Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer

Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson

Leading to a Masters (MSc) in Healthcare Leadership and NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership

The Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (EGA) Programme is an award-winning leadership development programme. It is designed for senior leaders and managers who are working in NHS health and social care.

Since 2013, over 2,300 leaders have participated in the EGA standard pathway. The newly developed Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, provides an alternative pathway, building on the success of the existing programme and incorporating the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for a senior leader apprenticeship award.

The two year part-time Level 7 apprenticeship is funded by the apprenticeship levy. The programme leads to a Masters (MSc) in Healthcare Leadership, from The University of Manchester, and NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership.

Watch our recent webinar to find out more >>

View our brochure  Enquire  Eligibility checker


leaders have participated in the standard EGA Pathway


of recent graduates were promoted during the programme


of promoted graduates attributed it to their learning

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson helps middle to senior-level leaders in NHS health and social care develop leadership capability, improve confidence and increase resilience. It will prepare you for the demands of senior leadership in healthcare today – and into the future.

The programme is designed to develop better leadership around three 'golden threads':

Equality diversity and inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Quality of care for patients, service users and carers

Quality of care for patients, service users and carers

Leading for sustainable improvements to care

Leading for sustainable improvements to care

Programme content

Over the course of eight modules, the programme connects the three 'golden threads' with both the theory and practice of leadership at work. The content in each unit links to the specific knowledge, skills and behaviours within the Senior Leader Apprenticeship standard. Through the online learning, apprentice learners will be directed to undertake work-based activities, from which they will generate evidence of how they demonstrate the apprenticeship standards, and which will form part of their professional portfolio. This delivers greater leadership impact for the individual, their team and their organisation. Please explore the programme modules below or view the programme architecture >>

10 credits

This unit focuses on leadership at the level of the individual and begins with critically evaluating your current leadership practice and its impact on the quality of care for a diverse range of patients.

You will identify which management skills and leadership approaches improve the quality of care and the patient experience through exploring current thinking and best practice at individual, team and organisational levels.

Content includes:

  • Knowledge of management and leadership theory
  • Reflection and self-awareness of your own leadership
  • How diversity, equality and inclusion can be embedded in leadership practice
  • The application of leadership theories to your own practice to improve quality of patient care 


20 credits

This course unit focuses on deepening your understanding of teams you lead - their purpose, membership and team community.

We start with the foundations for effective team working, including creating a team climate that values and uses difference, and that aligns individual practice with shared values. We then move through a series of steps to learn how to establish a culture that allows others to feel safe, discuss concerns, make suggestions and provide constructive debate. 

Content includes:

  • Understanding theories relating to team based working and team effectiveness
  • The application of theories and methods to develop an effective team climate
  • How leadership practice can improve and sustain care quality
  • Creating an inclusive team climate which promotes positive attitudes and behaviours


30 credits

This course unit focuses on the organisational level and introduces the idea of looking both inwards and outwards in your role as a leader of service improvement.

We explore how values held by individuals and the team align with the purpose and objectives of the organisation, and also when those values don't align. We then look to the wider system: understanding the regional, national, international and multicultural contexts, and the drivers for change and service improvement.

Content includes:

  • The theory and practice of values based leadership and decision making
  • Applying theories for leading improvement, organisational development and change
  • Engaging different stakeholders to improve care
  • Aligning the values of individuals and team with the organisation in context


30 credits

This unit develops a more strategic focus on quality, efficiency and effectiveness.

We look at working across multiple services and care pathways, analysing inequalities in services, and building strategic relationships and networks to support this work. We focus on how to enable your team to work in interdisciplinary, complex and ambiguous contexts more effectively. This involves looking at shared roles and accountabilities, and working with the tensions this brings. 

Finally, we explore sharing decision making with patients, carers and the public for greater choice and control of decisions about their own health and care.

Content includes:

  • Critical awareness of the evidence of effective system wide coordinated care
  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of complex adaptive systems
  • Approaches to shared decision making and their practical application
  • Applying theories and models to understand complex adaptive systems


20 credits

This unit builds upon Unit 2 and focuses on working with team leaders to build team effectiveness and hold people to account for the quality of care provided. 

We look at encouraging the creation of an engaging and learning culture, developing openness and resilience in team leaders, and working with them to do the same with their teams. At a service level, we explore developing performance and outcome measures that meet team shared-values, organisational objectives, and deliver effective patient care. We also consider developing creative and innovative approaches to improve the patient experience, whilst navigating the tensions between operational pressures and delivering compassionate care.

Content includes:

  • Theory and practice of creating engaging and learning cultures
  • Innovation in theory and practices to improve care quality and patient experience
  • Applying theories of engaging and learning cultures to your workplace
  • Practical skills in building a trusting culture and inclusive practice


10 credits

Having looked at working systemically at organisational and team levels to improve care quality and patient experience, this unit builds on the outcomes from Unit 1, evaluating how leadership practices make a difference to patient care.

Content includes:

  • The impact of leadership behaviour and performance on service improvement, care quality and patient experience
  • Practical skills of reflexive leadership at individual, team and organisational levels
  • Skills to embed diversity, equality and inclusion in your leadership practice.
  • How you leadership improves and sustains care quality


20 credits

This unit is preparation for undertaking a healthcare leadership case study - how to collect and analyse information and data and to make sense of this through different theoretical lenses.We consider how these influence your leadership and the impact of leadership practice on service improvement. The outcome will be a fully worked up dissertation proposal.

Content includes:

  • Understanding organisational research methodology and its practical application
  • Devising and carry out a coherent plan for dissertation research, analysis and completion
  • Practical skills in planning a rigorous research project / leadership case study
  • How you leadership practice improves and sustains care quality


40 credits

Drawing on the Healthcare Leadership Case Study proposal, this unit involves working independently to conduct and write up a case study which will be a critical evaluation of the way in which care quality, diverse patient experience, and patient involvement, has improved as a result of you and your team's learning and actions. 

This unit includes

  • Rigorous case study design, within relevant theories and concepts from the published literature on healthcare leadership and service improvement
  • Writing up a critical evaluation of leadership practice designed to improve care
  • Reflexivity in your leadership practice
  • Practical skills to embed diversity, equality and inclusion in your leadership practice


Key information


Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship
Professional recognition award MCGI (Member City and Guilds Institute)
Member of the Institute of Leadership and Management
MSc Healthcare Leadership awarded by The University of Manchester
NHS Leadership Academy Award in Senior Healthcare Leadership

6 x critical and reflective assignments, one per unit (2,000 - 4,500 words)
1 x strategic business proposal (4,000 words)
Portfolio review and professional discussion at End Point Assessment
Masters Pathway: Research proposal (Unit 7a) (2,000 words + presentation) and Healthcare Leadership case study (7,000 words + presentation) 
Face-to-face workshops, group learning, reflective discussion, action learning sets, one-to-one coaching, self-guided study
Anderson tutor: university support for learning
Work-based mentor: employer support for learning
A minimum of 6 hours per week off-the-job learning: protected time
Action learning sets: peer network support
Virtual campus: online learning materials


"The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson allows NHS employers to access funding which supports the development of current and future leaders, whilst at the same time still delivering the patient-centred, compassionate leadership approach which has been key to the success of the standard EGA programme."

— Karen Shawhan, Programme Director

How you benefit

The programme has been designed to closely align with your day-to-day role, creating space for you to reflect on current and future issues, and to find practical solutions that can be applied in the workplace.

  • Learn from innovative, world-class healthcare experts, to prepare for the challenges of senior leadership
  • Bring immediate positive and productive changes to your team(s), organisations, services and patients
  • Improve your personal impact driving progress in your team(s)
  • Help inspire your organisation to build a culture of inclusive, patient centred care
  • Work more strategically with greater collaboration across large and complex programmes, departments, services and systems of care
  • Build a powerful regional and national support network of influential leaders
  • Increase your resilience to meet the demands of senior leadership within the challenging, transforming environment of the NHS
  • Graduate with a highly sought after leadership development qualification, improving your career and promotion prospects across the NHS

"When working in the NHS you develop the knowledge and technical skills to carry out your work, but not necessarily the skills of how to work effectively in teams, how to understand colleagues and their ways of working, or how to engage people within teams. I gained all of this from the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson programme."

— Adewale Abimbola, Senior Pharmacist, NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group

Teaching and learning

What makes the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson different is the support provided to learners throughout their development journey.

Your Anderson tutor provides the academic and pastoral support needed for this programme. Consistency is key, which is why you keep the same tutor throughout the Anderson programme. The tutor supports you through:

  • Coaching, leadership and personal development
  • Feedback and marking practice for work-based assignments
  • Online facilitation and communication
  • Detailed understanding of the programme content
  • Regular progress reviews in partnership with the employer and work-based mentor
  • Knowledge of how learning translates to the healthcare context

The role of the work-based mentor is essential in providing the work-based support you will need for this programme. You will need to work with your employer to identify a suitable mentor to support you throughout the programme. Your work-based mentor will:

  • Provide advocacy, support and sponsorship for you within the organisation
  • Give input and support for progress reviews
  • Ensure you are supported with a minimum of 6 hours off the job learning
  • Validate the submission of evidence of work based competencies
  • Approve and support your choice of work project
  • Contribute to the readiness for end point assessment

The virtual campus is an interactive online platform, which supports you throughout the programme. The virtual campus is where you can find all the resources you'll need, including: e-learning nuggets, simulation events, webinars, videos, psychometric assessments, surveys, electronic journals and books, tutorial and discussion boards, learning journals and social networks

Your ALS is comprised of fellow learners on the programme and provides you with a network and forum to explore the links between individual, group and organisational dynamics. This will equip you with practical skills to craft your leadership role, style and skills. The ALS meets eleven times during the programme for full-day working sessions.

To help support your learning and progress, you will attend a regular review with your practice based tutor and work-based mentor every 8 weeks During these meetings, you have the chance to review what has been achieved and set goals for the next three months.

The university uses APTEM, for both processing applications and the management of the apprenticeship learning experience. APTEM enables learners and their employers to have their applications, enrolment and learning logged and tracked on one system whilst complying with apprenticeship standards. After application, APTEM continues throughout the apprenticeship journey, alongside other classroom, blended delivery and online learning. You will build your apprenticeship portfolio inside APTEM throughout the programme.

There are five face-to-face behavioural development workshops during the course of the programme. You will also have individual and group tutorials over the duration of the programme. These will take place either online, by telephone or face-to-face

Unit 1

4 weeks | 10 credits

1 x 2,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 2

8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 3,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 3

12 weeks | 30 credits

1 x 4,500-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 4

12 weeks | 30 credits

1 x 4,500-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 5

8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 3,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Unit 6

4 weeks | 10 credits

1 x 2,000-word critical and reflective assignment

Module 7a

8 weeks | 20 credits

1 x 2,000-word healthcare leadership case study proposal + presentation


500-word strategic business proposal

End-point assessment

4,000-word strategic business proposal, portfolio review & professional discussion

Module 7b

12 weeks | 40 credits

7,000-word healthcare leadership case study


Our experienced team

Alliance MBS has a long-established reputation within the field of healthcare management development - our health academics designed the first NHS training programme which was established in 1956, overseen by Prof. Teddy Chester. The University continues to host an annual Teddy Chester lecture in acknowledgement of his enduring legacy. Today we continue to help healthcare professionals address the key areas of commercial acumen, clinical excellence and business development and leadership through our programmes and cutting-edge research. We have worked alongside the NHS Leadership Academy and the wider consortium on both the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and Nye Bevan programmes since 2013.

Your day-to-day involvement with the programme team will guide you through the apprenticeship processes and support your learning throughout the course of your time with us.

Karen Shawhan
Programme Director

Karen Shawhan is Lecturer in Healthcare Leadership and Management. As Programme Director of the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, she is responsible for the academic content and processes of the programme.

Kieran Maccourt
Kieran MacCourt
Head of Client Relations, Apprenticeship Programmes

Kieran is the first point of contact if you are interested in applying for the course. He will answer any questions you may have and support you with your application.
Enquiries and applications: Email Kieran >> | 07789 558356



Fees and funding

Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship: £14,000 (funded by the apprenticeship levy)

MSc Healthcare Leadership: requires an additional £300 tuition fee

Apprenticeship funding for employers

Employers with an annual payroll of more than £3 million pay 0.5% of their payroll into the Apprenticeship Levy. The government adds 10% to each monthly levy payment. The levy payment is held in a digital account, which is set up at the apprenticeship service. Each individual's training costs are deducted from the account and paid to the provider monthly.

The system is different for employers who have a pay bill of less than £3 million. Any training and assessing costs are shared with the government, with employers paying 5% and the former covering the remaining 95%. These employers agree on a payment schedule with the provider.

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson can be funded using apprenticeship levy funding. Apprentices do not contribute to the costs of their apprenticeship, as costs are included in the Senior Leader Apprenticeship*.

*The Masters (MSc) in Healthcare Leadership requires an additional £300 tuition fee.


Entry requirements

A degree is not an essential requirement for entry on to the course as there are different routes to apply:

  1. A First or Upper Second class honours degree (2:1) plus three years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).

  2. A Lower Second or Third class degree or equivalent professional qualification plus five years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).

  3. No degree, but five years’ management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement).

All routes require GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above or equivalent qualification*.

*If you do not have GCSE English and Maths grade C or equivalent, you can still join the programme and undertake the equivalent Functional Skills course during the programme.

Participant profile

The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson is for middle to senior level leaders in health and social care who are:

  • Aspiring to take on a more senior leadership role as well as looking to have a wider impact by leading a culture of compassion
  • Ready and committed to developing their leadership skills and behaviours whilst undertaking a healthcare related academic qualification
  • Motivated by the opportunity to apply new skills, learning and behaviours directly to real-time work related improvements

"We're delighted to be working with health and social care organisations to advance their vision and aspirations for leaders. The Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson provides an unrivalled opportunity to develop leadership excellence and overcome organisational challenges."

— Kieran MacCourt, Head of Client Relations, Apprenticeship Programmes

How to apply

If you want to apply, please complete the following steps:

Step 1 - Talk with your employer, both your line manager and apprenticeship lead, provide them with details on this programme and make sure that you have their approval before you apply.

Step 2 - Complete the online eligibility checker, which will give you an indication as to whether you are eligible for funding.

Step 3 - Assuming you are eligible, please use the "book a consultation" form to speak to a member of our team where we can review your eligibility and CV.

Frequently asked questions

About the programme

For full details, see the section 'Who can be funded?' in the apprenticeship funding rules and guidance for employers.

Your work-based mentor must agree to support you in gaining the right training opportunities and spending a minimum of 6 hours of your contracted work time on the apprenticeship. They must also attend review meetings every 8 weeks between you and your university Anderson tutor to discuss and review your progress.

The work-based mentor may be a member of the board, or a suitable business associate as agreed with the programme director. The University may wish to speak to your identified work-based mentor during the application process to discuss how the employer will be able to support your training.

Your employer must agree to support you in gaining that development time, by releasing you to complete your studies with the university, and or to attend other development opportunities. This should equate to a minimum of 6 hours of your contracted working hours.

The application process

ESFA funding rules state “English and Maths are essential to supporting longer-term career prospects. This is why all apprentices must be supported to gain these essential skills and secure recognised qualifications.”

If you didn't get Grade A-C at GCSE for Maths and/or English, or if you hold other qualifications which aren’t accepted as equivalent, you can undertake the Functional Skills course during the programme.

You can request a replacement certificate from your exam board.

It is an ESFA requirement that apprentices spend at least 50% of their work hours in England. Exemptions may apply if your occupation involves significant travel outside the UK (such as British armed forces and travel/tourism) – please speak to our team for advice.

There are several qualifications which already meet or exceed the professional competence standards set out for this apprenticeship. They include:

  • MBA {Masters in Business Administration)
  • Level 6, 7 and 8 CMI Award (including Chartered Manager status)
  • The Mary Seacole Programme (including Chartered Manager status)
  • (MCIPS) Chartered Manager status
  • Masters’ qualification in leadership or management.

If you hold a Masters’ degree in a non-leadership/management-related subject, you can apply.

Yes, you need at least one reference from your employer.

Yes – please get in touch. We will need to know how many hours per week you work to determine whether you should apply for our part-time route.

Once approved by your employer organisation, you will be inivited to apply through our online admissions system APTEM. Places are limited so you should submit your application as soon as possible. Following submission, you may be invited to final interview with the programme director or tutor. You will be notified of the outcome of your application after the interview. 


  • Letter of support from your employer (mandatory)
  • Passport / work permit/immigration documents (mandatory, as relevant)
  • CV (mandatory)
  • Degree certificate(s) and transcript(s) (if you have a degree)
  • Professional qualification certificate(s) (if applicable) e.g. ACCA, CIMA
  • Other qualification documents that have led to certification (e.g. Prince Practitioner)
  • GCSE Maths or equivalent certificate (if you have an approved qualification)
  • GCSE English or equivalent certificate (if you have an approved qualification)

During the programme

You will be assessed through a combination of a work-based assignment (directly related to your working experience), critical assignments and an introduction to your strategic business proposal.

The end-point assessment includes your strategic business proposal, a review of your learning portfolio and a professional discussion.

The programme follows a 'blended learning' model which means you will work through a structured combination of virtual campus learning, online tutorials, online reading, tasks and discussions, local action learning sets, plus a number of classroom-based workshops.

All programme materials and learning resources are delivered online through the virtual campus. This is supplemented with programme workshops delivered at Alliance Manchester Business School or at a London location for our South East cohorts.

A minimum of 6 hours of your contracted working time on average per week. We recommend a further 5 hours additional study per week.

Your employer must commit to giving you a minimum of 6 hours of your standard contracted working time per week for ‘off-the-job’ training. It doesn’t have to be exactly the same amount of time each week.

Yes, it is possible to get an exemption. You will need to seek this exemption as part of your application.

Changing circumstances

You can transfer your place to another employer and continue studying, providing they agree.

You can transfer your place to the new organisation, providing they agree.

You may take a break in learning. Arrangements for returning to study vary according to the stage in the programme and the length of your break. It is often possible to restart studies at the same point with a subsequent cohort, subject to availability.

Yes, you can take a break in learning for the duration of your maternity leave.