Which CIM course is best?

Kiran Kapur | 17 September 2019

Confused about the many CIM qualifications available to you? Do you need some help finding out which is best for your marketing career? 

We often get asked questions about the right CIM qualification to take. This includes which level is most suitable for the individual and the content involved. The answer varies depending on work experience and education so far, as well as what you're looking for.

Are you currently looking into a professional qualification to help enhance your career? Here is a quick guide to help you distinguish which might be best for you.

Can I study CIM whilst working?

Studying alongside working is always a challenge, but the part-time CIM courses have been specially designed to fit alongside the lives of professionals. Their flexibility allows students to study in their own time from home in the lead up to assessments. Here at the College, we give students the added benefit of evening or weekend classes, if they wish to attend, to further stimulate their online learning in the presence of their tutor and peers. 

At the end of your studies, you gain an internationally recognised qualification, and on the way, you’ll learn useful skills to make you stand out in your workplace. College Alumnus and now tutor, Lucy Lehane, talks about her experience as a student, whilst working full time, in this short video:


CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) has supported, represented and developed marketers for over 100 years. The CIM is the world’s leading professional marketing body with over 30,000 members worldwide, including more than 3,000 Chartered Marketers. CIM has a global reputation as a centre of excellence and its qualifications are recognised worldwide.

Which CIM level is best for me?

3 easy ways to help you:

  • In less than a minute, our Level Finder will recommend the most suitable level for you to start at in just 3-4 questions.
  • Want to have more reassurance? Take the CIM 40 question test, which analyses your marketing knowledge and will give you a recommendation of your level.
  • Contact us or use our chat facility below.

Should I study a digital or non-digital CIM course?

There are now digital qualifications at 3 CIM levels:

  • CIM Foundation Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing
  • CIM Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing
  • CIM Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing

Alongside the non-digital qualifications:

  • CIM Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing
  • CIM Certificate in Professional Marketing
  • CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing

You need to think about where you want your career to go, and if there are specific areas that interest you.

Some employers might prefer one or the other, but most will take the view that you have a Level 3, 4 or 6 CIM qualification, which will demonstrate your marketing knowledge and commitment to your career. The most important part is to choose what interests you, as you have to devote the time to studying it.

Can I take both digital and non-digital CIM courses?

Yes. 

For CIM Certificate (level 4) and Diploma (level 6), you could have both qualifications by taking just 4 modules: 2 mandatory modules and both elective modules. 

For the CIM Foundation (level 3), you could have both qualifications by taking just 3 modules: 1 mandatory module and both elective modules.

When can I start my CIM course?

For online learning, you can start at any time. Enrol and get started.

For classes, you must enrol a minimum of 2 weeks before the class starts. You can view our next start dates by selecting your course and viewing them at the top of the page. Be aware that our class sizes are capped to ensure a good experience, so don’t delay. 

Can I spread the cost of my CIM course?

Yes.

There is the cost of the College’s tuition fees, and the cost of the CIM membership (£65 per year) and assessment fee (between £105 and £185 per module, depending on your level).

For the College’s fee, you can spread the cost if you have a UK bank account. Make an initial payment of £300.00 and £70.00 administration fee by credit/debit card, then spread the remaining amount (number of months depends on course level). 

Still not sure which CIM course is best?

You can always ask us for more information or discuss your particular circumstances by contacting us or our chat facility at the bottom of this screen.

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