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The Advertising Industry: Certificate Courses after Graduation

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Diploma in Marketing (Dip M)

The Diploma is for people who have passed the Certificate exams or have a postgraduate qualification in business or management studies which includes marketing, or a business degree which includes marketing or a BTEC/SCOTVEC HNC/HND in Business and Finance with a marketing option.

Partial exemption may be possible for up to three of the core subjects, excluding the compulsory Marketing Management (Analysis and Decision), for holders of a degree or postgraduate qualification in which marketing was a major subject.

CIM also runs a graduate entry examination for the Diploma course with two papers on Marketing and Financial aspects. This is for graduates currently working in a marketing or sales environment.

The syllabus for the one year part time Diploma course involves a choice of four subjects in the following areas:
  • International Marketing
  • Marketing Communications
  • Marketing Financial Services
  • Marketing Planning and Control - compulsory
  • Marketing Management (Analysis and Decision) compulsory
Case studies are an important element of each examination, and the Analysis and Decision paper involves an extended case study. Examinations are held each June and December.

The Diploma is now recognized throughout the European Community, and is an academic qualification for entry to an MBA or other further degree program at a number of UK universities. The course is assessed as being equivalent to BTEC Higher National level. Diploma holders with at least three years' marketing management experience are eligible for full membership of CIM and can, if accepted, use the letters MCIM.


Courses are provided in further education (FE) colleges, universities, polytechnics and private colleges throughout the country and can be studied full time, part time or on a flexi study, open learning or case study basis. They are also available by correspondence through the Rapid Results College. Full details are available from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

City &Guilds of London Institute (C&G)

The City & Guilds Institute runs a marketing course developed jointly with the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM). It is also currently developing National Vocational Qualification (NVQs) in Advertising and Public Relations.

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

The LCCI runs Third Level Diploma courses in Advertising, Public Relations, Marketing and Purchasing. These diplomas meet the entry requirements for the CAM Certificate. The Chartered Institute of Marketing accepts Third Level passes in single subjects as alternatives to 'A' levels. Most of the higher education institutions in the UK will recognize LCCI qualifications.

Correspondence Courses

There are all kinds of reasons for preferring to study by correspondence course (or 'distance learning') rather than attending a college. Perhaps there are no suitable courses locally, you may wish to begin halfway through the academic year; you may not want to give up the same day or evening every week to attend classes or you may just prefer working on your own. However, it is more difficult to study independently without the support of other students and the stimulus of going to lectures and classes, so you need to be fairly well organized and determined, to succeed.

If you do decide to take a correspondence course, make sure the college offering the course is endorsed by the Council for the Accreditation of Correspondence Colleges. A list of accredited colleges can be found in the Education Yearbook which should be in your local reference library.

Other Courses

There is a variety of other courses suitable for people who wish to go into marketing and similar careers. These are described briefly below. If you apply to a college running one, it will be able to give you full details about the curriculum, applications, possibilities of grants etc. so contact them direct.


West Harts College

This is one of the few colleges in the country running its own specially designed courses for people in advertising. The full time or distance learning courses are highly regarded by the advertising industry. Individual modules can also be studied.

Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma in Advertising This course was set up in consultation with the Advertising Association and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and is accepted by the CAM Foundation as a qualifying exam. The Diploma is a one year full time course and is aimed at those planning a career in an agency or client company. You must be at least 18 and have five GCE/GCSE (Grade A C) passes and two 'A' levels or a BTEC/SCOTVEC National Award.

The Postgraduate Diploma is a condensed version of the Diploma, running full time over six months for graduates or holders of a BTEC/SCOTVEC Higher National Diploma in Business Studies. For both courses there is an additional entry test and interview.

The course is project oriented and covers the following subjects: advertising; marketing; marketing research; media; copy writing and design; production; management; and other subjects psychology, advertising law, computing, interviewing techniques and presentation skills.

Copy writing

A few higher level courses on copy writing are now available. In addition, it is possible to study this topic on a short course such as the two day course run by Book House Training Centre at least four times a year, although this is designed primarily for people working in publishing.

Media and Communication Studies

Media: Media courses come in all shapes and sizes and some are more interactive and business oriented than others. Consult the appropriate, up to date, prospectuses for the institutions in which you are interested to discover the precise format and marketing related content.

Communication Studies: These are multidisciplinary courses, which include studies in sociology, psychology and linguistics, and the relationship between culture and society. They can be of interest to people looking for careers in advertising, public relations and marketing, but courses do not provide professional training.

Publishing: Specific courses on publishing, covering marketing techniques, are now more widely available. Established courses are run by Oxford Brookes University and Napier University, Edinburgh.

Art: Many of the visual arts, and even some fine arts, courses are now more commercially oriented and include options in marketing and other aspects of business.

Design: Many designs courses, whether general or concentrating on illustration, 3 D, graphics, animation or photography, incorporate some elements of marketing related study. This can include advertising, packaging, point of sale or editorial, together with more standard marketing topics. A handful covers corporate image design, which can be studied exclusively at Southampton Institute of Higher Education.

Graphic Design

Packaging Design: BA Hons courses exist, such as the one at West Surrey College of Art and Design, which encompasses media advertising, marketing and brand management.

Product Design: Marketing is closely related to new product development and design, and a number of courses do recognize this, particularly those specializing in industrial product design, such as the project based BA Hons in Product Design Marketing at the University of Teesside. This covers psychology and the politics of design, market research, consumer behavior, international marketing and contemporary issues, as well as all conventional industrial design study areas.

Film, Television and Video, and Photography Courses

Specialized training courses for film and television production are offered at the London International Film School and the National Film and Television School. This is a popular area for study, so relevant experience and potential are important.

These subjects are also often offered as an option in multi disciplinary courses. Check the college prospectuses for course content.

Various courses are offered at higher education institutions. See Careers in Film and Video and Careers in Television and Radio (both published by Cogan Page) for more information.

Subject specific Courses

Marketing is now a fundamental element of study on a variety of courses, from food science and fashion and footwear, to agriculture and retail.
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