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This award-winning Degree Apprenticeship is offered in collaboration with leading regional employers. The programme affords the opportunity for individuals to combine work with study, underpinned by our work-based Business Management and Leadership BA (Hons) degree.

Whilst the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) curriculum is focused upon core competencies, each assessment can be individually negotiated to specifically put the apprentice's learning into workplace context, resulting in a comprehensive portfolio of evidence that may also be used by the organisation to enhance performance.

The course also incorporates a bespoke, individually tailored consultancy project at each level, which apprentices would be able to negotiate and design in conjunction with their organisation to benefit a specific business area.

The University was one of the very first to launch the CMDA in September 2016 with subsequent open or closed cohorts available according to business needs.

Why study with us

The University of Chester has an excellent track record in providing work-based learning courses for organisations across the world through its highly acclaimed Centre for Professional and Economic Development (formerly the Centre for Work Related Studies), in which this course will operate.

National Student Survey: This programme received 100% student satisfaction in the 2020/21 National Student Survey.

Entry Requirements

When submitting your application, you will need to provide the following documents to meet the apprenticeship funding eligibility requirements:

  • ID/Residency evidence.
  • Change of name evidence & Birth Certificate.
  • Level 2 Maths Certificate (GCSE A*-C or 9-4, equivalent or higher).
  • Level 2 English Certificate (GCSE A*-C or 9-4, equivalent or higher).
  • Level 3 certificates.
  • Degree and Post-grad certificates.
  • Job Description.
  • Workplace mentor.


Applications will be assessed in partnership with employers using qualifications and/or relevant experience as the criteria, and accreditation is potentially available for recognised previous learning. There is no minimum UCAS points threshold. The course delivery model is extremely flexible, with compulsory workshop attendance just 10-12 days per year, supported by a blended learning approach and regular workplace reviews.

Applicants not from the UK may still be eligible to apply. For further information please contact

Degree Award

BA (Hons) in Business Management and Leadership.

Successful apprenticeship completion may also lead to CMgr (Chartered Manager) or MCGI (Professional Recognition of Leadership and Management through Membership of City and Guilds) depending upon your employer’s choice of End Point Assessment Organisation, which may be subject to additional top-up fees.

Programme Recognition & Student Awards for the University of Chester Business and Management Degree Apprenticeship

Awards for the Programme delivery:

  • Educate North Business Collaboration and Partnerships Award (2019)
  • Times Higher Education Shortlist Outstanding Contribution to Leadership Development Award (2019)
  • Universities Association for Lifelong Learning Runner up Lifelong Learning and Innovation Award (2019)
  • Learning & Teaching Excellence Team Award, University of Chester (2018)
  • Educate North Employer Engagement Award (2017)

Student Awards:

  • 3 CMDA award winners - High Sheriff’s Apprentice of the Year Awards (2017-2019)
  • 1 CMDA double award winner - Rising Star Regional and National Apprenticeship Awards; (2019)
  • 1 apprentice award winner - Ede and Ravenscroft Award for Excellence (2019)

Information for Apprentices

This course provides you with a unique opportunity to work in some of the region’s leading organisations, whilst studying for a BA (Hons) in Business Management and Leadership.

To be accepted onto this apprenticeship, you will need to be employed by an organisation and receive minimum wage where you will benefit from the invaluable work experience opportunity, not to mention all of the additional benefits that are provided to employees. Your employer will agree to release you for 20% of your working hours over the duration of your programme in order for you to progress your learning as a student. Most of your university-based learning will take place on our campus at Queen’s Park, where you would receive all of the support and benefits that other students enjoy.

The CMDA programme is essentially a post-experience programme of study.  It forms part of the University's widening participation and lifelong learning agendas and, as such, does not necessarily require formal academic qualifications for entry though you should be working in the type of workplace role that will enable you to meet the Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) as outlined in the Apprenticeship Standard.  As such, entry will be primarily determined in relation to your level and extent of professional responsibility and experience. As per the funding requirements, you will need to have Level 2 (equivalent or higher) in Maths and English prior to Gateway. You can be accepted onto this apprenticeship without Level 2 (equivalent or higher) in Maths and English but you are required to undertake and pass them alongside your studies.

Information for Employers

Apprentices are employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week by an employer, which is considered full-time, whilst studying for a BA (Hons) in Business Management and Leadership with the University of Chester. Apprentices who complete the programme will not only gain their degree, but they can also be awarded the highly valued Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Diplomas 4, 5 and 6 and achieve full Chartered Manager status.

Apprentices employed for under 30 hours a week, considered part-time, enjoy the same benefits as full-time but with an elongated practical period.

This course is suitable for a range of aspiring managers and roles with managerial responsibilities, in a variety of organisations and sectors. It can also be used as a retention and promotion course to retain and reward existing ‘high-fliers’ within an organisation. Delivery will take place at one of our campuses in Chester or at a suitable employer site subject to agreement. The course comprises of approximately 10-12 workshop days per year, workplace visits and supported online and distance delivery. Assessments are related to your workplace and can be individually negotiated with the apprentice to support your organisation's requirements. It is also possible to negotiate an addendum to the exit award where relevant specialisms exist.

We have an excellent track record in providing this type of work-based learning in organisations across the world, particularly through our highly acclaimed Centre for Professional and Economic Development (formerly the Centre for Work Related Studies) through which this apprenticeship course operates. Our apprentices have produced superb results for their employers.

This degree apprenticeship qualification is worth 360 credits. We will assess claims for prior learning and provide individual advice accordingly. The degree usually takes 4 years to complete and a further 3 months for the End Point Assessment that can lead to professional body status.

Funding and Fees

There are no hidden extra costs for the apprenticeship but to retain the professional body status or membership there could be additional costs depending on your End Point Assessment Organisation. The current funding cap for this degree apprenticeship is £22,000. Please refer to the apprenticeship funding page for more information.