Course overview

This is a Middlesex University programme and qualification, designed, assessed and quality assured by Middlesex but delivered at and by a partner.

Level of study: Postgraduate
Award: MBA (Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship)
Apprenticeship standard: Senior Leader
Awarding body:
Middlesex University
Fees: This programme is fully funded by your employer through the Apprenticeship Levy
Entry requirements: 2:2 honours degree or equivalent and a minimum of 2 years continuous workplace experience gained in a managerial or professional job
English language requirements: GCSE English at Grade C or above, or English taught degree
Mode of study: Part-Time, blended and work-based learning
Duration: 2 years + completion of the End Point Assessment, typically 6 months
Assessment methods: Coursework only, End Point Assessment includes presentation, portfolio and professional discussion
Start date: October, January, April and July
Locations: London

For learners applying to begin their programme in January: QA has two primary objectives during this rapidly evolving period regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19). The first is to ensure the welfare of our learners and staff, and the second is to ensure continuity and access to learning. In line with the sector as a whole and its response to Covid-19, if necessary, we will implement online teaching for this programme to allow you to begin your programme this January. As circumstances allow, we will review this decision with a view to bringing the programme back to a mix of blended and face-to-face delivery at the earliest appropriate time.

The MBA qualification is a globally recognised masters-level qualification. The programme is designed to develop the strategic leadership and decision-making skills of managers at an organisational, rather than functional level.

The MBA has a strong work-based focus, meaning you will be encouraged to identify business problems and decisions at work and then working back through relevant academic theory and research to determine how this can help inform your decision making and management and from this to enhance your own and your organisation’s performance.

Key facts:

  • Achieve a prestigious MBA with the potential to achieve full CMI Chartered Manager status (CMgr), subject to meeting the professional work experience requirements
  • Receive one-to-one executive coaching and/or mentoring are offered to support your development
  • Integrate academic learning to your day to day management and leadership practice
  • Assessments are 100% relevant to your work
  • Enhance your career prospects through the ability to demonstrate your contribution to enhanced organisational performance

This MBA has been designed to create a cross functional approach to organisational performance, a strategic approach to business decision making, enhanced leadership capabilities and an agile attitude to changing business environments.

Whilst the MBA contains content on the traditional key business functions such as finance, operations, marketing, strategy and human resources, it recognises that because real business problems are complex and messy they rarely divide neatly into subject silos, such as marketing, operations and so on.

You will recognise the issues, situations and challenges and opportunities that organisations face change during the business lifecycle and according to how complex a view you take them. A thread holding all of this together is that of digital technology and its potential to disrupt and it’s the opportunity that it creates for competitive advantage.

MBAs are not intended as an immediate follow on for new degree graduates so, this means you will be joining others with similar management experience.

Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship

The learning and assessment you complete to gain your MBA with Middlesex University serves a dual purpose as it also contributes towards you gaining a master’s level apprenticeship in Senior Leadership.

The apprenticeship is not awarded by the University but by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), who are responsible for assessing whether you have met the national standard and that you have demonstrated and evidenced the knowledge, skills and behaviours of the Level 7 Apprenticeship.

Once you have passed the MBA you will have reached what is called the gateway. The next step is to prepare for your End-Point Assessment (EPA) which is used to determine if you have all the skills and knowledge required as well as the behaviours necessary to be granted the apprenticeship. The End-Point assessment is essentially a portfolio of work-based evidence much of which can be drawn from the assessments you produced for your MBA.

How will I be taught?

A delivery team that includes Personal Performance Coaches (PPCs) whose experience and coaching qualifications/experience ensure you can contextualise your learning from the work place, helping to build evidence within your work based portfolio. As your MBA is fully integrated into your professional practice, the completion of these assessments has an immediate impact on the contribution you make in your workplace.

Each blended module is delivered over a 10-week term and is comprised of a mix of face to face Action Learning Set (ALS) workshops, online activities, peer discussions, coaching and assignment submission. Assignments are based on working on an ‘ISCO’ – Issue, Situation, Challenge or Opportunity at work that is relevant to the module. ISCOs are broken down into stages in each assessment for each module.

Initially you engage for a couple of weeks with the material and activities online. You then meet up in your ALS to discuss your ISCO, you return to engage more online and make your ISCO begin to happen. Further facilitation helps you delve deeper into your ISCO to face and grapple with more complex areas. You then write up your ISCO as your assessment in hand in at week 10.

Contact hours, self-study and assessment methods

You will have a maximum of 24 hours of contact time per module, the equivalent of 2 hours per week. This will be supported by around 18 hours of self-study per week, this can be seen as a series of small activities and include researching, engaging with critical action sets, working on your assessment and logging evidence of knowledge, skills and behaviours.
You will be taught using a variety of blended teaching methods including online synchronous teaching, online coach-led Action Learning Sets, workshop, 1-2-1 face-to-face and online coaching.

As a Senior Leader Apprentice your employer will allocate 20% of your working week for off the job training. This will be unique to you and will be organised between you, your employer and workplace mentor.

Download Programme Handout

As the MBA is designed for and attended by experienced management professionals the learning sessions are enriched by the sharing of experiences and backgrounds that fosters a diverse learning environment where you can network also. Often, it’s the interactions between learners that become the most valued and remembered experience of an MBA.

Companies that our graduates from similar programmes work for include the Bank of America, Barclays, Deloitte and Shell.

Our MBA will open up opportunities across a number of industries and roles, our graduates from similar programmes have gone on to work in positions such as Managing Director, Project Manager, Consultant and Finance Manager.

All modules are 20 credits unless otherwise stated.

Creating an Identity and Setting Direction

This module provides you with a starting point for your MBA journey. You learn about personal presence, story-telling, confidence, character and other elements of inter-personal excellence. It neither shies away from your employer’s need to align professional development with organisational performance nor the need for you to critically engage with how alignment motivates and empowers you personally towards a more senior leadership role that is scholarly and considered.

Collaborating with Customers

Let’s start with the basics. This module explores organisational performance from its most fundamental perspective – how does the organisation reach customers and maintain relationships with them, as well as generate new ones. You are required to explore how your organisation has traditionally reached out to customers. How technology and digital leadership might disrupt that process in the future. You examine how marketing and operations work together to create value that is supported by internal financial processes and external sources of finance and reporting of financial performance or Value for Money (in the public sector).

Leading the Entrepreneurial Organisation

Management is far from easy. In this module, you develop an understanding that as customers and technology become more disruptive, operations and people adapt. You consider, how organisations can ensure leader capacity and capabilities exist that can work towards entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial aims that involve change and dynamic capabilities. You become more curious as to who should lead, how leadership and followership are intertwined and exchangeable and how entre/intra-preneurship fit into balancing stability and change. How do HR practises and technologies need to change to support entrepreneurship?

Growing the Organisation

National productivity requires organisations that grow. During this module, you discover that growing organisations are logically linked to improved productivity. In the public sector, growth might be substituted by increased ‘Value for Money’. Technology, especially Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, is likely to replace jobs and, arguably, create new ones, questioning what a growing organisation might mean in the future.

Meanwhile in a growing organisation (or in a stable improving public sector organisation), strategic choices and careful professional financial management are obviously essential, if less than easy to deliver. In this module, therefore, you have an opportunity to critically explore ‘rational’ views of what Top Management Teams (TMTs)/Senior Leaders should do; what practices, logic and evidence state, result in growing/healthy organisations. What makes organisations less than rational (less than able to always pursue optimum growth pathways)?

Creating Value Through Innovation

Having looked at growth through relatively traditional lines of strategy and finance, this module looks at more the complex aspect of organisational value through innovation. Using a lens that integrates innovation with change and creativity, it transcends levels of analysis (individual, group, organisation, network, sector). ‘Critical Action Learning’ involves exploring the social and emotional perspectives of change and creativity and their linkages to leaders as champions of promoting ideas at work. How creative cultures can be cultivated when they bring conflict, through the diversity needed to be creative, is explored.

Business Transformation Project (60 credits)

Ready for more independence? This module provides you with the opportunity to inquire into, and work on, a project of your choice aligned to your personal development needs. All projects must explore an Issue, Situation, Challenge or Opportunity (‘ISCO’) that has a traceable link to your work place and how it has impacted on organisational performance. You are required to evidence that involves some consideration of the role of technology/digital transformation. The Business Transformation Project (BTP) forms an important part of the End-Point assessment for your apprenticeship.

Portfolio Building and Identify Reconstruction

Who have you become? This module allows you to reflect on your journey from the start of the programme to your Business Transformation Project and beyond. It balances the need to compile a portfolio that evidences competence, and in doing so also prepares you for the ‘Professional Discussion’ (a component of the Apprenticeship End-Point Assessment), with the engagement in Critical Action Learning (CAL). It questions how good managers can be and places the profession of management in a background of work-life balance, resilience and Corporate Social Responsibility and Professional ethics.

The course information published on this page is accurate for the academic year 2020/21 and every effort is taken to ensure it is kept up to date. We aim to run the course as advertised however, changes may be necessary due to updates to the curriculum (due to academic, industry or apprenticeship standard developments), learner demand or UK compliance reasons.

Skills Coach

The Skills Coach will be your primary, non-academic contact, supporting you in the successful progression and completion of your Apprenticeship. Your coach will support you in reviewing your progress and collecting evidence of your practice at work to integrate into your module assessments and final endpoint project/assessment. They are also a point of contact for queries, concerns, or general support.

Your Coach can help you with:

  • Coaching and supporting Work-Based Learning activities
  • Reviewing your progress with your apprenticeship portfolio progress
  • Help with achieving your EPA
  • Advice and guidance on mitigating (extenuating) circumstances processes and potential breaks in learning.

Workplace Mentor

Workplace Mentors will be appointed by your employer and typically would be someone you work with.  Your workplace mentor will be familiar with the apprenticeship programme and its workplace requirements.  They will facilitate the workplace learning opportunities to enable you to meet the requirements of the degree apprenticeship standard.

ACE Team

They are the Academic Community of Excellence (ACE), and amongst the team, have many years of experience providing academic guidance to students on subjects such as how to write in an academic style, how to read smarter rather than longer, how to reference accurately.

The ACE team will provide you with support on academic matters outside of the classroom. You can also book 1-1 meeting (mainly online) with the ACE team and get feedback on your academic style of writing, references and critical report writing.

How can ACE support you?

  1. ‘Welcome to the World of Academia’ online workshops: if you wish to have an introduction to or a review of the different aspects of academic life before starting your programme, then please do join their online workshops (non-obligatory – join as you like).
  2. One-to-one tutorials: you can book a virtual 30-minute tutorial to discuss your academic development skills, such as paraphrasing, referencing and academic writing.
  3. Online workshops: we offer ongoing support workshops on a variety of academic subjects such as structuring an argument, academic style and criticality.
  4. Our own-created range of learner materials: we have also developed a wide range of ACE created materials based on common questions and academic needs.

QA Welfare Services

Our Student Welfare team is on hand to assist you throughout your studies. Some degree apprenticeship learners have additional learning needs which the Welfare Team can assist with, or they might help you with personal circumstances that are affecting your studies.

Standard entry

  • A minimum of a 2:2 Bachelor’s degree or equivalent
  • Applicants must demonstrate a minimum of 2 years continuous workplace experience gained in a managerial or professional job following graduation
  • CV
  • You must be in employment

End point assessment

  • To enter the End Point Assessment of the Apprenticeship you must have Functional Skills English and Maths qualifications at level 2

Non-standard entry

A mature applicant lacking standard academic qualifications may be considered for entry if they have a minimum of 5 years senior leader experience.

There is no cost to you as a degree apprentice. Degree Apprenticeships are fully funded by the Apprenticeship Levy through your employer.

If you’re an employer, the total fee for this programme is:

  • £18,000

Travel expenses to travel to QA centres should be covered by the employer.

All textbooks are provided free of charge as e-books. Any students wishing to use paper copies will need to pay for these themselves, typically at an average cost of £40 per book.

How to apply

In order to join a Degree Apprenticeship, the employer will either recruit new staff or select existing staff that are suitable for the programme. Individuals wishing to join the Degree Apprenticeship should apply for vacancies at qa.com or contact their employer.

  1. Once you have your employers agreement – QA will send you a link to an online application.
  2. New vacancies will be published at qa.com

Register your interest through an Expression of Interest form here.

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