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How to Study Effectively for the CIPD Level 3 Certification

Congratulations, you’ve enrolled on the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice and you’re excited to get started with your studies.

Depending on how you’ve chosen to learn, whether this be face to face, with an online learning provider or through a blended approach, you’ll now be asking yourself, how you are going to study effectively for the CIPD Level 3 Certification.

As experts in professional flexible learning, we’re going to discuss our best tips to ensure you stay on track, from study planners to CIPD Memberships, online organisational apps to efficiently managing your time. Keep reading!

How to Study Effectively at CIPD Level 3

What is CIPD Level 3?

CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice is aimed at those who are either new to the people profession or are working in a Human Resources or Learning and Development support role. The purpose of the qualification is to provide you with the basic level of skills and knowledge required to benefit an organisation at an operational level, as well as learning how to support positive change in the workplace.

You will study four modules which include:

  • Business Culture and Change in Context
  • Core Behaviours for People Professionals
  • Principles of Analytics
  • Essentials of People Practice

These modules have been created based on relevant industry research, the insights of thousands of professional people experts and real-life scenarios. Upon completion of the qualification, you will become a CIPD Foundation Member.

How can I study CIPD Level 3?

There are a few ways in which you can study a CIPD Level 3 Certification, these include:

  • Face to Face: in either a college or University
  • 100% Online: with an online learning provider, like us!
  • Blended: both online and in person

The way in which you will effectively study for the CIPD Level 3 qualification will depend on the method of study you choose, e.g., face to face or 100% online. However, generally, we would recommend the following advice.

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Tips for How to Study Effectively at Level 3

Manage your time

The first thing we recommend that you do as a learner, is map out time that you can dedicate to your studies. This may seem obvious but breaking down your existing schedule and finding either one dedicated slot or a few different ones that you can focus on revision and assignments, will help create a new routine. Ultimately this is what you want, especially if you are a new learner.

On average, it takes our students between 7-9 months to complete their CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice. This is a considerable amount of time, so it’s worth slightly alternating your current routine (if you can) to make room for your new study commitments.

We recommend:

  • Looking at your daily tasks and identifying gaps in your day
  • Prioritising what is an essential task and what can be done at a later stage
  • Batch similar tasks together
  • Tackle the hardest or longest tasks, first
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Create a study plan

Once you’ve pinpointed the time(s) of day that you are going to study, invest in a study planner and calendar that you can personalise. This is something that you can create yourself, however, in the spirit of saving you time and stress, download our 2024 ICS Learn Printable Study Planner and Calendar by clicking the link below.

Create Your Own Printable Study Planner and Calendar 2024

If you do decide to opt for our study planner and calendar, you can edit and print the sections that best suit you. We’ve found the:

  • assignment planner
  • monthly planner
  • weekly planner
  • weekly overview PDF

to be specifically helpful, so if you think you would to, here’s how to use them.

Fill out your assignment planner

Before getting into the nitty gritty of studying, write a list of your assignments. This means you’ll have something to refer to when making your monthly and weekly planners, which we will speak more about soon.

When it comes to when each assignment is due, this is up to you and how quickly you work. We don’t provide deadlines, however, if this is something you think you would benefit from, you can speak to your tutor.

The CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice requires you to write a total of four assignments, so we recommend printing out four assignment planners, which will allow you to plan accordingly.

The assignment planner includes a section for descriptions, details and a to-do list. This will help you map out each of your assignment, of which will be based on an individual question and will include learnings from the module it’s based on.

The four modules include:

  • Business, Culture and Change in Context
  • Essentials of People Practice
  • Core Behaviours for People Professionals
  • Principles of Analytics

Monthly and weekly planning

Once your assignment planners are filled out, you can then move onto your monthly planners. Now, as this is unique to everyone and with a support period of 12 months, it is up to you how many months in advance you plan out. We recommend planning the next 7-9 months as this is the average completion time of past students, however, it’s ultimately up to you.

Monthly planners allow you to set your own timeframes and have a guide in place to follow as you progress. Bear in mind that as you are planning months ahead, it’s okay for these plans to change, just as life does.

Following, your weekly planners can be more comprehensive, planning tasks for each individual day if you so wish. We also recommend using the weekly overview PDF to assist you if you need more structure. The weekly overview includes sections for:

  • Important points
  • Reminders
  • Tasks
  • CTA’s for next week
  • Notes

Your weekly overviews can be created at the beginning of each new week, as you’ll have more of an idea then of the work that’s to be completed. Your weekly planner will help shape these overviews. Once you have your weekly overviews completed and have pinned up your assignment planner on the wall, you’ll be able to get started on studying the module content.

Make sure you have a CIPD Membership

It’s worth noting at this point that before you submit any of your assignments, you will need to sign up as a CIPD Student Member. The cost is paid directly to CIPD themselves and student membership will provide you with:

  • Professional content
  • Study guides
  • Tips for your assessments
  • Access to the CIPD community

You will have been made aware of this throughout your enrolment process by one of our CIPD advisors, however, it’s up to you to action this – so don’t forget!

Utilise the available resources

As the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate is self-paced we recommend utilising the many resources available to you, they’ll not only help you but make learning much more enjoyable.

Firstly, our Online Learning Guide for New Students is a great one-pager for anyone new to learning online and feeling a bit overwhelmed on where to start.

Following this, we recommend making use of the following:

Live online workshops and FAQ sessions

Your online tutor will run workshops that you can attend on a weekly basis and you’ll have an opportunity to ask questions and contact your tutor directly if you so wish. Your tutor will inform you as to when these sessions are, however, we recommend reaching out on your own accord and then making a note of these sessions on either your weekly planner or your calendar – this decreases the likelihood of you missing out, although they are recorded for the days that you do!


Additionally, our virtual learning environment, my studyspace provides lots of resources to keep you informed and connected as the weeks and months go by, utilise them and continue to ask questions throughout the live online sessions.

Online study tools and apps

Outside of what we offer, there’s several different study apps and tools accessed that can be accessed through the internet, Google Play Store or Apple App store.

Depending on what kind of learner you are, these are some of our favourites:

  • StudyBlue: with an option to upload study material and have flashcards created for you, StudyBlue is perfect for visual learners, as well as those who enjoy a quiz or two!
  • EdApp: for those who better absorb information in small bursts, or simply have a limited amount of time to dedicate to studying, EdApp uses a microlearning approach and provides templates in which you can create your own mini lessons.
  • Forest: in conjunction with the Pomodoro study technique, forest utilises gamification which allows learners to plant a tree at the beginning of their study session. The tree will continue to grow for as long as you concentrate.
  • Notability: if you learn best through writing, notability allows your handwritten scribbles to be converted into both text and audio. There’s also an auto-back feature that ensures nothing gets lost.

Reach out to your employers, loved ones and friends

Finally, to effectively study for the CIPD Level 3 Foundation Certificate, it’s important to lean on those closest to you. It can be difficult and challenging gaining a new qualification, especially while working full-time or alongside any additional commitments.

Discuss your study plan with your employer and display it physically where your support system can see it. This means that everyone will be aware of plans, assignments and when you’ll studying, which will help them support you.

So, with all, or a combination of these things, you’ll be on the right track and receiving your CIPD qualification before you know it! We wish you the best of luck with your studies and happy learning!


Become CIPD qualified and gain your Level 3 Foundation Certificate in People Practice with ICS Learn today.

Download Your Free CIPD Course Guide

Get information on our CIPD courses

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