MBA Applied Professional Practice (Degree Apprenticeship)

As a working professional, enhance your qualifications and knowledge and support your career growth in the world of business.

The purpose of the Applied Professional Practice MBA Degree Apprenticeship is to produce graduates who will be proficient in their discipline, entrepreneurial, confident, responsible and capable of fulfilling leadership roles in various organisational, cultural and global contexts. It is aimed at working professionals with at least two years’ experience in a strategic leadership position. As apprentices you are required to take responsibility for identifying your learning needs and managing your learning process.

By the time of course completion, you will have integrated the knowledge and skills gained in the course with their professional practice, and be able to critically appraise both. All course modules have a work-based focus, which mean you will have the opportunity to apply your learning throughout the course, creating benefits for you and your employer. Glasgow Caledonian University’s common good principles and values are embedded in the course. As apprentices, you will develop an understanding of the complexities of the global business environment and responsible leadership. Through work-based learning, you will have the opportunity to conceptualize and implement a project of significance within their organisation, taking into account the social and organisational impact of your initiative.

From a human capital and talent management perspective an employer may either upskill current employees and/or recruit new talent into the business and support them through the Degree Apprenticeship. Most employers use both models to increase their skills pipeline within the business.

Degree Apprenticeship courses are supported by the Education and Skills Funding Agency. Employers should check their eligibility for funding before supporting an apprentice’s application. The skills, knowledge, academic qualifications and experience of current employees will all be used to inform at which level of the course candidates will commence their education.

The Apprenticeship is relevant to professionals in strategic leadership roles in the private, public or third sectors who are looking to enhance their skills and experience.

Study Options

  • 2021/22


Mode of study


Start date


Blended Learning
16 Months
28 Sep 2021
GCU London
Award Mode of study Duration Start date Location  
MBA Blended Learning 16 Months 28 Sep 2021 GCU London Enquire

All entry requirements listed here should be used as a guide and represent the minimum required to be considered for entry. Applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place may be asked to achieve more than is stated.

Standard entry

The academic requirement to be able to study at master’s level is typically demonstrated through an undergraduate degree (UK 2:2 degree or equivalent) in any discipline.

Applicants need to demonstrate that they have an adequate work experience background and be academically able to study at master’s level.

The work experience requirement is typically fulfilled when applicants have been in permanent full-time employment in a managerial/professional strategic leadership position in the private, public or third sector for at least two years. This is evidenced through a CV, an accompanying one-page cover letter and professional reference (peer or senior colleague) demonstrating at least one of the following:

  • Senior management, formal governance/director responsibilities
  • Responsibility for direction and vision, providing a clear sense of purpose and driving strategic intent
  • Role considering market trends and environmental influences, identifying longer-term opportunities and risks, ethical and responsible leadership.
  • Responsibility for others and/or significant organisational budgets.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

For applicants with prior work experience and professional qualifications, there is a possibility to be considered through the university’s flexible entry system through Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

This process allows prospective graduate apprentices to claim credit(s) against previously assessed and certificated learning, including informal learning, to be considered and recognised for academic purposes and credit within their course.

Advanced entry may also be granted through RPL. Skills, knowledge, academic qualifications and experience will all be used to inform which year of the degree you will enter into.

Additional requirements

Candidates must be employed in the same field as the course of study and must supply a supporting letter from their employer as part of the admissions process.

The Degree Apprenticeship has a typical duration of 16 months to full masters completion, or less for those granted advanced standing through RPL. 

The course requires 15 days’ attendance per year. This breaks down into:

Trimester A
Five days' attendance (mid-September to mid-December)

Trimester B
Five days' attendance (mid-January to April)

Trimester C
Five days' attendance (May to August) 1st year only.

The Apprenticeship will provide students with an essential understanding of management theories and practices.


  • Work-based Responsible Leadership
  • Applied Methods for Evidence-Based Projects
  • Applied Operations and Analytics for Management Decision-Making
  • Creating Contextualised Organisational Value
  • Contextualised Strategic Management
  • Applied Corporate Citizenship in a Global Age
  • Innovation and Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Work Based Resilience Continuity and Crises Management
  • Applied MBA Project

Increasingly, society is looking to business owners and managers to lead the way in creating a fairer, more sustainable world. Social responsibility, ethics and sustainability are at the top of our agenda. We are the first Scottish university to join the UN Global Compact. This is the world’s biggest voluntary corporate responsibility partnership. We are committed to the UN’s Global Goals. This is a calling for future leaders who want to build an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

As we are the University for the Common Good, are our business management degree is focused on social responsibility in business. We are members of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)network. As such, we prepare future leaders and managers to deal with some of the complex challenges facing business and society.

Graduate Apprenticeships are co-designed by GCU and industry partners. GCU invites a diverse range of guest lecturers - dependent on relevant subject areas, current industry news and course needs - to share their expertise in every subject area.

A Degree Apprenticeship is a work based degree course, where learning is applied and assessed in the workplace. You will be responsible for your own learning and assessment but supported by workplace mentors.

The course is delivered via blended learning, (online and face to face). All reading material, tutor discussions, assignment setting, marking and feedback, timelines and key dates are located online in the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), GCU Learn. You will also have access to the University’s award-winning library.

In the final year of the course, you will work with your mentor and employer to identify a suitable work based project which will form part of the assessment for honours level study.