Start date(s)
September 2024
Study Mode
Part-time (2 years)
Main Campus (Horsforth)

Course overview

Postgraduate Diploma Professional Practice in Systems Thinking with an optional MSc in Systems Thinking (top-up)


The Systems Thinking Practitioner apprenticeship aims to support decision-makers or those who assist in decision-making in understanding and addressing complex and sometimes even ‘multi-layered’ problems through expert systemic analysis.

The benefits of this are personal skills development, practical application in the workplace, employer support and a minimum of six hours a week to support the training for the apprentice through to the successful completion of the apprenticeship.

The apprentice will need to be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a relevant role and have the support of their employer.

Upon successful completion of the Apprenticeship, apprentices will be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma Practice (PgDip) in Systems Thinking and will also have the option to top up to an MSc in Systems Thinking.

The Student Contract

About this course

The fluctuating economic climate and external challenges we now find ourselves facing have changed how organisations work and their decision-making processes. Systems Thinking has become critical to success; organisations need to focus on their systems and the need for adaptability and resilience to succeed in the future.

This apprenticeship will help apprentices to develop their knowledge, skills and behaviours and application of systems thinking to support organisational viability and the development of appropriate governance and decision-making processes for organisations. They will also gain an understanding of systems thinking interventions and how they could be applied in the workplace.

Programme duration and delivery

It will typically take 24 months to complete the apprenticeship, however, there may also be opportunities to join part-way through the programme if candidates have considerable experience in a particular area. This apprenticeship is delivered face-to-face by Leeds Trinity University. In addition to this, apprentices will also complete independent research activities which can be undertaken in the workplace.

Upon successful completion of the apprenticeship, apprentices will be awarded the Postgraduate Diploma Practice (PgDip) in Systems Thinking and will have the option to top up to an MSc in Systems Thinking.


Note: This course will only run if minimum student numbers are met.

Course Modules

You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

Year 1

During your first year, you'll study four core modules.

Introduction to the Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship (Core)

This module introduces apprentices to academic study skills, emphasising business research, reading, writing, and referencing.

Apprentices will critically analyse apprenticeship standards, focusing on knowledge, skills, and behaviours required for the End Point Assessment.

The overarching theme centres on systems thinking, aiming to develop an understanding applicable to the apprentice's workplace.

Systems Thinking Approaches and Modelling (Core)

Apprentices will delve into systems thinking and modelling, gaining skills to understand, intervene, and analyse complex systems effectively.

Through hands-on learning, apprentices explore Soft Systems Methodology, Diagrammatic Methods, Viable Systems Modelling, and more - fostering a practical approach to addressing organisational complexities.

Ethics in Systems Thinking (Core)

This module offers apprentices a foundational understanding of business ethics within a philosophical and sociological context.

Apprentices will explore ethical concepts, frameworks, and their application in analysing organisational practices.

Apprentices will cover topics such as Introduction to Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, Ethical Theory, stakeholder perspectives, and legal frameworks like GDPR, emphasising ethics in systems thinking and risk management.

Change and Intervention Design (Core)

This module aims to familiarise apprentices with effective interventions for implementing Systems Thinking and facilitating change management within businesses.

Apprentices will learn diverse approaches for delivering systems interventions, understanding assessment and evaluation methods, and designing and implementing interventions for organisational improvement.

Apprentices will also develop the skills to assess, analyse, and design interventions, applying change methodologies while fostering stakeholder engagement and adaptability in real-world scenarios.

Year 2

During your second year, you'll study five core modules.

Systems Thinking Application in the Workplace (Core)

Apprentices will learn to select and combine appropriate systems methodologies, develop practical interventions using systems models, and engage stakeholders effectively through empathetic facilitative processes.

This module equips apprentices to apply programme knowledge in real workplace scenarios, focusing on determining intervention scope, and understanding regulatory environments, legal requirements, and health and safety considerations. 

Key Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) include applying systems knowledge, effective engagement and collaboration, and designing and leading change interventions based on a sound understanding of diverse methodologies.

Personal Development, Leadership and Communication (Core)

This module empowers apprentices through personal development and focuses on enhancing leadership and communication skills.

Apprentices will create a personal development plan, set life goals, and assess strengths.

They will also explore diverse leadership approaches, emphasising ethical considerations and principles of corporate social responsibility, while also preparing apprentices for dynamic roles through communication skills like listening, emotional intelligence, and teamwork.

Work-Based Project, Systems Thinking. Inquiry, Information Gathering and Analysis (Core)

In this inquiry-focused course, apprentices will master techniques for gathering and evaluating both quantitative and qualitative information, emphasising inputs, transformations, and outcomes.

Through honing questioning and listening skills, apprentices will adapt approaches in real-time, uncovering hidden assumptions, and constructively challenging them where necessary.

Apprentices will develop a keen analytical eye through selecting, eliciting, and interpreting data for model building, navigating trade-offs between value, cost, and timeliness.

Portfolio Development (Core)

Apprentices will meticulously chart their journey, aligning with KSBs outlined in their Apprenticeship Standard, and conversations with their mentor.

Through reflective practice, they will optimise their portfolio's structure, drawing connections between academic learning, job roles, and the workplace standards.

Utilising gap analysis techniques, they revisit the Individual Learning Agreement to ensure comprehensive preparation for the End Point Assessment (EPA).

Gateway and End Point Assessment (Core)

Learning and Teaching

At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.

Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:

  • high quality teaching
  • an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
  • a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.

We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.

We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:

  • Student Involvement and Engagement
  • Inclusion
  • Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
  • Digital Literacy and Skills
  • Employability and Enterprise

To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.

We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:

  • Personalised support
  • Expert lecturers
  • Strong connections with employers
  • An international outlook
  • Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development


Throughout the programme, apprentices are assessed via various methods including:

  • Reports
  • Presentations
  • Professional discussions
  • Assignments
  • Work-based projects

Apprentices will also create a portfolio of evidence throughout the programme to allow them to demonstrate how they have achieved the knowledge, skills and behaviours set out in the Apprenticeship Standard. Evidence may include reports, reflective logs, formative assessments and learning journals.

Upon completion of the programme, each apprentice will undertake the End Point Assessment which has been designed to enable the apprenticeship to be completed in accordance with the Systems Thinking Practitioner Apprenticeship Standard.

Upon completion of the degree, each apprentice will undertake the End Point Assessment. The End Point Assessment will consist of a work-based project report and presentation, a portfolio of evidence mapped to the Apprenticeship Standard KSBs and a competency-based interview.  This has been designed to enable the apprenticeship to be completed in accordance with the Degree Apprenticeship Standard. An independent assessor will assess this.


About Negotiated Learning:

All apprentices will work with their employer to agree on the central theme of their work-based learning for Negotiated Learning modules. These themes will be based on the Degree Apprenticeship Standard. Apprentices, Employers, and Mentors will come together and agree upon the preferred Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours (KSBs) that the apprentice will focus on during each module.

Entry Requirements

Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits.

The following information is designed to give you a general overview of the qualifications we accept. If you are taking qualifications that are not included below, please contact our Apprenticeship Student Admin team who will be happy to advise you.

Applicants must:

  • Hold a level 2 qualification in English Language and Maths Grade 4/C or above
  • Provide evidence of the highest achieved qualifications
  • Be employed for a minimum of 30 hours per week in a relevant role and have the support of their employer. 
  • Live and have the right to work in England (ID will be requested)

Additionally, applicants are expected to have:

  • An undergraduate degree
  • 5 years' experience in a management role

Applications who do not meet the 2 additional entry requirements in the bullet points above may be considered based on their knowledge, skills and experience. 

Once a completed evidence pack is received, applicants will undertake an initial assessment interview with the programme lead to establish their suitability for the apprenticeship.


We offer extensive support to all our apprentices - whatever their background or academic experience.

This includes access to our Peers Support Champions, Disability Services, Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Service and the Learning Hub, which offers tailored support for academic skills.

Fees and finance

Costs of programme

The cost of the full degree apprenticeship programme is £18,000.


Degree Apprenticeships are fully funded by your employer if their wage bill is over £3 million each year.

The government will fund up to 95% of the apprenticeship’s course fees, up to the relevant funding band, if the organisation has spent all its levy or has an annual wage bill below £3 million each year. Employers who do not pay the apprenticeship levy contribute 5% towards the total cost of the apprenticeship, the ESFA will contribute the other 95% directly to the University. Employers must have an account with the Apprenticeship Service Account to be able to reserve Government funding for an apprenticeship. This reservation ensures that funds will be available to pay for the training from the point the apprenticeship starts.

Read more about how levy payments work from the UK Government website.

About Leeds Trinity University

Our professional Apprenticeships combine part-time study at Leeds Trinity University with workplace training. We've been providing outstanding provision in higher education for over 50 years and have significant experience of delivering work-based learning programmes. We're proud to offer a personal and inclusive university experience that gives everyone the support they need to realise their potential. Our teaching staff have extensive and relevant professional experience.