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Not your average 30

Not your average 30

Join the leaders of leaders on the Masters Apprenticeship

Ready to join the 30?

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve been handpicked to apply for the Barclays Masters Apprenticeship. One of the first of its kind in the UK, this programme will take on 30 of our most promising future leaders from all over our business. It’s the opportunity to study completely free of charge for an MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership, with postgraduate specialists from Cranfield University. You’ll balance your studies with your current role, apply your new learning in your day-to-day work – and of course, bring fresh energy to your future and ours.  

The key facts of the programme

Two-year programme
Gain a Masters while you work
Taught by Cranfield University
All tuition fees paid by Barclays
Become a CMI Chartered Fellow
Develop senior leadership potential
Change your career trajectory
Increasing your earning power

Who is the programme for?

If you’ve come this far, your manager has recommended you for this year’s cohort, but if you’d like to double-check that you’re right for the programme, we’re looking for anyone in one of the following categories:

Alumni of our Higher Apprenticeships

This new step in our programme is a natural progression for you: the same support to study, even bigger potential for your development.

Alumni of our Graduate programme

Whatever your area of specialism, if you’ve completed the Barclays Graduate programme, this is the next step to bigger things.

Alumni of graduate programmes outside Barclays

Even if you completed your degree and your graduate training elsewhere, this is your chance to fulfil the leadership potential we see in you.

Long-term Barclays colleagues

There’s no-one better to lead us than the people who know us best. If you’ve been here at least 7 years, you can get your Masters even without a previous degree.

Alumni of our Higher Apprenticeships

This new step in our programme is a natural progression for you: the same support to study, even bigger potential for your development.

Alumni of our Graduate programme

Whatever your area of specialism, if you’ve completed the Barclays Graduate programme, this is the next step to bigger things.

Alumni of graduate programmes outside Barclays

Even if you completed your degree and your graduate training elsewhere, this is your chance to fulfil the leadership potential we see in you.

Long-term Barclays colleagues

There’s no-one better to lead us than the people who know us best. If you’ve been here at least 7 years, you can get your Masters even without a previous degree.

Outlining the Masters Apprenticeship

What do we mean by leadership?

You’ll be studying for an MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership, but don’t let the word ‘Leadership’ put you off if you’re not a leader of people - you don’t have to be. We’re talking leadership in the sense of guiding the whole business: we’re training the future leaders of leaders, whose specialism might be anything from strategy to product development to technology, or yes, people management. Every area of our bank needs leaders with a vision to forge our future direction – and we think that might be you.

What work will I do?

First of all, the work you do won’t change: you’ll be in the same role you’re in now, but with support and study leave to help you work towards your Masters (MSc) in Business and Strategic Leadership. That means you’ll be juggling your current workload with academic modules, study blocks, and both group and individual project work.

Let’s be upfront: it’s going to be tricky. You’ll have the support of your manager and your academic tutor, as well as some time out from the business to manage your studies, but that won’t change the fact that it’s going to be difficult. You’ll have to work exceptionally hard. But then, it’ll be worth it to be one of the 30 most up-and-coming future leaders of our business.


How will my programme be structured?

First things first, the Masters Apprenticeship lasts for two years, so you’ll need to be committed to seeing the whole programme though – even when things get tough. You’re building up to getting your Masters over time – starting with nine months that form your Postgraduate Certificate, nine months advancing to a Postgraduate Diploma, and a final six months to upgrade and obtain your MSc.  

Some finer details of your course won’t be finalised with you until your start date, but you’re likely to begin with either a face-to-face or virtual briefing from us and from Cranfield University.

Then, you’ll begin the first modules of your Postgraduate Certificate; likely to be an initial four-day study block, then a series of three-day blocks, with ten in total over the course of the programme. You’ll cover modules like Strategy – planning for the outside factors, be it political, economical or technological, that affect our organisation. You’ll study both Finance and Organisational Behaviour, and get stuck into the challenges of leading a diverse, global organisation. Then there’s Personal Development, where you’ll put all your learning into practice in your own work. And finally, you’ll even take on training designed exclusively for Barclays and our Shared Growth Ambition.

You’ll usually find that before each module begins, you’ll be part of a webinar, allowing you to ask any questions you need to. Then, you’ll have a reading list to help you prepare for the upcoming teaching. As a guideline, you can expect that you’ll need around 100 study hours per module – and some of that will need to be in your own time.  

In the first nine months, you’ll also start on what we call action learning: strategic projects that address real business issues inside Barclays. You’ll work as a group to research and provide potential solutions, making group project reports, group presentations, and individual presentations as you go. As you could be based in different locations, it will be up to you to work out how you work effectively as a group. 

Your second nine months, the Postgraduate Diploma year, will follow a similar structure. Now, you’ll take on more advanced modules in areas like Leadership, studying leadership theory and the evolving challenges there, and Change, where you’ll learn what it takes to implement strategy that moves the business forward. Again, you’ll take on an action learning project here, which might be the same project in more depth or might be something new entirely.  

Then finally, you’ll move into the last stretch of the two-year programme where you’ll upgrade to your Masters. With that in mind, there’ll be some overlap between your Diploma and your MSc, but the final six months will be solely dedicated to your MSc studies. Accompanied by modules in research methods, you’ll take on an Applied Strategic Project – an independent project which might or might not be related to the group projects you’ve taken on throughout the programme.

Who will thrive on the programme?

The very best and most committed of our potential future leaders. It’s not about what background you’ve come from – you might be a former apprentice, a former graduate, a long-term employee or a recent joiner - but about whether you’re willing to work hard for what you want. And make no mistake, it will be hard. You’ve got to want the best for your future – and the future of our bank.

How will I develop?

With this apprenticeship under your belt, the only way is up. You’re looking towards becoming a leader of leaders, and that extends into even the most senior parts of our business. To give you a little context, Cranfield University – where you’ll gain your Masters – has an exceptionally influential alumni network: the university is in the top 1% of global institutions with alumni in executive positions in the world’s biggest businesses.  

Where will I be based?

As you’ll be continuing in your current role, you’ll have to be happy to stay in your current location. You will also need to be prepared to travel to Cranfield University in Milton Keynes for your study blocks. The cost of your travel and accommodation for these blocks will be funded by Barclays.

Am I eligible?

To apply, you must:

  • Have discussed and agreed your application with your manager
  • Be a BA4-Director level colleague
  • Be based in England and have the right to work in the UK
  • Have a minimum of 3 years relevant work experience, or seven years if you don't have a degree or degree-equivalent
  • Have a Strong or Outstanding performance rating at the end of 2017
  • Be able to start June 2018

What are the key application dates?

The application and assessment process will open on the 19th February and final offers will be confirmed on the 1st May. Along the way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to ask any questions about the programme and what’s involved. The process looks like this:

  • Monday, 26 March: Online applications open. When you apply, you’ll be provided with a 1500-word assignment, due 12 March
  • Monday, 2 April at 23.59pm: Applications close
  • Tuesday, 3 - 9 April: The online assessment process is open, during which time you must complete a questionnaire, personality profile, and critical reasoning test, along with the assignment
  • Friday, 13 April by 23.59pm: You must submit your 1500-word assignment
  • Thursday, 3 May: Face-to-face interviews take place
  • Friday, 4 May: Conditional offers are made and Cranfield online application opens
  • Friday, 11 May: Cranfield applications close
  • Friday, 8 June: Final offers made
  • Wednesday, 18 June: The Masters Apprenticeship begins

What's brilliant about the programme?

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