Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management

CIPD Level 7

This is the highest level of study and is aimed at people management professionals building towards a senior career in the 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 people management in your organisation.
  • A business partner.
  • A senior manager or director.
  • A people management consultant.
  • Someone who aspires to become a Chartered Member of the CIPD.

What will I learn?

You will learn the impact of your role at an operational, tactical and strategic level and develop the skills to successfully manage larger teams. Using critical analysis, self-reflection and problem-solving techniques, you will learn how to develop and implement creative and strategic solutions that drive organisational performance.

You will study four core units, three specialist units and one Busec-Nova recommeded optional unit. If you are on our Immersive Plan you will be able to choose the 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:

  • Strategic employment relations.
  • Resourcing and talent management to sustain success.
  • Strategic reward management.

Optional units:

  • Organisational design and development.
  • Advanced employment law in practice.
  • Learning and development 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?

Two years.

The learning agreement for the Level 7 Advanced Diploma in Strategic People Management 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 mths 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 People Management 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 People Management Handbook

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