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Senior Leader Apprenticeship Food Business Management

Year of entry


2 years (part time)

Start date

September 2021


Harper Adams University campus (and location of work placement)

The course

Whether you live to eat or eat to live, the indisputable fact is that we all need to be regular consumers of food and drink. The food industry offers more than careers based solely on farms or in retail food outlets. It is vigorous and dynamic, with the adoption of new technology and the provision of new products satisfying ever-changing consumer demands.

The apprenticeship aims to produce and develop well-trained Senior managers who are working in, or wish to follow, careers in the food industry. It promotes analytical and management skills by focusing on questions raised in relation to public policy issues, the global commercial environment and the supply of foods which meet supply chain customer and consumer requirements. You will hone your personal skills and be able to engage in critical analysis and formulate and express sound arguments. This apprenticeship follows the Senior Leader standard.

An important part of the sector’s success relies on an integrated approach and the close links which have been forged between growers, wholesalers, food processors and retailers. To be successful in today’s fast-moving food industry apprentices are provided with a combination of modules focusing on core subjects relevant to food business management and leadership as well as key priorities facing today’s food industry.

You can choose to continue to further study and gain a qualification on completion of this programme, such as an MSc or MProf in Food Business Management. For more information please contact Jane Eastham.

How will it benefit me?

On completion of the course, apprentices will develop strategies for business and use and evaluate food industry management techniques and assess their relevance to commercial practice under different technical and cultural constraints. You will learn to appraise the dynamic legal, economic and political environment within which food businesses operate.

Apprentices become skilled in collecting, analysing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative data, technical and commercial information, as well as evaluating and exploiting the latest developments in technology. You will learn to identify solutions to food industry management problems appropriate to local, national and international circumstances.

You will become competent at identifying and solving information management and communication problems encountered by food industry managers and will be able to critically review the existing knowledge of a sector-specific topic and relate to a hypothesis which will advance that knowledge. Students also undertake strategic analysis, integrating a range of food business management techniques.

Entry requirements

The entry requirement for this degree apprenticeship will typically be a Food or Business degree or a degree apprenticeship at level 6 in a related discipline. Employees with years of experience in the industry who wish to enrol will be considered on a case-by-case basis. A detailed assessment of prior knowledge, skills and behaviours will be undertaken. The apprentice must be based in, and have the right to work in England and meet eligibility requirements.

Apprentices without GCSE English and Maths (A*-C or 9 - 4) or equivalent will need to achieve this level prior to enrolment or before the end of year 1. This can be funded separately and taken at a local college or provider. Certificates must be provided as evidence.

What will I study?


Career opportunities in food business management are very good both in the UK and internationally. Our programme has been designed to produce well-qualified individuals employable throughout the food industry. Careers could include procurement, logistics, market research, commercial or general management in the food industry.

Apprenticeship roles may result in roles jobs such as: Senior Leader, Section Leader, Executive, Director, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Information Officer, or Head of Department/Division. The ability to fulfil the apprenticeship demands that the role will have strategic impact in the business.

98% Employability

Harper Adams University has the best and most consistent long-term graduate employment performance in specialist agri-food higher education

(HESA 2017)


For course related enquiries please contact:

Apprenticeships Team
Telephone: +44 (0)1952 815 054

No. 1

In the UK for graduate employment
(Graduate Outcomes 2020)


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