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How Much Does a CIM Qualification Cost?

Marketing can be a tricky field to get into or progress in if you don’t have the right set of skills, knowledge and experience.

Luckily though, there are a range of qualifications available to help you get the essential knowledge you need to progress in the profession.

Some of the most popular are CIM qualifications. But how much does a CIM qualification actually cost?

What is CIM?

The Chartered Institute of Marketing is one of the world’s largest professional marketing bodies, with over 30,000 members. It’s responsible for maintaining high standards in the marketing industry in the UK and worldwide.

It provides a range of marketing qualifications at a variety of levels, helping professionals progress their careers in the industry and improve their skillsets.

In 1992, the EU even named CIM as its "preferred professional marketing qualification through member states", reflecting how highly regarded qualifications from this body are held internationally.

What affects the cost of an CIM qualification?

There are several factors that will affect how much a CIM qualification costs to study:

1. The level of your qualification

CIM qualifications are categorised according to their level. Levels range from 3 to 7 and each reflect a different level of difficulty. A Level 3 qualification is the easiest, whilst a Level 7 qualification is the most advanced.

CIM Level 3

These are designed for junior marketing professionals or for people who do not have much marketing experience and want to take their first serious steps in the industry.

Example: CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate in Marketing

CIM Level 4

CIM Level 4 courses are aimed at marketing executives who have some experience of the industry and who want to enhance their existing skills and knowledge.

Example: CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing

CIM Level 6

CIM Level 6 courses are for marketing managers and people in supervisory roles in the industry. They’re designed to improve your strategic knowledge and management abilities, whilst enhancing your specialist marketing knowledge.

This course is equivalent to the level of an undergraduate degree.

CIM Level 7

CIM Level 7 courses are designed for senior managers who have extensive experience of marketing and want to further develop their strategic thinking skills and management abilities.

This course is equivalent to the level of a postgraduate degree.

2. How you study a CIM course

The way that you study a CIM qualification will usually affect how much you pay for it. There are usually two ways to study:

  • In person, at a learning establishment like a college or university
  • Online, through an online CIM provider

Studying face-to-face in a classroom environment can be great if you struggle with finding the motivation to complete courses. The fact that the course takes place at a set time and place each week can improve your motivation for completing the course. 

Classroom study can also be useful if you’re the type of person who finds they learn best in a group, interacting with tutors and classmates.

Online CIM study, on the other hand, has become increasingly popular in recent years – for good reason. The course materials are all delivered remotely and you can access and complete the course at any time you want.

Many people find that it offers excellent flexibility, and as a result, it’s found favour with people who want to study but have prior commitments like a full-time job or family. 

Whether a course is delivered online or physically will have an impact on its price. Generally, an online course will be cheaper than a physical course.

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3. Any optional extras you include in your course

Some course providers offer extra products and services that you can effectively bolt-on to your course. Some offer extended periods of personal support from a tutor, whilst others offer things like proofreading.

 Bear in mind that if you choose to take advantage of any of these it might push the cost of your course up slightly.

So, how much does a CIM qualification cost?

The price of a CIM qualification will vary between different learning providers which means that if you shop around you can usually find a good deal. Here are the average costs you can expect.

How much does a CIM Level 3 Foundation Certificate Cost?

  • Around £900

Best for: Junior marketing professionals, people looking to start a career in the industry

How much does a CIM Level 4 Certificate Cost?

  • Around £1,150

Best for: Marketing professionals with some experience of the industry

How much does a CIM Level 6 Diploma Cost?

  • Around £2,100

Best for: Marketing executives with several years’ experience of the sector

How much does a CIM Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma?

  • Around £2,500

Best for: Senior professionals in the marketing sector who are responsible for directing strategy

Extra costs when studying CIM

There are a few extra costs that you may have to consider with when it comes to studying a CIM qualification.

Membership costs

You’ll need to become an affiliate member of the CIM for the period that you’re studying, which carries a £65 fee for all levels.


You may need to pay for materials like textbooks over the duration of your course, so make sure you factor this in. The price will obviously vary depending on the specific course you’re following – speak to your learning provider to find out what they recommend and what’s included in their course fee.

Assessment fees

Another cost that you’ll have to factor in when it comes to the overall price of your qualification is exams. Each exam that you take will carry an administration cost that goes towards the costs associated with taking the exam (invigilator wages, venue hire, materials etc.). These vary depending on the specific course that you’re taking. You can find the exact costs for your course by checking the CIM website.

Interest-Free Payment Plans

A lot of students can worry about whether they’ll be able to afford stumping up a large amount of money at the start of the course, so most providers have payment plans in place to help spread the cost.

One of the most effective are interest-free payment plans (like the ones we offer). In this type of plan, you break the cost of your course down into smaller, monthly payments over a given period of time. This type of payment can help you to spread the cost and study now – even if you don’t have the whole amount available to hand.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful and that you’ve now got a clearer idea of the cost of CIM qualifications. Good luck!

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