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PG Dip Senior Leader Apprenticeship—Business Administration Scale Up

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

Tuition fees

Degree Apprenticeship
General enquiries:
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About this course

This Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA) programme provides you with knowledge, skills and capabilities needed to lead and support your organisation in continued sustainable growth, and also offers you a unique university postgraduate qualification. It aims to transform participants into confident business professional

  • Delivered in blocks for extra flexibility and to fit studies around existing commitments
  • Study on a course designed in response to government and local ambitions for responsible business growth
  • Relevant for those with responsibility for leading strategy and change, managing a budget and developing staff to ensure continued and responsible growth.
  • Study carefully crafted modules centring around scale-up approaches and issues across the key business functions
  • Learn alongside others experiencing similar challenges and discuss leadership and strategy in the context of Scaling-Up.
  • Use work-related course assessments to enhance your professional and organisational development through relevant research and learning
  • Achieve Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration for Scale-Up which supports application for Chartered Manager Status with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).
  • Achieve Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA) Award
  • Opportunity to self-fund a top-up MBA qualification upon completion of this programme.

A 'scale-up' is an enterprise that has experienced significant growth rates in employees and turnover over a number of years.

Nationally, scale-up businesses have been identified as a priority area, recognised by the appointment of a scale up champion in Government who aims to increase the number of businesses maximising opportunities to reach their growth potential. This will feed into the Government's industrial strategy. The course combines key management disciplines from the key QAA and CMI benchmark statements with recent national research on the drivers of business scale up.

Our programme team has a strong regional network with relevant ecosystem and SME growth knowledge. This provides further opportunity for external stakeholder insights throughout the duration of the programme’s lifecycle. The content has been informed by discussions with these networks, in particular with representatives from the Scale Up Institute, the Small Business Charter and the LCRCA.

This programme has been carefully crafted to cluster the knowledge, skills and behaviour standards into a set of facilitated modules over 4 semesters (years 1 and 2). The second part, if you choose to undertake and fund it, is a supervised strategic business project to top-up to an MBA.

Reflecting on and showing evidence of a strategic learning journey and skills development is a key part of the apprenticeship philosophy and good leadership and management development practice.

Throughout the learning phase (Semester 1-4), participants need to complete a portfolio evidencing how they have met the knowledge, skills and behaviours required of the Senior Leadership Apprenticeship standard.

Participants also prepare a strategic business case proposal with a presentation and professional discussion about their portfolio for the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) End Point Assessment (EPA).

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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.

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study. For the Senior Leader Apprenticeship (SLA) this includes the apprenticeship levy

What is the apprenticeship levy?

The government has introduced a levy on larger employers to fund apprenticeships. If your company’s wage bill is over £3 million your company will pay the apprenticeship levy of 0.5%.

If your company is paying the apprenticeship levy (see details below), you can use these funds to cover Degree Apprenticeships. 

Both levy and non-levy paying employers can benefit from additional payments to support their apprentices in the workplace. 

More information about the levy and funding 

For information on fees and finance please contact degreeapprenticeships@ljmu.ac.uk


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.

Our applied learning techniques ensure our students can apply knowledge learned to real world contexts.

On graduation from this programme you will see a marked improvement on employee day-to-day performance, confidence and learning in the workplace, as well as improvements in your ability to demonstrate new skills learned during the course.

The student experience

Discover life as a postgraduate student at LJMU.

Course modules

Discover the building blocks of your programme

Your programme is made up of a number of core modules which are part of the course framework. Some programmes also have optional modules that can be selected to enhance your learning in certain areas and many feature a dissertation, extended report or research project to demonstrate your advanced learning.

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.

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).

Scale-up Leadership
10 credits

This module aims to help you identify your own leadership needs through self-review and an assessment of your business scale-up context; through considering the way leaders engage and equip those around them to scale the business and in developing a growth mind-set.

Responsible Strategic Growth
10 credits

This module aims to help you assess strategy approaches to accelerate business growth by:

  • investigating routes to market growth and building customers
  • identifying strategies for high growth potential businesses
  • learning about support for market entry and access to markets
  • assess current barriers and opportunities for sustainable growth


People and Performance for Scale Up
10 credits

This module aims to help you to understand the interplay between productivity, people and performance within excellence frameworks and to identify key business issues that are recognised to underpin sustainable growth.

Finance for Scale-Up
10 credits

This module aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the financial aspects of scaling up a business. Helping learners to develop business acumen, which is needed to understand the finances of the business and how to inform and shape decision-making. It also explores the implications of different sources of funding and investment for sustainable business.

Managing Change Projects
10 credits

This module aims to provide you with:

  • an understanding of the need for responsive and responsible projects to grow business and achieve change quickly
  • a focus on emerging projects and change practices evidenced in agile and lean approaches

Digital Business Innovation
10 credits

This module aims to help you to develop your knowledge and skills to innovate. It focuses on digital business and technology as a high potential area to scale-up a business. It also helps you to appreciate the value of building a sustainable future and adopting principles for the long-term benefit of the business and its wider contribution to society.

Strategic Business Development
20 credits

This year-long module aims to help you to consider your organisation's business development needs, strategies and obstacles for accelerated but responsible business growth and how to navigate industry landscapes and stakeholder relations. 

Leadership for Business Growth
10 credits

This module aims to help learners to develop and align leadership skills and practice, strategy and reflective learning to deliver growth responsibly and flexibly in the face of contemporary risks.

It aims to help you to deepen your reflexivity on a range of connecting issues relating to leading your business to grow responsibly, particularly the dynamic alignment of leadership, strategy and learning with an intentional focus throughout to developing strategic leadership and risk management practices.

Marketing for Scale-Up
10 credits

This module aims to help you to assess responsible marketing approaches to improve market access and entry by: understanding the customer and stakeholder as well as your business's 'offer' and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); considering contemporary issues in markets and ecosystem in managing corporate brand and reputation to build sustainable and responsible customer and stakeholder relationships.


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Learners will attend a 1-day induction at the start of their programme and modules will normally be delivered in block release format i.e. three full days per month per 10 credit module.

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.


What support is offered?

There is a strong apprenticeship team at LJMU to support the learner and employer. And there is a strong academic programme team to support the academic side of things. All learners have a personal academic tutor. All apprentices also have a university learning mentor.


Teaching methods

Our approach to how managers and leaders learn uses proven management and leadership development approaches.

Our flexible delivery approach involves face-to-face teaching and facilitation, blending online support activity, with the facility to introduce live online sessions and individual and group tutorials. Action learning provides a forum to bring ideas, thoughts, issues and actionable remedies to the fore. It is also a supportive and collaborative environment for working with peers, facilitators and colleagues. The university 's Virtual Learning Environment (Canvas) gives you access to teaching and materials wherever you study and it provides a means for you to maintain contact and submit assignments. 


Applied learning

We work closely with participants to support their work on real-world projects and gathering evidence for the portfolio. This includes using assignments, work-based project examples and witness testimony to demonstrate the participant's strategic development journey.

A strong emphasis is placed on the workplace as a place to learn; participants integrate key concepts and theories, assessing the impact of these on their own working environment. The programme takes learning from the workplace seriously.

The ability to analyse organisational issues and apply recommendations supported by a theoretical framework is fundamental and is assessed in all elements of the programme.


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.

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.

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

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.


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.

All assignments are focused on personal and professional development through reports, essays projects and portfolio development.

Course tutors

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

School facilities

What you can expect from your School

The School is based in the Redmonds Building, 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 cafe. It is only a short walk from LJMUs Aldham Robarts Library, which contains all the resources you will require for your studies, and is open seven days a week.

Liverpool Business School also has a dedicated Executive Education Suite, based at 4-6 Rodney Street, a listed building in the historic Georgian Quarter of Liverpool and a short walk from the Redmonds Building. The building has recently undergone 1.2 million investment to provide a professional learning space.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Qualification requirements

GCSEs and equivalents

  • Admission to the Senior Leadership Apprenticeship programme code 36697 is conditional on the applicant meeting L2 qualifications GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) requirements.

Additional requirements

  • Relevant work experience

    • The course team has a strong commitment to widening participation and positively welcomes non-standard applicants. Candidates with significant management experience (>2 years) and a demonstrated aptitude for study can be accepted without previous experience of higher education.

International requirements


    • Where English is not the candidate's first language, or their first degree was not taught and assessed wholly in English, an IELTS score of 6.5 must be achieved, with no individual score of less than 6. The programme complies fully with the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.

  • Other international requirements

    • Applications where an interview is not possible will need to provide additional evidence of experience and aptitude to study. This will normally be achieved by taking up employment references and a score in the recognised international admissions test for management programmes, GMAT. 

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.

For mature students, admission will normally be by interview, after formal application.

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.