Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (Arts and Culture)

University of Wolverhampton Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences

The Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship SLMDA (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 SLMDA 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.”


“SLMDA 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!”


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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 Master’s Degree 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 the Senior Leader Master’s Degree 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

  • Master’s in Business Administration (Senior Leader) – MBA (Senior Leader)
  • Accreditation with the Chartered Management Institute for Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership Level 7
  • Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship
  • Member of CMI (MCM) – Chartered Manager

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.


The course is taught over two years with entry points in January 2021 and September 2021 and completed over 2 years and 3 months. The year is broken down into three blocks (September to January, January to May and May to September).

Each module/unit will consist of 12 study sessions on our virtual learning environment (Canvas) and two days face to face delivery from our academic staff. In year two these will be supplemented with guest lectures from arts and cultural sector industry specialists and themed master classes.

Assessment of each module/unit is designed to meet the needs of the MBA, CMI and SLMDA and will focus on the application of the knowledge and understanding developed within the modules to the participant’s own organisation and role. Assessment may consist of essays, reports, or presentations.

To provide a link between the modules within the programme, each participant will be allocated an executive mentor. These mentors will provide practical knowledge, understanding and support throughout the programme and will visit participants 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.

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.

Get in touch

Please contact Susan Goodwin Associate Director, Cultural Sector Partnerships, if you are interested in applying or need further information or details about the course.