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PG Dip Senior Leader Apprenticeship - Business Administration

Start date(s):
September, January
Study mode:
Course duration:
2 years

Tuition fees

Home part-time per year
General enquiries:
0151 231 5090
International admissions

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About this course

This Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme provides you with the knowledge, skills and capabilities required to be an effective leader.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship in Business Administration (SLA BA) is a part-time 2-year programme that will help you respond to complex organisational issues at a senior management level. The programme supports you in examining strategic responses to organisational issues to create value & pragmatic solutions within your organisation. It develops you to become a confident, competent, forward-thinking senior leader who can identify & critically analyse data, prospects, and balance strategic thinking with excellent operational focus.

The central underpinning themes of the programme are transformation; both individual and organisational. It is intellectually challenging, insightful, and focused on improving practice in the workplace across all areas of management, leadership, and functions of a business. In consultation with employees, the curriculum has been developed to cover a broad range of business disciplines, including strategy, leadership, systems, innovation & finance that prepares and enables you to take a strategic perspective in senior leadership.

Who is it for?

This programme is suitable for middle and senior managers, from any sector looking to better support their organisation’s strategic direction. We are dedicated to supporting mature, professional students and preparing you for work in the challenging and rewarding arena of senior leadership.


  • Part-Time, Block Taught delivery to support your development alongside your current role.
  • Develop and å strategic decisions within your organisational area.
  • Confidence in horizon scanning and developing insight and foresight in organisational planning.
  • Benefit from teaching informed by business research & local business needs.
  • Expand your professional network and learn alongside local senior leaders and managers.
  • Highly qualified & experienced teaching team.
  • Specialised Masterclasses from business leaders.
  • Transform your professional practice and enhance career progression prospects.
  • All students and alumni benefit from membership of Liverpool Leadership Network.
  • Senior Leader Apprenticeship Award.
  • Chartered Manager Status (Chartered Management Institute).
  • Top- up your award to the full MBA degree (Additional Fee £2650- Fee subject to change.

An important element of the programme is the opportunity it provides to apply your learning to organisational situations. The fact that learning is applied, rather than being purely theoretical, is crucial to empower you to contribute to, and impact your organisation.

Modules have therefore been developed in consultation with businesses, who identified the following training themes.

  • Your leadership development
  • Strategies for engaging and motivating others
  • Complex operational strategies
  • Organisational change, innovation, systems & people
  • Sustainable business practices & ethical business

In addition, learners’ digital skills will be developed and enhanced to increase impact within these themes and the programme. As such, the curriculum aligns to emerging social and business approaches to maximise the impact you can make individually, organisationally, and societally.

What our learners say?

"The learning I acquired during my time studying has supported me to be a concise and confident report writer, presenter and professional. It has given me personally the confidence and resilience to deliver in one of the most challenging and transformational time to work in Health and Social Care. I am incredibly grateful for the experience and the value of studying alongside my professional work thorough an apprenticeship and although the level of commitment and hard work shouldn’t be underestimated, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend others should take the opportunity if ever offered to them."

Senior Leader Apprenticeship

Apprenticeships offer learners a cost-effective way to obtain a degree or higher-level qualification without the worry of fees, while remaining in employment. Apprenticeships are proven to boost skills and organisational productivity, support the retention of staff and increase earning potential.

Apprenticeships are open to any organisation, small or large, from any sector whether that’s public, private or voluntary. Organisations with a wage bill of £3m or more will be paying into the Apprentice Levy. Employers can then use this levy to pay for their employees to undertake a degree or higher-level apprenticeship. Smaller organisations, that do not pay into the levy can still get government funding for up to 95% of the cost of training.

This Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme provides you with the knowledge, skills and capabilities required to be an effective leader.

The apprenticeship aims to:

  • develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviours to prepare learners for senior leadership and strategic management roles.
  • provides learners with a holistic view of business using both theoretical knowledge and practical application.  

Fees and funding

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students


The fees quoted at the top of this page cover registration, tuition, supervision, assessment and examinations as well as:

  • library membership with access to printed, multimedia and digital resources
  • access to programme-appropriate software
  • library and student IT support
  • free on-campus wifi via eduroam

Additional costs

Although not all of the following are compulsory/relevant, you should keep in mind the costs of:

  • accommodation and living expenditure
  • books (should you wish to have your own copies)
  • printing, photocopying and stationery
  • PC/laptop (should you prefer to purchase your own for independent study and online learning activities)
  • mobile phone/tablet (to access online services)
  • field trips (travel and activity costs)
  • placements (travel expenses and living costs)
  • student visas (international students only)
  • study abroad opportunities (travel costs, accommodation, visas and immunisations)
  • academic conferences (travel costs)
  • professional-body membership
  • graduation (gown hire etc)


There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From loans to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Please be aware that the UK’s departure from the EU may affect your tuition fees. Learn more about your fee status and which tuition fees are relevant to you.


Further your career prospects

LJMU has an excellent employability record with 96% (HESA 2018) of our postgraduates in work or further study six months after graduation. Our applied learning techniques and strong industry connections ensure our students are fully prepared for the workplace on graduation and understand how to apply their knowledge in a real world context.

It is expected that graduates from this programme will have an improved career trajectory and we are committed to giving you the next level of knowledge for a higher salaried position and to be able to move more quickly and with confidence up the career ladder. The curriculum covers the broad range of business disciplines that prepares and enables you to work at board level, or in new enterprises. Importantly, many graduates have used the confidence and skills they have developed on the programme to achieve their aspirations and move across sectors and industry boundaries.

You will see a marked improvement on:

  • Your day-to-day performance, confidence and learning in the workplace.
  • Utilise new skills combined with experience to show new management thinking.
  • Confidence in decision making, contributions to idea generation and business improvement.

Another benefit of studying at the Liverpool Business School is joining a network of senior professionals. This enables alumni and staff to continue building meaningful, long-term relationships beyond the classroom, as part of the Liverpool Leadership Network.

Liverpool Business School at Liverpool John Moores University is a member of AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. AACSB International is a global association of leaders in education and business dedicated to supporting and advancing quality business education worldwide. Through membership, accreditation, research, thought leadership, professional development, and advocacy, AACSB partners with over 1,500 organizations, from more than 90 countries globally. Membership or participation in the Global Education Alliance does not imply accreditation.

Qualification & degree awards

We recognise the impact that good leaders can have on productivity and performance, Businesses are increasingly recognising the importance and value of trained managers and are seeking professionals with recognised qualifications in leadership and management.

The postgraduate diploma and senior leader apprenticeship is a respected and globally recognised master’s level qualification in business and demonstrates to employers that your professional practice is underpinned by academic knowledge and evidence-based research.

There are 3 awards available to learners who undertake this programme.

Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip)

120 Credits: All taught modules to be completed.

Postgraduate Certificate (PG Cert)

60 Credits: All core modules to be completed.

Master of Business Administration Full Award (MBA)

The 60 credit Consultancy Business Project is available at an additional cost to Top-Up your Postgraduate diploma to a full MBA award.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Core modules

Individual Development and Reflection
10 credits

This module is a integrated and holistic part of the first year of the MBA programme and seeks to facilitate personal and professional growth and act as catalyst for reflection on learning from other first year modules and the wider aspects of the programme.

Executive Leadership Theory and Practice
10 credits

The module aims to provide learners with a comprehensive overview of how to practically apply leadership concepts and theory and will encourage learners to build their own personal leadership brand. The module will explore how wider environmental developments in technology, ethical and sustainability awareness and social and cultural shifts have all impacted the role of the leader within organisations. Learners will consider how the role of the leader has developed over time and will reflect on what the future of leadership looks like in an increasingly digital environment. Learners will use critical reflection to consider how they can develop personally and professionally as a leader within their current organisational context.

Strategic Management
20 credits

The module aims to provide an analysis of the theories, concepts and frameworks associated with strategic management. Learners will develop a detailed knowledge and understanding of the complexities of creating, evaluating and maintaining ethical and sustainable business growth strategies within a dynamic internal and external environment.

The module will encourage learners to consider the wider societal impact of strategic change as well as the role of new technology and digitalisation in organisational transformation. The authentic nature of the assessment enables students to put their learning into effect in the workplace, to apply their understanding to their own organisational context and to develop practical management skills.

Digital Marketing and Communications
10 credits

This module will critically analyse and evaluate strategic marketing and digital communication approaches by: understanding the nature of contemporary integrated marketing communications; understanding the organisational customer and stakeholder; identifying market strategies for managing corporate brand and reputation; considering ethical practice in sustaining responsible customer and stakeholder relationships.

People: Planning and Engagement
10 credits

Learners will critically investigate the developments in ethical leadership and people management and practice in the context of a continuously evolving business context.

Students will critique a wide range of literature which explores the future world of work which will include the advancement in technology, sociodemographic changes, political and economic impact and influences.

Learners will also explore the role of values, behaviours and organisational citizenship and how this can drive business effectiveness and performance.

System and Process Improvement
10 credits

This module provides learners with an understanding of the fundamental principles of systems and process improvement and how these can support management performance in organisations.

It aims to enable learners to examine the use, application, and impact of systems and process improvement within organisational contexts. To achieve this, learners will examine the range of approaches available and explore how organisations might manage and improve processes to support policy, strategy, and stakeholder needs.

In addition, learners will appraise the application of system and process improvement methodologies and tools within an organisational context to impact outcomes, waste, variability, and cost.

10 credits

Building on innovation theory and best practice, this module aims to develop your ability to think and act innovatively in a range of organisational contexts. You will learn how to identify, evaluate and exploit opportunities and consider strategies to support and promote innovative practices in your organisation.

Finance, Data and Decision Making
10 credits

The module aims to provide learners with a detailed understanding of how financial management theories, concepts and techniques are used to support transformational business strategy and operations. It will provide learners with a grounding in the financial tools used for decision-making and data analysis and consider how these can be used to meet complex organisational challenges.

Learners will use critical analysis to consider the limitations of financial tools and will evaluate the role of values, ethics and sustainability in creating appropriate financial reporting structures. In the module, learners will critically reflect on their own experience as well as that of their peers to enhance their personal understanding of financial practice.

On completion of this module, students will have developed into more successful, financially literate senior business practitioners and will be able to apply their learning to their current role.

Work-Based Change Project
20 credits

This module will have action learning at its core and learners will take responsibility for convening and managing the action learning process.

Learners will begin the module by identifying a focus for the change project through negotiation with key stakeholders within their organisation and spend time refining the parameters of their project across two semesters using peers to both support and challenge their focus. They will also identify theory and models that will inform their analysis and deploy a suitable research strategy to produce quality results and detailed reporting of their findings.

Tutor support will be provided to monitor progress and refine the parameters of the identified project. Canvas will be used to provide appropriate resources and support materials.

Applied Business Research
10 credits

The module will provide learners with an understanding of how to design and produce applied business research scholarly-practitioner projects. Learners will be provided with the knowledge and tools to be able to effectively design organisational/business/management research projects that apply to their own organisations or organisations which they are familiar with - learners will have a better awareness of how to become 'scholarly practitioners'. 

The module will support and provide foundations for the final element of the programme, either the 'Strategic Business Proposal' (for Senior Leader Apprentices) or the MBA/MSc final consultancy project module (for those undertaking master's degree programmes).


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

The course is taught in a block of three days each month over two semesters as well as an induction at the start of the programme. There will also be masterclasses and additional apprenticeship touch points throughout the 2 years.

Learners will be expected to undertake work on their own and, given the applied approach to assessment, this will demand a degree of self-management and resilience to manage a full-time senior leader work role with part-time study.

In addition to the taught elements, students will spend time preparing for the session. The private study element comprises of independent research, further reading, preparation for taught sessions, follow-up activities and assignment preparation and write-up.

An example is shown below from a 20-credit module:

Total learning hours: 200

Taught element: 48 hours

Private study: 152 hours

What support is offered?

We nurture a supportive and collaborative environment for working with peers, facilitators, and colleagues. There is a strong apprenticeship team at LJMU to support you and employer and all apprentices are assigned a learning mentor for the duration of their programme. There is a highly qualified and experience academic programme team to support your academic development. All learners will have a personal academic tutor.

Teaching methods

Our flexible delivery approach involves face-to-face teaching and facilitation, blending online support & live online sessions for individual and group tutorials. Classroom sessions are devised as an interactive, learner-centred experience with group activities playing a large part in the learning experience. In addition, the teaching approach will utilise a ‘flipped learning environment’ as well as technology, when appropriate, to maximise learning opportunities.

As this is a Level 7 course, we encourage criticality and provide students with key texts for further discussion in sessions. We critically examine case studies, look at examples of successes and challenges within the real world and engage in simulation activities.  We use a variety of tools to encourage self-reflection. 

The VLE (Canvas) gives you access to teaching and materials wherever you study and allows information and resources to be shared in advance of taught sessions and it also serves as a repository for module-based materials including assessment guidance & submission, reading lists, contact information and signposting to further resources. Some modules use the discussion board feature to incorporate tutor led support and peer to peer communication.

Applied Learning

At the centre of our philosophy is the notion that we learn best from experience and applying our learning, so action learning and coaching are a key part of our programmes. This approach also encourages strong peer learning groups where you can learn from your peers, in recognition of the fact that management and leadership development is a social and collaborative process.

A strong emphasis is placed on the workplace as a place to learn; consequently, everybody brings their experience from their area of expertise with them, and you will be encouraged to share how your learning has been applied and improved practice in your workplace. The programme is personalised to individuals so that you can apply your learning to your own workplace projects and tasks and participants integrate key concepts and theories, assessing the impact of these on their own working environment. This approach also provides a forum for learners to bring ideas, thoughts, issues, and actionable remedies to the forefront. The ability to analyse organisational issues and apply recommendations supported by a theoretical framework is a fundamental element of the programme and will provide learners the confidence to diagnose and resolve problems from the workplace.

Techniques include:

Recognising the workplace as an important place to learn: Learners will apply ideas in the workplace, improving their skills through a range of workplace activities and then reflecting and reviewing this practice with peers on the programme.

Self-development planning: Organisational processes can be applied to ensure that individuals plan to develop their own strengths in line with business competencies and values, and to recognise their own personal needs.

Using 'flipped learning': This reverses the conventional process of teaching by providing the content prior to the teaching and learning session using a virtual learning environment, so that the focus of the workshop becomes about active learning and application of theory to practice. The flipped learning environment allows for the teaching experiences to probe learning and development through facilitation suited to the executive education experience.

Coaching and peer-to-peer coaching: Coaching not only enables the individual learner to tailor the programme to meet their needs, but it also provides the opportunity for the organisation to propose business critical skills and values which can become a part of the development activities.

Action learning: This will be adopted as a supportive and collaborative approach to learning to manage. Action learning will be used to support personal development, where issues and challenges from the workplace can be discussed.

Projects: For each theme there is the possibility of designing an in-company project or series of projects to ensure that business needs are met.

Masterclasses: Keynote speakers will address current issues, emerging practice and thought leadership.


How learning is monitored on your programme

To cater for the wide-ranging content of our courses and the varied learning preferences of our students, we offer a range of assessment methods on each programme.

Assessment methods on this programme include:

  • the creation of a portfolio of evidence demonstrating apprenticeship standards throughout
  • coursework
  • undertake an End Point Assessment at the end of their 2nd year to gain the SLA award

Where specific software packages are used, there is an expectation that these will form part of the assessment submission, whilst other skills will be embedded in specific modules. The core management competences of allocating priorities and time management are supported by clear submission deadlines, with protocols for extenuating circumstances. 

Course tutors

Our staff are committed to the highest standards of teaching and learning

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

Liverpool Business School is based in the Redmonds Building and 4-6 Rodney Street, in the heart of the bustling Mount Pleasant Campus and Liverpool 's growing Knowledge Quarter. The building is home to high quality lecture theatres and seminar rooms, social spaces, and a café. It is only a short walk from LJMU 's Student Life Building and Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies. 

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

Undergraduate degree

A bachelor’s degree with a 2.2 (hons) is required and at least three years’ relevant strategic management or leadership experience. Alternatively, a minimum of five years’ relevant strategic management or leadership experience would be considered if no prior degree is held.

GCSEs and equivalents

Apprentices must hold GCSE Mathematics and English Language (grade A*-C / 9-4) or equivalent and this must be evidenced prior to the start of the programme.

Alternative qualifications considered

If you do not meet the admissions criteria above, the course team has a strong commitment to widening participation and positively welcomes non-standard applicants. Candidates with some management experience or those who are about to enter a managerial role and have a demonstrated aptitude for study may still be considered dependant on circumstances and this can be discussed with the Programme Leader prior to application.

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    Must be fully employed and spend at least 50% of their working hours in England over the duration of their, they must be fully employed by a UK based company and their contract must not expire prior to the end of the training programme.

    For the Senior Leader Apprenticeship, applicants must be employed in a job role in which they contribute to strategic leadership and management relating to their area of responsibility within the organisation.

Further information

  • Extra Requirements
  • RPL

    Credits may be awarded for learning already undertaken in the University or elsewhere for which you have received qualifications or certificates and you may submit a claim for recognition of unaccredited prior learning (RP(E)L). This may be for work you have accomplished in a professional, paid, or voluntary capacity. This must be submitted via an RPL form with supporting evidence. You will also be liable to pay an administration fee and charge per credit.  All RP(E)L claims must be applied for at the point of admission and cannot be considered at a later stage.

Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

To apply for this programme, you are required to complete an LJMU Degree Apprenticeship form. You will need to provide details of previous qualifications and a personal statement outlining why you wish to study this programme.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.

Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.