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What makes the Operations/Departmental Management Higher Apprenticeship at Worcester special?

A Higher Apprenticeship enables you to study for a higher level qualification at no fee cost, and with no need for a student loan, whilst in receipt of a salary from your employer. At Worcester the Higher Apprenticeship in Operations/ Departmental Management combines the practical experience of the workplace with higher level knowledge and skills to make you more effective in your role.

Designed for Middle Managers, Operations Managers, Regional Managers, Divisional Managers, Store Managers, Heads of Department and a variety of specialist managers, it prepares individuals for more senior roles in their organisation, as well as supporting those aspiring to such middle management positions.

Through part time study, which supplements your many and diverse workplace responsibilities, including inputting to strategic planning; creating and delivering operational plans; managing projects; leading and managing teams; managing change; financial and resource management; talent management; supporting people through coaching & mentoring, the course offers a unique opportunity to achieve Chartered Manager status, enhanced leadership and management competency, together with professional and higher level qualifications.



Key features

  • Gain a higher level qualification while you work
  • Earn a regular salary and have no need for a student loan to fund your study
  • Boost your income and improve your employability
  • Build a portfolio of work-based material to enhance your existing career and your CV
  • Highly innovative and flexible route to enhance your career, earnings and personal fulfilment

Join us this September

It's not too late to apply for a September 2020 start. We have places available on a range of courses through clearing.

Find out more
Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry requirements

Individual employers will set the selection criteria for their Apprenticeships. Most candidates will have A levels (or equivalent) or existing relevant Level 3 qualifications. Other relevant or prior management experience will also be considered. It is essential that all applicants are able to demonstrate that they are in paid employment in order to utilise a work-based setting for the undertaking of work based learning activities.

Apprentices will be required to demonstrate agreement from their organisation to enable work based activities to be undertaken in relation to the course. This will be negotiated with their employer through contractual commitments that are required by the apprenticeship.

Who is the Higher Apprenticeship for?

Designed for Middle Managers, Operations Managers, Regional Managers, Divisional Managers, Store Managers, Heads of Department and a variety of specialist managers, it prepares individuals for more senior roles in their organisation, as well as equipping those aspiring to middle management positions with the knowledge and skills to make them more effective in their role.

Course content

What will you study?

The course will consist of 60 credits of learning, phased over an 18-24 month period, each module taking about 3 months from start to completion.


  • Professional Managerial Development (10 credits)
  • Effective Decision Making (10 credits)
  • Managing & Leading Teams and Individuals (10 credits)
  • Managing Financial Resources (10 credits)
  • Managing Change through Projects (10 credits)
  • Leading a Project (10 credits)
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Teaching organisation and location of teaching

The Higher Apprenticeship (Operations/ Departmental Management) adopts a work-based learning approach, which both informs, and is informed by, teaching, learning and assessment approaches. The programme combines a progressive structure to applied operations with a continuous
on-the-job focus through agreed off-the-job learning. This takes place during the equivalent of one-day per week away from the job which is spent at the University, your employer's premises or other venue, by agreement with the employer.

Given the focus on work based learning through an apprenticeship, there is an emphasis on tutoring in a coaching style; and on active learning where apprentices are invited to participate in learning activities, and also to reflect on their learning process.

The learning development of each apprentice is kept in line with Individual Learner Plans agreed with you and your employer, and discussed through tutor/ assessor visits to the workplace to complement the study-based sessions.

You will also be supported in your preparation for the End Point Assessment through 1-2-1 tutorials and group discussion.

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and by feedback from students, external examiners and employers.


18- 24 months part time including endpoint assessment.

Academic Year

We can be quite flexible in the agreement of delivery dates and schedules, depending upon demand and whether organisations request a bespoke programme for a number of their employees. Open programmes that are accessible to all applicants tend to run from September each academic year.

How will you be taught and supported in your learning?

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future positions with your current or other employer, as well as academic achievement.


You are taught through a combination of action-learning sets, group discussions, lectures, seminars, presentations, visiting speakers, and e-learning.

Through your associate membership of the Chartered Management Institute, you will have access to a range of dedicated resources, designed by experts to support delivery of the apprenticeship, as well starting your journey towards the professional status of 'Chartered Manager'.

Independent self-study

Independent learning, which will be a feature of your time spent 'off-the-job', is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the needs of the apprenticeship, and who have experience in engaging with employers and those in employment. The team therefore includes professional practitioners, consultants, and trainers, as well as academics and researchers.

Our teaching is informed by research and consultancy, and we like our tutors to remain active through professional engagement. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.


The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or 'formative' assignments. Formative assessments are developmental and do not contribute to your overall module grade. Each module has one or more formal or 'summative' assessments which are graded and do count towards the overall module grade.

Assessment methods include reports, presentations, reflective journals, and personal development audits.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback supports learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with tutors/ assessors as appropriate.

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the Operations/Departmental Management Higher Apprenticeship and the University Diploma in Leadership and Management.

Meet The Team


Dr Scott Andrews

Scott is Head of the Marketing and Enterprise Department, a Principal Lecturer in Leadership and Business and Course Leader for the Executive Education Programme, which includes the Exec MBA and all Business Apprenticeships. 

His own research interests are located in Leadership and Management Education, with particular focus on Participant Centred Learning and the Case Study Method.


Kate Dobson

Kate has over 20 years industry experience which she now uses effectively in the classroom to give students employability skills and real world learning experience. Kate initially worked in sales in engineering and then started her own company in 2005 specialising in developing bespoke ecommerce solutions.

Kate's research concentrates on digital marketing, social media, social commerce and work-based learning.


Where could it take you?

The Higher Apprenticeship in Operations/ Departmental Management is suitable for employees who are currently working in the private or public sector, voluntary sector organisations; SMEs or larger corporates, who aspire to developing their career in middle management and more senior roles, through a combination of taught techniques, coaching and on-the-job learning.

Information for Employers

How does a Higher Apprenticeship work?

A Higher Apprenticeship offers you the opportunity to employ and develop staff through your apprenticeship levy payments (as a levy paying employer), or with 90% government funding support for smaller organisations. Your apprentices can be a new recruit or existing member of staff. During their apprenticeship, your employees will have the opportunity to attend university on a one-day per week basis, obtain a Level 5 qualification, as well as achieving their apprenticeship. This will take 2 years.

How does government funding work?

The following arrangements will apply for all UK employers from April 2017:

  • Employers with a payroll of more than £3 million per year will pay an Apprenticeship Levy of 0.5%. This will provide an allowance to 'spend' against apprenticeships via a digital account.
  • Employers with a payroll less than £3 million will not pay a Levy, but will still have access to 90% funding via a 'co-fund mechanism', to support their own degree apprenticeships. Here, the employer contribution will be 10% towards the tuition fee.

Further details can be found at government funding.

What are the benefits to an employer?

The Higher Apprenticeship in Operations/ Departmental Management has been designed by employers for employers as a mechanism to invest in talent and develop the leaders of today and for the future. It offers:

  • the opportunity to upskill your workforce
  • attract new talent
  • develop the skills to build your business
  • an estimated potential lifetime of added value from each apprentice of £390,000+ during the course of their careers

Sponsoring body e.g. PSRB or employer

The University of Worcester is one of a small number of universities currently approved by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) to deliver the Higher Apprenticeship in Operations/ Departmental Management. This programme provides you with the knowledge, skills and behaviour requirements required to enhance organisational performance, interpersonal excellence and personal effectiveness as defined by the Operations/Departmental Manager Standard.

You will, on completion of your apprenticeship, be able to register as a full member with the Chartered Management Institute and/or the Institute of Leadership & Management, and those with 3 years' of management experience can apply for Chartered Manager status through the CMI. This is awarded following completion of an End Point Assessment, a common element of all Higher and Degree Apprenticeships. This will mean that it will take two years in total to obtain your apprenticeship award.

At the end of your apprenticeship you will receive:

  • A University Diploma in Leadership & Management (Level 5)
  • A Level 5 Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management and Leadership

Your employer will be kept informed of your progress at every stage to ensure that your learning continues to align with what has been previously discussed and agreed.


How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Those interested in more information about this course or the broader apprenticeship offer of the Business School, should in the first instance contact our Senior Administrator (Sally Docherty) or the Course Leader, Dr. Scott Andrews on the details below.

Those interested in more information about this course or the broader apprenticeship offer of the Business School, should in the first instance contact our Senior Administrator (Sally Docherty) or the Course Leader, Dr. Scott Andrews.

Get in touch

If you have any questions, please get in touch. We're here to help you every step of the way.

Sally Docherty

Senior Administrator

Dr Scott Andrews

Course Leader