Skip to main content
Find out more

By submitting this form we will contact you about Degree Apprenticeships at the University of Exeter. For further details on how we process the data you provide, please see our privacy policy.
Contact us

Victoria Wignall, Impact and Partnership Development.



Senior Leader (Healthcare) Apprenticeship

Our Senior Leader (Healthcare) Apprenticeship will give your high-potential team members the tools to take responsibility for your organisation’s direction, vision and strategic intent. They can expect to gain the professional techniques required to inspire and guide the teams they lead, to strive for the highest standards in the delivery of patient-focused healthcare within a demanding and progressive industry. They will develop as able leaders, equipped to contribute to your ethical, innovative and supportive healthcare culture. The apprenticeship will be suitable for current and future senior leaders in Healthcare organisations of all sizes in the private, public or voluntary sector.

The course is designed for aspiring or established leaders in any health-related discipline and suitable roles include: 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 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 will mean that apprentices gain a Post Graduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership and Management and a Senior Leader Apprenticeship. 


Senior Leader (Healthcare) is delivered via a blended learning model, enabling Apprentices to maintain full-time roles as employees within their Healthcare environment through:

  • Two year blended delivery, with approximately 21 days face-to-face over the 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
  • Face-to-face is delivered at the St Luke’s Campus in Exeter

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 accommodating, allowing us to offer this opportunity to employers regionally and nationally.

Our dedicated 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.

There is an opportunity for an optional additional independent research or work-based project module to top up learning to an MSc Healthcare Leadership and Management (Fee £4,150 individual or employer funded).

  • A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject, or equivalent and at least three years’ experience at a professional managerial level (ideally in the healthcare sector) or as a senior clinical lead.
  • Alternatively, a minimum of five years' management experience would be considered if no prior degree is held.
  • In a role that supports the gathering of evidence required for the Senior Leader apprenticeship ‘standard’.
  • Individual employers may set additional selection criteria in discussion with the University.
  • Evidence must be provided of Level 2 English and Math prior to End Point Assessment.

Tuition fees for this two-year programme are £14,000. 

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.