Engineering Leadership and Management Executive Apprenticeship


Entry requirements

A good UK (or equivalent) honours degree.
Five years' relevant work experience.

Through this innovative Executive Apprenticeship you can study for a masters degree funded by your employer while working full time. The programme is focused on developing future engineering leaders and will develop your leadership and management skills as well as enhancing your engineering capabilities.

Benefit from a hands-on, project oriented learning that directly relates to your organisation.
No tuition fees if your employer pay the apprenticeship levy.
Gain an MSc in Engineering Leadership and Management.
Delivered in short, intensive taught blocks on campus and through integrated work place learning.


By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded with an MSc in Engineering Leadership and Management and may receive a level 7 certificate in Leadership and Management from the ILM. On completion of an external end point assessment you will also achieve a level 7 apprenticeship certificate that is graded at pass, merit or distinction. 

Start date

Presently there are two entry points: October and January. 

Duration of programme

The duration of the apprenticeship is two and a half years.

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.

If your organisation doesn't pay the apprenticeship levy or you are a self-funded candidate, you can still study this course as a masters programme. Find out more information.

Entry requirements

For direct enrolment onto this 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 five 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 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 us 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 Engineering Leadership and Management Executive Apprenticeship is made up of six core modules, plus two electives taught over a 24 month period. It concludes with a major business project undertaken over a further six months of study.

Who is this apprenticeship for?

Executive apprentices will be engineering specialists or managers within an engineering function or business with a desire to further their knowledge, develop their careers and to progress to leadership positions.

Apprentices can range from new employees (with prior work experience) to existing staff who have grown into their role. Responsibilities can include leading people, projects, operations and/or services to deliver long term results. 

Programme content

Modules are taught at postgraduate level and have been structured to contribute towards achievement of the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Standard as well as to enhance knowledge and skills specific to engineering management. Your employer will benefit from your increased capability to perform more challenging work as you gain knowledge, skills and experience throughout the programme.

Core topics

Topics on offer include:

  • Mastering strategy
  • Strategic financial management
  • Developing leadership and management capability through enquiry
  • Engineering programme management
  • The business landscape
  • Research methods.

Elective modules

You will select one elective module 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:

  • Operational effectiveness
  • Customer engagement
  • Supply chain management
  • Sustainable engineering
  • Human resource management.

Employer project

The course concludes with a Major Employer Project focused on a particular area of your employer’s business. The output is a workable solution or approach to a current issue your company is facing.

Learning and teaching

The first two years of the programme are delivered through a block teaching approach, and you will study four modules each year. Teaching is based at the University and will be in small blocks, totalling approximately 24 days per year, and using around half of the 20 per cent off the job training time that employers should allocate apprentices when studying for a degree apprenticeship. 

While at the University, you will learn through formal lectures, tutorials and interactive workshops led by our industrially experienced teaching staff. We work in small cohorts that will enable you to study with fellow specialists, network and learn through discussion of current industry issues. Through our experiential learning approach, you will be able to apply your new skills and knowledge straight away in the workplace.

Teaching will be supported through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, 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. 

For the final six months of their programme, you will undertake a major project based on a current challenge in your work place.  


Modules are assessed by the University through individual coursework for each module and the major employer project.  Assessments have an emphasis on application of taught material within the workplace setting to deepen learning.

Throughout the programme, you will amass a portfolio designed to evidence development of your skills, knowledge and behaviours. On achievement of the MSc award you will undergo an end-point assessment with an external assessment organisation to demonstrate achievement of the Institute for Apprenticeships approved Standard for a Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship.

David Leach

David joined Aston University as a Senior Teaching Fellow in spring 2018, following eleven years as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield where he was programme director for the innovative multi-award winning NOVUS undergraduate programmes.  He teaches in the areas of finance, strategy and supply chain management, building on a professional background in business development, financial and commercial roles in the logistics industry.

David has a passion for teaching and learning and enjoys working with industry partners in the development of new management talent.

I am already employed in the industry

If you are already employed in this industry, 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.

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I am not employed in the industry

The first step in joining our Degree Apprenticeship programme is to find and apply for a relevant job vacancy. All our current degree apprenticeship vacancies are listed below and are updated on a regular basis. Please check back regularly for new vacancies.

Find out more about applying for degree apprenticeships

If you are already employed as an apprentice and would like to enrol on the course please discuss this with your employer and advise them to contact Aston University to discuss this further.

For more information, contact apprenticeships@aston.ac.uk 

Engineering Leadership and Management Executive Apprenticeship course brochure

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