could an MBA be the next positive step in your career?

By Julian Campbell, University of East Anglia
A Senior Leaders Apprenticeship - funded by an employer’s Apprenticeship Levy, or an Executive MBA programme could be the next positive step you could take in developing your career.

Published in Norfolk Director Magazine Spring 2021
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Developing Professional Competency with the UEA Norwich Business School

A successful career requires a commitment to build new skills and capabilities to pursue your professional ambitions.

Choosing to study for a Senior Leaders Apprenticeship or an MBA is about making that commitment to fulfil your potential as a senior manager, business leader or entrepreneur.

At the University of East Anglia (UEA), our programme challenges the way you think, teaching you to examine and solve problems in a more strategic and thoughtful way.  Through combining the latest management and business research with practical application, an MBA justifies its status as a management qualification and often acts as a catalyst for career change.

Finding a the right management qualification to suit you

Choosing the right course is critical, and over the last 25 years, the UEA programme has developed three distinguishing features:

Studying part-time: The Executive MBA is specifically designed to allow busy professionals to balance the demands of study with working full time.  Tailored to combine flexibility with maintaining the rigour of a Masters-level education, classes are scheduled over weekends and supported with high quality online materials. 

International MBA: During the second year, we deliver an entire module overseas.  Students spend a week working with companies in a European capital, delivering a consultancy project focussed on practical outcomes and benefits for the client.  Past companies include Coca Cola, 3M and Tesco. Costs are fully covered within the course fees.

Cohort experience: We focus on building a diverse group of students who maximise the benefit of MBA study through learning together. Studying within a peer group of professionals enhances the learning experience and offers the added advantage of developing a professional network that continues after graduation.

Senior Leadership Apprenticeship funded at no cost to the student

Within the Executive MBA programme, UEA is also offering the new Senior Leaders Apprenticeship (SLA) from September 2021, leading to a postgraduate Diploma in Strategic Leadership. This will be funded by an employer’s Apprenticeship Levy at no cost to the student. We will also be offering a top-up route (at additional cost) providing the opportunity to achieve the MBA, in addition to completing the Apprenticeship.

A Case Study

Darren Elsom completed his MBA in 2019 whilst juggling family commitments and running a busy division with 650 employees. He talks about his experience.

“When I started the Executive MBA programme I was Head of Operations for Cadent Gas. The first module was marketing and I found myself researching the tractor market, which was a big change from gas pipelines! Getting the first module under my belt was a great feeling and it gave me the confidence to tackle the next. I have recently been promoted to be the Director of East of England and I know the knowledge I gained on the MBA supported me in gaining this promotion.” You can read Darren’s full story at   

MBA Open Evenings provide an opportunity to talk to the UEA team and ask questions about the programme and how Apprenticeship Levy funding works. Our next open evening is online and is on the 23rd of March 2021 at 6pm and you can book your place at    

Julian Campbell is MBA Programme Director & Associate Professor at Norwich Business School, University of East Anglia (UEA). For course information E: or visit

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