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Degree Partnerships

Senior People Professional Apprenticeship

Final award: 

  • IfATE Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship
  • MSc Applied Human Resource Management
  • Eligibility for Chartered Member status with the CIPD
Duration 22 months + End Point Assessment
Entry point(s) November and April
Application deadline

Dependent on employer, see How to apply

Campus Online Learning

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  • Designed for current professional managers who want to drive improvements in HR/L&D/OD. Apprentices will champion the people agenda, creating work environments and cultures that get their workforce delivering their best
  • This programme allows individuals to specialise their learning towards Human Resource, Organisation Development or Learning and Development
  • This applied programme will equip apprentices with the knowledge, skills, and behaviours needed to succeed within the Human Resource/Organisation Development/Learning and Development area.
  • Apprentices will explore the latest research evidence, and experience of people management in practice, and gain a firm grounding within their subject area, encompassing all of the various facets of the employee lifecycle – from recruitment to discharge
  • The programme is designed to follow the latest professional standards as described by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)
  • Suitable for a range of professionals operating in the HRM field.  Specific job roles relevant for this apprenticeship may include (but are not necessarily limited to): Human Resource Director/Manager, People Director, Chief People Officer, Head of HR, Human Resource Officer/Advisor, Talent Acquisition Manager, Employee Relations Manager, Learning and Development Manager/Advisor/Director, Organisation Development Manager/Advisor/Director.

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Download our employer brochure

Open days and visit us

Download our programme flyer


Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 100 Financial Times ranked European Business School

Two year fast-track programme

Learn from experienced faculty, uniquely positioned across research and practice

Triple accredited Business School



Entry requirements

At least three years’ experience in a managerial/professional HR/ L&D/OD role and a second-class honours degree or equivalent or CIPD Level 5. Alternatively, a minimum of five years’ experience in a managerial/ professional HR/L&D/OD role would be considered if no prior degree is held.

In a role that supports the gathering of evidence required for the Senior People Professional Apprenticeship standard, for example the opportunity to lead projects, access to influence strategy and implement changes. If applicants are overqualified through experience or qualifications, they may not be eligible for funding.

Individual employers may set additional selection criteria in discussion with the University.

Applicants must have a valid and eligible residency status to gain entry onto the apprenticeship- please see the ESFA guidance for further information.

How to apply

Selection to this programme is made by employers; candidates should already hold a post with the employer and continue working for them throughout the duration of the apprenticeship. The candidate should initially speak to their HR department and/or manager to gain sign off to undertake this apprenticeship.

Once the employer agrees for the candidate to apply for the apprenticeship, the candidate should then email requesting an admissions pack. If successful, the applicant will be offered a place at the University, and then a place on the programme. Further information will then be sent by our team about how to enrol as an apprentice.


Full programme cost: £19,000

This apprenticeship is entirely funded through an Employers’ Apprenticeship Levy. Your employer fully covers the cost of the apprenticeship, apprentices do not pay for any of the eligible training costs. As an apprentice you will be an employee of your organisation, gaining a University of Exeter award alongside working and earning a salary.

Employers who pay the Apprenticeship Levy will pay for the apprenticeship fees directly through that contribution.  See further information on the Apprenticeship Levy funding.

Employers who do not pay the Levy will be able to claim 95 per cent of the cost of the apprenticeship from the Government. Up to 100 per cent Government contribution may be available if the employer has fewer than 50 employees and:

  • Recruits an apprentice aged 16-18
  • OR an apprentice aged 19-24 who has previously been in care or who has a local authority education, health and care plan

Employers must pay their apprentices a salary at least consistent with national legislation.

Funding eligibility criteria

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Course content

People are the heart of your business and you need strong HR/L&D/OD leadership to improve practices in your organisation, driving performance and effectiveness. Invest in your people to build a team who champion the people agenda, creating working environments and cultures that help get the best out of your workforce, delivering great organisational outcomes.

Apprentices will be able to specialise and tailor their learning, through the selection of their optional module, to Human Resources, Learning and Development or Organisation Development.

The Senior People Professional Apprenticeship will encourage critical thinking through a combination of problem-based and inquiry-led learning.  As a result, apprentices will be able to apply their new knowledge, skills, and behaviours to a variety of workplace situations.

Topics covered on this programme include:

  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Resourcing and talent management
  • HR Skills and Behaviours
  • HRM strategy
  • Research skills and project management

Online information sessions

For more information please join us for our Senior People Professional Apprenticeship Information sessions. These virtual meetings will be hosted by the University’s Degree Apprenticeship team and the Academic team from the University of Exeter Business School who will be delivering the programme. The sessions will provide an opportunity to learn more about what an apprenticeship is, to gain an overview of the programme and to ask any questions. Register for our upcoming sessions:

For me, the apprenticeship is about learning the theory behind the practice and helping me to contextualise the background to what I have done for the last 15 years.

I am also looking forward to specific modules within the programme that could strengthen my knowledge and help me if I decided to move away from a generalist role and into a more specialised area. The opportunity to carry on working and earning money while gaining a qualification is the obvious benefit as well as the ability to directly translate what I am learning into practice in the workplace.

Read more from Jess


Senior People Professional Apprentice


Approximately one day a week of an apprentice's contractual working time over the duration of the programme will be given over to study. Our model is designed to be flexible around the needs of apprentices and workloads. No weekly day-release is required, mitigating disruption of their daily role and ensuring maximum flexibility.

The blended learning format incorporates:

  • Masterclasses
  • Peer-led enquiry groups
  • Module specific seminars
  • Academic study skills
  • Online learning platform
  • Varied assesments including examinations, assignments and presentations

Apprenticeship Standard

Alongside studying for their level 7 apprenticeship, successful apprentices will also be awarded the University of Exeter MSc Applied Human Resource Management and be eligible to apply for Chartered Member status with the CIPD after completing the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours of the apprenticeship standard. Below is the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan:

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Employer information

This programme is designed for organisations looking to train and recruit professional managers who can drive improvements within your HR/L&D/OD department and practices. While learning all they need to succeed in a senior HR/L&D/OD management role, apprentices will champion the people agenda, creating work environments and cultures that get your workforce delivering their best.

Apprentices develop a rounded knowledge base by studying topics including resourcing and talent management, employee relations, performance management, reward management, HRM strategy and HR analytics. Work-relevant assessments will embed academic study, generating strong professional impact.

Download our Senior People Professional brochure


This programme will enable apprentices to develop the professional skills and subject expertise that will help them to further and excel in their career. Apprentices will be able to improve practices in their organisation, helping to drive performance and effectiveness.