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PGDip (Postgraduate Diploma) Management Practice

A part-time, blended learning postgraduate diploma focusing on strategic leadership development and fully funded through the apprenticeship levy.

This senior leader apprenticeship is a practical programme which applies insight to real business and organisational issues. 

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The programme

The Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice has been designed especially for strategic leaders in the private, public or third sector who are responsible for delivering results.

The part-time blended learning postgraduate diploma is a senior leader apprenticeship (Level 7) accredited programme from The University of Manchester. The taught element takes place over 24 months, with up to four additional months to complete the End Point Assessment. Both parts must be undertaken to successfully complete the apprenticeship.

By using apprenticeship levy funding for this programme, companies can cost-effectively develop managers and leaders to build successful, sustainable and profitable businesses for the future. This will help employers to develop more confident and agile leaders and attract new talent.

There are eight core units which drive personal and organisational impact. Each has been designed and convened by a Unit Director from our Alliance MBS faculty to meet the required knowledge, skills and behaviours for the apprenticeship. The Unit Director or a different member of the programme team delivers the teaching on each unit. Please explore the programme in detail below.

View the programme architecture >>

View the programme top-up to MSc (non-levy funded) >>

Our Experts - Paul Evans
Unit Director - Dr Paul Evans
Senior Lecturer in Leadership Development

Content themes include:

  • Leadership perspectives, practice and becoming reflexive
  • Leading complexity, culture and context
  • Leading and following: agency, power and resistance
  • Doing things right: ethics and leadership practice

Our Experts - Irene Roele
Unit Director: Irene Roele
Senior Fellow in Management and Programme Director

Content themes include:

  • The strategic agenda in a global context
  • External forces at work: industry dynamics and digital dimensions
  • Internal forces at work: developing dynamic capabilities
  • Customer dynamics: the marketing agenda

Julian Jones
Unit Director: Julian Jones
Lecturer in Accounting

Content themes include:

  • Principles of financial strategy/management in business systems
  • Exploring the drivers of value in organisations
  • Evaluation of risk and return in the management of services

Mike Kennard
Unit Director: Dr Mike Kennard
Senior Lecturer in Strategy & Innovation

Content themes include:

  • Innovation and entrepreneurship: why it matters
  • Creating and managing innovative and entrepreneurial environments
  • Innovation through collaboration
  • Opportunities and threats: globalisation and disruptive technologies 

Our Experts - David Lowe
Unit Director: Dr David Lowe
Senior Lecturer in Commercial Management and Academic Lead for Apprenticeships

Content themes include:

  • Foundations of commercial relationships
  • Managing risk and opportunity
  • Commercially driven decision making
  • Influencing supplier/partner behaviour
  • Applying rigorous and consistent commercial process and procedures 

Alec Waterworth
Unit Director: Dr Alec Waterworth
Senior Lecturer in Project Management

Content themes include:

  • Project owner roles and dynamic capabilities
  • Project-based firms and operational capabilities
  • Project leadership
  • Governing the delivery organisations

panos constantinides profile
Unit Director: Prof. Panos Constantinides 
Professor of Digital Innovation and Digital Learning Lead for Executive Education

Content themes include:

  • Platform ecosystems
  • Digitisation and digitalisation
  • Digital markets and data
  • Digital labour platforms and the future of work
  • Policy implications for platform ecosystems 

Dane Anderton
Unit Director: Dr Dane Anderton 
Senior Lecturer in Strategy and Innovation

Content themes include:

  • Reviewing your personal and professional development
  • Constructing a portfolio of evidence
  • Developing a strategic business proposal
  • Mapping impact across the SLA
  • Peer review and critical reflection

On completing Unit 8, students meet the majority of requirements to proceed to the End Point Assessment (EPA) stage. 

You have up to 12 weeks to produce a business proposal with your employer and the end point assessor organisation for the course.

On submission of the proposal, students go forward to the EPA which is composed of two parts:

  • A professional discussion based on evidence submitted in the portfolio demonstrating all the Senior Leader Apprenticeship standards
  • Presentation of you strategic business proposal. 

Students who complete the Postgraduate Diploma with no less than a 50% pass rate in any unit have the option to top up to an MSc Management Practice. The MSc requirements include:

  • An additional 60 credit unit taken over a maximum of six months
  • 7500 word individual impact project, building on the work you undertake on the End Point Assessment
  • Surrender of your postgraduate diploma qualification. 

This is not accessible for apprenticeship levy funding. The additional cost of £4000 can be paid by yourself or your employer. 


Key information

Up to 28 months (part-time blended learning)
Class time
25 days: one induction day + eight x three-day course units
Alliance Manchester Business School or onsite for in-house cohorts
Minimum professional experience
Three-five years' management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement)
Entry requirements
First or Upper Second class honours degree (2:1) plus three years' management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement)


Five years' management experience (with strong and consistent career progression and achievement), plus interview with the programme director.

*English and Maths GCSE at grade C or above, or equivalent qualification, are also required to successfully complete the senior leader apprenticeship. Alliance MBS will support you in gaining the qualifications if you do not already have them.

A Postgraduate Diploma awarded by The University of Manchester

Senior leadership apprenticeship (level 7)

Professional accreditation from the end-point assessor organisation


Our Experts - David Lowe

The key benefit or the return on investment is the opportunity to upskill your capability; to give you the headspace to think about real issues you are facing.

— David Lowe, Academic Lead for Apprenticeships

How you benefit

The PG Diploma Management Practice has been specifically designed to align closely with day-to-day roles: underpinning your working practice with a solid understanding of contemporary management and leadership theory, and the senior leader apprenticeship embedded throughout.

  • Personalise your development through an emphasis on reflective practice, psychometrics and coaching
  • Focus learning though practical, work-based modules, applying new knowledge and skills to real business and organisational issues through reflective practice papers
  • Build your confidence to ask difficult questions and make informed decisions
  • Individualised assessment approach allows you to focus on the challenges you face as a professional leader
  • Equip yourself with strategic leadership skills to support your organisation’s performance and long-term sustainability
  • Improve your management and leadership skills by combining work and study, with 20% of time spent off the job undertaking the course and relevant development activities
  • Upskill your project management capability
  • Develop confidence and agility as a leader
  • Gain up to nine points of impact on you, your team and your organisation
  • Network and learn from fellow students from a wide range of sectors and backgrounds


Jonathan Patterson

I took on the role of Managing Director nearly two years ago and, previous to that, it’s been ten years since I’ve done any kind of education so I figured it was exactly the right time to come back and brush up on new theories, get new content and figure out how I apply that to my job.

— Jonathan Patterson, Managing Director, DWF Ventures

Participant profile

Level 7 senior leadership apprenticeships are for professional strategic leaders in the private, public or third sector who are responsible for delivering results through:

  • Direction and vision
  • Identifying long term opportunities and risks
  • Shaping innovative and supportive cultures

Since launching in 2019, our Management Practice apprenticeship programmes have attracted:

  • 120+ employers
  • 190+ apprentices (54% private sector / 43% public sector / 3% third sector)

Previous apprenticeship students at Alliance MBS have job roles including Operations Manager, Finance Manager, HR Manager, Senior Project Engineer, Director, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director and Partner.

Professionals from a range of sectors and backgrounds, including engineering, law, healthcare, leisure and manufacturing, work together on our multi-organisational programmes. Companies can also choose to commission an in-house programme, dependent upon student numbers. 

Laura Mason

It will help with some areas that I need to develop in order for me to progress within my career. It allows me to do this as part of my full-time job.

— Laura Mason, Senior Client Services Manager, Marketing Manchester

Our experienced team

Our highly experienced apprenticeship team are here to advise and support you throughout your time with us. From helping to guide you through the application process to keeping you focused on your business challenge, they aim to make your experience as stress free, focused and relevant as possible.

Our Experts - David Lowe
Dr David Lowe
Academic Lead for Apprenticeships

David Lowe is Senior Lecturer in Commercial Management and the Head of Learning Solutions, Executive Education. As Academic Lead for Apprenticeships, he is responsible for all of Alliance MBS’s apprenticeship programmes and processes.

Our Experts - Irene Roele
Irene Roele
Programme Director

Irene Roele is Senior Fellow in Management and Programme Director on the Postgraduate Diploma Management Practice. As Programme Director, she is responsible for the academic content and processes of the Postgraduate Diploma.

Kate Julian
Kate Julian
Practice-based Tutor

As practice-based tutor, Kate guides students through their portfolio development, conducting regular progress reviews with student and mentor. She delivers face-to-face and online coaching sessions throughout the two-year course, focusing on individual leadership development. 

Steve Priddis
Steve Priddis
Practice-based Tutor

As practice-based tutor, Steve guides students through their portfolio development, conducting regular progress reviews with student and mentor. He delivers face-to-face and online coaching sessions throughout the two-year course, focusing on individual leadership development.

Hayley Atkinson
Hayley Atkinson
Instructional Designer & Learning Technologist

Hayley looks after students’ online learning platforms and supports the programme virtually.

A bank of online elements allows students to attend modules better prepared, with ideas, questions and new approaches and challenges already forming.

Our Team - Jill Ingham
Dr Jill Ingham
Client Relations Manager, Apprenticeships

Jill is the first point of contact if you are interested in applying for the course. She will answer any questions you may have and support you with your application.

Enquiries and applications: Email Jill >> | 07769 294081

Our Team - Victoria Mansfield
Victoria Mansfield
Degree Apprenticeships Manager

As Degree Apprenticeship Manager, Victoria is responsible for all the processes and procedures required to deliver apprenticeship programmes at Alliance Manchester Business School.