I have been a lecturer on CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) professional marketing qualifications for Cambridge Marketing College several times in the past. Sometimes at weekend sessions at Guildford University for those on the post-graduate diploma courses and at other times in the evening in the City of London and at weekends in Frankfurt for versions of the course tailored to the needs of Professional Services sector. So I was delighted when, last year, I was invited to be a tutor on the Marketing Manager Apprenticeship – a Level 6 Qualification.
About the Marketing Manager Apprenticeship course
The learning section of the apprenticeship is up to 24 months. It works like the former day release courses – 20% of work hours are spent off-the-job training with blended learning. The college provides all the study materials online in its Learning Zone (and also some as hardcopy books). Each student has a monthly one-to-one hour-long tutorial with their tutor which focuses on their particular needs and questions.
The core elements of the syllabus include:
- Marketing concepts and theories
- Business understanding and commercial awareness
- Research and Insight
- Product, service and proposition development
To complete the apprenticeship, apprentices have to complete an End Point Assessment (EPA) which can take up to a further five months. This includes:
- A Project Showcase – three marked components based on an end-to-end Marketing Plan that the apprentice has designed and developed during the EPA with their employer
- A 70-minute Professional Discussion (with the assessor) assessing the apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours holistically
A level 6 course is an advanced-level course within the UK qualifications framework, which can be taken at a university in the form of an honours degree, or elsewhere in the form of a graduate diploma, a graduate certificate, an award, an NVQ Level 6 or a degree apprenticeship. A level 6 course requires a developed level of knowledge in the given subject, indicating on their CV and to potential employers that they have an advanced understanding of the topic at a sophisticated level.
The cost of the apprenticeship is £9,000 but there is Government support available to employers with a contribution between £1,500 and £4,000 depending on the age of the apprentice.
Apprenticeship compared to CIM Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing
Way back in 1991, I completed the four papers in the CIM Post Graduate Diploma through part-time distance learning within a year:
- Marketing Management – Planning and Control
- Marketing Communications
- International Marketing
- Marketing Management – Analysis and Decision
It was a stretch to fit the part-time study around a full-on, full-time job as a Marketing Director in the City of London especially as I was a single mum to my baby son at the time. And I have told many people that the case study paper (Analysis and Decision) was the toughest exam I have ever sat – including numerous psychology qualifications and an MBA!
The latest CIM certificate and diploma courses are described in this March 2020 post: New CIM professional marketing qualifications – 2020 (kimtasso.com)
Having said that, the apprenticeship course – which is based on the CIM Diploma – is equally demanding.
Apprenticeship Study Materials
I am particularly impressed with the Learning Zone created by Cambridge Marketing College for apprentices. It provides a week-by-week guide on exactly what needs to be studied – with links to the relevant study guides, other publications, webinars, podcasts and articles.
There are also directions for various tasks for students to undertake to put their new knowledge and skills into practice. Of course, the tasks are focused on the student’s own company and products/services so they start applying their studies to their day job straightaway with the support of their line manager. So you can see the benefit both to the students and their employers of studying this way.
Obviously, I have completed lots of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) since my marketing qualifications to stay up to date and read and reviewed many, many marketing books since (see the list below). However, as a tutor I felt it necessary to re-read the course materials – many of which are online and in video format – but include the following study excellent specially written guide books:
- Marketing and Digital Strategy
- Innovation in Marketing (I reviewed this book in August 2020 Innovation in Marketing (kimtasso.com))
- Managing Brands – written by Kiran Kapur (CEO of Cambridge Marketing College)
- A handbook on Marketing Planning – written by Malcolm McDonald
- A handbook on Product Marketing
It was reassuring to read these books (which are only available from Cambridge Marketing College when you are enrolled on one of their courses) because so much of the original theory remains relevant. But it was also enlightening – as so much has moved on and changed in marketing and business and it was good to see the latest theories, frameworks, ideas and case studies. Not least all the latest digital marketing content.
Learn more about the Marketing Manager apprenticeship
You can learn more about the Marketing Manager Apprenticeship at Cambridge Marketing College :
There are also apprenticeships for:
- Marketing Assistant (Level 3)
- Junior Content Producer (Level 3)
- Digital Marketer (Level 3)
- PR & Communications Assistant (Level 4)
- Marketing Executive (Level 4)
Marketing book reviews
Some marketing book reviews you might like to read:
Innovation in Marketing (kimtasso.com) August 2020
What books should someone read if they are starting out in professional services marketing? – Kim Tasso December 2006 – please let me know if you would like an up-to-date list (it now runs to nine pages!)
During your marketing studies you will no doubt read one of the many books written by Malcolm McDonald. He wrote the ultimate book on marketing planning. Having seen Malcolm speak on numerous occasions, it was a real pleasure to finally meet him and have a chat in summer 2021 on a boat on the Thames at a reception organised by the Worshipful Company of Marketors.