Executive Apprenticeship MBA - Employer Information

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate, MBA / DBA, Degree Apprenticeship
  • Course type
    Work-based degree
  • Duration
    2 years
  • Course options
    No placement
  • School

Entry requirements

  • Degree
    A UK honours degree (or equivalent) or a degree-level professional qualification.
  • Plus
    At least 3 years’ relevant post-graduation work experience.
More information
Check your funding eligibility

Key dates

  • Programme start dates
    January, May, and September

Employer information

A new kind of MBA for your future leaders.

The best leaders have mastered the art of decision making and action based on critical thinking. The  Executive Apprenticeship will teach your employees to become enterprising in everything they do. Your organisation will benefit from a confident and informed business leader.

Take your organisation's management to the next level with the Executive Apprenticeship MBA. Whatever industry your organisation specialises in, the Executive MBA will provide your staff with a broad knowledge of business management, covering topics including organisational strategy, financial performance, managing operations and leading complex organisations.

We work with companies including Pertemps, Specsavers, Teach First and Vauxhall to upskill their management and give them the Aston Edge.

Key information and entry requirements

Degree Apprenticeship Standard

This programme aligns to the Level 7 Senior Leader degree apprenticeship standard. You can find more information about the standard on the Institute for Apprenticeships website.


By successfully completing this programme, your leaders will be awarded a Masters in Business Administration degree (MBA). 

Learners will also be awarded a Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Chartered Manager Status and be a CMI member throughout the programme and for one year after graduation.

On completion of the end point assessment, learners will achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. 

Duration of programme

The duration of this course is two years.

Start dates

Presently there are four entry points: January, May and September

Tuition fees

The funding band for this degree apprenticeship is £18,000. This is the full cost of the apprenticeship which will be paid using your apprenticeship levy.

Entry requirements 

For direct enrolment onto the Aston MBA programme, candidates will need one* of the following:

  • A UK honours degree, or
  • An equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University, or
  • A degree-level professional qualification.


  • Grade 4 or C GCSE (or level 2 equivalent) Maths and English by the time the apprentice completes the programme
  • At least three years’ relevant post-graduation work experience
  • An official academic transcript of your grades (in English) 
  • Two references – preferably one from an academic referee, the other from the current or previous employer (Two professional references may be accepted from applicants with substantial work experience).

*Applicants with extensive work experience

We accept applications from candidates with extensive work experience who have not completed a graduate qualification.

Who is this apprenticeship for?

The Executive Apprenticeship is a transformational MBA for managers who want to accelerate their careers and immerse themselves into the principles of strategic thinking in a business context. The apprentice will work full-time and complete a Masters of Business Administration over a two year period through a combination of online learning and two days of teaching at Aston Business School per module.

Apprentices can range from new employees to existing managers who have grown into their role, but would benefit from a formal MBA qualification. It is intended for professional managers in the private, public or third sector and all sizes of organisation who want to develop their management and leadership knowledge, transferable skills and behaviours. 

Roles can include anyone with significant management responsibilities. Responsibilities can include leading people, projects, operations and/or services to deliver long term results. The collaboration between work and study shapes your apprentice to behave ethically, lead others and deliver impact.

Course outline

Modules are taught at postgraduate level and fit the government’s specification for the Senior Leader Masters Degree Apprenticeship. Apprentices will deliver high quality and more challenging work as they gain knowledge, skills and experience throughout the course.

Topics on offer include:

  • Crafting Organisational Strategy 
    You will learn to link strategy theory and practice to develop your skills as a strategic, innovative and entrepreneurial thinker and doer. You’ll also develop your understanding of how to use financial analysis for strategic decision-making. 
  • Creating and Delivering Customer Value 
    Learn and put into practice the key concepts and theories in marketing strategy and management, including how to research and understand customer behaviour, innovate for global markets and interpret data to develop marketing strategies.

  • Measuring and Enhancing Financial Performance 
    Improving understanding of assessing the financial health of a business. Through a state of the art business simulation, learners will work in teams making financial decisions for a shared business while competing against their peers. This simulation is an engaging way to put theory into practice.

  • Designing and Managing Operations, Systems and Processes 
    This module provides an understanding of the role of operations management and how it contributes to the development and implementation of business competitiveness and efficiency.

  • Personal Leadership Focus
    This exciting new module confronts learners with current business issues and encourages thought leadership about how managers and their organisation must react and take action to prepare for future challenges.
  • The Aston Edge 
    The Aston Edge programme is delivered alongside the core curriculum and is our way of providing learners with professional self-development skills to equip them with the skills and experience needed to succeed in today's global business environment.  Apprentices will learn leadership, team working, confidence, presentation skills, and much more through a programme of workshops and business simulations.

Your apprentices will also select one elective module to deepen their knowledge of a key business area further. This is where they can specialise their MBA to meet the needs of your industry.  Below is a list of the types of modules that may be available:

  • International Business
  • Business Finance
  • International Marketing Management
  • International Operations
  • Global Business Ethics

The course concludes with a major business project focused on a particular area of your business. The output is a workable solution to an issue your company is facing.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered through blended learning. Apprentices will attend two study days per module on campus at Aston Business School where they will learn through lectures and interactive workshops. This is also a chance to work with fellow business leaders from a wide range of organisations. Face-to-face study sessions give your leaders the opportunity to enrich their learning through discussion of current business issues. Thanks to our learning by doing ethos, they'll be able to apply their new skills and knowledge straight away in your professional practice.

Most teaching is delivered through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, where candidates can engage with module content, participate in live seminars and communicate with their peers. There is also an extensive online library of content to support their studies. Live sessions typically occur outside of work time and are recorded to give MBAs the flexibility to balance studies with work and personal commitments.


Modules are assessed by individual assignments and group work. As part of the apprenticeship, the candidate will undergo an end point assessment to achieve the government approved Standard for a Senior Leader Masters Degree Apprenticeship.


A triple accredited MBA

Aston Business School is one of just 1% of business schools in the world to hold AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA accreditation.

Chartered Management Institute (CMI)

The programme is also accredited by the CMI and includes membership throughout the programme and for one year after graduation.

Information for prospective apprentices

If you are considering undertaking a degree apprenticeship yourself, or you want to pass on information to a colleague who might be interested, take a look at the course page dedicated to prospective apprentices.

Mark's story

"The MBA program has a strong reputation, recently featuring highly in the CEO Magazine review of global Executive, MBA and distance learning MBAs, and scoring highly in all categories. The opportunity to participate in a globally recognised program is highly attractive."

Mark Trueman
Head of Scientific Operations at CBRE GWS and Executive Apprenticeship MBA
Salla's story

“In addition to a recognised qualification, I am hoping to gain new knowledge, experiences, expertise in my field and business contacts. I am hoping the studies together with the Aston Edge professional development will develop me as a leader and a thinker through positive challenges.”

Salla Virman
Executive Apprenticeship MBA apprentice at Arts Council England
Ashley's story

"I decided to study for an MBA as part of my continuous professional development. As my background is rooted in the workplace rather than academically, this would allow me to build on my accountancy qualification to give me a more rounded view of strategic thinking and develop my leadership skills as I continue my career progression."

Ashley Hodgson
Commercial Finance Manager at Computershare and Executive Apprenticeship MBA
Martyn's story

"Through my MBA I’ll gain an improved financial understanding and a better business head to make effective decisions when running my businesses. Should I decide to one day relinquish my role in this area of business having a recognised business qualification could allow me to work elsewhere."

Martyn Thomas
Executive Apprenticeship MBA apprentice at Specsavers

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