Course overview

Level of study: Level 7
Award: Senior Leader
Apprenticeship standard: Level 7 Senior Leader (non-integrated)
Apprenticeship certificate: ESFA
Fees: This programme is fully funded by your employer through the Apprenticeship Levy
Entry requirements: An honours degree (2:2 or above)
English and Maths requirements: Level 2 to meet the gateway requirements
Mode of study: Part-Time, Blended and Virtual Face to Face Learning
Duration: 15 months + EPA, typically 6 months
Assessment methods: Coursework, including research-informed assignments and work-based projects, weekly quizzes, End Point Assessment
Start date: October, January, April and July
Locations: Real-time live online learning

*Subject to validation

For learners applying to begin their programme in July: 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 April. 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.

 

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PLEASE NOTE: To be eligible for one of our Higher Apprenticeship programmes, learners must:
(1) be currently in full-time employment and based in the UK
(2) be interested in completing a Higher Apprenticeship with their current employer

The Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship is designed to support those in positions of leadership and management in further development of their knowledge and skills within an ever-evolving organisational landscape. This programme covers a spectrum of key areas of knowledge and skills, including organisational strategy, financial decision making, digital disruption and innovation, risk management, and ethical practice.

Through engaging with this programme, learners will have the opportunity to engage in critical study and assessment, supported through regular workshop sessions.  Modules are designed in a manner that seeks to explore real-world practical challenges and how managers address these in today’s fast-paced environment, underpinned by the necessary supporting theory.

Download Programme Handout

Learners on the Level 7 Senior Leader apprenticeship programme will be prepared for the following roles:

  • Senior Leader
  • Section Leader
  • Executive
  • Director
  • Chief Operating Officer
  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Chief Information Officer
  • Senior Military Officer
  • HE Registrar and Head of Department/Faculty

All modules are core.

This module is designed to introduce learners to key concepts in organisational strategy. On successful completion of this project, learners will be able to carry out a strategic analysis of an organisation, its environment, its corporate leadership structure and its future strategic choices, setting future strategic options. A review of organisational structures, cultures, new market strategies and changing customer demands will be explored.

As communications are a critical focus of organisations, learners will explore how to develop and manage the communications strategy within their area of responsibility. Brand and reputation management and its impact on an organisation along with developing a corporate social responsibility programme as part of an organisational strategy will also be explored.

Learners will critically evaluate current concepts, theories, models, frameworks, and practices on strategy, contextualising these theories and practices within different organisational environments and industries. Learners will be encouraged to reflect on their own organisational context when evaluating these key theories, enabling a better understanding within their own work environments.

This module explores the impact of disruptive technologies on the way in which organisations are led and managed.  Through this, areas of innovation and drivers for change are investigated, including how these can be used as sources of new opportunities.

The module deals with concepts of research, touching on areas including:

  • How leaders can keep up to date with emerging fields
  • Specific research methodologies and their applicability to different contexts
  • Knowledge/data management

Through the study of these areas, and relation to learners’ own organisational context they will develop skills that support them in exploring areas of ambiguity and complexity to find creative solutions.

Digital transformation and its attendant business disruption are creating unparalleled opportunities to revise and create new entrepreneurial business strategies. In addition, big data and its analysis are playing an increasingly important role in informing decision making during this process of strategy formulation. This module explores and evaluates the development of competitive strategies that embed an entrepreneurial approach and the role of big data in supporting these.

In addition to placing emphasis on the importance of developing appropriate corporate structures and decision-making processes, rapidly evolving business strategies place a premium on effective workforce planning. Strategies to achieve this are explored. The module also explores the importance of creating diverse and inclusive workforces into which the wider external agenda of corporate and social responsibility is embedded.

In responding to external opportunities and threats it is important that organisations have a thorough understanding of their external environment as well as the needs of their diverse internal and external stakeholders.  Approaches to achieving this are explored. To support the process of stakeholder management it is key that effective communication strategies are developed and implemented and approaches to this are critiqued during the module.

A fast pace of change also creates inherent risks and approaches to the management of risk, particularly crisis management, are evaluated. The key role of team members, particularly at the senior level, in managing this type of event is explored in detail.

To be effective, financial strategies and decision making need to take place within clear governance and control structures as well as remaining compliant with any external regulatory or legal requirements. Financial strategy formulation needs to adopt a rigorous and challenge-based approach and should be accompanied by the development of appropriate KPIs. Mechanisms and approaches to achieve this are explored in this module as are current regulatory frameworks and approaches to governance.

Financial strategies need to align with the overarching business strategy and its attendant sub strategies, such as procurement and the process of ensuring this alignment is examined – as are the potential consequences of misalignment.

Ultimately organisations face competing demands for financial resources and mechanisms to resolve these demands are explored and applied in different contexts.  This is particularly explored in the context of the procurement of resources and the development and management of the supply chain.

Effective financial decision making can involve a delicate weighing up of financial and non-financial and quantitative as well as qualitative information to form a balanced decision. This model explores a range of different financial decision-making techniques. These are evaluated in the light of different business contexts to which they could be applied.

Underpinning the implementation of a financial strategy is the development and implementation of an effective budgeting process. Different approaches to the development, implementation and monitoring of budgets are explored and evaluated.

This module is designed to develop learners understanding of leadership theories and principles that promote ethical, inclusive and supportive cultures within organisations. Developing leadership skills will be a key focus of this module, exploring ethic and values-based leadership theories and principles, and how to lead within their own work context, influencing both upwards and outwards, developing the skills to lead effectively and build constructive working relationships, ensuring the workforce continually develop their skillset; coaching and mentoring techniques will be explored as part of this focus as well as championing projects and organisational change across organisational boundaries.

Understanding how organisational and team dynamics are an important focus when developing inclusive, collaborative and agile cultures will be explored. By the end of this module, learners will have a better understanding of how to create inclusive and diverse cultures, focussing on well-being as well as developing an understanding of key theories and approaches within organisational behaviour to lead more effectively. Learners will also develop their communication skills, using personal presence and ‘storytelling’, allowing them to effectively articulate their vision into strategy.

Learners will critically evaluate current concepts, theories, models, frameworks, contextualising these theories and practices within different organisational environments and industries. Learners will be encouraged to reflect on their own organisational context when evaluating these key theories, enabling a better understanding within their own work environments.

Through this module, learners will develop self-guided skills and knowledge related to their own professional development needs, and the context in which they are working. As Senior Leaders, they will find themselves working within a range of contexts (e.g. public and private sector) and specialist areas, each requiring a specific skillset. Professional Practice is an opportunity for learners to tailor the learning conducted within their Level 7 Apprenticeship programme towards acquiring those skills and knowledge that will help them develop and strengthen their leadership practice.

Working with the module academic team, skills coach and their employer, learners will conduct a skills analysis to identify a relevant area of development that can be pursued. This can take a number of forms, be it:

  • Workplace organised CPD
  • Structured online learning
  • A mini project
  • Or, another appropriate form approved by the academic team.

Following completion of the development work, the acquired skills will be focused on a specified project or business challenge. This should allow the application of the skills in a real-world context while providing an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the topic area explored, and reflect on the learning undertaken.

Skills Coach

Your 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

A Workplace Mentor 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 workplace learning opportunities to enable you to meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard.

ACE Team

They are the Academic Community of Excellence (ACE) Team, 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 and how to reference accurately.

The ACE Team will provide you with support on academic matters outside of the classroom. You can also book a 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 the ACE Team 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 – but much to be gained from joining!).
  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 Team 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 Requirements

  • 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in any discipline

Non-standard entry with work experience

  • Equivalent work experience (typically 2 years relevant experience at an appropriate level).
  • Relevant professional qualifications and/or work experience will be taken into consideration where the applicant has the judged potential to benefit from the programme, allowing for contextualized applications. The nature of an applicant’s work experience is as important if not more so than the duration of that experience. The experience could include Senior Leaders, Execs, potential Senior Leaders, Chief Financial Operators, Ops Managers etc.

Informal Interviews

Informal interviews will be held by academic/admissions staff where:

  • The suitability of a candidate is in doubt and further evidence is sought.
  • The candidate presents an unusual set of qualifications taken or pending, and an appropriate conditional offer needs to be determined.
  • Candidates may need advice on the appropriateness of the programme.

Applicants invited for an informal interview will always be informed of its purpose.

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

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

  • £14,000

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.

If you are interested in applying to study or to offer a Higher Apprenticeship, please complete the enquiry form on this page and one of our account managers will be in touch.

In order to join a Higher Apprenticeship, the employer will either recruit new staff or select existing staff that are suitable for the programme.

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