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Syllabus and Modules

Professional Diploma in Marketing

Typical Profile of Level 6 Learner and Potential Target Market

The consultation process showed that the typical profiles of people taking our Level 6 qualification and hence the target market for this qualification are the following:

  • Average age mid to late 20’s
  • Operational marketers
  • Departmental managers
  • Functional managers
  • Product/brand managers
  • Account managers
  • Agency managers
  • Marketing executives
  • Business development managers

Guidance for Student Entry Criteria

Following feedback from the consultation process and analysis of students who pass CIM qualifications first time have suggested that we should revise our entry criteria for students coming onto our Professional Diploma in Marketing. This means that only graduates with at least a third of their credits in marketing should now start their CIM studies with the Professional Diploma in Marketing. Those with fewer should start with the Professional Certificate rather than the Diploma unless they can demonstrate that they have sufficient marketing knowledge by passing the Level 6 entry Test. This being the case, the entry criteria have been revised to be:

  • Any business or marketing Bachelors or Masters Degree (or equivalent) where a minimum of one third of the credits come from marketing (i.e. 120 credits in Bachelors degrees or 60 credits with Masters Degrees) OR
  • Experience in a marketing management role that has provided potential students with knowledge and competence equivalent to the learning outcomes of the CIM Professional Certificate in Marketing and is sufficient to pass the Entry Test to Level 6.

QCA Descriptors of a Level 6 Qualification

This qualification has been designed to meet the QCA descriptors for a level 6 qualification, which are for students to be able to:

Critically review, consolidate and extend a systematic and coherent body of knowledge

  • Utilise highly specialist technical or scholastic skills across an area of study and utilise research skills
  • Critically evaluate new information, concepts and evidence from a range of sources
  • Begin to lead multiple, complex and heterogeneous groups and exercise
  • Judgement in a number of complex planning, design, technical and/or management functions related to products, services, operations or processes including resources
  • Ultimately, students are expected to transfer and apply diagnostic and creative skills in a range of situations

Job Roles Relevant to Learners Taking this Level 6 Marketing Qualification

The tasks that employers expected people with a level 6 marketing qualification to be able to perform at work included:

  • People management
  • Budget management/bidding for budget
  • Team leadership and management
  • Assessing risk
  • Project management
  • Resource co-ordination
  • Delivering the value proposition and marketing success
  • Managing marketing intelligence
  • Problem solving
  • Implementing the strategic business/marketing plan
  • Measurement and control
  • Channel management
  • Leading on NPD and innovation
  • Communications – internal/external
  • Agency management/account handling


Unit 1: The Marketing Planning Process
  • Work based assignment involving the preparation of a marketing plan

Unit 2: Delivering Customer Value through Marketing
  • Three hour unseen examination based on a pre-seen case material

Unit 3: Managing Marketing
  • Work-based assignment

Unit 4: Project Management in Marketing
  • Work-based project requiring an in-depth study of a specific and focused area of business activity

Outline of Modules

Unit 1 – The Marketing Planning Process

Unit Characteristics

This unit is designed to provide a detailed understanding of marketing planning, including the synergistic planning process and its links with the delivery of marketing strategy. It also considers a thorough assessment of the dynamic and complex nature of the marketing environment and its impact on developing marketing plans to achieve strategic outcomes and competitive advantage in the market place.

The unit includes significant consideration of segmentation, targeting and positioning, with a view to developing sophisticated approaches to targeting customers and the development of effective positioning strategies, all based upon a sound assessment of market segment opportunities and value.

By the end of this unit, students should be able to apply the concept of the marketing planning process to a variety of organisational contexts and sectors, and to account for their varying goals when developing marketing plans. They should be able to demonstrate their ability to relate the challenges posed by a dynamic marketing environment to the marketing planning needs of different organisations and to devise appropriate, innovative positioning strategies in response to environmental changes.

Overarching Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Evaluate the role of the marketing planning process and the marketing plan implementation in a range of marketing contexts including that of the organisation’s strategy, culture and broader marketing environment
  • Evaluate the interconnectivity between corporate, business and marketing objectives and consider the impact of the external marketing environment and the organisation’s resources on their development and achievement
  • Conduct a marketing audit including a detailed analysis of the internal and external marketing environments
  • Assess the findings of the audit and develop a marketing plan that is responsive to market and organisational changes and underpins the organisation’s marketing strategy, Determine the importance of segmentation, targeting and positioning and their relative interdependencies and develop effective segmentation, targeting and positioning strategies which are innovative, cost effective, valuable and maximise the potential marketing opportunities successfully
  • Utilise a range of positioning platforms including price, quality, service and brand perception, to establish an organisation’s marketing positioning strategy
  • Recognise the significance of retaining existing customers through relationship marketing when developing strategies to achieve marketing objectives

Unit 2 – Delivering Customer Value through Marketing

Unit Characteristics

The unit’s primary focus is the development and execution of marketing activities that have been designed to achieve customer satisfaction and meet organisational objectives, through effective marketing mix strategies which deliver stakeholder value.

The unit includes the development of the product portfolio, managing marketing channels, managing the communications mix and managing the service expectations of customers.

The unit examines the use of the marketing mix to achieve an organisation’s corporate and marketing objectives, and to deliver marketing activities which reflect the desired positioning of the organisation’s products and services in addition to its brand values.

By the end of the unit, students should be able to apply the marketing mix and determine strategies that deliver highly effective and competitive marketing activities that meet customer needs and organisational objectives, in different organisational contexts and sectors. Students should be aware that the unit addresses marketing in the context of both domestic and international activities.

Overarching Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Develop and manage a brand and product portfolio in the context of the organisation’s marketing strategies and objectives
  • Develop and implement an effective and efficient channel management strategy which reflects the needs of stakeholders and considers the impact of the external environment
  • Develop an effective and innovative communications strategy and plan which clearly delivers the organisation’s proposition to the market, through effective segmentation and targeting of internal and external markets
  • Utilise an innovative and effective integrated marketing mix to reinforce the organisation’s brand values and overall marketing proposition and competitive advantage
  • Determine customer requirements for product and service delivery to ensure the marketing proposition is customer-focused , efficient and effective

Unit 3 – Managing Marketing

Unit Characteristics

The focus of this unit is about developing the marketer as a manager, including giving them the knowledge and understanding required to develop and manage the marketing infrastructure and the organisation’s talent development, capability and capacity. This includes developing effective quality systems and processes to support compliance and approaches to measuring and monitoring marketing activities.

The unit also includes developing and managing marketing teams, which includes co-ordinating the human, financial and physical resources within the team effectively.Finally, the unit includes developing a detailed understanding of managing the financial aspects of the marketing function and its associated activities in order to ensure that the financial performance of the function is consistent, reliable and effective.

By the end of this unit, students should be able to demonstrate how they would approach the management of the marketing function and its associated marketing teams, including effective resource and financial management.

Overarching Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Recommend how a marketing function should be structured to deliver competitive advantage, marketing and organisational success
  • Assess a range of approaches that can be used to manage the marketing function on a day-to-day basis
  • Prepare plans for showing how a team should be structured, selected, formed, managed and developed to demonstrate effective performance against objectives
  • Critically assess the organisation’s resource needs and capabilities for the marketing team and manage its marketing activities effectively and efficiently
  • Prepare appropriate budgets and accounting documentation to support the financial management of the marketing function and associated marketing activities
  • Critically assess the ongoing financial situation including manageability of the budget, financial stability and success of the marketing function

Unit 4 – Project Management in Marketing

Unit Characteristics

This unit will focus on the proactive development and delivery of a justified management process to support the initiation, implementation and control of marketing projects, including the use of research and information and preparing proposals and briefs to identify needs comprehensively.

The unit will also focus upon evaluating marketing project proposals and prioritising them on the basis of fit with market conditions, organisational capacity, competitor activity and strategic management, while concurrently managing the associated risk of implementing particular plans.

Ultimately, the unit will also cover the implementation of marketing proposals including an in-depth view of project management, but also integrating knowledge from the other units at this level.

By the end of this unit, students should be able to develop an effective business case within different organisational contexts and justify their project proposals in terms of fit with the marketing strategy, evaluation of risk and the effective use of organisational capacity and capability.

Overarching Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

  • Identify the organisation’s information needs, scope of research projects and resource capability to underpin the development of a business case to support marketing projects
  • Develop an effective business case, complete with justifications, financial assessments and consideration of the organisation’s resource capacity and capability to deliver
  • Undertake a risk assessment programme with suggestions on how to mitigate for risks facing the organisation and the achievement of its business and marketing objectives
  • Design, develop and plan significant marketing programmes, using project management tools and techniques, designed to deliver marketing projects effectively, in terms of quality, resource and delivery
  • Integrate a range of marketing tools and techniques to support the development and implementation of a range of marketing projects
  • Monitor and measure the effectiveness and outcomes of marketing projects through the end-to-end project process

The correct combination of subjects ought to be followed if a student is offering two or three modules. (units 1 & 2 should be offered if two modules are followed, and units 1,2&3 if three modules are followed)
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