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Victoria Wignall, Impact and Partnership Development.



Senior Leader (Healthcare) Degree Apprenticeship

The Senior Leader (Healthcare) Degree Apprenticeship is designed for aspiring or established leaders in any health-related discipline, including General Practitioners; hospital clinicians from any speciality; Nurses; Allied Healthcare Professionals; NHS Managers working in hospitals, Primary Care or the community setting; and Healthcare Commissioners.

This innovative programme will exploit the unique opportunities offered by the Degree Apprenticeship scheme to acquire leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours and apply them directly into a health and social care setting. It will cover the key aspects of strategy, innovation and change, enterprise and risk, finance, leading and developing people, and developing collaborative relationships. It also aims to encourage the development and demonstration of cogent leadership behaviours such as leading by example, appropriate judgement and challenge, courage and curiosity and valuing diversity. 

By the end of the programme the apprentice will aspire to be at ease with ambiguity and feel equipped to embrace complexity, as well as feeling able to explore every opportunity to create emergent models of care. Then through compassionate, inclusive and effective leadership be able to inspire the development of world-class care that is ethical, innovative and sustainable.

Successful completion of the programme will result in the award of the Senior Leader (Healthcare) Degree Apprenticeship and a University of Exeter MSc Healthcare Leadership and Management. 


Senior Leader (Healthcare) is delivered via a blended learning model, enabling Degree Apprentices to maintain full-time roles as employees within their Healthcare environment, whilst simultaneously gaining an MSc qualification from the University of Exeter over two years through:

  • Two and a half day Masterclasses and two day workshops held at the College of Medicine and Health in Exeter, four times per year, totalling 19 days over two years
  • Weekly distance-learning, comprising online classes with applied exercises, interactive sessions, pre-post contact work and assignments, all relevant to contemporary UK health services
  • Work-based situational projects focusing on service improvement and organisational culture and leadership, undertaken in the workplace.

Approximately 20% of the Degree Apprentice’s contractural working time will be applied to studying - the model is designed to be flexible around the needs of employers and individual workloads. Attendance at the University of Exeter is sporadic, allowing us to offer this opportunity to employers regionally and nationally.

Our dedicated Degree Apprenticeship partnerships team liaise closely with NHS and private employers throughout the programme, assisting with the selection of candidates, education and mentoring support and administration. Each apprentice is allocated an Academic Mentor to support their progress and ensure successful completion of the programme.

Tuition fees for this two-year programme are £18,000.

Employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy will pay these fees directly through that contribution.

Business who do not pay the Levy will be able to claim 95 per cent of the cost of tuition fees from Government. If you employ fewer than 50 people and recruit an 18-year-old or a care leaver, up to 100 per cent Government contribution may be available.

See further information on the Apprenticeship Levy funding.

Employers must pay their apprentices at least a salary consistent with national legislation and cover the costs of any travel and accommodation required to attend any face-to-face teaching.