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How Long Does it Take to Study Digital Marketing?

How long it takes to study digital marketing and learn the skills necessary to succeed in this fast-paced industry may vary greatly depending on several factors.

Course duration can vary due to your starting level of knowledge, the type of qualification you decide to study for, the awarding body of the qualification and the Learning Provider you decide to study for your qualification with.

It’s worth remembering that Qualifications can come in the form of awards, which are typically shorter lasting 1-2 months. Certificates which usually take around 6-12 months and Diplomas which can take 6-18 months to complete.

There are also bite-sized courses which are often even shorter in length and can be a great solution if you’re looking to learn a specific skill quickly.

Course length can also vary depending on whether you are studying part or full-time and how the course is delivered as different awarding bodies and learning centres will have designed different courses which may cover slightly different topics and in different ways.

This article will provide you with guidance on what to expect as you embark on your digital marketing journey exploring different course options to help you decide which is right for you.

Understanding the Scope of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing consists of a broad range of strategies and tactics designed to help businesses connect with their target audience online, enhance their brand visibility, and drive traffic, leads, and sales.

Digital marketing includes various elements such as search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, social media marketing, paid advertising, email marketing, and more.

Components of Digital Marketing

Digital Marketing comprises of various components as mentioned below:

  • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Social Media Marketing (SMM)
  • Content Marketing
  • Video Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Web Analytics
  • Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO)

The Evolution of Digital Marketing

Digital marketing has undergone a significant evolution over the years, with new technologies, tools, and techniques emerging regularly.

Therefore, it’s essential to stay up to date with the latest trends and industry developments by continuously learning and adapting to change.

Factors Influencing the Time Required to Learn Digital Marketing

The time required to master digital marketing skills can vary depending on several factors. However, with the right approach, anyone can learn and become proficient in digital marketing.

In this article, we will explore some of the factors that influence the time required to learn digital marketing, and provide tips on how to accelerate your learning process.

Your Current Skill Level

Your starting point will significantly influence the amount of time required to gain mastery.

For someone with a background in marketing or relevant experience, it’s likely that they will acquire digital marketing skills faster compared to someone who has no prior experience in the field.

However, this doesn’t mean that those without experience can’t learn digital marketing. It simply means that they may need to invest more time and effort to build a strong foundation.

The Course You Choose

There are several different types of digital marketing courses, including certificates, diplomas and short courses. Each course has its advantages and disadvantages, and the decision on which to choose is ultimately up to your preferred learning style and schedule.

Online courses offer the advantage of flexible yet structured learning and access to industry experts. Short courses provide an immersive experience that can accelerate learning.

Diplomas cover a broader range of digital marketing topics but may require a significant time commitment.

Part-time study allows for flexibility but may require more discipline and motivation to stay on track.

Time Commitment and Consistency

Digital marketing is a dynamic field that requires consistent learning to remain relevant. Therefore, you must commit enough time to the learning process to build a strong foundation and keep up with industry changes.

Depending on your learning method, you may need to set aside a few hours each week or dedicate several months to complete a comprehensive course or program.

Consistency is also essential. It’s better to commit to a regular study schedule, even if it’s only for a short time each day, than to cram for hours on end sporadically. This will help you retain information better and avoid burnout.

The Depth of Knowledge You Seek

The level of mastery you seek will influence the amount of time you need to invest in learning.

For example, if you want to become an expert in a specific area of digital marketing, it may take more time to acquire advanced skills than if you’re only looking to gain a general understanding.

It’s essential to define your goals and set realistic expectations. If you’re just starting, focus on building a strong foundation and gaining a general understanding of digital marketing concepts.

As you progress, you can specialise in specific areas and invest more time in advanced learning.

In conclusion, the time required to learn digital marketing depends on several factors, including your starting point, learning method, time commitment, and the depth of knowledge you seek.

By setting realistic goals, committing to consistent learning, and choosing a suitable learning method, anyone can acquire digital marketing skills and become proficient in this dynamic field.

Popular Digital Marketing Courses and Their Duration

Digital marketing has become increasingly important in today’s business world, and there are numerous courses available to help you acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in this field.

In this article, we will explore some of the most popular digital marketing courses and their durations.

Online Courses

Online digital marketing courses are a popular option for those looking to gain practical knowledge and skills. These courses are often self-paced, allowing you to learn at your own speed.

They are also flexible, which means you can fit them into your schedule. Online courses can range from a few hours to several weeks or months, depending on the program’s depth and the amount of time you have to devote to learning.

Some popular online courses include:

  • Google Digital Garage: a free online course that covers a range of digital marketing topics, including SEO, social media, and analytics.
  • HubSpot Academy: offers a range of free and paid courses on various digital marketing topics, such as inbound marketing, email marketing, and content marketing.
  • Udemy: an online learning platform that offers a wide range of digital marketing courses at varying prices and durations.

University Degrees

For those interested in pursuing a formal education, universities offer various degree programs in marketing and digital marketing and other related fields.

These programs are usually more comprehensive and in-depth than online courses and can take around 3 years to complete.


Diploma programs offer a more comprehensive and in-depth education in the field of digital marketing.

Diploma programs usually take longer on average, lasting on average 6 months to two years depending on academic level.

They provide a broad introduction to the world of marketing, they typically cover a broad range of topics, including marketing strategy, consumer behavior, and data analytics.

MMC Learning delivers diplomas from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, (CIM) one of the foremost awarding bodies of marketing qualifications established in 1911 and respected by employers around the world.

Diploma qualifications available at MMC Learning include:

  • CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing: The CIM Diploma in Professional Marketing equips marketers with essential skills in core principles, strategic planning, and customer insights. This course enables professionals to create effective campaigns, monitor performance, and drive business growth.
  • CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing: The CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing specialises in the digital landscape, covering social media, SEO, email marketing, and content strategy. Gain practical knowledge to create engaging campaigns, analyse metrics, and reach target audiences effectively.
  • CIM Level 7 Marketing Leadership Programme: Designed for experienced marketers, the CIM Level 7 Marketing Leadership Programme focuses on strategic management, leadership development, and organisational growth. Enhance leadership abilities and drive transformative change within your organisation.


Certifications offer intensive, hands-on training in specific digital marketing areas, such as SEO or social media marketing. They usually last a few weeks to a few months with a strict schedule that may require full-time commitment and dedication.

Having a specialised skill set can make you stand out in a competitive job market. MMC Learning delivers some of the most popular certifications for digital marketers accredited by the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) one of the top awarding bodies for digital marketing qualifications.

The Digital Marketing Institute offers a range of certifications in areas like digital strategy, search marketing, and social media marketing.

Since its foundation in 2009, the DMI has become globally recognised and its qualifications are respected by employers around the world.

DMI certifcations available at MMC Learning include:

  • DMI Certified Digital Marketing Professional: This course is designed to arm you with the know-how, experience, and insights to be able to work and speak with authority in this fast-paced industry. You’ll learn how to reach customers and how traditional and digital media can work together. The course takes you through the basics of digital including Social Media Marketing, Paid Search (PPC) using Google Ads, Email Marketing, Analytics with Google Analytics, Content Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Website Optimisation, Digital Marketing Strategy and more, focusing on education you on the principles of Digital Marketing, developing objectives, connecting with the Customer, digital research and cultural research.
  • DMI Certified Digital Strategist: This course uses interactive learning to teach you every aspect of digital marketing strategy. The program will provide you with a deep understanding of all the elements that go in to creating effective digital strategy, including traditional Communications, digital Communications, digital Channels, marketing automation, budget & Resourcing, big data & analytics, digital Leadership, strategy formulation & planning in order to help you drive digital marketing in your business and career. The Diploma in Digital Strategy & Planning is designed to give you the skills, know-how, strategy, and techniques to be the change you want to see in the world.
  • DMI Certified Search Marketing Specialist: This SEO certification teaches students the key concepts of search engine optimisation, including keyword research, on-page optimisation, and link building strategies. With this certification, you will learn how to optimise websites for search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, with the goal of improving their visibility in search results. You will also gain an understanding of how to analyse website traffic using google analytics and use data to make informed decisions about your SEO strategy. This certification is highly valued in the digital marketing industry, as SEO is a critical component of any successful online marketing campaign. It is a valuable asset for anyone looking to work in digital marketing, as it is highly respected by employers.
  • DMI Certified Social Media Marketing Specialist: This social media marketing certification equips students with the skills they need to excel in social media marketing campaigns, from building a social media strategy to creating engaging content. With this certification, you will learn how to use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to promote brands and products, engage with customers, and drive website traffic. You will also gain an understanding of how to measure the success of your social media campaigns and adjust your strategy accordingly. This certification is particularly valuable for anyone looking to work in social media marketing, as it demonstrates a deep understanding of how social media platforms work and how to use them effectively.

MMC Learning also offers more broad certificates covering multiple areas of digital marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (more on that later) Including

  • CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing: The CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Marketing equips marketers with essential skills, deeper insights into marketing principles, consumer behavior, and effective communication strategies. Learn to develop successful campaigns, implement integrated channels, and assess metrics to drive business growth.
  • CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing: Tailored for marketers aiming to harness digital channels, the CIM Level 4 Certificate in Professional Digital Marketing covers core concepts like social media, content strategy, email marketing, and SEO. Master digital techniques to drive meaningful engagement, enhance brand visibility, and achieve tangible business results.

Overall, pursuing specialist certificate qualifications in digital marketing can be a great way to differentiate yourself from other job candidates and demonstrate your expertise in a specific area.

Short courses and Award Qualifications

Additionally, short course programs are even shorter courses that can be completed in a matter of weeks. Similarly to specialist Certifications, they provide an in-depth