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Postgraduate course

Executive MBA Degree Apprenticeship

A modern professional qualification that prioritises social justice to help you make an impact through effective leadership.

marketing students working together

Aimed at directors and senior managers in the private, public or third sectors, the Executive MBA has been designed to support your career progression, preparing you to successfully carry out senior strategic roles or to build your own business.

York campus

  • Duration – 18 months | +3 months for End Point Assessment
  • Start date – October 2021
  • School – York Business School

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £18,000 full time

    International 2020-21 N/A full time

Course overview

You will study with a cohort of experienced professionals, building your network and giving you insights into best practice internationally. As a consequence, you will explore issues that have significant impact within organisations by working with others - building on personal experiences and comparing and contrasting them with those of your cohort members. In addition you will be able to apply the knowledge and skills you develop during the course immediately in the workplace. You will carry out projects and assignments and participate in competitions and business simulations, designed to help you apply the theories, tools and techniques you learn.

You will develop a critical understanding of the issues relating to business and management, which will enhance your ability to maximise individual and organisational potential. The Executive MBA brings together contemporary academic theory and research with a practical understanding of activities within organisations. This will be developed by enabling you to share knowledge, relate this to theories developed from relevant research, and learning by practical application.

This Executive MBA has been designed to meet the requirements of the Level 7 Senior Leader Master’s degree apprenticeship. Subject to eligibility, your organisation may be able to use their apprenticeship levy to cover the costs of this course.

Embarking on this highly innovative course will enable you to:

  • Foster an intensively collaborative community where your analytical, innovative and entrepreneurial skills will be challenged and stretched. Work-based projects will allow you to apply your learning to achieve real life solutions in your organisations.
  • Instil a culture of Innovation and Change within your organisation.
  • Develop as a leader who sets vision, direction, purpose and strategic intent and challenges assumptions in the quest for deeper understanding and smarter, more effective solutions.
  • Deepen understanding of global, macro-level market trends and environmental influences when identifying opportunities and risks.
  • Develop inclusive approaches to leadership which develop sustainable, ethical, innovative and supportive cultures to achieve results.
  • Become a role model for others by influencing positively at all levels and across diverse groups of internal and external stakeholders.

Course structure

Modules include:

Executive Perspectives on Innovation, Change and Leadership (30 credits)
This module develops a critical understanding of leadership, innovation and change in different contexts. The impact of disruptive technologies that challenge traditional business methods and practices will be explored, alongside new ways of working across infrastructure, processes, people, culture and sustainability.

Using your own experience of leadership, innovation and change, you will be encouraged to ask questions and think critically, developing your interpersonal skills and applying core leadership techniques to persuade others and drive change.

Organisational Design and Strategic Thinking (30 credits)
This module examines why ‘strategy’ is critical, exploring strategic development, strategic management and how to develop sound strategy in a complex environment. The interfaces between strategy and the internal and external environments in which an organisation operates in will be explored.

You will also learn about why innovation is so important to strategic management, considering the highly complex and turbulent environments in which most private and public sector organisations currently exist and focusing on real world issues, products and systems.

Strategic Resource Management (30 credits)
This module focuses on developing a critical understanding of how resources are managed, deployed and allocated to achieve sustainable competitive advantage for organisations. We focus on two main resources: financial and human.

By studying the theoretical concepts underpinning resource development and deployment - such as human capital development, change management, motivational theories, learning organisations, financial methods, short and long term decision making and budgeting - students will develop the financial accounting skills that executives need to communicate company results and make accounting choices. This includes interpreting management information, such as management accounts and ration analysis and exploring differences in reporting practices.

Participants will also consider strategic workforce planning, including talent management and workforce design, to enable the development of frameworks for leading a team effectively to reach shared goals.

Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (30 credits)
This module provides a critical understanding of the concept and practice of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behaviour in modern society, organisations, communities and individuals. It develops insight into contemporary thinking about ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘entrepreneurship’ in different cultural and organisational contexts. The module introduces the fundamentals of entrepreneurship along with small business theory and practice.

You will learn how to manage the entrepreneurial task environment, particularly in terms of managing networks and relationships, and risk management. You will gain an understanding of the types and characteristics of small firms, how entrepreneurs approach opportunities, the outcomes of this activity and the challenges inherent in starting up and running a new enterprise.

Capstone Project (60 credits)

The Capstone Project is a multifaceted module that will allow you to undertake 2 different routes through to completion of the course. The aim of this module is to encourage you to select a route where you can demonstrate the understanding and knowledge gained from the course and how this can be applied in a practical or theoretical way in a particular setting or context. The 2 possible routes are:

1.       Dissertation

2.       Business Consultancy Project

Teaching and Assessment

You will be taught by experts from York Business School to gain a unique blend of detailed, critical academic research and innovative industry expertise. 

The course delivery is based on principles of adult learning, recognising that participants are likely to bring a large amount of experience and knowledge to the group, and can share this with each other. The style of the course is participative and resources for learning explicitly include the knowledge, experience and skills of all participants and staff.

Some participants may not have been engaged in formal education for some time, and may never have studied social sciences at Postgraduate level. Support with study skills, conventions of academic analysis and writing will be available for you from the first module, and will continue throughout the course. Our dedicated academic writing tutor will be available to support students through individual mentoring. 

By bringing together relevant academic theory and practical experience, you can enhance your deep understanding of these elements, and develop yourself as an individual and as a leader.

All modules are delivered using a range of teaching, learning and assessment strategies including lectures, seminars, a guest speaker programme, tutorials, workshops and global café style learning activities. A range of assessment tools are used including presentations, critical essays, portfolios, reflective journals and case study work. Each module tutor will provide opportunities for formative assessment feedback to inform your work prior to submission.

You will receive detailed feedback on assessment to help you develop and continuously improve your performance whilst on the course. Advice will be provided in relation to development, further areas for research and guidance on how to enhance your subject knowledge.

There are opportunities for study support including academic writing and research skills to enhance employability and career development in the field of business management.

Career outcomes

Completing an Executive MBA with York Business School will enable you to enhance your skills and knowledge about your industry, and can offer additional benefits that will span the duration of your career.

An MBA can help you advance in your career, especially at a managerial level. A study conducted by the Association of MBAs has shown that within one year of completing an MBA, 25% of survey respondents had climbed to senior management level within their careers. In the UK the mean salary of an MBA graduate was £86,225. In fact, for many top-ranking firms, having an MBA is a prerequisite for applying for senior-level positions.

As well as enhancing your CV, the MBA will give you the opportunity to develop your global management competencies, emotional intelligence and cultural awareness.

The course will also enable you to improve your ability to work in diverse groups and teams and enhance your project management and decision-making capabilities, which is crucial when leading in business.

You might consider starting your own business. The leadership and negotiation skills you develop during your MBA, as well as your contacts and knowledge, will put you in a great position to take this leap. Our dedicated start-up programme Grad2Director is available alongside this course free of charge where you can work with our specialist team and apply for funding opportunities to start your own company. Our Grad2Freelancer programme is also available for those who wish to work on a freelance or consultancy basis.

Entry requirements

This course is suitable for those who are, or wish to become, professional managers.

You must be employed and off the job training and assessment will take place as part of your paid working hours. Your employer will need to be willing to support you by taking an active involvement in your learning.

It is important to consider that alongside practical workshops and work based learning, the programme involves academic study and assessment at Master’s level.



You will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, achieved at Class 2.2 or above, from an approved university or institution.
  • Be in a job role that will provide opportunities to cover the full occupational profile and learning required.
  • Have been in a management position for at least three years.
  • You will also need to demonstrate the following relevant skills:
    1) The ability to understand in depth concepts, critical writing and analysis, based on detailed reading of surrounding topics.
    2) To be able to manage the volume of information and speed of learning, in both intense teaching blocks and self directed study.
    3) To be able to balance time management and the investment required to undertake the course in tandem with company projects.


Fees and funding

To study for a postgraduate degree with us, you will need to pay tuition fees for your course. Tuition fees are charged for each year of your course.

Tuition fees


The tuition fee for 2019 entry to this Postgraduate course is £18,000 for full-time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

Tuition fees may be subject to inflation in future years.

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