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MA Business Management: Financial Services (Graduate Apprenticeship)

Key information

Delivery type
Full Time
Degree qualification
Mode of delivery
4 years
Start date
September, January

Please note the mode of delivery for this programme is Online, and there is a September start only. This a SCQF level 10 programme.  

The Business Management: Financial Services graduate apprenticeship is aimed at employment in the financial services sector.

The graduate apprenticeship programme is open to new or existing employees in Scotland of all ages and consists of 20% academic learning and 80% work-based learning.

Specific roles will depend on the nature of the organisation, including, but not limited to:

  • Team Leader
  • Team Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Investment Operations Analyst

Programme structure

It is structured so that essential foundational knowledge is provided in the early stages and this can be built on during the learning that will take place in the workplace.

The programme comprises a number of courses that are undertaken through a blend of University attendance and work based learning. Attendance at University will normally be one day per week. Although each course has specific learning objectives, the learning and work-based project work associated with each course is tailored to meet each student's individual work context.

In the third semester (over the summer period) of each year, students will be working on assessments and projects which will be supervised by a tutor from the University, course instructors, and work-based mentors.

Graduates' skillset

The Business Management: Financial Services graduate apprenticeship is designed to produce graduates with the following high level skills and knowledge attributes:

Organisational strategy

An understanding of business/organisations and their key functions and processes An understanding and consideration of environment, organisational strategy, markets and processes – and how these work together. Knowledge and understanding of organisational strategy and models and how to apply them.

Project management

Understanding of approaches to project management and the ability to apply them

Business finance

Knowledge of financial models and how to use them to analyse performance

Digital business and new technologies

Understanding of how technology can enhance business


Able to communicate effectively using a range of media

Leading people

Knowledge and understanding of leadership styles and organisational culture

Managing people

Knowledge and understanding of how to manage people and teams effectively

Developing collaborative relationships

Understands how to build effective relationships internally and externally

Awareness of self and others

Able to manage self effectively, use emotional intelligence and core values

Management of self

Knowledge and understanding of how to plan effectively and undertake personal development

Decision making

Able to make effective decisions and solve problems based on research

Regulatory requirements

Knowledge and understanding of the regulatory environment in which the financial services sector operates.

The financial services sector

Knowledge and understanding of the sector and its relevance.

Technological change and its application

Knowledge and understanding of the impact and use of technology in the sector.

Client management

Understanding of how to manage relationships effectively.

Key areas of the programme

The primary focus of the Business Management: Financial Services graduate apprenticeship programme is on developing the knowledge, understanding and skills outcomes sought by employers.

Organisational performance

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of organisational strategy
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of project management
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of business finance
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of digital business and new technologies

Interpersonal excellence

  • Demonstrate effective communication skills
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively lead people
  • Demonstrate the ability to effectively manage people
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop collaborative relationships

Personal effectiveness

  • Demonstrate an awareness of self and others
  • Demonstrate effective management of self
  • Demonstrate effective decision making skills


  • Demonstrate behaviour that shows the ability to take responsibility
  • Demonstrate behaviour that shows the ability to be inclusive
  • Demonstrate behaviour that shows the ability to be agile
  • Demonstrate behaviour that shows professionalism

Financial services

  • Demonstrate knowledge of regulatory requirements
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the financial services sector
  • Demonstrate knowledge of technological change and its application
  • Demonstrate knowledge of client management


Demonstrate specialist knowledge of products and services within the chosen sector

  • Retail banking
  • Commercial / business banking
  • Investment banking
  • Investment management
  • Operations
  • Insurance
  • Workplace pensions
  • Client segmentation
  • Market segmentation

Your student experience

Ranking (Business and Management, Complete University Guide 2023)

We're ranked in the top quartile for Business and Management by the Complete University Guide 2023

Ranking (Overall, QS World University Rankings 2024)

Heriot-Watt are ranked in the Top 250 universities in the world, 32nd in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2024

Go Global

There are currently no Go Global opportunities for this particular programme. However, other Go Global opportunities may be available. Please contact for more information.

Course content

September Intake - Edinburgh

During the first year, the apprentice will be provided the foundations of management that include: finance and economics; a knowledge of different management and business functions; the enterprise in the context of its environment. The apprentice will also develop business skills that include: questioning and interviewing techniques; presentation skills; and design thinking.

At the end of year 1, the apprentice will be aware of the skills required within business and show an understanding of both the internal and external influences on the organisation. Additionally, they will have gained introductory organisational skills for working as managers.

Mandatory September

  • Management in a Global Context
  • Introductory Economics (GA)
  • Introduction to Finance

Mandatory January

  • Enterprise and its Business Environment
  • Information Systems for Business
  • Business Skills

Mandatory May

  • Management Project 1

Entry requirements

We have standard entry requirements for all of our courses that you will have to meet.

  • SQA Highers at BBBB (over two sittings)​
  • A-Levels at BBC​
  • Int. Baccalaureate 29 points​
  • SQA HNC in a relevant subject (or a suitable Modern Apprenticeship) with B in the graded unit​
  • Foundation Apprenticeship in Business Skills in conjunction with other suitable qualifications

Why Heriot-Watt

We're the top university in Scotland for graduate outcomes which means that more of our graduates are employed or in postgraduate education than any other institution in the country and we ranked 5th in the UK.

We're also rated number one in the UK for CEO or MD roles, meaning more of our graduates go on to become CEOs or MDs than any other university in the whole of the UK. On top of that, we have beautiful campuses, across the globe, so you'll get a truly international education. Our Edinburgh Campus is home to Oriam, Scotland's National Sports Performance Centre combined with plenty of wellbeing resources, prioritising fitness and mental health for all students. Our Global Research Institutes look at solving real world issues such as climate change and saving our oceans as well as working on the next medical technological breakthrough and the future of AI and robots.

Student life

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