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.
The Level 4 Diploma in Procurement and Supply is made up of eight core mandatory modules.
Scope and Influence of Procurement and Supply (12 credits)
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.
Defining Business Need (6 credits)
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.
Commercial Contracting (6 credits)
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.
Ethical and Responsible Sourcing (6 credits)
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.
Commercial Negotiation (6 credits)
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.
Supplier Relationships (6 credits)
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 Asset Management (6 credits)
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 and Supply in Practice (12 credits)
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.
You should have one of the following:
- a Certificate or Advanced Certificate CIPS qualification
- two subjects at GCE Advanced Level, plus three GCSE passes at Grade C or above
- two years experience in a business environment
- five SCE passes, of which three must be at Higher Grade
- NVQ/SVQ level 3
- GNVQ at Advanced Level
- National Certificate/Diploma
- five passes in the SCOTVEC
2020/21 Fees (August 2020 - July 2021)
- £3,000 for the full programme
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 fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase after one year of study.
Additional costs and optional extras
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
Students should apply directly to the University.
Apply directly to the University
On completion of the CIPS Diploma you'll gain confidence and further understanding of your role, as well as a professional qualification. You'll have the provision of advice and guidance to key stakeholders on the performance of organisational procedures and processes in procurement and supply.
You’ll be prepared for various roles such as buyer, procurement/purchasing executive, procurement specialist, contract officer, supply chain/inventory/logistics analyst or supply chain/inventory/logistics planner.
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.
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
- Copy of the CIPS Study Guid
- CIPS e-learning material for your selected modules
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- CIPS Joining and membership fees- currently £187.00 to join as a student and £137.00 per year to renew.
- CIPS examination fees currently £48.00 for Objective Response (OR) Exam fee and £63.00 for Constructive Response (CR) exam fee.
- Objective Response (OR) Venue fee £30.00
- Constructive Response (CR) Venue fee £45.00
- CIPS remote exam fees for Objective Response (OR) £50.00
- CIPS remote exam fees for Constructive response (CR) £70.00
Optional costs not included in your fees
- On-site parking which is on a cash pay and display basis