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Degree Partnerships

Senior Leader in Healthcare Leadership and Management Apprenticeship

Final award: 

  • IfATE Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Healthcare Leadership and Management
  • Chartered Manager Status
  • Optional MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management via an additional ‘top-up’ module
Duration 2 years
Entry point(s) September
Application deadline

Dependent on employer, see How to apply

Campus St Luke’s Campus, Exeter


  • This Level 7 apprenticeship is suitable for current and future senior leaders in healthcare from organisations of all sizes in the private, public or voluntary sector
  • Underpinned by our successful PG Diploma in Healthcare Leadership and Management
  • Designed to develop high-potential team members into able leaders by equipping them with the tools to take responsibility for their organisation’s direction, vision and strategic intent
  • Gain the professional techniques required to inspire and guide a team and strive for the highest standards in the delivery of patient-focused healthcare within a demanding and progressive industry
  • Apprentices will use their newly gained knowledge and skills to contribute to their ethical, innovative and supportive healthcare culture
  • Accredited by the Chartered Manager Institute (CMI) with CMI membership throughout the programme
  • Option to top up to an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management available via an additional top-up module (additional fee)

View 2024 Entry

Enquire now

Download our employer brochure

Open days and visit us

Download our programme flyer


Web: Enquire online

Phone: +44 (0)1392 72 72 72

Top 10 in the UK for our world-leading and internationally excellent Clinical Medicine research

Based on 4* + 3* research in REF 2021

Our Public Health research is 11th in the UK for research power

Submitted to UoA2 Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care. REF 2021

Major capital investment in new buildings and state-of-the-art facilities

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in a relevant subject and at least three years’ experience at a professional managerial level (ideally in the healthcare sector) or as a senior clinical lead. Level 2 Maths and English will need to be evidenced prior to end-point assessment (EPA).

Alternatively, a minimum of five years’ management experience would be considered if no prior degree is held.

Applicants will be 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.

Applicants must also 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 will already hold a post with an employer and continue working for them throughout the duration of this apprenticeship. Candidates will need to speak to their HR department and/or manager to gain sign off to undertake this apprenticeship.

Once an employer agrees to the apprenticeship, candidates will then be required to undertake an application for the University. If successful, they will be offered a position. A place will be confirmed by us, and we will send further information about how to enrol.


Full programme cost: £14,000

The optional MSc top-up of £4,250 is funded by either the employer or the individual.

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

Read more

Course content

This programme is designed for aspiring or established leaders in any health-related discipline, including General Practitioners; hospital clinicians from any specialty; nurses; allied healthcare professionals; NHS managers working in hospitals, primary care or the community setting; and healthcare commissioners.

Now more than ever, the health sector needs the highest standard of patient-focused care. The sector needs senior leaders who aspire to have significant responsibility and influence, in a health or social care setting.

Throughout this course apprentices will:

  • Explore 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
  • Cover the key aspects of strategy, innovation and change, enterprise and risk, finance, leading and developing people, and developing collaborative relationships
  • Develop and demonstrate cogent leadership behaviours such as leading by example, appropriate judgement and challenge, courage and curiosity and valuing diversity
  • Develop compassionate, inclusive and effective leadership to inspire the development of world-class care that is ethical, innovative and sustainable
  • By the end of the programme the apprentice should 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

MSc Healthcare Leadership and Management

Duration: to be completed within 3 years of achieving PG Dip

The Level 7 Senior Leader (Healthcare) Apprenticeship completes with the award of the PG Dip Healthcare Leadership and Management.
For those wanting to achieve an MSc in Healthcare Leadership and Management, these additional modules provide that opportunity.

Year Three to Five: Independent Research or Work Based Project module (60 credits)

This module serves as the top up for the Senior Leader (Healthcare) Apprenticeship that builds on your Diploma in Healthcare Leadership and Management and takes you to the award of a full Masters. It consists of a piece of independent research related to the Healthcare Leadership and Management sector and is designed to enable apprentices to produce a report or publication, under supervision, which showcases your skills in research design, development, critical evaluation, synthesis and dissemination.

Senior healthcare leaders are responsible for developing and implementing major strategic or institutional projects that will contribute towards organisational strategic and operational objectives.

This capstone module promotes the consolidation of learning from across the PG Dip and enables the transfer of knowledge to the learner’s role and organisation. If apprentices choose to do a Work Based Project, they will build on the Strategic Business Case already developed on the apprenticeship programme, or another suitable project agreed by an employer, you would be required to analyse the problem and look for sustainable strategies that enhance lives through the improvement of an aspect of health and care.

With the benefit of academic direction, the applied part of this workbased module also aims to allow you an opportunity
to reflect upon the organisational impact of such a piece of strategic work.

I can honestly say that this has been the most beneficial and career enhancing programme I have undertaken and it has set me up with a skill set and knowledge base that will support me throughout my working life.

My learning experience has been exponential and the support, guidance and encouragement from the team at the University of Exeter has been exceptional. The team have gone the extra mile to ensure a safe learning environment along with opportunities to interact with peers in a formal and informal capacity that ensued as a result of undertaking the programme virtually.

Read more from Andrea


Senior Leader (Healthcare) Apprentice


Approximately 20 per cent of an apprentice's contractual working time 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:

  • Case-based discussion
  • Simulation and problem-based learning
  • Seminars, chat rooms and webinars
  • Peer supported group discussions
  • Personal reflective workplace logs
  • Interactive workshops

Our dedicated partnerships team liaise closely with employers throughout the programme; apprentices will have dedicated mentors to assist and guide them throughout the whole course of the apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship Standard

Alongside working towards their level 7 apprenticeship; gained after completing the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours of the apprenticeship standard; apprentices will also be studying for a Postgraduate Diploma Healthcare Leadership and Management. Below is the apprenticeship standard and assessment plan:

Read more

Employer information

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 and aspire to be at ease with ambiguity and feel equipped to embrace complexity. You can expect them to explore every opportunity to create emergent models of care. Then through compassionate, inclusive and effective leadership they will be able to inspire the development of world-class care that is ethical, innovative and sustainable.

Download our Senior Leader Healthcare Brochure


Successful graduates of the programme will have positive impact in their organisations.

Apprentices will lead change in an inclusive and strategic way, will have a clear focus on achieving the diverse goals of their organisation, and be capable of influencing at high levels within their organisation.