Mode of StudyPart-time
Duration2 years part-time (day release)
Start dateSeptember 2023
Are you a senior manager who wants to develop your knowledge and skills to MBA level or are you looking to progress into a senior management role in the future?
This part-time senior leader Master's degree apprenticeship for people with professional experience prepares you for senior leadership and management roles in private and third-sector organisations. It doesn't cost you anything because the Government and your employer pay your fees.
You'll study on day release from your job. You'll develop your leadership, management and entrepreneurial capabilities and build expertise in key business areas such as corporate communications, financial management, business strategy and change management. You’ll study with peers from other industries and immediately apply what you learn in your job.
After you complete the course, you can apply to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to become a Chartered Member (CMg MCMI) or a Chartered Fellow (CMgr FCMI), depending on your experience. You’ll accelerate your career progression and have the skills, knowledge and confidence to go into senior management and leadership positions in roles such as chief executive, general manager or finance director. You'll also have the skills and knowledge to launch your own business in the future.
Part-time MBA option
You can also do this MBA as a standard part-time MBA. This option isn't funded by the Government's apprenticeship levy, but it is eligible for some postgraduate funding such as a postgraduate student loan.
Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship (Strategic Leadership) MBA entry requirements
Qualifications or experience
- A second-class honours degree (or equivalent, including professional qualifications), not necessarily in a business related subject, plus at least 3 years of work experience at a professional or managerial level. Alternatively, applicants without formal qualifications, but with a minimum of 5 years of management experience, are welcome to apply.
- All applicants to the Degree Apprenticeship courses must have an acceptable Level 2 qualification in English and Mathematics. Acceptable qualifications include GCSE with grade C/4 or above and Functional Skills with Pass – please note that we are not able to accept all kinds of Level 2 qualifications, so if you are unsure whether you have a suitable qualification please get in touch. If you do not have an acceptable qualification you may be required to take an additional assessment during the application process.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
- Applicants may be subject to interview and/or be asked to submit a portfolio in support of their application.
You and your employer
When you begin studying for your degree apprenticeship:
- You need to be 18 or over
- You should be able to satisfy government requirements on residency:
- you must be a citizen or have the right to live in the UK/EEA
- you must have been a resident in the UK/EEA (not the Channel Islands or Isle of Man) for a minimum of 3 years
- you must not need a Student Route visa, and must not have been on a Student Route visa within the past 3 years
- You need to have the right to work in the UK, and to spend at least 50% of your working hours in England
- Your job should meet the requirements of the apprenticeship standard relevant to this degree – we can advise you and your employer on this
- Your employer needs to have registered an apprentice service account – we can help your employer with this if needed
If you aren't currently working in a relevant field, you can apply for a job and degree apprenticeship simultaneously. Read more about applying for this degree apprenticeship.
What you'll experience
On this MBA degree apprenticeship course, you'll:
- Link theory and research to management practice by applying what you learn to your current role and workplace
- Learn from staff with research and consultancy experience, and links with industry
- Work on an applied project to deliver practical value for your own organisation (or another) by analysing a challenge or opportunity and providing useful recommendations
- Hone your analytical and research skills and bring together your knowledge and learning by doing an integrated strategy project
- Use your Applied Learning Portfolio to demonstrate how you’re applying new knowledge and behaviours in a work-based context
- Learn from industry experts while expanding your network with guest lectures and business events sponsored by the Faculty of Business and Law
- Explore opportunities and hear from talent management experts at our Enterprise and Employability Week events, professional networking events and job fairs
- Tap into our Library’s vast selection of electronic resources, which are available 24/7 and include access to thousands of e-journals
- Get access to Chartered Management Institute (CMI) materials throughout the course, including useful articles and scenarios
Careers and opportunities
You can review and refine your career plans throughout the programme with support from course tutors, and Careers and Employability staff.
After you leave the University, you can continue to get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability team as you advance in your career.
Careers and opportunities
When you graduate, you'll have the skills, knowledge and confidence you need to fulfil your career ambitions, in your current company and beyond.
Recruiters for roles that need specialist knowledge or research skills, including senior leadership roles and business consultancy, particularly target those with higher level qualifications such as the MBA.
Previous MBA graduates have progressed to roles including:
- chief executive
- global director
- general manager
- programme manager
- business consultant
- finance director
Other graduates have used their entrepreneurial skills to start up businesses.
You can apply through the ‘qualified route' to become a Chartered Member (CMg MCMI) or a Chartered Fellow (CMgr FCMI), depending on your experience, when you complete the course.
Ongoing career support – up to 5 years after you graduate
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
Course costs and funding
Tuition fees (2023 start)
The payment of this course fee is covered by the Government, and in some cases, your employer. This means there's no cost to you as the degree apprentice. Total tuition fees are £14,000 paid over 2 years.
The cost of the End-Point Assessment (EPA) is included in the course tuition fee.
Please see our Degree Apprenticeships page, or contact us, for further information about the EPA.
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
What you'll study
The course structure includes 8 subject modules and 1 project module that focuses on professional development.
Modules currently being studied
Core modules in this year include:
- Corporate Communications - 15 credits
- Financial Management - 15 credits
- Strategic Leadership and Change - 15 credits
- Strategic Management - 15 credits
- Strategic People Management - 15 credits
- Strategy Development in Uncertainty - 15 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Applied Learning - 60 credits
- Coaching For Leaders and Managers - 15 credits
- Innovation, Enterprise and Entrepreneurialism - 15 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
I chose Portsmouth because the MBA Senior Leader Apprenticeship was focused on strategic leadership but included some of the softer leadership skills, such as coaching, rather than solely on technical subjects such as finance.
Supporting your learning
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- business simulations
- group discussions
- case studies
Teaching is structured to encourage you to analyse complex problems, evaluate opportunities and risks, propose solutions and plan their implementation. All teaching draws on current management research and practice and the pace of learning enables you to focus on your learning in the MBA classroom, then apply what you've learnt in the workplace.
How you'll spend your time
Most teaching takes place on 1 day during the week, every other week throughout the academic year (September or October–June). On rare occasions, you may need to come to University on an evening or weekend for special events or group projects.
Because study is part-time, there's minimal disruption to your work and home commitments. Our MBA academics and professional staff, who understand the pressures of combining work and study, fully support you throughout the programme.
How you're assessed
You'll get regular feedback on your development throughout the course. You'll be assessed through:
- work-based learning projects
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark. You can get feedback on practice and formal assessments so you can improve in future.
How you apply for a degree apprenticeship depends on whether you’re currently employed or not.
How to apply with your current employer
If you’re in full-time employment and would like to do a degree apprenticeship with your current employer, ask them to contact us so we can discuss with them how we can work together.
You might find it useful to share our information for employers page with them.
How to apply with a new employer
If you’re not employed full-time or not working for a company that can fund and support your degree apprenticeship, you'll need to apply for a degree apprenticeship with a company that offers them.
You'll follow their standard recruitment process and we'll assess your academic suitability for the course once you've applied.
We can let you know when there are degree apprenticeship vacancies available with companies we work with – contact us to give us your details.
You can also browse degree apprenticeship vacancies with employers with whom we already have relationships.
If you have questions about degree apprenticeships, please get in touch with us.
Part-time MBA option
You can also do this Strategic Leadership MBA as a standard part-time MBA. This option isn't funded by the Government's apprenticeship levy, but it is eligible for some postgraduate funding such as a postgraduate student loan.
Admissions terms and conditions
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.