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CIPD Level 7 Webinar

Expert Advice: CIPD Level 7 HR Management qualifications

Have you ever considered studying Human Resource Management at level 7 but wondered if this was right for you? Or thought that as you don’t have a degree you wouldn’t get accepted?

Maybe it has been a long time since you last studied and you are cautious about returning to the classroom? Or perhaps you have recently secured your first HR position and are wondering if you have enough experience?

Whatever your circumstances are, if you’re looking for advice before you commit to studying at this level then read our FAQs. All of these questions were asked during a recent webinar led by two very experienced CIPD level 7 tutors, Kay Maddox-Daines and Tristan Callaghan.


Q: If you are looking to begin your HR career and aspire to reach the senior level of HR Director (level 7) in the future, would you recommend studying level 7 straight away?

If you are new to HR I would recommend starting with the level 3 qualification as this provides the foundation to everything that is studied at level 7. If you have a degree in HR or a related degree such as business, along with some HR experience, you may be able to commence study at level 7 right away.

Q: Are there any exams involved in the Level 7 CIPD, or is it all coursework based?

Read our blog: 8 top tips from the CIPD examiner who could be marking your Level 7 CIPD exams.

Q: I am from a business background and self-taught. I fear academic writing.

Q: Along with the textbooks that you recommend reading, is there any course material that we will go through?

The Acacia Learning Student Hub includes links to additional reading, video and podcasts for every module across all levels of study.

Q: Is the knowledge obtained during the course easily applicable outside of UK, in countries such as Spain and Poland?

Yes, courses are tailored to the needs of our international audience. Acacia tutors have delivered courses across Europe, Africa and the Middle East. We are continually updating our programmes to reflect our international delivery.

Q: I am a recent HR graduate; I have my level 5 CIPD. Do you think it is best to gain workplace experience before jumping straight into Level 7?

Having a couple of years HR work experience is very useful for Level 7.

Q: I have worked in HR for many years. I got my equivalent of Level 3 years ago. Would it be worth me considering the Experience Assessment route?

Yes absolutely, please send Acacia Learning your CV and a current job and person specification so that we can explore options with you.

Q: What is the most common level/role you see completing this course? I am a HRBP, reporting into a HRD and will need to justify why this course is appropriate for me?

The level 5 programme seems to be the most popular at the moment. As an HRBP I would recommend that you consider level 7.

Q: I am a HR Advisor (completed level 5 CIPD 5 years ago) and have worked in HR for 15 years. My HRD said a level 7 is not needed for progression, but I disagree. How can I demonstrate the value of me having the level 7 to the company and get support from my employer?

The level 7 qualification is designed to develop strategic awareness so that HR professionals are able to add value to the strategic direction of the organisation. This supports organisations in achieving a competitive edge ensuring both sustainability and growth.

Q: Would you recommend a fresh graduate from business management to further take level 5 or directly to masters with CIPD level 7 or just the CIPD level 7 itself?

There are two answers to this question. Firstly, you might like to secure an HR position, gain a few years work experience and then join the level 7 programme. Alternatively, you might prefer to sign up to the level 5 programme now in order to secure an HR role.

Q: What is the difference between the CIPD Level 7 qualification and doing a masters in HRM at university?

Masters degree requires additional credits and a more in-depth dissertation. Some masters degree include the level 7 CIPD accreditation.

Q: Can you use your own experience and reference this against theory?

Yes, to some extent but there is a requirement to read widely and evidence research through the inclusion of references.

Q: Is there any overlap in level 5 and 7 courses?

The level 7 programme builds on the level 5 programme but the design and assessment requirements are very different.

Q: Is there a level 7 certificate (as opposed to the full diploma)

Yes, please find out more here >

Q: The experience route sounds great. Can we have further information on how to do this please? I am currently studying level 3, I am the only HR person in my organisation and carrying out various HR roles so feel I am level 5 or above already.

Q: Any difference between a certificate and diploma?

The Level 7 Certificate is 4 modules and 8 units for the Diploma. Choose the Certificate if you want to demonstrate in-depth understanding across a range of specialist HR areas. Study for the Diploma if you are serious about a career in leadership and attaining the highest qualification within HR as well as chartered membership of the CIPD.

Q: How long does the whole course take - diploma? How long does it take to complete a module?

Certificate 1 year; Diploma 2 years (modules take about 2 months). These can vary depending on your circumstances.

Q: Do you need to be a member of the CIPD level 7 membership to work at a senior HR manager?

It might be possible to secure a senior HR role without level 7 but a requirement for CIPD membership is becoming increasingly common.

Q: Once you have completed a certificate, can you top up to the diploma later?

Yes, you can.

Q: Is it possible to do the diploma in one year if you can study full time?

At level 5 yes, but at level 7 this would be very challenging.

Q: Are the module essays longer than the other levels? Are there exams and a dissertation?

At level 7 the programme includes both exams and a dissertation

Q: I do not live in the UK but I am interested in the level 7 diploma. Is the course offered completely online or would I be required to travel to the UK for courses or assessments?

There are options to do the course remotely online. Find out more here >

Q: Is there any overlap in level 5 and 7 courses?

There are many similarities and similar units / topics. Level 7 looks at these from a more senior strategic level.

Q: Are taster sessions running in the current Covid-19 environment?

Yes we offer free taster sessions Live Online.

Q: Did you mention a portfolio as one of the assessment methods? What is included in this?

Yes, the portfolio consists of evidence that you collect in the workplace, a reflective statement, CPD.

Q: Do you think having a level 7 on your cv, massively separates you from other candidates when applying for jobs?

Yes, because the level 7 qualification focuses on the development of strategic awareness.

Q: Can you run through the assessments - 2 exams and a dissertation - what other assessments are there?

Assessments are made up of reports, portfolio, exams, essays

Q: It says on the info pack that we can top-up to MSc in HRM as a full Masters course. Does this mean that the level 7 is not at Masters level?

The PG Diploma does not equate to enough credits to provide a full masters level programme. You will need to ‘top up’. Study is however at masters level.

Q: Where can we find the "list of universities" which we can top-up level 7 with to obtain the master’s degree?

Acacia offers a MSc top up programme, find out more here.

Q: Does Acacia have scholarships for level 7, or an option for payment after completing?

We offer payment plans to help self-funding students spread the cost of their qualification over 12 or 18 months, find out more.


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Please click below for Acacia Learning CIPD Student Hub (access by invitation only)”