Serco Education

Senior Leader Master's Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA)


Serco Education, in partnership with the University of Gloucestershire (UoW) and the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), have developed a bespoke Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) which enables you to study for an MBA and gain Chartered Manager/Fellow status.

Please read through the in depth programme information below, including the Key Documents:

Course code: 540

Duration: 2 years

Accreditation: University of Gloucestershire (UoG), CMI

Level: MBA and option to gain Chartered Manager/Fellow

Who can apply?

The SLMDA apprenticeship is open to all Serco colleagues based in England who are responsible for, or have a key role in setting strategy, direction and vision within their contract or business unit.  The apprenticeship is open to those who already have graduate qualifications in disciplines other than business as well as employees who have a first degree (BA/BSc). 

It is essential that you have the support of your line-manager.

So if you are looking to develop your leadership skills in order to further your senior leadership career - plus achieve an MBA and Chartered Manager/Fellow status - then this is the qualification for you.

A minimum of English & Maths at Level 2 (equivalent to GCSE grade A*-C) are required for this apprenticeship but if you don't have these qualifications – or can’t find your certificates - we can help you gain the level 2 requirement during your SLMDA studies.

We are also taking expressions of interest from employees who aspire to become Serco senior leaders and are interested in studying the SLMDA.

If you work outside of England but are interested in the SLMDA, please contact us at to discuss further.

PLEASE NOTE: Anyone currently undertaking an apprenticeship or DfE funded programme of study will not be eligible for a higher apprenticeship until they have completed their current apprenticeship/studies.

Programme details

The Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) is an opportunity like no other!

The SLMDA will take approximately 2 years to complete and is open to colleagues who are responsible for, or have a key role in setting strategy, direction and vision within their contract or business unit. 

The programme will include face-to-face workshops with online and work-based learning, covering a wide range of management and leadership skills, knowledge, self-awareness and behaviours as well as work-based project and a dissertation.

The Serco SLMDA will cover:

  • Personal Effectiveness (Awareness of self and others, Management of self, Decision Making)
  • Interpersonal Excellence (Communication, Leading People, Managing and Developing People, Relationship Management
  • Organisational Performance (Organisational Strategy, Change Management, Risk Management, Project Management, Business Finance, Business Development)

SLMDA Structure

Successful apprentices will achieve:

  • An MBA
  • An option to gain Chartered Membership or Fellowship of CMI
  • On-the-job experience
  • A Professional pathway for future development
  • Level 2 in Maths and English (if you don't already have these qualifications)

Other considerations

The levy will cover the cost of the training programme but doesn’t cover travel costs or accommodation should you visit other Serco sites or attend workshops during your studies.  Salaries will not be covered.

This is an exciting opportunity to gain an MBA whilst working full time but please think carefully about your time commitment and how you will manage the day-job.  Although the programme is delivered flexibly there will be deadlines for assignments, meetings with coaches and attendance at workshops is mandatory.  Should you wish to discuss this further please contact Serco Education either by phone on 01452 930 300 (office hours) or email:

Remember to discuss this opportunity with your line manager who will be required to support you during your studies.

Please note that: whilst your learning will be guided, with support from your facilitators (at the workshops and online) and your coach, you will be expected to work through the learning materials via the University of Gloucestershire's online learning platform.  Each module which you study will have a start and end date with an assignment deadline.  You may also have one or two milestones during the module, but aside from these it will be up to you to determine the pace at which you study and the amount of additional reading you do.  This may be a different style of learning to your previous experience and it relies on your own motivation to succeed.

Ready to apply?

If this is the course for you, please click here to enter the application area and apply online.

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Apprenticeship levy

Serco has to pay a 0.5% levy to fund growth in apprenticeships, so it simply makes sense to get out what we put in! Let's reap the benefits from our investment and further develop our high calibre managers and add even more value to our business units!