Which CIM course? CIM Certificate or CIM Diploma?

Which CIM qualification?

CIM Certificate or CIM Diploma?

You’ve decided to study a CIM qualification but which one? Checking out various websites can help but can still seem confusing. You may fit some eligibility criteria but not others?  You may have picked up that CIM sets eligibility criteria for each qualification as a guide, but this isn’t set in stone, so always speak to your study centre before signing up.

This article will focus on the difference between the CIM Certificate (level 4) and CIM Diploma (level 6) qualifications.   Overall, the Certificate focuses on the operational aspects of marketing where the Diploma focuses more on the strategic side.

A good starting point to help you identify which level is right for you is to align your current marketing experience and qualifications with the profiles detailed below.  For both qualifications, you will need a mix.  Have a read and see where you think you fit!


The CIM Certificate

This qualification is aimed at you if already working in a marketing support role and are keen to further develop your tactical marketing skills, such as managing a company’s social media, developing promotional campaigns, learning what makes their customers ‘tick’ and gaining an idea of how their work contributes to the marketing plan.


Most students studying for this qualification, have at least one year’s experience in a marketing role.  They often have ‘A’ levels or a non-marketing related degree and may be employed in the role of marketing assistant, events co-ordinator, marketing officer, social media officer etc.


The Certificate will help you learn the language of marketing (using the correct terminology for processes/jobs you regularly carry out), further develop your tactical marketing skills and, most importantly build your confidence, maybe to apply for a Marketing Manager role or gain a promotion.

You will study two mandatory modules (Applied Marketing and Planning Campaigns) plus one elective.  Depending on your focus for future marketing roles, you may choose either

Customer Insights or Digital Marketing Techniques, (or both if you want to impress employers with a ‘dual-qualification’.


The CIM Diploma

The Diploma course operates at a higher, more strategic level and is aimed at those working in a more senior marketing role, maybe currently as a marketing manager looking to develop and formalise their strategic marketing skills.  At this higher level, you will be expected to have assumed marketing knowledge, for example you will know what the 7Ps are and how to use them effectively, you will have some knowledge of consumer behaviour and you will understand the role of marketing research.  Most students studying for the Diploma, have at least three year’s marketing experience in a role where they might be currently developing full marketing plans.  They often have a business related/marketing degree or a CIM Certificate in Marketing to back up this experience.

You will be studying with like-minded senior marketers to fully develop your strategic marketing skills, equipping you for future roles in the Boardroom.  As part of this qualification and depending on which route you choose (digital or traditional) you will learn how to develop a robust strategic marketing plan, write a business case for developing innovation, develop and deliver a brand plan and/or optimise your digital marketing plan.

Regardless of which qualification you choose (the CIM Diploma or the CIM Digital Diploma), you will study the Marketing & Digital Strategy module.  CIM Diploma students will then study the Innovation in Marketing module and then choose one from Managing Brands, The Digital Customer Experience or Resource Management.  Digital Diploma students will then study Digital Optimisation and The Digital Customer Experience.


Do you feel that you may fall in between levels?

Lots of student feel that they fall between levels, some with more experience but fewer qualifications and others with a solid marketing education but less experience. You’re not alone and we can help!  If you are unsure which level is right for you, book a 121 with a course advisor here – https://calendly.com/londonmarketingset/30min

We can identify any knowledge gaps and put a plan in place to help guide you to what you will need to do pre-course so you can be confident it’s the right course and level for you.



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