Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship (CIPD) plus Optional MSc Extension

Senior People Professional Apprenticeship (CIPD) plus Optional Extension

Level 7


Study level
Full time
22 months inc. EPA Further 6-12 months for MSc addition

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

Course Overview

The Senior People Professional Apprenticeship programme at Arden University features optional specialisms in Human Resources (HR), Organisation Development (OD), and Learning and Development (L&D). This programme will help you become an expert in people and work, as well as an ambassador for change. As a senior people professional in your organisation you will be at the forefront of driving high standards of employee performance and effectiveness, championing the people agenda, and promoting positive organisational cultures and work environments, leading to long-term and sustainable outcomes.

Our apprenticeship is structured to give you the knowledge, skills, and behaviors required for success in senior HR, L&D, or OD management roles, in alignment with the professional standards recognised by CIPD for Chartered Members. Drawing on the latest research and practical experience in people management, this programme ensures you graduate with a well-rounded skill set covering all aspects of the employee lifecycle.
Through hands-on assessments designed to have a significant professional impact, you'll learn about the role of HR,L&D, or OD functions in shaping and executing organiational strategy. This approach enables you to emerge from the programme with practical solutions and a deep understanding of how to drive organisational success through effective people management.

Throughout your studies you’ll have access to your memberships from CIPD and AHRI with access to multiple their resources, articles, webinars and more.

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You'll have online access to a huge range of career development tools from the day you start studying.
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Professional accreditation
This course is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, giving you a brighter career outlook.

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Course details and modules

Applied in its nature and design, this programme will equip you with the specialist knowledge, skills, and behaviours to excel in the HRM area as a successful people leader. You'll cover a broad range of in-demand HR topics, such as strategic planning and ethical decision making, workplace culture, people analytics, resourcing, well-being, and development, enabling you to respond creatively and effectively to the future of work and the challenges this poses to global business and workplace environments.  

Arden’s online platform is very easy to navigate and my tutors are very quick and supportive when responding to any of my queries. The extra support provided at Arden has gone above and beyond my undergrad experience, I have attended many of the study skills support sessions which are very helpful when trying to get back into the style of academic writing.

Lydia Carney
MSc Strategic Human Resource Management (Online learning)
  • Strategic Planning and Ethical Decision Making (20 credits)
  • People Analytics and Value Creation (20 credits)
  • Strategic Employment Relations and Employment Law (20 credits)
  • People Development, Well-being and Performance (20 credits)
  • Resourcing and Rewarding Talent (20 credits)
    Choice of Elective Module:
  • Analysing the Contemporary HR Environment (Elective)- HR Pathway
  • Designing learning to improve performance (Elective)- L&D Pathway
  • Organisational Development, Culture and Change (Elective)- OD Pathway

For those who choose to undertake the optional MSc extension:
Research Project (60 credits)


Assessments on this programme have been designed to help you apply your learning to your workplace, thus real-world scenarios in the modern HR environment. That means you'll have the opportunity to use your studies to inform and enable how you'll help transform your current organisation's operations and functions throughout the course. Practice-driven - No exams in sight!

Other assessment methods

Our assessments have been designed based on industry feedback to meet the needs of today's employers to ensure that each assessment will impart both subject knowledge and desirable workplace skills. Each assessments is based on your workplace. These include:

  • Problem-solving exercises within your workplace
  • Formal reports in response to  case studies within your workplace
  • Presentations
  • Skills-based exercises
  • Dioramas
  • Autoethnography
  • Research project

Research Project

Following successful completion of the End Point Assessment, all learners have the option to achieve an Arden University MSc in Strategic Human Resources Management (HRM) by extending their individual learning to complete a Strategic HRM Research Project at no extra cost.

To achieve the MSc Strategic HRM, you will undertake an independent research project pertaining to an issue or question within Human Resource Management. You'll be expected to identify and examine a relevant topic of your choice and make robust recommendations based on your findings, helping you gain transferable skills for your future.

Study options

You will access your modules through our virtual classroom, iLearn and complete all the module lessons. Throughout each study block, you will attend your scheduled teaching and learning sessions during working hours, attend your 1-2-1 coaching sessions and undertake your workplace assignment and coach-led activities. Your coach will guide you to ensure you are effectively applying and evidencing your new knowledge, whilst developing and demonstrating the skills and behaviours considered essential for success in your role.

Olivia Law

Continuing my studies at Arden has been the best decision I made. I’m very grateful for Arden University and feel that I have progressed not only professionally, but also personally.

Olivia Law
MA Human Resource Management

How is this programme delivered?

Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship

The Senior People Professional Apprenticeship is delivered over 22 months which includes 4 months for the completion of the End Point Assessment. During this time, you will attend university virtually to undertake both self-guided and scheduled learning across 6 modules.

You will study and complete each module within a 12-week block.You will also attend regular virtual 1-2-1 coaching sessions with a dedicated Arden University coach throughout your programme. Your coach will support you in continually applying your learning in the workplace, consolidating a portfolio of evidence to showcase your workplace application and producing the project proposal required for the end-point assessment.

Each 12-week learning block consists of:

  • Flexible self-guided online learning
  • Scheduled virtual teaching sessions
  • Regular virtual 1-2-1 coaching
  • Quarterly virtual progress review
  • Optional academic skills support session

Please note, as an apprentice, your employer must support you to spend at least 6 hours of your contractual working week studying the apprenticeship programme.  Option to achieve Arden University MSc Strategic Human Resources Management

Following successful completion of the Senior People Professional Apprenticeship (End Point Assessment), you have the option to achieve an Arden University MSc Strategic Human Resource Management by extending your learning journey to complete the final module of the Strategic HRM programme at no extra cost. This is the 60-credit `Research Project'. Typically, this takes 6 months, however, we will allow all Senior People Professional Apprenticeship completers  up to 12 months to complete it.

The 6-month Research Project learning block consists of:

  • Flexible self-guided online learning
  • Scheduled virtual Project Workshop sessions
  • 1-2-1 virtual Research Supervisor meetings (x6)
  • 12,000-word Research Project submission bringing together all you have learned on the programme to date. You may wish to base your final project on your 7,000-word strategic business proposal from the End Point Assessment.

Please note, when you are undertaking the MSc Research Project, you will no longer be an apprentice. Therefore, your employer is no longer required to support you with at least 6 hours of your contractual working week studying towards this. The Research Project takes 6 months to complete, however Arden University allow you up to 12 months to complete this final stage.

Reinier Kasper

After conducting extensive research and comparing various options, I chose Arden for several reasons: the degree is CIPD-accredited, I could study online, and the application/onboarding process was very structured and smooth. The training and guidance provided were excellent and helped me quickly establish a routine that worked well for me. The platform and modules are easy to understand and work with, and the support from teachers and other Arden staff was always prompt and professional.

Reinier Kasper
Online Learning MSc Strategic Human Resource Management

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn't a clear pathway to this degree - we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can join us, wherever you are.

That's why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection. With this one tool, you'll be able to access information, advice, support, learning materials and our online library, as well as create assignments, keep notes, and collaborate with other students effectively. 

We’ll also support you with getting access to the resources you need, wherever you study from, including assistance with obtaining any software you need to successfully complete the course.


Learners enrolling on this apprenticeship must meet the following criteria:

  • Be employed in England, in a job where you spend at least 50% of your working time in England
  • Be in a job role with responsibilities aligned with the Senior People Professional apprenticeship standard
  • Be a UK/EU/EAA resident for at least three years prior to starting the apprenticeship.
  • Have evidence of funding eligibility from their employer.
  • You cannot be funded if you already have a qualification at the same level or above, in this subject area

In addition, apprentices enrolling on the Senior People Professional Apprenticeship who intend to complete the MSc HRM must meet the following criteria:

  • A UK Honours Degree at a minimum of second class (2.2) or equivalent.
  • We will also consider applications from students who lack formal qualifications but can demonstrate their motivation to study the course and possess relevant work experience.
  • Have English language proficiency if no prior learning was taught in English: IELTS 6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element); TOEFL iBT 90 or equivalent.

Level 2 English and Maths requirements

It is a condition of apprenticeship funding, at any level, that all applicants can evidence GCSE English and Maths passes at grade A*- C/9-4 or commit to completing Functional Skills Level 2, in addition to the programme. If required, this is provided at no additional cost

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smartphone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course fees and funding

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Meet the faculty

Dr Aaron Taylor

Dr Aaron Taylor has been involved in teaching and training for over 20 years, both in the UK and internationally. During this time, he has built up expertise in teaching and learning specifically across postgraduate HRM programmes. Prior to his role as Head of School of Human Resource Management at Arden University, Aaron was a Principal Lecturer at the University of Sunderland and a Principal Lecturer in HRM at Coventry University London. Aaron is an External Examiner for HRM programmes at the University of Suffolk and the University of Sussex. He is a CIPD academic member, a Senior Fellow of the HEA and a certified management and business educator (CMBE).

Dr Aaron Taylor
Head of the School of Human Resource Management

Career prospects

The course will help you develop your existing skills and knowledge in the area of people and business management, alongside the newest theoretical, practical, and technological advancements in the field. By immersing you in the HR world of tomorrow, the course will prepare you for senior HR, L&D or OD management roles in practically any industry.

What will the Senior People Professional Apprenticeship do for me? 

On completion of phase one , the Senior People Professional Apprenticeship, you will be awarded:

  • IfATE Level 7 Senior People Professional Apprenticeship.
  • Arden University Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resources Management (subject to completing all module assessments).
  • CIPD Chartered Member status - a professional status recognised throughout the industry.

What will the optional extension to MSc Strategic Human Resources Management do for me?

On completion of phase two you will achieve:

  • Arden University MSc in Human Resources Management (SPP)
  • CMI Level 7 certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership Practice

Upon completion of the MSc, you will be eligible to apply to the below professional HR bodies for further certification, a professional achievement that’s valued by employers worldwide.

  • SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) 
  • HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute)

If you choose to complete the MSc Strategic HRM, you will not be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma in HRM. Instead the credits will count towards your MSc.

Industry skills

Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD)

The Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD), the leading professional body for HR professionals in the UK, and the second largest globally. This course is accredited by the CIPD, which sets the industry standards for human resource management and people development.

For Arden students, the cost of your CIPD membership is also included during your studies, giving you access to a range of additional resources and networking events. We are one of only a few universities that pay this for students.

Arden graduates will also have the chance to upgrade their membership and become a prestigious Chartered Member (Chartered MCIPD), a mark of your pursuit of continuous professional development in the field of human resource management.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), and the HR Certification Institute (HRCI)

This course aligns with SHRM, the world’s largest HR association with over 300,000 members in 165 countries, ensuring your degree is globally recognised. It is also aligned with HRCI, a leading HR certification provider in the US.

Your course modules have been mapped to SHRM and HRCI membership requirements. That means upon completing your degree, you will be eligible for SHRM and HRCI certifications, valued globally by employers. We are also an organisational member of AHRI, allowing students to benefit from member-only products and services.

Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) membership

Arden University is a member of the prestigious Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB International is a global association of leaders in education and business dedicated to supporting and advancing quality business education worldwide.

This membership reflects the fact that Arden University has successfully matched the high standards required by the AACSB, and enables the sharing of ideas and the exchange best practises between global business schools. Membership also gives our faculty members access to in-depth data and research to support the development of our courses and teaching methods, ensuring that we are able to provide you with the best possible university experience.

Business Graduates Association

The BGA is a membership and quality assurance body. As a member, Arden University have signed up to the BGA Charter, committing their institution to responsible management practices and lifelong learning, positively impacting their students, communities, and the economy. This shows our students that we are demonstrating responsible management ourselves, as well as it being a central theme that runs through our own courses.

As Arden University is a member of the Business Graduates Association (BGA), students will receive complementary BGA student and graduate membership. Through this membership, current students will have access to the BGA Career Development Centre, packed with interactive tools, e-learning content, partner discounts and the latest job opportunities. This is a lifetime access, which means students will continue to have access to these services even after they graduate.