Diploma in School Marketing

by Distance Learning

The Diploma in School Marketing was originally developed by Dr Linda Vining for the University of NSW. It is designed to train and equip school staff, via guided school-specific workplace assignments, to become professional School Marketers.

Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form (689 KB)

The course is contained within a hard cover manual that includes:

The 6-module-course builds towards the final assignment of a Strategic Marketing Plan. This document is the culmination of 5 months of step-by-step guided research and preparation. The Strategic Marketing Plans analyse the school’s present situation, set marketing goals, assess the competition, prepare a realistic budget and provide an action plan and image audit. It’s a very professional and carefully considered document.

Why you need a Diploma in School Marketing

Schools operate in an aggressive marketplace. Competition for enrolments, financial support, community appreciation and good teachers means that promotion and PR have an essential role in school management.

To sustain a competitive advantage you need an indepth understanding of marketing principles. You need to manage your image, indentify opportunities to gain market share, monitor your external environment, strengthen your customer focus, and, most importantly, gain the support of your entire staff.

You need a strategic vision for long-term benefits, as well as short-term results.

The Centre for Marketing School's Diploma in School Marketing is a rigorous and practical course that is directly related to your work environment.

The success rate for the course is extremely high as the program is based on sound adult learning principles with a focus on learning at your own pace. The material is school specific. You are assisted in your learning with case studies that illustrate concepts, textbooks, structured questions, self-assessment exercises and a personal mentor.

Testimonials about the Diploma in
School Marketing

“The course has been life-changing for me and my College. I feel I have really grown through this process and the College will continue to reap the benefit long into the future.” - Justin Gunn, Thornlie Christian School, WA

“The Marketing Plan was a massive undertaking. It made me really think about my and other’s behaviour and the fact that marketing is everything we do.” - Val Proctor, Haileybury, Hertfordshire, UK

“The course has led me to develop a systematic plan. I can now proceed with confidence as per my Marketing Plan rather than respond with knee-jerk reactions to any anxieties expressed by other people.” - Marie-Louise FitzGerald, Pacific Hills Christian School, NSW

“I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to study by distance education, as working fulltime and being a busy mum, the opportunity to study seemed impossible, but through CMS it was all achievable and enjoyable.”  Kerrin Girando

“A very professional and well organised course.” Kristen Simpson

“I am only beginning in school marketing and I have learnt many great things from this course.” Joanne Haynes

“The course has provided me with key strategic insights that will significantly impact on my marketing role.” Jodi Herbert

"The depth and breadth of the course is inspiring.” Fleur Andrews

“With no previous marketing experience in schools I now feel adequately equipped to implement a marketing plan from the many ideas I have collected.” ~ Lauren Dempsey

“Thank you once again for your Certificate in School Marketing Course. I have found it to be tremendously useful in attracting and keeping enrolments. We have grown 150 students over the last 3 years. The course has assisted me in many other ways. One of these is to be the first NSW DET Primary Principal to accompany a DET International Students Marketing Visit to South Korea in April.” Paul Bates, Principal of Burwood Public School

“The course was all new to me and challenging at times but so worthwhile. The textbooks were brilliant, I relied heavily on them and my mentor really helped me through. It has given me confidence and made me feel enthusiastic about the job and the directions we should take. I’m looking at things in new ways. Each module was practical and relevant to me and I made many discoveries about marketing and myself. WOW. I will certainly recommend this course to others.” Catherine Marvel, Registrar PLC Sydney

“I am very glad I did this; it has enthused me to be innovative in my thinking.” Michelle Brown, St Margaret’s Bushey, England

"Very in-depth and useful course. It took me beyond my normal work thoughts and opened up a lot more understanding of what marketing really means and what it’s possible for my school to do.” - Jenny Dwyer, Trinity Catholic College, Lismore, Australia.

“I now have a comprehensive understanding of the practical aspects of marketing. The number of competitors we have really surprised me!” - Kate Borrie, Cromwell College, New Zealand.

“I completed the CMS marketing course seven years ago and it has proved invaluable in my roles in two schools and now at head office for Adventist Schools Victoria. As a school receptionist with no knowledge of marketing I felt hesitant when asked to take on a marketing role but the course gave me a clear understanding of marketing schools and the confidence to take on the position. Producing a marketing plan for my school as part of the course was a bonus that showed me what direction to take. All I have needed to add since that time is experience (and a bit of creativity)!” Fiona Thomas, Marketing Co-ordinator for Adventist Schools Victoria

“The course has given the school a new perspective on marketing. The competitor analysis, the SWOT analysis and the research has allowed us to see the bigger picture and provided us with valuable action plans for the year ahead. A very valuable course.” Bradley Hall Principal, St Joseph's College Albany Western Australia

“The course far exceeded my expectations.” Abram Tibor, The Levay School in Hungary

“I have been at the school for 3 years but after doing the course I am looking at things differently. It was extremely beneficial to me.” Susan Curtin, Registrar Macquarie Anglican Grammar School

“A significant and valuable course . . . made me think about important issues and how I need to consider our current approach, especially with regard to online marketing and smart technologies. Valuable feedback from Linda who was my mentor.” Douglas Peck, Principal of Plenty Valley Christian School

"An extremely relevant, valuable and totally applicable course that has forever changed my outlook on my job. I loved the way I could work at my own pace. It was rigorous, but worth every minute, as my school now has personnel who understand the market forces that affect our school, has a document that outlines strategies and a plan to implement in order for us to improve student recruitment and retention. Completing this course has positively affected every aspect of my role as Promotions Officer, as I now feel I have the skills and knowledge (and the confidence!) necessary to more effectively achieve marketing outcomes. Thank you!" Robyn Dunbar

School Marketing Diploma Success Stories

Matthews in the UK appointed a marketing director to his school earlier this year and he wrote to me . . . “We had many applications but one woman had a Diploma in School Marketing from CMS so I knew she was well trained. She got the job because this qualification gave her an edge over the other applicants.She showed me her assignment work and I could see she could jump straight into the job, with knowledge of how to do the research, prepare audits and do a demographic study. Within weeks of her appointment she had an impressive marketing plan up and running. She is now working on a style guide.

Congratulations to Kerrin Girando who has just been appointed to the marketing department at Methodist Ladies’ College in Western Australia. Kerrin is currently doing the CMS Diploma in School Marketing, and even before she submitted her final assignment she was offered a new position at a much higher salary. Kerrin said the interviewing panel was very interested in her Diploma course. “The course got me over the line,” she said. “It taught me new skills and gave me the self-confidence to know I can do the job.

Well done Erica Cooper from St Joseph's College in Albany WA, on winning the “Best Community Group Display” at the local agricultural show. Erica graduated with a CMS Diploma in School Marketing, and she writes . . . “This is the first time a school has taken out the award at the show and the first time that I have set up the show display. Thanks to the course I was able to create a show display that looked great.

I referred to the Diploma in School Marketing in my presentation to the interviewing panel. Doing my presentation in the format I learnt in the course helped me to stand out from the other applicants and it made me realise what a useful skill I had learned. The course showed me how to write a plan for a different school and ways to measure their strengths and weaknesses. I prepared a marketing plan for DLD College even before I got the job (which I presented at the interview). They were impressed!” Helen Lami, Sales and Marketing Manager DLD College London – formerly at Taunton School UK

Top marks for creativity to Kathlyn McGargill from Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College in Alice Springs. Kathlyn surveyed a whole rank of taxi drivers at the Alice Springs Airport to see what they knew about her school. Kath is undertaking the CMS Diploma in School Marketing and one exercise is to determine the school’s Market Position by finding out how the community views the school and what they are telling others.“I got good feedback from the drivers,” said Kath, who in return gave each driver a brochure about the school. “Not only did I gather useful information; I gave out information, and the drivers were pleased to receive it.” As an added bonus, one driver said he has two young daughters and he would like to come and talk to the school about their education.

One of the exercises in media relations is to contact your local editor. Liz Whitehall, Communications Officer at Catholic College Sale in Victoria said she found this exercise particularly helpful. She gives the following advice . . . “In years gone by I have met with the editor of my local paper, so I thought I knew the drill, but I was amazed at the outcome when I asked him questions for my Diploma in School Marketing assignment. I learned so much more about the paper and what he is looking for and I realised that a relationship with the media has to continue to grow like any other relationship. I could see that I was actually moving in the wrong direction. I would advise school marketers to meet with their local editors, not just as a one-off, but on a continuing basis.

Livia Jones' first assignment was a mini survey of 10 local business people to establish the school’s market position. This highlights how the outside community sees the school and what they say about it. Using 3 questions (from the assignment) Livia talked to local retailers and service providers. Her findings came as quite a shock. “We live in a cloud here at school. We think we are wonderful BUT when you step outside, nobody knows much about us. Some have a vague idea of our location. One respondent had a bad experience with the school 4 years ago and still talks about it with bitterness. We have a lot of work to do to raise awareness and generate positive word-of-mouth”. Lisa then addressed these issues in the Marketing Plan she prepared for her school as part of the Diploma course.

Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form (689 KB)

Frequently Asked Questions about the School Marketing Diploma

How do I register for the Diploma in School Marketing?

Print out and return a registration form. Once payment has been received the entire course materials and text book will be sent to you.  A tax invoice receipt will be supplied. 

Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form Diploma in School Marketing Registration Form (689 KB)

Am I required to attend any classes or face to face meetings?

No. The entire course is provided to you so you can study at your own pace during the Semester. You can contact your mentor for assistance and advice.

How much does the Diploma in School Marketing Cost

Registration fee per person is (Australian) $3,100. This includes tax, course material, textbook and your personal mentor.

What payment options are there for the Diploma?

A Tax Invoice will be supplied from Marketplace Answers Pty Ltd trading as Centre for Marketing Schools. Payment can be made by EFT, VISA, MASTERCARD or CHEQUE. For credit card payments, a 2.5% surcharge will apply.  A bank cheque is required for overseas registrations using the cheque payment method. Your place will only be confirmed on receipt of the completed registration form and payment.

Are there any refunds?

Sorry no. Once you have received the course workbook there are no refunds. If the school has paid for the course and the staff member who starts the course and then during the semester leaves the school the course can be transferred to another staff member provided all work is completed.

Can I take longer to do the course than one Semester

No. Marketing and Education is a deadline driven industry. Completing the course in the time frame is part of your training. Some exceptions may be made due to personal situations. All assignments submitted by students are marked together.

Have students failed the Diploma in School Marketing?

Yes. Students have failed the Diploma in School Marketing. The standard of the course needs to be maintained so it is taken as a serious qualification by both employers and the graduates. Students who submit assignments and summaries below pass mark will be given the opportunity to resubmit provided it meets agreed deadlines. The course is thorough but does not require prior education or qualifications.

How do you suggest I pay for the Diploma in School Marketing?

There are a number of possible ways to pay for the Diploma:

  • Schools pay the full registration fee.
  • Schools pay half the registration and candidate pays the other half.
  • Candidates pay for themselves.
  • Some convince the business manager to make a contribution.
  • Smart marketers put Professional Development in their budget / contract so it's not an issue.
No matter what you want to sell, the first principle of marketing is to outline 'What's in it for you' (WIIFY). So, if you are trying to 'sell' you doing the Diploma in School Marketing to your school the best way is to explain what's in it for the school. For example, the school will benefit enormously from a professional Style Guide and a Strategic Marketing Plan that can be implemented immediately. 

How does the Diploma in School Marketing work?

The entire course materials are provided in a folder. The text book 'Marketing Matters in Schools' is included. You work through each module completing the activities and reading. For four of the modules you submit a single page summary. This should be submitted in order as you progress so feedback can be given. Two modules require more extensive work with the assignment of creating a Style Guide and a Marketing Plan.

Is the Diploma in School Marketing Accredited?

No. The course was originally created as an accredited course by teacher Dr Linda Vining for the University of NSW. The initial course included a residential component. When the University closed the whole department this course was converted to a Distance Education format. Accreditation has been considered. However the costs and bureaucracy do not seem justified at this stage.

Is the Diploma in School Marketing worthwhile?

A graduate wrote “. . . such excellent value. We sourced outside marketing consultants to prepare a marketing plan for us and their quotes came in at over ten thousands dollars. The school decided to enrol me in the CMS course instead. The Principal is impressed with my assignment work and marketing plan, and not only that, the school now has a trained marketer to implement the action plans.”

A debate is raging in management circles about the value of professional development; some studies suggesting that less than 15 percent of training actually results in changed behaviour. An effective course will change behaviour.

I ask the candidates who undertake the CMS Diploma of School Marketing to write down on their evaluation form how the course has changed their behaviour. Below are responses from recent graduates.

“I have become more aware of what is happening in the external environment, and now I use the right tools to monitor and report on how this is impacting on our school.”

“My peer evaluations showed that I need to give the impression that I have more time to listen.”

“The course has given me confidence PLUS credibility to implement my marketing ideas with conviction.”

“I want to standardize telephone greetings and voicemail messages.”

One of the Diploma tasks requires the candidate to undertake a guided analysis of his/her personal behaviour and examine how this could change, so that the candidate becomes a better marketer. One candidate wrote:

“I surveyed 5 people about my voice tone listening skills and attributes. It was most helpful for developing some personal communication goals. Here are the goals I have set myself . . .”

  • I need to focus more on how people are feeling so they feel understood and acknowledged.
  • Treat all customers, no matter what they are saying or who they are, as being worthy.
  • Need to modify the volume of my voice if I am feeling upset.
  • Listen first before trying to fix things.
  • Watch the use of inflaming statements when I am feeling defensive.
  • Spend more time with parents and take parent partnership more seriously.
  • Use data rather than personal opinion to inform my decision-making processes.
  • If feeling defensive do not say anything and put my feelings aside and listen, then respond later when I have had time to think about it.

What will I learn about in the Diploma?

The course has an emphasis on the practical application of marketing to your school.

You will be guided to:

  • Gain an overview of marketing concepts
  • Analyse the decision-making steps of modern parents
  • Undertake an image audit
  • Evaluate your website as a promotional tool
  • Reach new markets for enrolments
  • Apply demographic data
  • Check out your competition
  • Use marketing metrics
  • Undertake market research
  • Develop a marketing budget
  • Train staff in customer service
  • Prepare a Style Guide for your school
  • Write a Strategic Marketing Plan

What will I receive on completion of the Diploma in School Marketing?

On successful completion you will receive a handsome certificate to add to your CV and to display on your office wall. You are entitled to use the post-nominals DipSchMkt(CMS)

When does the Diploma course run?

Semester 1 - January to June or Semester 2 - June to November

Who should enrol in the Diploma in School Marketing?

The course caters for participants from ALL schools sectors, at all levels of education. No previous qualification is necessary. It is recommended for principals and school executive staff, business and marketing managers, PR committee members, community relations officers, registrars, enrolment and development officers, teaching and administrative staff with marketing responsibility or aspirations, including parents on marketing committees. Suitable for beginning marketers as well as experienced marketers who desire a specific school marketing qualification.