Supply Chain Leadership and Management (Executive Apprenticeship)

If you want to develop your leadership and management skills and enhance your supply chain strategy to become a future leader in the sector, this innovative executive apprenticeship is for you.

Location: Aston University, Birmingham

Course type

Work-based degree

Course format

No placements


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

UCAS code(s)


Start date

Course outline and modules

For employees

Designed to shape future supply chain leaders, you will develop your leadership and management skills as well as enhancing your supply chain strategy and execution capabilities.  

The course has a focus on decision making, strategic thinking and leading people. It covers essential management and supply chain theory and explores this through an experiential learning approach within the context of the internal and external supply chain.  

Not only will you graduate with an MSc in Supply Chain Leadership and Management, you’ll also gain a Level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management from the Institute of Leadership and Management, and an approved Degree Apprenticeship Certificate.

For employers

Our executive apprenticeship is focused on preparing supply chain specialists for senior leadership roles within your organisation. As well as developing management and leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours, this master’s programme has an emphasis on supply chain strategy and execution, enabling your organisation to benefit from enhanced capability in this vital field. 

With a focus on decision making, strategic thinking and leading people, this Executive Apprenticeship covers essential management and supply chain theory and explores this through an experiential learning approach within the context of the internal and external supply chain.


Who is this apprenticeship for?

Executive apprentices will be supply chain specialists or managers within a logistics 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.

Course content

The Supply Chain Leadership and Management Executive Apprenticeship is made up of seven core modules, plus one elective taught module, over a 24 month period. It concludes with a major business project undertaken over a further six months of study. 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 logistics and supply chain 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. 

Real-world learning

You will spend most of your time doing a full-time job as well as studying for your degree part-time through a combination of online seminars outside of office hours and occasional sessions on campus. Everything is structured to fit around your job and is designed in partnership with employers.

Entry requirements

You will need to apply for a degree apprenticeship role or already be employed in a job in England with responsibilities aligned with the degree content. Please see the how to apply section below for more information.

Entry requirements are set by the hiring business and not Aston University so they vary between organisations. Apprentices are selected based on their applications, an interview and an assessment process which is tailored to your apprenticeship position.

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 Grade 4 or C GCSE (or level 2 equivalent) Maths and English
  • 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).

*Please note:

  • Employers may specify their own entry criteria that can exceed this.

You will also need to meet the government's eligibility criteria:

  • Have been a UK/EU/EAA resident for the past three years or more prior to starting the course.
  • Have left full time education when the apprenticeship you are applying for is due to start.
  • Be aged at least 16 years old to meet government funding criteria.

*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. 

How to apply

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.

Learning, teaching and assessment

Apprenticeships are structured differently to a traditional degree. You'll spend the majority of your time in the workplace doing a real full-time job as well as studying for your qualification part-time.

Study time is structured to fit around your job. Your apprenticeship is designed in partnership with your employer, so you don't need to worry about your work and study commitments clashing. They work hand in hand.

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.  


By successfully completing this programme, you'll be awarded an MSc in Supply Chain 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. 

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.

Fees and scholarships

You will not have to pay tuition fees as a degree apprentice as the costs are 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.

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

*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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why study a Supply Chain Leadership and Management Executive Apprenticeship at Aston? 

Aston’s great links with industry and experienced teaching staff will help you to develop your career pathway on this course and equip you for a role as a leader within the supply chain and logistics sector.  

You can tailor your course through a choice of elective modules to best suit your preferences and career direction and you’ll finish the course with a major employer project focused on a particular area of your organisation.   

Why Aston University for an apprenticeship? 

Aston University has been ranked 15th in a Top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2019). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as really value our network of employer links which inform and shape our courses and teaching.  

Why partner with Aston University for a degree apprenticeship?

At Aston we work really closely with our employer network, not only to ensure courses fit around the roles that apprentices have, but also to ensure the skills and knowledge they develop fit the needs of their organisation and add value to their business. 

Aston University has been ranked 15th in a top 50 list of the UK’s best apprenticeship training providers (RateMyApprenticeship Awards, 2019). We also have a history of providing our students with skills that help them to excel in their chosen careers, as well as maintain good working relationships with employers.

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