Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development

CIPD Level 7

This is the highest level of study and is aimed at people management professionals building towards a senior career in the Learning & Development sector.

The qualification is at the same academic level as a Masters degree. Candidates will have already completed degree-level studies or have relevant industry experience.

Who is this for?

This qualification is ideal if you are:

  • Responsible for leading L&D in your organisation.
  • A business partner.
  • A senior manager or director.
  • A L&D consultant.
  • Someone who aspires to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

What will I learn?

You will gain a deeper knowledge of learning and development and how to focus on L&D in a wider business context. Your studies will show you how to create a learning culture in your organisation that accelerates people’s careers and develops your leaders and managers.

You will study four core units, three specialist units and one Busec Nova recommended optional unit. If you are on our Immersive Plan you will be able to choose your optional unit, allowing you to focus on what matters most to you.

Core units:

  • Work and working lives in a changing business environment.
  • People management and development strategies for performance.
  • Personal effectiveness, ethics and business acumen.
  • Business research in people practice.

Specialist units:

  • Organisational design and development.
  • Leadership and management development in context.
  • Designing learning to improve performance.

Optional units:

  • Advanced employment law in practice.
  • Technology enhanced learning.
  • Advanced diversity and inclusion.
  • Managing people in an international context.
  • Wellbeing at work.

How long will it take me to qualify?

2 years.

The learning agreement for the Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development is 24 months. All students have flexibility within their study programmes and can choose their workshop dates, depending on the month you start. You can speed your programme up to complete in 18 months or even less; if you want to do this, choose the Immersive learning plan, which allows you to design your own timetable.

What are my study options?

On a Level 7 course, you can choose from our Professional or Immersive study plans, giving you the freedom to study in a way that suits your lifestyle and the way you like to learn.


Essential lets you study online, on demand and at your own pace. It is ideal for independent and tech-savvy learners.

It is the lowest priced of our three plans, but our unique Student Care service is always there for you. This means that you can always get help and support if you need it – from a person, not an algorithm. You can also buy add-ons in the form of tickets for scheduled webinars, recordings of webinars and one-to-one planning and feedback sessions with a subject specialist.

Find out more about our essential study plan


Professional comes as close as possible to the experience of studying in college. You will be placed in a group of students and a tutor will deliver lessons in an online classroom with structured feedback. You will get a timetable showing exactly when you will be studying. Student Care is also available if you need it.

Find out more about our professional study plan


Immersive gives you a one-to-one learning experience personalised for you. Your private tutor provides coaching, guidance and support and you set the pace and agree your own timetable. It is ideal if you want to learn and qualify quickly or if you have been out of studying for some time and want to build up your confidence.

Find out more about our immersive study plan

What level of CIPD membership will I achieve?

You must be in CIPD membership to claim your completed qualification. That fee is payable direct to the CIPD as soon as you’ve registered to start your studies.

Current CIPD membership fees can be found here.

When you complete your qualification, you’ll be awarded CIPD Associate Membership and the designation ‘Assoc CIPD’ after your name. You’ll be able to apply to become a Chartered Member or a Chartered Fellow once you have acquired the necessary professional experience.

The Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development is comparable to Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) Level 7 in England and Northern Ireland; Credit and Qualifications Framework (CQFW) Level 7 in Wales; comparable to Level 9 in Ireland, Level 11 in Scotland, Level 7 European Qualifications Framework (EQF).

CIPD Advanced Diploma in Strategic Learning and Development Handbook

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