Executive Apprenticeship MBA

Full Time MBA testimonial
The MBA has been pivotal in helping me secure a senior management position in my organisation."

Sally Gillespie
Head of Employee Engagement at Chiltern Railways


Entry requirements

A good UK (or equivalent) honours degree.
Three years’ relevant post-graduation work experience.

An MBA with a difference: your employer will fund your studies while you work full-time. The Level 7 Senior Leader Masters Degree 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. 

MBA global top 40
Ranked 36th in the world by CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings 2017.
Aston Business School is in the 1% of business schools globally with triple accreditation.
Get your MBA paid for by your employer.
Implement your MBA knowledge in your organisation straight away.

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. 

Apprentices can range from new employees with no previous management experience 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.

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.

The Executive Apprenticeship MBA is made up of six core modules, one elective and a business project taught over a 30 month period. It then concludes with a major business project over the last 6 months of study.

Core Modules 

Our core modules will equip you with a thorough knowledge of the key business and management issues needed in modern business. The core modules are:

  • Measuring and enhancing financial performance
  • Creating and delivering customer value
  • Crafting organisational strategy
  • Designing and managing operations, systems and processes
  • Leading complex organisations
  • The Aston Edge

Elective Modules

You will select two elective modules to deepen your knowledge of a key business area further. Below is a list of the types of modules that may be available for you to choose from:

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

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 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 an apprentice, you'll work full time for your employer and complete your MBA over a 30 month period through a combination of online workshops and termly weekend residentials on campus. 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.

Learning at Aston Business School

You’ll combine termly weekend residentials at Aston Business School per year with 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.

Learning by doing 

At Aston Business School 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.

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

We’ll teach you the ropes so you can make it to the top. Our comprehensive career management programme is designed to boost your employability and help you take the next step in your organisation. 

Find out more about careers support

If you join the MBA on the Executive Apprenticeship programme, your employer will cover the cost of your fees.

All employers who have a payroll of over £3 million pay into the government's apprenticeship levy and in return they receive a levy allowance that can be used to train staff as apprentices.

If you work for an SME, your employer will also have access to apprenticeship funding, covering 90% of the Executive Apprenticeship training.

Entry requirements:

For direct enrolment onto the Aston MBA programme, you will need one* of the following:
  • A good UK honours degree, or
  • An equivalent overseas degree recognised by Aston University, or
  • A degree-level professional qualification.


  • 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).

English Language Requirements 2017/18 can be found here.

*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. 

The information contained on this website details the typical entry requirements for this course for the most commonly offered qualifications. Applicants with alternative qualifications may wish to enquire with the relevant admissions teams prior to application whether or not their qualifications are deemed acceptable. For less commonly encountered qualifications this will be judged on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the academic admissions tutor.

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.

Interested? Get in touch for more information

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