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 leaders who want to accelerate their careers and immerse themselves into the principles of strategic thinking in a business context. 

Ranked top 50 in the world
Ranked 41st in the world by CEO Magazine Global MBA Rankings 2018.
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.


By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded with a Masters in Business Administration degree. You will also achieve an apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. 

Duration of programme

The duration of this course is two and a half years.

Start dates

Presently there are three entry points: September, January and April.

Tuition fees

If your employer pays the apprenticeship levy, you could be entitled to 100% funding for the Executive Apprenticeship MBA. 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.

* 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 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.

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.

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.

Who is this programme for?

The Executive Apprenticeship is a transformational MBA for leaders 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 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 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.

Programme content

The Executive Apprenticeship 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 modern business. 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:

  • 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.

Learning and teaching

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.

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.

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.

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

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

To apply for any of our degree apprenticeships, you will need to be in employment with an organisation that pays the apprenticeship levy. 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

Stage one: register your interest

Email us by clicking on the button below and let us know you would like to apply for the Executive Apprenticeship MBA.

Stage two: eligibility checks

We'll hand you over to the Aston Centre for Professional Education who will make sure that you and your employer are eligible for the programme and apprenticeship funding. 

Stage three: apply

Once you have passed the eligibility checks, you'll be sent the link for the online application form. 

MBA apply

Interested? Get in touch for more information