship training fees in England.

Please note that the International Study Tour module incurs an additional cost. Please contact the Degree Apprenticeship Team for more information.

Careers and professional development

The Executive MBA Senior Leader programme provides a theoretical and practical grounding in the key disciplines of modern business. It develops high-level cognitive, problem solving, qualitative, quantitative and computing capabilities, as well as interpersonal, group working and research skills.

Once completed, apprentices will be fully prepared to take on senior positions in business and management, equipped with the capacity for life-long learning in the global business environment.

This online prospectus has been drafted in advance of the academic year to which it applies. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content) are likely to occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for the course where there has been an interval between you reading this website and applying.

Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 6602