Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship

The UCEM Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship is designed to develop individuals moving into a senior or strategic leadership role within the Built Environment sector. Specific job roles may include: Section Leader, Executive, Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, senior military officer.

Through a combination of workplace and off-the-job-training the apprenticeship develops the knowledge, skills and behaviours to work as a professional senior leader, setting strategy, direction and vision and providing a clear sense of purpose and driving strategic intent.

UCEM no longer offers this apprenticeship for new starters

This decision was taken in September 2020 due to changes that are currently in progress with the Senior Leader apprenticeship standard. More details on the changes are available at the following webpages:

Visit the Institute for Apprenticeships webpage (opens in new link)


Visit the webpage (opens in new link)

All other UCEM degree apprenticeships remain open for new starts.


Alternative provision

If you are seeking a training provider for the Senior Leader apprenticeship, you can identify alternative providers via the Find Apprenticeship Training website (opens in new window).


Programme outline

The key elements of the apprenticeship are:

  • UCEM MBA Construction and Real Estate (CMI, RICS and CIOB)
  • Development of a portfolio of evidence of knowledge, skills and behaviours and completion of a work-based project; and
  • Independent end-point assessment leading to Chartered Manager status.

The modules included in the BSc (Hons) and the structure which they follow is available below.

Module information and structure:

Yr Semester Autumn (UK) entry Spring (UK) entry
1 1 Leading and Managing People

Strategic Management of Change

Principles of Marketing

Management of Finance and Science

2 Principles of Marketing

Management of Finance and Science

Leading and Managing People

Strategic Management of Change

2 1 Planning and Development

Postgraduate Project

Planning and Development

Postgraduate Project


Postgraduate Project (continued)


Postgraduate Project (continued)

All modules are worth 20 credits, except the project module which is worth 40 credits.

Students can choose to start in either the spring or autumn semester.

Should you require further information about programme content please view the programme specification (open in new window), which sets out aims, intended learning outcomes and assessment methods.

To make sure our programmes are always high quality and relevant for our students we review and update our programmes on a regular cycle. This is known as “periodic review and revalidation” and this year this programme will be going through this process. Therefore, the programme information presented here may change. Information about any changes will be published in Spring 2020.

Development of the required knowledge, skills and behaviours is through a combination of workplace training provided by the employer and off-the job training provided by UCEM. The MBA degree is delivered by fully supported online learning. In addition, further off-the-job training is provided through senior leadership masterclass sessions per year. Masterclass sessions are usually delivered face-to-face; however, they are currently being delivered online due to Covid-19 restrictions and will continue to be delivered online until at least December 2020. UCEM will review the delivery arrangements of these workshops on an ongoing basis and update students of any changes.

The apprenticeship is assessed through on-programme and end-point assessment (open in PDF).

The end-point assessment methods will collectively assess the KSBs required of a Senior Leader, as set out in the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship Standard.

UCEM has the right to revise and amend the programme in order to:

  • Comply with external professional, accrediting or other regulatory body requirements
  • Implement changes for the benefit of students as a consequence of evidence from programme monitoring
  • Ensure the curriculum is current and relevant to intended learning outcomes and/or standards of any relevant professional, accrediting and/or regulatory bodies and/or requirements of employers
  • Implement feedback and other recommendations from External Examiners

All changes to the programme will be implemented in consultation with relevant students and other stakeholders, setting out the reasons for the proposed amendment(s), and compliance with the requirements of the UCEM Code of Practice on Programme Monitoring, Amendment, Review and Discontinuation. Should such an eventuality occur during the admissions and registration process, applicants will be informed immediately of any change and the alternative arrangements that have been put in place. Existing students will be informed of when the changes will be effective from, which will usually be the next academic year (commencing the 1st September).

Entry Requirements

Applicants must have the right to work in England, meet Education and Skill Funding Agency residency status requirements, spend at least 50% of their working hours in England and be directly employed in a job role that will enable the requirements of the apprenticeship to be achieved.

You should have:


  • a Bachelor’s Degree with honours at lower second standard (2:2) and three years’ experience


  • a Bachelor’s Degree, plus experience in a relevant field


  • a Level 5 qualification as defined by Framework for Higher Education Qualifications for England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) plus 5 years’ relevant experience


  • a professional qualification plus 5 years’ relevant experience, two of which should be at appropriate senior management level.

Applicants who do not meet the requirements stated above, but who wish to be considered for this programme should refer to the UCEM Code of Practice: Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning for the policy on non-standard admission.

GCSE Grade C (or 4) or above in English and Mathematics or accepted current or prior equivalent maths and English qualifications (open in PDF). You may also evidence that maths and English skills at Level 2 exist via initial and diagnostic assessment. Applicants that do not have accepted current or prior equivalent Level 2 maths and English qualifications on entry will be required to achieve these as part of the apprenticeship. These qualifications will need to be fully funded by the employer.


Evidence is required in the form of certificate or statements. You should send photocopies that have been verified by someone in a professional occupation. Please do not send original documents. Click this link for more information on how to verify your documents.


Applications are assessed in accordance with the UCEM Code of Practice on Admissions and Recognition of Prior Learning.


Lucy Gaitskel

“I was a little apprehensive about online learning as I had never done it before but it’s far easier than I expected. I find it beneficial attending the apprenticeship masterclasses (face to face workshops) to meet people who are also studying the same programme. The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) is very structured and easy to navigate once you understand it. The tutors are so helpful and respond very quickly should you need any advice or guidance. They clearly want you to pass and succeed which makes a real difference. Studying for the apprenticeship is undoubtedly a big commitment. However, doing it with the support of your employer makes it much easier. I find that it’s important to be organised and structure the time to work, study and spend time doing the things you enjoy as well.

I would like to progress into other roles within Property in the social housing sector when the time is right. Making a difference to the people that need us the most is important to me. Studying with UCEM has really helped to provide me with a much wider understanding of my own organisation. I now understand why I manage the way I do and how I can help people to be the best they can be!

There are lots of things that are good about studying an apprenticeship with UCEM, the structure, the support, the caring staff. The webinars are brilliant – I’d never done a webinar before I started with UCEM, they are interactive and really help to set the context for the work that week or the assignments.

I have had many interesting experiences in my career so far, but a highlight has been having a mentor in my organisation. He has really stretched, challenged and supported me which has made a monumental difference to my career. This has helped me to be the best I can and hopefully in turn allowed me to support my staff and our residents!

Overall, I think apprenticeships are an incredible way to learn!”

Lucy Gaitskell
Contract Manager (East), Sovereign Housing Association

Key information


If you successfully complete all elements of the programme, you will be awarded the MBA Construction and Real Estate from University College of Estate Management and will be entitled to use the designatory letters MBA. In addition, you will gain Chartered Membership of the Chartered Management Institute and will be entitled to use the designation ‘CMgr MCMI’.

Application and start datesaccordion-arrow

Please Note: September 2020 will be the final intake for the Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship. There are no further intakes planned.


Please note:

  • you will only be invited to apply once suitable employment conditions have been confirmed. For this to happen, your employer will need to provide advance employment information to UCEM.
  • your enrolment must be completed prior to the programme start date. To enable this both you and your employer will need to complete, sign and return all required documentation.
  • Attendance at an induction event is mandatory. Inductions will be held in Reading.

Fees and costsaccordion-arrow

Apprentices do not pay course fees. All learning resources required are provided as part of programme.

If you are an employer then you will be able to use the Apprenticeship Levy to fund part/all of this apprenticeship pathway. See our Employing an Apprentice page (open in new window) for more information.

Workload and study requirementsaccordion-arrow

An apprenticeship is a full-time job. Employers are required to release an apprentice from their normal paid working hours to undertake off-the-job training. Typically, this is an average of one day per week.

The MBA Construction and Real Estate element of the apprenticeship 15-20 hours of study a week for 42 weeks per annum – this means that in addition to the release time that your employer gives, you will need to study for several hours per week in your own time.

Each 20-credit MBA module equates to a total of 200 study hours broken down between directed online learning self-directed learning and assessment. The breakdown between these three types of activity may vary between modules but on average is as follows:

Directed online learning (50%)

Self-directed reading (17%)

Assessment (33%)

Directed online learning is the term used to describe a range of learning activities which you access via the UCEM Virtual Learning Environment, as this is more appropriate for an online learning programme than the term “contact hours”. As a guide it includes, for example, participating in web classes and online discussion forums, watching video material and voice-over PowerPoint presentations and undertaking exercises and quizzes linked to programme materials. Self-directed learning includes reading textbooks and study papers to develop your knowledge of the subject matter. Assessment includes all activity related to the summative assessment of the module such as planning and writing coursework, revising for examinations and taking the exams themselves.

In addition to the MBA element of the programme you will be required to attend masterclass sessions. Masterclass sessions are typically scheduled to take place at a time to avoid a clash with other off-the-job study requirements. Masterclass sessions are usually delivered face-to-face; however, they are currently being delivered online due to Covid-19 restrictions and will continue to be delivered online until at least December 2020. UCEM will review the delivery arrangements of these workshops on an ongoing basis and update students of any changes.

How the programme will be assessedaccordion-arrow

The types of assessments used on this programme will include coursework (such as essays, reports, portfolios, reflections, problem or short questions or video presentations), computer based assessments, and computer marked assessments (CMAs). The exact combinations of assessment will vary from module to module.