Course details

Course code


Start date

September or January

Course length

Part time: variable, typically one to two years

Mode of study

Blended learning


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

Start in September* or January with the opportunity for rolling enrolment onto modules throughout the year. The course will be taught via blended learning with both on campus and online study.

Many purchasing professionals who have previous business experience or qualifications commence their CIPS studies with Level 4. Together with Level 5 and 6 it is the most common route to reach full membership and obtain the designatory letters MCIPS.

*Teaching will start in October 2020

Studying remotely

Join our Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply webinar

Our webinar, delivered by Pouria Liravi, Programme Leader of the CIPS Centre of Excellence Study Centre, will give you an insight into how our CIPS courses will support you in achieving your career aspirations. Friday 28 August, 11:30am-12:30pm.

Register nowRegister now

Structure, certificates and assessment

The Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply is made up of eight core mandatory modules. 

In any organisation, a significant proportion of costs are accounted for by the purchases of products and/or services, hence organisations see procurement and supply as a key contributor to their value added strategies. Equally, any organisation will also be managing the supply of products and/or services to their customers, be they internal or those from other external organisations, consumers or the general public. This module is designed using the CIPS Procurement Cycle as its basis. It will provide those who are interested in developing an informed awareness of different perspectives or approaches within the discipline, an overview of the key stages associated with procurement and supply, and will serve as an introduction for those who are expected to address complex well-defined procurement and supply problems that are non-routine in nature.

The development of a business case and the ability to analyse markets are key if an organisation is to successfully source activity from external suppliers. Similarly, the clear definition of specifications for through life contracts is crucial to overall business achievement. This module is designed for those who are expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate information on the different types of markets utilised by procurement and supply. It explores a variety of elements that underpin the development of business cases and specifications and considers the options that should be explored when procurement and supply personnel are involved in defining requirements.

In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around the contracting process. If they are to be successful, contracts must be clearly defined, be cognisant of legal requirements and contain key clauses and terms. This module is designed for those working in the procurement and supply field, or those who have responsibility for the development of legally binding contracts with suppliers.

In any organisation, a significant element of procurement and supply activity is based around decisions to internally conduct activity or to source from an external supplier. Hence, the selection of the correct external suppliers is a vital contributor to overall organisational success. This module enables personnel with roles in procurement and supply to formulate selection criteria and sourcing strategies to ensure that the organisation will make the correct choice of external suppliers. It explains the main options for sourcing, and examines the key processes that can be applied to the analysis of potential external suppliers and to ensure the development of ethically and socially responsible sourcing agreements.

The creation of formalised agreements is a critical part of the success of any organisation. Those involved in procurement and supply activity will therefore be called upon to effectively negotiate with stakeholders and/or suppliers and to understand the methods associated with preparing for and carrying out commercial negotiations. This module is designed for those who are faced with negotiations. It enables the learner to analyse approaches to the negotiation of agreements made with external parties, how to prepare for them and what techniques are available to ensure successful outcomes.

In any organisation, a significant element of the procurement and supply function is based around decisions to source activity from external suppliers. Once agreements have been established the relationship established with the supplier is paramount to overall success. At its highest level outsourcing can take the form of a partnership or joint venture. This module is designed for those who have responsibility for maintaining and managing relationships with stakeholders and suppliers and for those who may be faced with establishing and developing formal partnerships.

Whole life costing takes into account the cost of a product or service over its lifetime, from concept through to disposal including purchase, hire or lease, maintenance, operation, utilities, training and disposal. It is important for those involved in procurement and supply to consider all elements when making decisions and comparing the costs of buying, renting or leasing equipment. In most cases the purchase costs are a small proportion of operating costs, although there are numerous reasons why organisations elect to hold inventory. This module is designed for those who will have responsibility for the whole life management of assets and enables learners to analyse the main methods for inventory movement and control and to analyse the concept of whole life cost.

Procurement is the business function that ensures identification, sourcing, access and management of external resources that an organisation needs or may need to successfully fulfil its strategic objectives. It exists to explore supply market opportunities and to implement resourcing strategies that deliver the best possible supply outcomes to the organisation, its stakeholders and customers. In today’s volatile global trading environments, it is not enough for procurement and supply professionals to simply know the theory behind their profession; they must also be in a position to confidently and effectively apply that knowledge to the benefit of the whole organisation, its stakeholders and customers. This module is designed to test the practical application of procurement and supply concepts and ideas within the practical environments in which professionals are expected to perform.

Eight core mandatory modules make up the required 60 credits

The eight modules are delivered through a combination of morning and afternoon lectures, usually on a Tuesday.

You will learn by a combination of lectures, tutorials and practical exercises. In the revision phase you will learn by attempting exam standard questions followed by debriefing advice from tutors on how the questions should be approached to maximise marks. It is advised that you attempt one to three papers per sitting.

How you're assessed

Assessment is by sitting external examinations set by the professional body CIPS.


On completion of the CIPS Diploma you'll gain confidence and further understanding of your role, as well as a professional qualification.

You can move on to the CIPS Advanced Diploma, which will give you more opportunities for career progression and take you closer to achieving MCIPS - a fully qualified member of CIPS.

Full membership confers the post nominals MCIPS and represents an expression of professionalism associated with achieving the highest recognised global standard of excellence in procurement.

As a University of Derby student you have access to our careers service.

Entry requirements

You should have one of the following:

Fees and funding

2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)

This price includes the provision of the core CIPS text book.

*These fees apply if you're starting this course between September 2020 and August 2021. We recommend you check fee details with us though as they can change. Costs can increase each year and there may be extra costs, eg for trips or special modules.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply directly to the University

Who will teach you

Dr Pouria Liravi
Programme leader

Pouria is Programme Leader of the CIPS Centre of Excellence Study Centre at the University of Derby. He is a Chartered Member of Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) and a Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transportation (UK). He supervises student projects at undergraduate, postgraduate and DBA (Doctor of Business Administration) level.

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Contact us

Course: Pouria Liravi (Programme Leader) +44 (0)1332 591506

Additional information about your studies

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, excellent facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

The information below is correct for entry in the academic year September 2020 - August 2021 only. Entry for future academic years may be subject to change.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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