Senior Leaders Apprenticeship (Arts and Culture)

University of Wolverhampton Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences

The Senior Leaders Apprenticeship SLA (Arts and Culture) at Wolverhampton Business School is designed to meet the professional development needs and the aspirations of leaders in the creative and cultural industries. The course offers leadership and management skills combined with business development acumen that will enable you to have a positive impact as a senior leader in the arts and cultural sector.

Student Voices

“The SLA is a fantastic way to develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to be a successful and effective leader in the arts and cultural sector. The balance between academic study and on-the-job training ensures the programme is relevant and easily applicable.”


“SLA including MBA certification and CMI membership is a fantastic study opportunity for busy professionals with experience in senior management, looking to reflect and further develop their skills and knowledge. I highly recommend this course!”


Who is it for?

The Apprenticeship is designed for individuals who are, or who aspire to be, leaders within the arts and cultural sector with responsibility for the strategic leadership and direction of their organisation. It is suitable for current and future senior leaders and for organisations of any size. Typical job roles of students on this course includes Artistic Director, Creative Producers, CEO, Director, Director of Head of Learning and Engagement, Head of Development, Programme Managers, Company Manager, Operations Manager, Programme Developer and Project Manager.


Studying for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Arts and Culture)

The programme combines face-to- face delivery with blended learning materials which provide a flexible platform for study by senior leaders. Studying for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship will provide you with a challenging and stimulating programme, allowing you to develop new ways of thinking about strategic direction of your organisation, the wider arts and cultural sector and the way in which you can be part of shaping its future.

On successful completion of the course you will achieve the following qualifications

  • Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Arts and Culture)
  • Senior Leaders Apprenticeship
  • Accreditation with the Chartered Management Institute for Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Level 7
  • Member of CMI (MCM) – Chartered Manager

And if you choose to complete a dissertation/work based assignment

  • Master of Business Administration (Senior Business Leader) – MBA (Senior Business Leader)


Entry requirements

Applicants must be in full-time employment with their employer and be working within England. They will normally need to occupy a senior management position for a minimum of two years and have a first or second class undergraduate honours degree from a UK university (or an equivalent overseas professional qualification).
Applications are also welcome from individuals who do not possess the above qualifications but who have significant management experience.


Course Outline

Over a period of just over two years the programme will be based on six learning blocks which cover learning topics within the following specific areas of business management and leadership.

Year 1

  • Leading & Developing People
  • Leadership in the Arts and Cultural Sector
  • Financial & Marketing Strategy
  • Organisational Sustainability

Year 2

  • Strategic Evaluation for Cultural Leadership
  • Strategic Management
  • Strategic Business Proposal – this learning block is designed to prepare you for the next stage of the course, completion of your individual learning project for the Master of Business Administration (Senior Business Leader) qualification.

The way in which apprentices respond to each one of these learning blocks will be individualised, taking into account their professional context and employer requirements.

At the end of the second year there is the opportunity to complete a substantial individual learning project which would enable apprentices to complete a Master of Business Administration (Senior Business Leader).

To provide a link between the learning blocks and their professional practice each participant will be have a Skills Coach. The Skills Coach will provide practical knowledge, understanding and support throughout the programme and will meet with participants each Block throughout the two years of the programme.



All cost associated with providing the qualifications, skills mentoring and programme management are included in the Apprenticeship fees of £14000.

The fees are dependent on the size of the company’s payroll.

Businesses with an annual payroll bill exceeding £3 million, and who are subject to the 0.5% Apprenticeship levy, can use the funding in their digital account to cover the cost of the training and assessment elements of the Apprenticeship.*

Businesses that do not have a payroll value of over £3 million and who are not subject to the levy, will be eligible to receive a Government subsidy that covers 95% of the eligible Apprenticeship costs with the business paying 5%*. Non-levy paying organisations may also be eligible to receive additional employer incentives.

*Please note that currently, neither the Apprenticeship levy nor the 95% Government subsidy can be used to offset salary costs.


Find Out More

Join us to find out more about the course on one of our upcoming open sessions on the;

25th August, 13th September and 22nd September


How to Apply

Course starts January 2023. Please contact Susan Goodwin Associate Director, Arts Connect and Senior Leader Apprenticeship (Arts and Culture) Course Leader, if you are interested in applying or need further information or details about the course.