Distance Learning degree?

Hi all

First post here so apologies if long winded!

I completed my level 3 CIPD in 2013 and moved from a fairly decent paid recruitment role to hr assistant role in 2014. I've gained some good experience and been promoted to manage the office team however I really want to progress into an advisor position. The opportunity isn't there at my current company as it would require travel and we have recently outsourced so our function is now more focused on business/strategic side although I do manage some basic er.

I really want to study my level 5 but my only option of study is distance learning (which I can't afford to find) as I have a young child and no options for childcare on evenings. I've been toying with the idea of going for a bsc in hr management through Leicester uni but it's going to take a lot of commitment and I suppose my question is will employers look at this or is it expected that you have your level 5 for senior roles?

I'm really itchy to study again at the moment as I'm feeling a bit stuck in my current role yet don't really have the confidence to be applying for advisor positions.

What are your thoughts would the degree benefit me in the long run or do I wait until I'm financially able to self fund my level 5 either through distance study?

Many thanks


  • Hi Jade

    Would very seriously question the value for money / utility of almost any distance learning HR degree that isn't accredited towards qualification for CIPD professional status. Degrees in themselves are rather ubiquitous / debased currency these days, and just doing one because it's called a degree personally I'd not recommend
  • In reply to David:

    Thanks for your advice David, I did have a worried feeling that it wasn't accredited by CIPD. I've found a local provider beprodevelopment who don't seem to be that badly priced for level 5 so have contacted them.
  • In reply to Jade:

    Hi Jade, is it worth contacting the CIPD direct for guidance on accredited courses in your local area?
  • Hello Jade,

    As David said, you might want to weigh what it is that is really important and helpful for you to progress (is it getting better quality experience that allows you to build the more senior profile you are looking for or doing the qualification to show that you can operate at a higher level?).

    Having said that, it is important to keep improving and enriching your knowledge. In terms of a suitable provider, the CIPD site has information about where you can find accredited providers. Please see the link below for digital learning:

    I hope this helps.
  • Hi Jade,

    Have you explored the option of having your current company fund your training?As you said you're dealing with some ER at the moment so having your level 5 completed would be an asset to them just as much as yourself. Don't be shy to talk to your managers and let them know what your career aspirations are. If they value you they'll accommodate where they can.

    I did my CIPD level 5 diploma through DPG in a blended learning method rather than completely remotely. Which basically meant I attended 1 workshop a month and the rest we did as either webinar or online learning but that 1 workshop a month made all the difference and it took me a year rather than 3.

    Good luck in whatever route you choose.
  • Howdy Jade!

    I found myself in a similar position as I wanted to progress my career and my company wanted to invest in my education. I returned to work after six months maternity leave and went back to my original working hours (8:30-5pm Mon-Thurs) immediately. I still wanted to do my CIPD qualification but couldn't warrant anything other than distance learning as I spend enough time away from my handsome baby as it is!

    I looked in to a variety of online learning systems and found Avado. They work in partnership with CIPD and all the coursework is online (no exams or requirement to attend lectures ever). It isn't cheap, but none of the courses are. I'm most of the way through now (commenced in January, finish 5th November) and would genuinely recommend it. I've learnt a lot about strategic HR and you can elect to do different specialisms I believe (I went with introduction to HR Management). I manage to do all my course work in the evenings after my son is in bed but it does take dedication and focus and I know others on my course have found it hard to stay motivated and committed as there is limited one-to-one interaction.

    From my discussions with recruitment agencies and looking at job vacancies (purely out of curiosity, I love my job and my company!) it looks like most only ask for a level 5 for a management position. I'd recommend it if only for the content, I've really developed over the last 8 months and am utilising so much of what I've learnt and had excellent feedback at work because of it. Hope this helps a little!