Healthy new network and boosted confidence for Senior Masters student Claire

Claire 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) in LUMS.

Claire has been supported throughout the course by personal mentorthe CeTAD team and her employers. Combined with the new network of contacts she has made among fellow students, this has been key element for her.

“It’s a great opportunity to network, meet new people and learn lots,” Claire saysYou will get out of it what you put in, and I feel students need to be aware of the importance of selfdirection. It’s a great course with great resources, support and opportunities.  

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 her employer, has been structured to fit in with her professional role, and has strengthened Claire’s belief in her own leadership style. 

It has given me time to explore and understand my leadership style and, more importantly, made me value that style,” says Claire. “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.  

“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.  

“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. 

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. 

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. 

A video explaining the course in more detail is available online here: more information, call 01524 593318, email, or visit