Intermediate Diploma in HRM

I was wondering if anybody could give me a bit of advice? I have been working in HR for the past 2 years. I completed my Level 3 Diploma in HR Practice back in June, with the aim of starting the Level 5 Diploma in September. However the college that I had completed the level 3 with are no longer running CIPD courses. I visited another college a few weeks ago to see if it would be suitable for me to complete level 5 there, however the tutor actually recommended I skip the level 5 & go straight for the level 7. I am 21 & completed A-Levels at 6th form college, therefore he felt I could handle working at the higher level. However I am not too sure if I am ready to work at this level.

I'm now really confused what I should be doing! This level 5 course starts in a few weeks, therefore I feel I am running out of time to make a decision. Due to the time of year, I am also worried that I have missed the start of all the level 7 courses. Plus I would struggle to afford the level 7 courses at the stage.

As I mentioned, I am young therefore do want to do "something" in terms of a qualification. So do I leave it a year, maybe look into payroll courses & enhance my experience through work based learning?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!



  • Hi Amy,

    I completed my Level 3 last year and I started my Level 5 Diploma in HRM in September.

    My friend is doing her Level 7 but there is stuff that you learn in your Level 5 that i feel is important to know and isnt covered in the Level 7.

    I am very happy that i decided to do the Level 5 first as i am finding it difficult and feel it would have been very hard for me if i skipped to Level 7.

    Hope this helps and good luck with your studies.

  • Thanks for your advice Charlotte. That's reaffirmed in my head that I should not do the level 7 just yet!



  • Hi Amy,

    I am currently studying at Level 7 and it is really a lot of hard work and quite expensive. One piece of advice I would give is - make sure your company support you by giving you time off to study, especially before exams and try to hunt out someone who you can bounce ideas off and who would be willing to read your assignments to review and pass comment on them before you hand them in.

    Good luck!

  • Thanks for your advice Genevieve. I think it will be a little while before I start my Level 7!



  • Hi Amy,
    Merely considering your age and professional experience I would advise you to go for level 5 first. You will be surprised of how senior some of your fellow students will be at that level already, which massively shapes discussions, interactions and group dynamics. Typical jobs related to a level 7 diploma (which, after all, is the highest professional qualification you can get...) will be out of your reach anyway for a couple of years, won't they?
    Good luck!
  • Hi Amy,

    I completed the Level 3 in June last year and started the level 5 in September and the expectations are much greater already, assignments are double the word count, lots more academic reading, the expected standard of research and writing is just overall much higher.

    Some of my level 3 classmates are now studying the Level 7 however from what i can gather you really need to be in a more strategic role and have the power to make decisions and implement change - to be honest, seeing an old classmate 'check in' to the library on facebook at 10pm and not leave until the early hours of the morning and put me off doing the level 7!

    I think once you start your level 5 you will be confident that you have made the right decision, and like me you can put the level 7 on hold until your career compliments the study.
  • Hi Amy,

    I am 25 and have completed my Level 3 and Level 5, and looking to start Level 7 later this year or beginning of next. I would suggest doing 5 before moving straight onto 7 as they are very different and the amount of work involved in 7 is crazy compared to 3 and 5.

    I thought Level 3 was hard when I did it a few years ago, then moved onto Level 5 a year later and realised how easy we had it in Level 3 at the college I went too! I know a few people on Level 7 and it is advanced, not to mention the bigger assignments, dissertation and exams to fit in! (Hence why its 2 years)

    Level 5 is important to do, unless you were in a more senior role I am assuming, then you could go to Level 7.

    All the best for Level 5 when you decide to go onto it, I learnt a lot!
  • Kerry

    | 9 Posts


    22 Aug, 2017 11:35

    Hi Amy, it's not necessarily age related - i'm 42! I did my level 3 as day release back in 2005, so it's been a long time since I studied and wrote academically. I had the option of doing level 7, but made the decision to start with level 5 to give myself the confidence to do level 7 in the future if I want to - but I actually think level 5 will be enough, as i don't want to progress to a HRD role in the future. I'm doing it online through Avado and am enjoying it so far.
  • Clare

    | 72 Posts


    23 Aug, 2017 15:59

    I've previously posted about the same issue - www2.cipd.co.uk/.../61079
    (hope this link works!).
    For Mixed mode/distance learning Level 7 was just too strategic, but I have other colleagues in my team with less HR experience who are studying part time at a university and doing well.
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