Skip to main content
Back Back

Leaders create new futures with an Apprenticeship


Aspiring leaders from the arts and culture industry have become the first to start a tailored University of Wolverhampton Degree Apprenticeship.

The Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship (SLMDA) is designed for senior managers with responsibility for the strategic leadership and direction of their organisation or department.

The SLMDA (Arts and Culture) programme has been designed to reflect upon the similarities and differences in the Arts and Culture sector compared to the general business sector and to expose them to current and future developments in this fast moving and exciting sector.


A new cohort of 17 students including 11 who work in arts and culture roles have started the Degree Apprenticeship which is suitable for those working in the private, public and third sectors and for companies of any size.

Among those on the course is Rachel Sharpe, Creative Partnerships Manager for the National Trust in South Worcestershire. She said: “I found the Apprenticeship route attractive because I work four days a week for the National Trust and one day a week freelance, so I’m busy. To have that time within my main job to focus on aspects that not only support me in my leadership journey but my organisation is really appealing.

“I hope to gain more confidence as a leader and have the opportunity to network and reach out to people in different cultural organisations, and use all that to think about what my next step will be.”

Director and Choreographer Johnny Autin owns and runs Autin Dance Theatre in Birmingham. He added: “I run my own company and there are a lot of elements such as HR, marketing and finance that I’ve been doing instinctively or I’ve learnt from my peers and this will give me the skills to be a manager and business owner. The Apprenticeship route was very attractive as it still allows me to work and make an income as a Director, and we are going to be applying the learning from the course straight away in our day-to-day job activities.”

Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts Sam Hope said: “Arts Council England has identified the need for leadership within the arts and culture sector and the Senior Leaders Master’s Degree Apprenticeship meets that need. At the University we are shaping the leaders of the future in the arts and culture sector.”

The new students will cover a wide range of business topics focusing on leadership; transformation; the creation, management and development of change; developing innovation; and the development of strategies which will transform their organisations.

The new course is the latest in the University’s growing portfolio of Apprenticeships, which enable people to gain valuable knowledge, skills and behaviours alongside their job role.

For further information, visit:  or email:

Further information

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

Date Issued: Tuesday, 16 July 2019

For more information please contact the Corporate Communications Team.

Share this release

Related Stories