PgDip Business Administration Scale Up (Senior Leaders Apprenticeship)

Start date(s)
September 2023
Study mode
Part-time (2 years)

About this course

This Senior Leader Apprenticeship programme provides you with the knowledge, skills and capabilities required to scale up a business

  • 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 business growth  
  • Learn the key factors that enable business growth

  • Assignments investigate real issues in your own workplace to ensure they are relevant.   

  • 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.

This Senior Leaders Apprenticeship (SLA) is designed to transform participants into confident business professionals capable of scaling up a business. It focuses on the key areas a business would need to investigate in order to assess scale up potential. 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.


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).

Fees and funding

For information on fees and finance please contact:


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.

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.

Please note:

This course is currently undergoing its scheduled programme review, which may impact the advertised modules. Programme review is a standard part of the University’s approach to quality assurance and enhancement, enabling us to ensure that our courses remain up to date and maintain their high standard and relevancy.

Once the review is completed, this course website page will be updated to reflect any approved changes to the advertised course. These approved changes will also be communicated to those who apply for the course to ensure they wish to proceed with their application.

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Core modules

Research Strategies for Practitioners
10 credits

This module enables you to develop a conceptual framework from which research philosophies, strategies and methods associated with leadership business and management can be critically reviewed.  You will apply research methods in the strategic leadership/business consultancy project to develop yourself as a reflective, scholarly practitioner.

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
  • considering the way leaders engage and equip those around them to scale the business
  • developing a growth mind-set 

Fast Strategy Market Access
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 

Productivity, Talent and Excellence
10 credits

This module aims to help you:

  • understand the interplay between productivity, people and performance within excellence frameworks 
  • identify key business issues that are recognised to underpin growth 

Finance for Scale-ups
10 credits

This module aims to provide knowledge and understanding of the financial aspects of scaling up a business. 

Leading Agile Projects and Change
10 credits

This module aims to provide you with:

  • an understanding of the need for responsive 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 and Sustainability
10 credits

This module aims to help you to:

  • develop your knowledge and skills to innovate 
  • focus on digital business and technology as a high potential area to scale-up a business
  • appreciate the value of building a sustainable future, both with corporate social responsibility and adopting principles for the long-term benefit of the business and its wider contribution to society

Business Development
30 credits

This module enables you to bring together the different strands of scaling up a business and consider how they integrate to develop a business. 

Leading Business Growth
20 credits

This module provides you with the skills and knowledge to lead business growth. 


An insight into teaching on your course

Study hours

Each module has three full days of teaching, delivered in a block of consecutive days. 

Teaching methods

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


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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.

Entry requirements

You will need:

Admission to the programme is conditional on you meeting the Level 7 Degree Apprenticeship GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) requirements.

Mature entry
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. 

Overseas qualifications

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. Where English is not your first language, or your 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.

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Please note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

View country specific entry requirements

Contact LJMU's International Admissions Team for guidance on visa information. Further information is also available from our international web pages.

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Application and selection

Securing your place at LJMU

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.