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One of the greatest advantages of online study is that it can be undertaken at the same time as you work, this means that your career doesn't need to take a backseat. In fact, studying a PG program online can be successfully used to enhance and boost your career as Continuing Professional Development. Here, two students from Lancaster University Management School share their experiences of studying online and describe how it has helped them.


Online course provides essential networking for NHS leader

LUMS Student Case StudyClaire Stott has been reinvigorated as an NHS leader thanks to the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship at Lancaster University Management School. Claire is the Assistant Director of Nursing Services-Urgent Care with the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust and the Oldham Care Organisation. She is studying the SLMDA with the Centre for Executive Training and Development (CeTAD) at LUMS. Claire has been supported throughout the course by a personal mentor, the CeTAD team and her employers. Combined with the new network of contacts she has made among fellow students, this has been a key element for her.

Speaking about her experience on the online masters program, Claire says, “It’s a great opportunity to network, meet new people and learn lots. You will get out of it what you put in, and I feel students need to be aware of the importance of self-direction. It’s a great course with great resources, support and opportunities.”

Claire continues, “I had an understanding from the beginning about support I would need, and I’ve managed to source lots of opportunities in my professional life to support the apprenticeship standards. My learning time has never been questioned or sacrificed, which has helped me enormously. I’ve enjoyed the flexibility to learn at my own pace, which the apprenticeship supports with clear objectives in terms of agreed support/learning time. The course fits in well with my personal and professional lives, and help is always available.”

The SLMDA – fully-funded by the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy via Claire’s employer – has been structured to fit in with Claire’s professional role, and has strengthened her belief in her own leadership style. Claire explains, “It has given me time to explore and understand my leadership style and, more importantly, made me value that style. The first module talked about authentic leadership and the importance of being yourself, this validated my leadership style and gave me great confidence and energy.” She continues, “In my role, leadership is key to support and develop teams. I've used my knowledge on a number of occasions to review the way I deal with situations or to plan how to introduce or instigate change. I give a lot more thought now to how I approach situations.

In conclusion Claire says, “I have become a better leader with a broader understanding of both myself and others. I feel that the Trust have invested in me, which has supported my connection with them. It has given me an opportunity to learn and develop.”

Senior Leaders Masters boosts school leader’s career

LUMS Student Case StudySchool leader Lucy Burnett is confident a Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship from Lancaster University will boost her career ambitions.

Lucy is a Senior Leader at Flakefleet Primary School, in Fleetwood. She benefited from the personal approach employed by the Centre for Executive Training and Development (CeTAD), with individual mentors and recognition of your existing skills and knowledge.

Lucy started the SLMDA with the quadruple accredited and world-ranked Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) with experience and previous qualifications built up over 12 years working in the education sector, and LUMS’ Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning allowed her to fast-track her studies.

The flexible work-based course – led by CeTAD tutors experienced in digital and distance learning delivery – allows Lucy to balance learning with her professional role and quickly employ her new skills.

“The SLMDA has helped me to develop my leadership skills, building on my school leaders’ National Professional Qualification for Senior Leadership,” says Lucy. “It links directly to my new role in the school, which has come with increased responsibility, and it supports my ambitions to further my career.” Lucy continues, “The Masters bridges studying and my work role really well, and it is very practical, allowing me to examine and reflect upon my experiences. Critical reflection has been extremely valuable, looking at how I have dealt with issues previously and how I would change my practice in the future. It has given me a greater understanding of the theory that underpins the skills I demonstrate as a senior leader, and where I need to develop further.”

SLMDA course fees are fully funded through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, and the learning feeds into Lucy’s workplace appraisals and development targets, supporting her Continuing Professional Development. Flakefleet Primary will also benefit from Lucy’s masters project, which will feed directly into the school’s development plan.

Throughout the course, Lucy has been supported by the CeTAD team, including associate Krista Court, who runs a series of optional webinars, and has enjoyed access to other Lancaster University resources, such as the University Library and learning materials.

“I particularly enjoyed the entrepreneurship module, and completing the optional webinars to support my learning,” Lucy adds. “Thanks to Krista Court, it has often felt like I have received one-to-one tutorials following on from the webinars. Studying for a masters is such a fantastic opportunity, and I really appreciate everything that is available to me while on the course.”

Lancaster University Management SchoolSLMDA: The lowdown

Both of these students studied the Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) at Lancaster University Management School. Here is a video explaining the course in more detail:

Fees for this year’s courses are fully-funded for employers through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy – with a 95% subsidy for non-levy employers – for the final time. The application process is now open for September and December 2020 starts.

The SLMDA is endorsed by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), and is suitable for people working in the public, private and third sectors, typically with a minimum of three years’ management or leadership experience.

For more information, call 01524 593318, email, or visit Lancaster University Management School.


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