Senior People Professional Apprenticeship (HR Specialism)

Level: 7

Course duration: Typically 36 months (32 months practical training plus 4 months EPA)

Next start date: September 2024

Mode of delivery: Combination of face-to-face on-campus and online study


The Senior People Professional Apprenticeship meets the professional development needs of participants and their employing organisations. The programme enables Human Resource Management practitioners to make a substantial contribution to enhancing business performance through the effective deployment of theoretical concepts, personal knowledge and skills.

Cross-cutting themes of the programme include: 

  • ethical practice and decision making, and the need for HR practitioners to develop and sustain an ethical framework to advise and manage, consistent with the CIPD Code of Practice and employment law
  • the impact of globalisation on all aspects of HRM, and the importance of HR practitioners being able to advise and manage within international, diverse workforces.

Apprentices benefit from learning alongside the central postgraduate Human Resource Management community, and can make a direct impact by applying their learning in the workplace, including developing a board-level project proposal. 

UK Partnerships and Apprenticeships

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Who is it for?

This apprenticeship is for Human Resources practitioners in organisations of all sizes, sectors and industries looking to champion the people agenda by extending their HR management knowledge.

The course provides opportunities to practise and develop skills in a safe and supportive environment, whilst working towards Chartered Membership of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

For employers, investing in a Senior People Professional apprenticeship can be a valuable addition to talent management programmes – providing a route to retain staff, maximise the potential of individuals and improve organisational performance. 

Entry criteria and costs

The cost of the Apprenticeship for 2024/25 entry (drawn down from the monthly employer levy): £18,500 (subject to annual review)

Apprentices should normally be working in a suitable human resources position which gives opportunity to put new learning underpinning the subject area into practice. 


  • a second class honours undergraduate degree from a recognised UK / overseas institution; or
  • an equivalent professional qualification; or
  • a minimum of three years relevant advisory, supervisory or management employment - paired with other qualifications, experience (or both), demonstrating knowledge and capabilities to succeed on the course

As well as:

  • hold English and Maths Level 2 equivalent to GCSE A*-C or 9-4
  • eligible to join an apprenticeship scheme

Functional Skills English and/or Maths can be studied during the apprenticeship if eligible Level 2 qualifications are not already held; however, both must be completed before progression onto the End Point Assessment. It is an employer's discretion whether they may prefer these to be achieved by staff before enrolling on the apprenticeship.

How to apply

We welcome employers and individuals to contact the Apprenticeships Team by completing the expression of interest form below. Once submitted, we will be in touch to outline your next steps and/or arrange a meeting with the Faculty.

Learning outcomes

  • 130 Postgraduate credits – for which apprentices can claim a Postgraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management.
  • Eligibility for CIPD Chartered Membership.
  • Development of skills, knowledge and behaviours underpinning successful human resource and people management.
  • A positive investment in developing HR staff. 

Teaching overview

Core learning is typically delivered over 32 months. Apprentices study the equivalent of one day-a-week in ‘off-the-job’ training through a combination of asynchronous online study and synchronous sessions on campus (usually Tuesday evening and Saturdays for which the employer should permit time off in lieu).

Progress in the workplace is monitored through regular contact between the employer, apprentice and tutors. 

Study modules 

  • People Resourcing and Talent management
  • Employee Engagement, Performance & Reward
  • Employment Law
  • Contemporary Issues and Challenges for HRM
  • Learning, Development & Coaching
  • Understanding Organisations and Managing Change
  • Developing Skills for Business Leadership
  • Critical Investigation Skills

Apprentices also develop a portfolio of evidence to support and demonstrate their apprenticeship journey through to End Point Assessment.

See the programme structure.

End Point Assessment

The End Point Assessment (EPA) brings together evidence demonstrating that an apprentice has the knowledge, skills and behaviours expected of a senior people professional HR specialist.

Typically taken over 4 months, the EPA is externally assessed and comprises: 

  • a project proposal, presentation and questioning
  • a professional discussion underpinned by a portfolio of evidence 

MA Human Resource Management top-up

After the apprenticeship has been completed, there is the option to continue learning by topping up to our full MA Human Resource Management.

In the top-up, learners complete a research project (which might be an opportunity to enact the project proposal developed for the apprenticeship), adding further value to the employing organisation. 

The Oxford Brookes experience

  • Oxford Brookes Business School has a long history of working with businesses of all sizes and sectors - developing key services, and connecting them to world-class expertise and research.

  • Extensive experience of delivering flexible programmes designed for busy working professionals.
  • A collaborative learning environment - utilising project-based assignments, one-on-one coaching and individual personal support.
  • Programmes which give focus on developing strategies to work with and lead diverse groups of people from different backgrounds.

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