PgDip Senior Leader: Health and Social Care (Degree Apprenticeship)

Our PgDip Senior Leader: Heath and Social Care (Degree Apprenticeship) allows you to invest in your leadership team by combining university education, work-based learning and professional development. While working in your team, apprentices prepare for a career in senior management, developing skills to tackle complex, strategic business challenges in health and social care.

Senior Leader: Health and Social Care (Degree Apprenticeship)

Key information



Mode of Study:



30 months


University of Bolton

Start date:

To be confirmed

Course Details

The University of Bolton's Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma Senior Leader: Heath and Social Care (Degree Apprenticeship) programme specifically seeks to develop the future leaders of organisations by developing their critical knowledge of health and social care organisations, their leadership and the changing contexts in which they operate. It’s designed to develop their knowledge and skills in strategic thinking for organisational success and challenge their leadership skills and style.

The programme aims to prepare health and social care professionals for the challenges of senior management. The Senior Leader apprenticeship standard is informed by employers and designed in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to qualify as a Level 7 apprenticeship under the apprenticeship levy guidelines. Study at the University of Bolton compliments learning in the workplace, supporting apprentices as they learn to provide direction and vision, a clear sense of organisational purpose and drive strategic intent.

Your apprentices will spend the majority of their time gaining on-the-job knowledge and experience. They will also complete at least six hours per week in off-the-job learning, including studying at the university. Our expert staff will guide them to learn to consider current trends, environmental and political influences, and identify opportunities and risks. We’ll support them to become inclusive leaders with the skills to develop ethical, innovative and supportive cultures that deliver results. Our dedicated team will also help them grow into their position as a role model with responsibility for others holding senior positions and significant organisational budgets.

Our flexible programme recognises the wide range of health and social care environments and the specific challenges they pose. We’ll work with you to devise individual learning agreements for each of your apprentices, ensuring they fulfil the core and essential criteria of the Senior Leader apprenticeship, as well as develop additional skills and knowledge valuable for your organisation. Throughout the course, we’ll guide them as they build a portfolio of evidence representing the knowledge, skills and behaviours they have developed while working as part of your team.

If you’re a potential student looking for postgraduate-level training in this subject area but don’t work for an employer that offers apprenticeships, please see our related courses section for details of study opportunities that don’t require current employment.

  • When apprentices successfully complete the end point assessment for this course, they will receive an apprenticeship certificate from the relevant awarding body and be awarded an academic qualification – the PgDip Senior Leader: Health and Social Care from the University of Bolton.
  • Face-to-face sessions and one-to-one support are offered by our team of highly experienced and enthusiastic lecturers who have worked in a wide variety of health and social care settings.
  • We’ll support your apprentices to develop sought-after skills focused on enhancing organisational performance in areas such as strategy, innovation, change, enterprise, risk management and finance, alongside effective personal and interpersonal behaviours like courage, good judgement and the ability to lead by example.
  • By helping apprentices gain in-depth knowledge of areas such as employee engagement, leading and developing people and collaborative relationship building, we aim to foster their ability to create an inclusive culture, balance people and technical skills, and influence and negotiate to build effective collaborations.
Key Features
  • We’ll encourage your apprentices to join the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and guide them as they gather a portfolio of evidence ready to support their future application for Chartered Manager (CMgr) status.
  • This course skillfully combines study in our vibrant university environment with practical and focused work-based learning and experience in your organisation.
  • Course materials are available online, allowing your apprentices to prepare work in advance and make the most of the highly interactive in-class tuition.
  • Our approach to teaching and learning is student-centred, so we’ll work with your apprentices on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout their studies.
  • Quarterly and annual reviews, where each apprentice, their workplace mentor and a member of our team meet to assess your apprentice’s progress, promote continuing conversation between your workplace and the University. This helps to ensure the success of your apprentices and maximise the value of their studies to your organisation.
Professional recognition

This course is accredited by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Successful completion of the PgDip Senior Leader: Health and Social Care (Degree Apprenticeship) will support apprentices wishing to pursue Chartered Manager status with the CMI.

  • Applicants must be employed in an appropriate management and team leadership role in a health and social care organisation.
  • Normally, applicants are also expected to have a UK honours degree/postgraduate degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Applicants with non-traditional qualifications and relevant experience or a suitable portfolio of work that is deemed a reasonable substitute for the qualifications listed above will be considered on an individual basis.
  • An applicant must possess GCSEs in English and Mathematics at grade 4-9 (or grade C or above) or hold an equivalent such as Functional Skills Level 2 in Literacy and Numeracy. If an applicant has yet to achieve these qualifications, then with their employer's support, they can complete suitable equivalents locally or with assistance from the University. Please contact for a list of acceptable GCSE equivalents, further information and support.
  • Applicants should provide references from their employer to indicate the level of business and management experience they possess. The reference should clearly state how long they have been employed and give a breakdown of their job content and roles and responsibilities.
  • All application forms will need to be accompanied by a reflective overview of the managerial responsibilities that applicants have undertaken to date.
  • We'll consider applications where appropriate work experience can be demonstrated in lieu of, or in addition to, the published academic qualifications in line with the University’s Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPEL) procedures.
  • Admission to this programme is only available to applicants who meet ESFA eligibility criteria, including the following: 1) They are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a role relevant to the apprenticeship. 2) They have the right to live and work in the UK. 3) Their employer is willing to sponsor them to spend a minimum of six hours per week of their time in off-the-job training, including attending the University (times and dates to be determined) for the duration of their course. Please note that an apprentice cannot be self-employed. ESFA eligibility criteria may change so please contact for up-to-date information.
  • Applicants will attend a joint discussion with their employer and the University of Bolton. This combined interview and onboarding discussion fosters trust and sets the tone of the relationship between the applicant, their employer and our tutors. As part of the interview, applicants may be asked to undertake additional assessment(s) or provide a portfolio of appropriate work to determine their suitability for the course.
  • This course involves regulated activity, so applicants must have an Enhanced Disclosure certificate from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) before starting their studies. This is confirmed with the employer and does not require an additional certificate.
  • If English isn’t your first language, you’ll also need IELTS 7.0 with normally no less than 6.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications – please visit our English Language Requirements web page for more details.
  • To be eligible for tuition fee funding through the Apprenticeship Levy, applicants should not have already completed a qualification at the same level as the proposed apprenticeship (Degree Level 6) unless that qualification was gained in a completely unrelated discipline.

Where changes are made to material information contained in this course description or a decision is taken to suspend a course between the offer of admissions and enrolment, we will inform applicants at the earliest possible opportunity and will outline the various options available to the applicant.

This Postgraduate Diploma is designed to meet the apprenticeship standard for Senior Leader (ST0480). Developed by employers in collaboration with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the standard underpins a highly relevant qualification and professional development pathway that educates senior leaders who can lead, manage and direct organisations.

This qualification supports the development of professional strategic leaders in the private, public or third sector and organisations of all sizes. Graduate apprentices will be ready to take responsibility for direction and vision, provide a clear sense of purpose and drive strategic intent. They will be able to take into account trends and environmental influences and identify longer-term opportunities and risks. Through inclusive leadership, they will be able to take responsibility for developing ethical, innovative and supportive cultures to deliver results.

What can I do with this qualification?

A wide range of health and social employers will find graduate apprentices holding our Postgraduate Diploma valuable. The universal appeal stems from the programme’s focus on collective business principles. On successful completion of the end point assessment after completing the course, apprentices will be well placed to move from middle management to a more senior management role. The programme also facilitates the option to top up to a Master's in Business Administration (MBA)

Specific job roles may include senior leader, section leader, executive, director, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, chief executive officer, chief information officer, senior military officer, HE registrar and head of department/faculty.

Course fees

Apprentices will need to be employed by your organisation for a minimum of 30 hours per week. Your organisation will also need to commit to sponsoring apprentices to complete this qualification.

For further information on how your organisation can access funds to support apprentices, please e-mail

Whether you’re an employer, employee or school leaver, please visit our Apprenticeship web page for support and advice regarding apprenticeships.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

Useful information

Apprentices will not be expected to pay tuition fees towards this programme. If your organisation has a wage bill of more than £3 million per annum, then it may be able to fund this apprenticeship through its Apprenticeship Levy contributions. If your organisation does not pay the levy, it will be eligible for government support to fund apprenticeships. This support, called co-investment, covers 95% of the apprenticeship's tuition fees, with your organisation funding the remaining 5% of the fees.

Important note regarding tuition fees for the 2023-2024 academic year: EU nationals who meet residency requirements (have settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for 'Home' fee status. If you do not meet these residency requirements, overseas fees will apply. Irish citizens living in the UK or Ireland will be eligible for 'Home' fee status under the Common Travel Area arrangement. Please read the student finance for EU students web page on for information.

The fees for a student's course of study will be set for the normal duration of that course subject only to inflationary increases – measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recorded in March each year to take effect for subsequent start dates.

For details of how to apply for this course, please choose your status from the options below:

Please contact the programme leader for details of the application procedure. You can find their name, email address and phone number in the Programme Contacts section of this page.

For support and advice regarding apprenticeships, please visit our Apprenticeship web page.

International applications are not possible for this course

As an international student you are not allowed to study this course because of the restrictions on your visa.

We offer a wide range of full-time courses in lots of different subjects, many of our courses start in September and January. If you would like to see what courses are available please visit our Course Search.

We use a range of learning, teaching, and assessment methods to make this course as beneficial as possible for you and your apprentices. These are designed to fully engage apprentices, helping them develop the skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours essential to become a Chartered Manager, with particular reference to your organisation and their place within it. Your apprentices will spend most of their time in the workplace, with a minimum of six hours per week being devoted to off-the-job training and university learning. Learning focuses on your workplace environment and builds the transferable body of knowledge and skills demanded to achieve Chartered Manager status and apply this expertise within your organisation.

To complement lectures that introduce the course content, seminars and group-based activities allow apprentices to explore subjects in greater detail. Tutorials help them to clarify their understanding of the topics we cover in lectures and seminars. We use case studies and practical scenarios to help apprentices apply their newly acquired academic knowledge to real-life problems and gain valuable insights into contemporary practice in a working business environment. Apprentices will also be expected to undertake considerable guided independent study; for instance, library research and background reading, preparing for seminar and tutorial activities, and working on assignments.

Guest lectures and presentations by various visiting speakers offer apprentices the chance to develop their knowledge and understanding further. Our assessment methods are designed to reflect what is required of Chartered Managers in business and management settings. For example, the course requires apprentices to submit written reports, give presentations, develop their portfolios, and develop interpersonal skills. We also expect them to write essays and reflective accounts and play an active part in group discussions. Some assessments contribute to their final module marks, while others are designed to help them identify their strengths and weaknesses, and where they need to seek extra support from course tutors.


The modules listed below may be a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules shown as part of the course.

  • Developing Critical Analytical Skills for Leading Health and Social Care
  • Leading People
  • Governance in Health and Social Care
  • Strategic Planning and Service Improvement
  • Developing Strategic Business Proposals
Assessment methods
LevelAssesment method
Level oneCoursework 100%
Learning activities
LevelLearning activity
Level oneGuided independent study 80%
Level twoScheduled learning and teaching activities 20%


The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. The university considers changes to courses very carefully and the university will minimise any changes. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis and changes may be necessary due to legitimate staffing, financial, regulatory and academic reasons. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up-to-date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason, we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.

Meet the team

The academic staff detailed above teach across a range of courses in this subject area and may not teach on this course specifically.

Programme Contacts

Dawn Fletcher-Wilde
Programme Leader and Admissions Tutor

+44 (0)1204 903434

Apprenticeship Enquiries
University of Bolton

+44 (0)1204 903940

Related courses

MBA Master of Business Administration (Executive)

Mode of study
36 Months

University of Bolton

PgDip Senior Leader: Health and Social Care

Mode of study
30 Months

University of Bolton

Postgraduate Options

MBA Master of Business Administration (top-up)

Mode of study
32 Weeks

University of Bolton

MBA (Global Healthcare Management) top-up

Mode of study
12 Months

University of Bolton


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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
QQA Scheme Participant