Management of Manufacturing MBA Degree Apprenticeship

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MTC and Aston University

The Management of Manufacturing MBA Degree Apprenticeship

Course overview

  • Course level
    Postgraduate, MBA / DBA, Degree Apprenticeship
  • Course type
    Part-time, Online / distance learning, Work-based degree
  • Duration
    2 years
  • 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 by the time you start your programme
More information
Check your eligibility

Key dates

Ranked 39th in the world by CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings 2019

Aston Business School is in the 1% of business schools globally with triple accreditation

No fees to pay as this MBA is funded through your employer's apprenticeship levy

A specialised MBA for leaders in the manufacturing industry

Course summary

This new Executive MBA programme is tailored for leaders in manufacturing organisations of all sizes and sectors. Through a collaboration with the Manufacturing Technology Centre, this MBA will merge the practical elements of industry with the academic theory to boost productivity both on production lines and throughout business processes.

This programme meets the standard for the Level 7 Senior Leader Masters Degree Apprenticeship, meaning your employer can fund your studies using the apprenticeship levy so you'll gain an MBA without the fees.

Key information and entry requirements


By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded a Masters in Business Administration degree. 

You 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, you 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 three entry points: September, January and May.

Tuition fees

Apprentices do not have to pay for tuition fees*. The total fee of £18,000 will be met by the UK government and your employer. In addition to your fees being paid, you will also earn a salary while you study, so there is no need to apply for Student Finance.

* Employers may require students to pay the fees for resits.

Entry requirements

For direct enrolment onto the Aston MBA programme, you 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 you complete the programme
  • At least three years’ relevant post-graduation work experience by the time you start your programme
  • An official academic transcript of your grades (in English) 
  • Two references – preferably one from an academic referee, the other from your 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.

We take a holistic approach in evaluating applications. If you would like to get a better idea before applying, you are welcome to contact one of our MBA advisers for an informal discussion.

Course outline

Programme overview

The best leaders have mastered the art of decision making and action based on critical thinking. Your Aston MBA will teach you how to reflect on your own career, perceive emerging opportunities and develop a growth mindset. You will become enterprising in everything you do and your organisation will benefit from a confident and informed business leader.

This programme has been designed in close partnership with the Manufacturing Technology Centre to give leaders in the manufacturing industry the core theory needed to develop their understanding of business functions and the impact they have on manufacturing productivity.

The Management of Manufacturing MBA is made up of six core modules, one elective and a business project taught over a two year period. It concludes with a major business project over the last 6 months of study.

Who is this programme for?

The Management of Manufacturing MBA is a transformational programme for leaders who want to accelerate their career and immerse themselves into the principles of strategic thinking within the context of the manufacturing industry.

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 managers in management in manufacturing organisations of all sizes and sectors who want to develop their 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.

Programme content

The Management of Manufacturing MBA is taught at postgraduate level through a set of core modules that will equip you with a thorough knowledge of the key business and management issues needed in the manufacturing sector. Candidates are then able to select from a range of elective modules to specialise their studies. Finally, the programme concludes with the Business Project.

Core modules 

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 
    You’ll 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 
    This module will improve your understanding of assessing the financial health of a business. Through a state of the art business simulation, you’ll work in teams making financial decisions for your shared business while competing against your peers. This simulation is an engaging way to put theory into practice.

  • Designing and Managing Operations, Systems and Processes 
    This module aims to provide 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 you with professional self-development skills to equip you with the skills and experience needed to succeed in today's global business environment.  You'll learn leadership, team working, confidence, presentation skills, and much more through a programme of workshops and business simulations.

Specialist modules

You will then specialise your learning modules to deepen your knowledge of manufacturing management further. Below is a list of the types of modules that may be available for you to choose from:

  • Advanced strategy
  • International business
  • Managing responsible organisations
  • Programme management
  • Procurement and supply management.

Business Project

The course concludes with a major business project that gives you the opportunity to design your own learning experience to fit your own area of interest. As an apprentice, you will undertake a project based on your own organisation, using your new knowledge to work towards a solution that your company is facing.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Learning and teaching

As an apprentice, you'll work full time for your employer and complete your MBA over a two year period through a combination of online workshops and webinars plus two days of on-campus study per module. This gives you the opportunity to enrich your learning through discussion of current business issues and apply your new skills and knowledge straight away in your professional practice.

You’ll combine face-to-face study with online sessions using Blackboard, an interactive online learning platform. Blackboard creates a virtual learning environment where you can engage with module content, participate in live seminars and communicate with your peers. There is also an extensive online library of content to support your studies.

We believe in experiential learning to put theory into practice. The Aston MBA is based on a foundation of learning by doing. We don’t just teach you the theory, we show you how to use it too.

Experiential learning is valuable because:

  • it provides an opportunity for immediate feedback on core concepts
  • it creates long-lasting impact and can change your mindset
  • it helps you develop reflective skills allowing you to learn faster
  • it is a personalised learning experience
  • practical learning stimulates creativity.

Learning by doing can be useful in numerous situations, mainly we use it to help you develop strategy, think creatively, solve problems and for team and leadership development. As you are working alongside studying for your MBA, you will be able to put your learning and new skills into action right from the start.


Modules are assessed by individual assignments and group work where you will have the opportunity to analyse complex business problems.

The course includes a major business project that allows you to put your new knowledge into practice. As an Executive Apprentice, you will undertake a project based on your own organisation, using your new knowledge to work towards a solution that your company is facing.

As part of your apprenticeship, you 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.

The Aston Edge

More than a MBA

Sharpen your thinking with a personal development programme designed and delivered by professors and practitioners in behavioural science.

The Aston Edge is our way of training you for the more elusive, social and personal side of business. Human psychology is slippery, so the Edge is designed to help your strategies stick when handling a complex range of stakeholders and business projects.

Find out more

Programme Director

Jason Evans

Jason has a business background in international management, having worked in Asia for a number of years, and is a fluent Japanese speaker. Jason’s academic interests centre on Entrepreneurship and Strategy. He has just completed work on a large-scale European research project centred on incubation and entrepreneurship education across the EU ( and an EEUK funded research project on student engagement in entrepreneurship in universities.

Jason's work has taken him on a number of foreign adventures, most recently in 2018, leading workshops on "Training of Trainers in Business Incubation Management for Higher Learning Institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa" in Tanzania. Jason is currently is a member of the author team for the 12th edition of Exploring Strategy, focusing on the case section of the text. Jason enjoys rugby, playing guitar, travelling wherever he can afford to go, good food and good conversation in either English or Japanese!


How to apply

To apply for any of our degree apprenticeships, you will need to be in employment. You should discuss with your manager if your organisation is working in partnership with Aston University. If they are, you will make an application through your employer. 

If your employer is not yet an Aston partner, they can get in touch with our Apprenticeships Team to find out more information about working with us.

I'm ready to apply

Email us and let us know you would like to apply for the Executive Apprenticeship MBA.

The application process

Our step-by-step guide outlines the process of applying for the Executive Apprenticeship MBA.

Information for employers

If you are an employer or you want to send information about this degree apprenticeship to your manager, take a look at the course page dedicated to employers

Lucy's story

"Studying an MBA will allow me to be the best that I can be in my current role and allow me to develop myself at a higher level. My MBA will also diversify me from other candidates when applying for future roles and progression opportunities."

Lucy Swindle
Shift Manager: Operations at James Walker & Co Ltd and Management of Manufacturing MBA
Tian Long's story

‘I chose Aston Business School due to the unique MBA they are offering focusing on manufacturing. I want to progress my career to a managerial position and be involved in creating strategy for the technology area in my company. I would also like to enhance the knowledge and skills I have in finance, marketing and management as I am from a very technical background. Doing this MBA will help me achieve that.’

Dr Tian Long See
Management of Manufacturing MBA Degree Apprentice and Senior Research Engineer, Manufacturing Technology Centre
Tom's story

The MBA will supplement my engineering background with strong skills in areas such as finance, marketing, strategy and leadership and to apply this directly within my work at the MTC. The skills and knowledge I will develop through the MBA will allow me to make the next step in my career.

Tom Driscoll
Management of Manufacturing MBA apprentice at the Manufacturing Technology Centre
Daniel's story

"Due to the high amount of cross-functional networking I have on a daily basis, I wanted to better understand the behavioural attributes of individuals and how to manage them more effectively. I recognise that being emotionally intelligent is also important. I believe the Management of Manufacturing MBA will allow me to further build on my emotional intelligence and managerial responsibilities to adapt in these environments."

Daniel Warrington
Management of Manufacturing MBA apprentice at Doncasters Precision Castings

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