Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA) Charity BA (Hons)

Part-time, work-based, degree apprenticeship undergraduate (4 years)

Chelmsford, Blended learning


This course is delivered through blended learning: work-based study, online through our Learning Management System, Canvas, plus six business education workshops per year on our Chelmsford campus (or your employer's choice of venue for larger groups).


Building on the success of our Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship (CMDA), and including material from ARU’s ground breaking suite of third sector leadership courses, this is a specialist university qualification aimed at those wishing to build a career in charity or social enterprise management. Gain a BA (Hons) Management degree, and become a Chartered Manager (part of the Chartered Management Institute), while you work, with fees funded by your employer and the Government.

Find out more about teaching options and studying during COVID-19 in the Entry requirements section, below.

Full description
The CMI are delighted to partner with ARU in the delivery of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. Developing future leadership capability is key to driving the growth of our economy.
Keith Richardson
Head of Higher Education Partner Development, CMI


Whether you’re aspiring to become a professional manager or you have leadership experience, our CMDA Charity will arm you with the professional skills you need to enhance your leadership career, whether in the UK’s 200,000 charities and 100,000 social enterprises, or in similar organisations around the world.

The work-based project gives you the opportunity to focus on topics relevant to your employer, and to make recommendations for improved business performance.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Understanding Work-Based Learning
    Provides skills essential for success on this course, being both preparatory and supportive, to build a strong foundation for the development of academic and professional skills.
  • Managing People, Customers and Markets
    This module focuses on key elements of management. You will examine organisational structures, the role of the manager within the organisation, and the practical skills of managing people. You will also analyse markets, internal and external stakeholders and supply chain management.
  • Managing a Sustainable Business
    How do organisations respond to a rapidly changing world and build sustainable business? How do environmental and ethical issues impact upon business and can these issues present opportunities to organisations?

Year two, core modules

  • Third Sector Leadership and Management
    Leadership in the modern third sector requires successful delivery against social objectives while ensuring the financial sustainability of the organisation, and leaders in turn need to possess a distinct set of skills from those in other sectors. This module develops your knowledge of the functional requirements of your role, and introduces techniques to enable you to lead your organisation in a competitive and dynamic environment.
  • Managing Projects and Organisatonal Change
    This module focuses on the skills and knowledge associated with delivering a successful business project. Projects often bring change, so the module also examines strategies and practical tools to manage change within organisations.
  • Work-Based Project
    Building on the plan developed in Work Based Practice, you will be given the opportunity to undertake this work-based project in your organisation. This project may relate to any of the major business disciplines including marketing, human resource management, accounting and finance, IT or business strategy.

Year three, core modules

  • Social Enterprise Theory and Practice
    Social Enterprises are businesses which trade for a social or environmental purpose, rather than private profit. Since the late 1990s there has been increasing interest in this approach to business, from third sector organisations and responsible businesses alike, an interest which is also reflected in the academic world. This module combines an overview of theoretical approaches to the subject of social enterprise, with an analysis of social enterprise business models in practice. You will also be asked to evaluate your own organisation in the light of this knowledge. You will examine the differences between social enterprise and its counterparts in the private sector and among traditionally funded social mission driven organisations such as charities. In particular, we will explore the challenges around legal structures, finance and funding, as well as the parallel topic of social entrepreneurship. There will also be a focus on the key competence of social impact measurement. The assignment is the preparation of a report in three parts: theory, practice, plans, and on completion of this module you will be better placed to lead a social mission driven organisation.
  • Financial Management and Financial Forecasting
    Managing finance is a core element of any business activity. This module is designed for people with a non-financial background, covering issues such as budgets, budgetary control, and applying financial data to make decisions. It then goes on to focus on financial forecasting to increase income for new projects and maintain competitive advantage.
  • Strategic Management
    This module addresses strategy and examines an organisation within its strategic and competitive context. You will consider the strategic options open to an organisation and evaluate the practical impact of strategic choices, especially on people, resources and systems.

Year four, core modules

  • Work-Based Major Project
    This final project module enables you to build on your learning throughout the course to carry out an in-depth project dealing with an issue that is relevant to you and your work.
  • Scaling Up and Growing Impact
    While recognised as capable of finding innovative solutions to social problems, third sector organisations are often undercapitalised and thus have difficulty in generating similar impact on a wider scale. This module looks at the motivations for attempting to scale up, before examining a range of approaches to growing impact, such as: introducing more product lines; mergers and acquisitions; branching; social franchising and other affiliation models; and disseminating effective practice.
  • Reflections on Practice and Career Progression
    In this module, you will assess your progress through the course, evaluate your practical and leadership skills and plan your future personal and career development.


The End Point Assessment is made up of four assessment areas. You will:

  1. Produce a portfolio of workplace evidence throughout the duration of your apprenticeship
  2. Identify, deliver and evaluate a work-based project
  3. Deliver a short presentation about your project outcomes, objectives and outputs
  4. Be interviewed about your project and portfolio by a panel comprising of Anglia Ruskin, your employer and an independent assessor from CMI.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

You have a highly active mind and see opportunity everywhere. Now you need theory and life-changing skills to sharpen your approach to management. At the Faculty of Business & Law, you will immerse yourself in a multicultural environment where technology blends with teaching to create a dynamic and innovative learning environment. An environment to help you gain those skills.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Blended learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our learning management system.

More about blended learning

Fees & funding

Course fees

Degree apprenticeships are fully funded by your employer and the Government


Entry requirements

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You will need:

  • You’re expected to have at least 80 UCAS Tariff Points at A-level or NVQ level 3 (or equivalent), and Maths and English *GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade C or above.
  • If you have relevant work experience but no traditional qualifications, or if you have other professional qualifications (eg ILM, CMI), we still encourage you to apply as all applications are considered on an individual basis.
  • You’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.
  • If English is not your first language, you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 or equivalent.

If you don’t meet the above requirements your application will be considered on a case by case basis and may require an interview. *This is with the exception of ESFA approved Level 2 Maths and English qualifications, which are mandatory.

Course offers can only be made if approved Level 2 certificates are provided prior to the start of the course.
For further details about which qualifications meet Level 2 requirements download this document from the website

Do you have access to your certificates? 
If not please be made aware that locating lost certificates can take up to 6 weeks. You can apply for lost certificates on the website at a cost of around £40.00.

Studying during COVID-19

Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face teaching on campus for a limited number of courses. Visit our restrictions page for details.

In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic the majority of our apprenticeship courses are being delivered online only using our established online learning systems. The provision offered is subject to change due to the possibility of further Government restrictions, however the University remains committed to delivering teaching and ensuring a COVID-19 secure environment for those that are on campus.

View the impact of the current restrictions.

Apply now