Alliance Manchester Business School - AMBS

Executive Education FAQs

Discover frequently asked questions about Executive Education at Alliance Manchester Business School.


What is Executive Education?

Executive Education is a portfolio of professional development courses designed by leading business academics. 

Whether you want to boost your own skills or develop your employees’ leadership and management abilities, Executive Education can help you thrive in today’s complex, fast-moving business world, driving positive change in your organisation and helping you to achieve your full potential. 

At Alliance Manchester Business School, our professional development programmes span in-person and online short business courses; senior leader apprenticeship programmes and customised programmes built with clients to address specific business issues.

Who is Executive Education for?

Executive Education is for anyone with ambition.

Perhaps you have high potential colleagues who are transitioning to senior management roles and need to enhance their leadership skills, or who want to move out of their current role and join a new department.

Maybe they are skill seekers who are already in mid-senior level general management roles but want top-level specialist knowledge or decide to focus on a specific function, like ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) or exporting.

They might be in mid-senior level management roles, but want to refresh their skills, modernise, and get better at what they do, leading people and planning strategically.

Or perhaps there is a specific business issue or complex project, and you don’t have the in-house skills to make it a success, like digital transformation, using big data or AI.

Employers with a payroll above £3m per year contribute to the Apprenticeship Levy and can access this fund for our approved senior leader apprenticeship programmes.

Some clients look to us to help them address their specific business issues. From leadership succession planning to the implementation of large-scale change, we work with a wide range of organisations to define their exact training and development needs to achieve the right solution. That could mean adapting one of our existing tried and tested course formats or creating a bespoke programme from scratch.

Whatever your needs, we have an Executive Education programme that fits the bill.

Why study Executive Education at Alliance Manchester Business School?

We’re part of the world-renowned University of Manchester and our courses are delivered by some of the most highly regarded academics in business and management, who turn theory into practice. 

Whatever your needs, we have tailored a diverse programme of courses, or we can work with you to tailor your own programme to meet your business needs.  

Our courses will inspire you to lead with vision, supercharge your skills and empower you to build a brilliant career. 

All Executive Education delegates become part of our Executive Education network, rubbing shoulders with contemporaries from a diverse range of organisations and industries, with access to our groundbreaking research and the opportunity to network at a host of events.

Why is Executive Education important?

The last few years have been a challenge and businesses have had to adapt quickly to survive and thrive.  

Against this backdrop, it’s now more important than ever that leaders and managers are armed with the skills they need to build resilient, innovative sustainable businesses that are fit for the future, whatever it may bring. 

At Alliance Manchester Business School, we have developed our Executive Education portfolio to inspire and empower businesses to move forward with confidence.

Why is Executive Education right for me?

You’ll benefit from the highest-quality education programmes, tailored to your needs, and delivered by an institution with an unrivalled international reputation, bolstering your CV and career prospects.

You’ll get in-person support from acknowledged experts in their fields and access to first-class, on-campus facilities.

Or you can access our online courses remotely from any location at a time that suits your lifestyle. 

You will also enjoy meeting and networking with like-minded professionals, providing even more opportunities for you and your business.

Short Business Courses - General

Do I need to attend the full Executive Education course?

Yes. To benefit from the full learning experience, you will be expected to attend all course sessions including group work.

Can you organise my accommodation?

We are not able to book accommodation on your behalf. The Hyatt Regency Hotel is on the university campus, next door to the AMBS Executive Education Centre. View our preferential rate here >>

Are these programmes available to individuals that live outside of the UK?

Yes, delegates from across the globe attend our short business courses.

Do I become an alumni after completing a short business course?

Once you have completed a course, all delegates will become part of our exclusive Executive Education Network. This is a growing network of like-minded professionals. By joining this network you will receive information on new programme launches, top-class speaker events and more.

Do these courses count towards an MBA?

Anyone who has completed one of our four day short courses and is successfully accepted onto the Global MBA, will be able to receive exemption of one elective. Your attendance on the short course must be mentioned at the time of application. For further information please do contact us.

Do you support in the visa application process?

Once payment has been received, Alliance Manchester Business School can provide a visa letter confirming your attendance on one of our programmes.

We encourage you to check directly with your embassy to determine whether you need an entry visa for the UK and the time needed in order to process the visa application. 

If you do require a visa to enter the UK, we ask that you please send us a copy of your visa documentation for our own records before attending the course. 

Short Business Courses - Payment

How can I pay for a short business course?

If you are paying for a short business course yourself, you can pay by credit card. If your employer is funding your place, you are able to pay by invoice when you complete the required information on our booking forms.

We suggest paying for a course by credit/debit card if you are booking your place 30 days before the start date.

Are your short courses covered by the apprenticeship levy fund?

No. Please find more information here regarding our courses covered by the apprenticeship levy.

Are meals included in the course fee?

During your programme, each day you will be provided with a buffet lunch as well as refreshments throughout the day. There will also be a course celebration dinner on evening three.


Are there any discounts available?

Further information about discounts can be found here >>.


Short Business Courses - Booking Process

How do I book my place on one of the short business courses?

To book a place on one of our short business courses you should go to the relevant course page and complete a booking form. A member of the Client Relations Team will be in touch within 48 hours about next steps.

What level of English is required?

All of our courses are delivered in English and delegates are expected to be able to understand, and contribute to class discussion.

Where can I view your terms and conditions for booking a short business course?

You can find Alliance Manchester Business School’s terms and conditions here.

Short Business Courses - Course Information

Is there any pre-work I need to complete or information I need to know before starting the course?

You will receive joining instructions once you are enrolled on the course. Any recommended reading lists, pre-work or other essential information will be shared here with you.

What support will I have whilst participating in the programme?

All delegates will be supported by the course leader, who provides academic support throughout. The programme operations team are also on hand to answer any questions and support with practical considerations, as well as the eLearning team who is able to provide technical support for our online learning platform.

Please contact us if you have any additional needs and we will discuss further support.

Will there be any assignments or examinations I need to complete as part of this course?

Each short business course has a practical task to be completed during or immediately after the four days – this may be a presentation, group work, reflective task etc.

You do not need to complete any examinations.

Which qualifications will I get at the end of the programme?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Manchester Professional Certificate. Paper copies of certificates will be given to you on the last day of the course. Within ten days of completing the course, you will also receive a digital certificate and digital badge to share across your social media.

You can also choose to attend a total of four short business courses to receive the Manchester Professional Diploma in Leadership

Senior Leader Apprenticeships - General

Am I eligible for an apprenticeship?

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

What does the work-based mentor do?

Your work-based mentor must agree to support you in gaining the right training opportunities and spending a minimum of six hours per week of your work time on the apprenticeship. They must also attend quarterly review meetings between you and your university personal tutor to discuss and review your progress.

If I am MD/CEO, who can be my work-based mentor?

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.

What is off the job 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. Although the minimum statutory requirement for all apprenticeships is equivalent to 6 hours per week, for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship programmes, you should expect and plan for at least 8 hours per week and there is some evidence of higher attainment for those who allow for 10 hours per week.

Can you convert to MSc at a later date?

Yes, you have up to five years from starting the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Postgraduate Diploma Senior Leadership programme to complete the top-up unit.

Can the MSc top-up be funded personally?

Yes, an individual student can pay the MSc top-up in an agreed payment plan.

Senior Leader Apprenticeships - Application Process

How do I apply?

Once approved by your employer organisation, you will be invited 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 a final interview with the programme director or tutor. You will be notified of the outcome of your application after the interview. 

Why do you need my GCSE certificates?

The government mandates that all degree apprentices must provide proof of English and mathematics qualifications at Level 2 or higher. Failing to furnish this evidence will prevent learners from progressing through the Gateway stage and completing their apprenticeship. Acceptable equivalents are set out in a published list on GOV.UK. (


What if I didn’t get Grade A-C at GCSE for Maths and/or English?

In cases where potential apprentices do not already have equivalent qualifications, the typical choice is to pursue a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification in English and/or mathematics.

What if I can’t find my GCSE certificates?

You can request a replacement certificate from your exam board.

Can I apply if I work outside England?

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.

Are there any existing qualifications that exclude me from applying?
  • MBA (Masters in Business Administration)
  • Level 6, 7 and 8 CMI Award (including Chartered Manager status)
  • Chartered Manager status (MCIPS) 
  • Masters qualification in leadership or management

CMI Chartered Manager Status (including Mary Seacole) is NOT automatically excluded from applying to the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson. Holders of CMI Chartered Manager Status may be eligible – but would need further consultation to confirm.

If you hold a Masters degree in a non-leadership/management-related subject, you can apply for our senior leader apprenticeship programmes.

Do I need a reference?

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

Can I apply if I work part-time?

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.

Can both of my references be from people in the same organisation?

Yes, both references can be from within the same organisation.

What documents will I need to provide as part of my application?
  • 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
  • GCSE English or equivalent certificate
I haven't discussed my application with my employer, does this matter?

Yes, you must have the agreement of your employer and their support for you to: determine whether this is the right programme for you; receive funding; spend a minimum of eight hours of your contracted hours on 'off the job' training; and gain the development opportunities necessary to complete the programme. Your employer will also enter into contractual agreements with The University of Manchester and the ESFA to support your apprenticeship.

Senior Leader Apprenticeships - During the Programme

How will I be assessed?

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.

How will the programme be delivered?

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.

Where will the programmes be delivered?

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 (for the Senior Leader Apprenticeship Elizabeth Garrett Anderson).

What is the time commitment needed?

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

Will I be given time off work in order to study?

Your employer must commit to giving you a minimum of eight 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.

Can you get an exemption from a specific unit if you have a professional qualification already (e.g. accountancy)?

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

Senior Leader Apprenticeships - Changing Circumstances

What happens if I leave my employer after starting the programme?

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

What happens if my employer merges with another organisation?

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

What happens if I have to take time off for ill health?

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.

Can I continue the programme if I become pregnant?

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

Find out more

Discuss your individual or organisational professional development requirements with an Executive Education programme advisor.

Stuart Wells

Stuart Wells

Executive Director, Client Relations

Contact us

Featured blogs and news

AMBS Exterior image

How can organisations promote authentic leadership?

Monday, June 10, 2024 | Blog

Read more
Ismail Erturk teaching at the front of a classroom of senior leaders

Navigating ESG Challenges - Key takeaways from our session with Ismail Ertürk

Friday, June 7, 2024 | Blog

Read more
Professional headshot of Stuart Wells

AMBS Managing Director for Executive Education appointed as Export Champion by Department for Business and Trade

Thursday, May 23, 2024 | News

Read more
A person using a laptop and a phone simultaneously with icons of folders and cloud software

Navigating the inevitable risk of cyber threats

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 | Blog

Read more
Three professionals sitting around a table discussing a project that they are working on together.

Celebrating 200 years of learning with professional development opportunities

Monday, April 29, 2024 | News

Read more

Quick links