Keen to study a marketing course? From professional certifications to postgraduate diplomas, there are plenty of options available. But with so many courses to choose from, how do you decide which one is right for you?
Read on as we share our beginner’s guide to studying marketing.
1. Marketing Degrees
If you’ve already studied A levels or you have some experience in a marketing related role, a bachelor’s degree could be a good option for you. You’ll learn how to develop brands, how to communicate the value of their products and how to implement successful marketing campaigns.
Because marketing is a business-focused subject, most degree courses require a combination of creativity and analytical skills. Opt for a BA and you’ll find that the focus is on marketing communications and creativity, whereas BSc programmes emphasise the quantitative, analytical side of marketing.
While entry requirements for marketing degree courses do vary, you’ll generally need several A levels or some equivalent level 3 qualifications. English, media studies and business are considered to be particularly relevant subjects.
If you find a degree course you’re interested in, it’s worth checking out whether it’s part of the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Graduate Gateway Programme. This allows students on some marketing courses to gain a professional qualification or award while they study. They may also gain exemptions from some CIM modules.
Popular marketing roles
2. Digital Marketing Degrees
Every marketing degree covers offline and online marketing, but if you’re passionate about all things digital, why not take a digital marketing degree? This will give you the opportunity to gain specialist skills in website marketing, social media marketing, Pay-per-Click, search engine optimisation and email marketing.
Popular digital marketing roles
3. Online Marketing Degrees
If you need to fit your studies around your job or family, you could consider taking an online marketing degree. As well as allowing you to study at your own pace, these programmes tend to have more flexible entry requirements, particularly if you have some marketing experience.
When it comes to finding your first job, your career options include working for an in-house marketing department or joining a marketing agency. Alternatively, you could opt for one of the marketing graduate schemes that are run by established companies such as BT, KPMG, Virgin Media and L’Oreal. This is a great way to gain access to extra support and training.
4. Postgraduate Marketing Courses
Already graduated? Then you’re qualified to apply for an MSc or MA in marketing, even if your degree isn’t related to the subject. However, unless you have several years of work experience in a related field, you will need at least a 2:2.
Master’s degrees tend to cover more specialised areas of marketing such as public relations, branding and identity or marketing management, but there are some more general courses on offer. For example, the Institute of Data and Marketing runs an online postgraduate diploma which covers digital enterprise, strategy, campaign finance, digital channels and more.
5. Professional Courses
If you’re new to marketing or your job involves a few marketing responsibilities, professional marketing courses are a great option, as they allow you to develop your skills in stages, gaining qualifications as you go. There are a wide range of courses available from level 3 to level 7 (postgraduate), and most of them can be delivered online or in class. Here are some examples.
The Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM)
Available to study online, in-class or via a combination of the two, IDM’s marketing courses range from entry-level awards to postgraduate level diplomas. Entry requirements are based on experience, rather than academic qualifications.
If you’re new to marketing, these will give you a solid foundation in one specific area. Subjects available include:
- Content marketing
- Data and analysis
- Data driven marketing
- Digital marketing
- Direct mail
- Email marketing
- SEO and PPC
- Digital copywriting
If you’re a senior professional marketer with a few years of experience, IDM’s level 7 diplomas are for you. They include:
- Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing
- Postgraduate Diploma in Data Driven Marketing
If you’ve already started your marketing career, a level 5 certificate will help you to develop expertise in a specialised area. Qualifications include:
- Advanced Certificate in Digital Copywriting
- Professional Certificate in Social Media Marketing
Aimed at professionals who have been working in marketing for over 18 months, these qualifications will enable you to deepen your skills and knowledge. There are two diplomas on offer:
- Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing
- Professional Diploma in Data Driven Marketing
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM)
If you take one of the CIM’s module-based courses, you’ll receive an internationally recognised qualification from the UK’s leading professional marketing body. Available online and in class, the CIM’s entry requirements include experience and relevant qualifications.
These entry-level certificates are ideal for aspiring marketers or marketers in a junior role, as they cover essential skills and knowledge.
- Foundation Certificate in Professional Marketing
- Foundation Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing
Designed to develop strategic marketing skills, these degree level diplomas are aimed at marketing managers and marketers in operational or supervisory roles. To apply, you’ll need two years of operational level experience, a relevant level four qualification or a degree that includes 30% marketing content.
- Diploma in Professional Marketing
- Diploma in Professional Digital Marketing
Both of the CIM’s Level 4 certificate courses include two mandatory modules and one optional module. Each module is also available to take as a standalone award. To sign up, you’ll need a CIM level three certificate, a UK degree, or one year in a marketing role.
- Certificate in Professional Marketing
- Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing
Created for marketers who want to develop their leadership skills and their ability to think strategically, this postgraduate programme includes two mandatory modules and one elective module. To access this course, you’ll need five years work experience at senior marketing management level, and of the following:
- A CMI level 6 marketing qualification
- A CIM Advanced Certificate in Marketing
- A CIM Digital Diploma in Professional Marketing
- A business/marketing degree or master’s degree, where at least 50% of modules are related to marketing.