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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
118279  Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing 
ORIGINATOR
Management College of Southern Africa (MANCOSA) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   HEQSF - Higher Education Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Higher Certificate  Field 03 - Business, Commerce and Management Studies  Marketing 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  120  Not Applicable  NQF Level 05  Regular-Provider-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Registered  SAQA 011/21  2021-07-14  2024-07-14 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2025-07-14   2028-07-14  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of the Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing is to provide the learner with the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare them for opportunities and challenges within the Digital Marketing environment. This qualification provides the learner with a well-rounded understanding of the theory and methodology which enables learners to engage with marketing tools in a professional context.

The qualification will enable the learner to follow a career in Digital Marketing that allows them to utilise technology to communicate products via Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other websites. The learner will be able to apply branding concepts to aid with conceptualising the product to target niche markets. The qualification does not intend to provide the deep skill set in the technology itself, however, the learner will be exposed to web design and development which will allow learners to analyse information to work in collaboration with technology specialists and web developers. The learner will further engage with various mobile, online, search engines and social media platforms to establish an understanding of how technology can be utilised to market a business. An emphasis will be placed on Digital Marketing strategies and solutions and the increasingly important role that both play in achieving the overall marketing objectives of the organisation.

Furthermore, the qualification will ensure that the learner understands the organisational environment with regards to Branding, Web Analytics, Social Media and Communications to make informed decisions within the professional context. Learners will be able to engage with technology specialists and web developers to aid with implementing strategies to achieve marketing objectives.

Rationale:
Digital marketing scholars argue that organisations are realising the value and need for effective digital communications and Digital Marketing. There is also a growing need globally for digital marketers. This is, however, constrained by the scarcity of professionals in the field. This qualification will bridge this gap by allowing learners to obtain a qualification with a specialising in Digital Marketing. Currently, there has been a drastic shift to effectively utilise Digital Marketing as a competitive advantage to ensure organisational messages reach various target markets. The high unemployment rate coupled with what the scholars state as a gap in specialists' educational qualifications showcases the dire need to offer this specialised qualification in Digital Marketing.

A vast majority of organisations struggle with the implementation of effective marketing strategies utilising digital communication technologies. This highlights the dire need for Digital Marketing strategies in the form of digital content development, web marketing, email marketing, mobile marketing and, ultimately, the specialisation and professionalisation of this field.

The typical learners that this qualification hopes to attract are holders of a National Senior Certificate who did not obtain a Bachelor's degree pass and hope to complete the Higher Certificate to gain entry into Bachelor's Degree studies. Members of an organisation that would like to expand on their Digital Marketing knowledge and obtain a qualification in this field may also enrol for this qualification. The qualification would also benefit current marketers who would like to become knowledgeable about the digital nature of marketing.

Some of the career opportunities that will be available to the learner include and not limited to include:
  • Marketing Consultant.
  • Marketing Assistant.
  • Content Coordinator.
  • Public Relations Representative.
  • Digital Marketing Officer.
  • Product Marketer.
  • Brand Marketer.

    Qualifying learners will be cognisant of the rapidly changing environment of Digital Marketing and have the skills and knowledge to contribute to this sector. They will gain knowledge in and develop the following competencies:
  • Analyse and apply digital marketing, social media, business communications and branding principles, concepts and processes.
  • Differentiate between the contexts and relationships of digital marketing, social media and branding as part of an integrated approach to digital marketing communication.
  • Examine and apply spheres of digital content development, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile marketing.
  • Develop digital marketing strategies and techniques such as digital content development, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile marketing and analyse digital marketing strategies and techniques to inform future marketing strategy development ethically and professionally.
  • Critically examine and provide solutions to the digital marketing environment by exploring branding and business communication principles. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    The RPL policy provides processes and procedures by which RPL is conducted at the institution. The institution's RPL Policy will be applied to ensure transparency and consistency of the process.

    Learners who do not meet the minimum admission requirements of a particular qualification, could, under certain conditions, apply for admission based on Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

    Furthermore, Credit Accumulation and Transfer (CAT) mechanism exists for access, credits and advance standing for formal learning from a recognised, registered and accredited institution on a registered and accredited qualification. CAT rules as proposed by national policy, are applied.

    Credits are awarded for individual modules or qualification status, if, in the opinion of the assessors, the applicant meets all or most of the outcomes to determine the suitability of being admitted into the qualification. Where prior learning is recognised for advanced standing, credit will be given for prior certificated learning in accordance with established practice at South African higher education institutions.

    Entry Requirements:
    The minimum entry requirement for this qualification is:
  • National Senior Certificate, NQF Level 4, granting access to higher certificate studies.
    Or
  • National Certificate (Vocational), NQF Level 4, granting access to higher certificate studies.
    Or
  • Senior Certificate, NQF Level 4. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification consists of the following compulsory modules at NQF Level 5 totalling 120 Credits.

    Compulsory Modules, Level 5, 120 Credits:
  • Introduction to Digital Marketing, 20 Credits
  • Business Communications, 20 Credits
  • Introduction to Social Media, 20 Credits
  • Digital Marketing Communications, 20 Credits
  • Web Design and Development for Digital Marketing, 20 Credits
  • Branding, 20 Credits 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Analyse and apply relevant digital marketing, social media, business communication and branding principles, concepts and processes within a well-defined, familiar and supported digital environment.
    2. Distinguish between the contexts and relationships of digital marketing, social media and branding as part of an integrated approach to digital marketing communication.
    3. Evaluate and apply digital content development, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile marketing.
    4. Develop digital marketing strategies and techniques such as digital content development, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and mobile marketing.
    5. Analyse digital marketing strategies and techniques to inform future marketing strategy development ethically and professionally.
    6. Examine and provide solutions to the digital marketing environment by exploring and applying branding and business communication principles. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • Examine the origins and impact of digital marketing, social media, business communication and branding to understand the foundations that underpin concepts in Digital Marketing.
  • Investigate the principles, concepts, and processes of digital marketing, social media, business communication and branding to understand the integrative nature of the marketing processes.
  • Explore the roles, purposes and benefits of digital marketing, social media, business communication and branding to highlight the key principles of Digital Marketing.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • Analyse and apply the scope and context of digital marketing to form a holistic understanding of the integrative nature of Digital Marketing communications.
  • Evaluate the transformation of the marketing industry in the new digital age to understand the importance and need for Digital Marketing.
  • Examine and apply key stages and processes for creating an integrated Digital Marketing plan.
  • Investigate and apply the marketing mix across digital marketing, social media and branding.
  • Contextualise Digital marketing processes and relationships to other areas/functions of the organisation.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • Identify and explore the digital marketing requirements of the organisation to realise the importance of an effective marketing strategy.
  • Compare and contrast different digital marketing planning approaches to inform best practice.
  • Examine the scope, role and dynamics of the social media, search engine, and mobile marketing industry to gain an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of the Digital Marketing industry.
  • Identify and apply social media, search engine, and mobile marketing to the marketing mix.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Develop and implement digital marketing plans and strategies within a business context.
  • Identify and establish digital content strategies for various business purposes.
  • Explore, develop and apply web design and development in terms of social media, search engine and mobile marketing strategies.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Analyse and evaluate digital marketing data, plan and strategies to evaluate the success of digital marketing strategies.
  • Examine and evaluate web analytics as key digital marketing analysis tools.
  • Analyse social media, search engine, and mobile marketing strategies to inform future strategy development.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 6:
  • Examine branding to show the transformation in the modern digital age.
  • Analyse and apply brand identity and equity to an organisational context.
  • Develop and apply personal presentation, branding and business communication skills.

    Integrated Assessment
    Integrated assessments will be designed to achieve the Exit Level Outcomes of the qualification and evidence of applied competence. Formative and summative assessment is done to determine learners' progress and competence.

    Formative assessment:
    These are online assessments. These assessments are in the form of multiple-choice, true/false or a combination of both. The scheme of work includes assignments based on the learning material and learners are given feedback. The process is continuous and focuses on smaller sections of the work and the limited number of outcomes. Formative assessment consists of knowledge checks, reflective assessments and learning community assessment.

    Summative assessment:
    This assessment is in the form of a project and requires calculations and/or application to relevant theory. Examinations or equivalent assessment such as a research essay or portfolio to determine a representative selection of the outcomes practised and assessed in the formative stage. The summative assessment also tests the learner's ability to manage and integrate a large body of knowledge to achieve the stated outcomes of a module.

    Summative assessment consists of projects, pen/paper examination and a portfolio of evidence. Knowledge checks may comprise matching columns, multiple-choice questions, true and false and drag and drop assessment methods. Reflective assessments may consist of a short essay, long essay/case studies and posting comments/peer review. Synoptic assessment may consist of projects, pen/paper examination and a portfolio of evidence.

    Formative assessment contributes 40% while summative assessment constitutes 60% of the final assessment. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The qualification was compared to three international institutions. The focus of the comparison was mostly on the degree of similarity in the purpose and the qualification structure.

    Country: United States America
    Institution: Duke University
    Qualification Title: Digital Media and Marketing Certificate

    Purpose:
    The online, self-paced qualification is designed for individuals seeking to enhance their existing digital marketing skills or pursue a new career in this growing industry. The qualification aims to deliver a curriculum that provides learners with advanced knowledge of the eight most important digital marketing domains and includes real-world projects and virtual simulations for practical experience. Learners will gain expert guidance and best practice insights to inspire a new Digital Marketing pathway equipped with hands-on skills, and ready to action knowledge.

    Qualification structure:

    The qualification covers the following module:
  • Digital Marketing Certified Associate (DMCA) Advanced Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
  • Advanced Content Marketing
  • Advanced Social Media
  • Advanced Mobile Marketing
  • Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC)
  • Advanced Website Conversion Rate Optimisation
  • Advanced Web Analytics
  • Advanced Email Marketing

    Similarities:
    The qualification covers content related to social media, analytics and different types of social media campaigns. It equips learners with the skills required to adequately relate to the evolving digital market. Learners are equipped with the knowledge to sufficiently understand the social and digital platform to aid in business marketing. The proposed qualification is similar, as Social Media, Web Analytic and Marketing elements are incorporated into the curriculum.

    Differences:
    The qualification does not include web design and development which are explored, developed and applied in terms of social media, search engine and mobile marketing strategies in the proposed qualification.

    Country: Canada
    Institution: University of Toronto
    Qualification Title: Digital Marketing Management

    Purpose of Qualification:
    The qualification covers the foundations of the field as well as the specialist disciplines of search engine marketing and social media marketing. It will prepare learners to become specialist, occupy leadership and management roles and use digital marketing to achieve a measurable return on investment (ROI).

    Qualification structure:
    The qualification covers the following compulsory and elective modules.
    Compulsory modules:
  • Foundations of digital strategy and marketing management.
  • Search engine marketing.
  • Social media strategy.
    Elective modules:
  • Foundations of Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Strategies to Build Trust and Stand Out on Google.
  • Foundations of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management: Tactics and Strategy to Drive Growth.

    Similarities:
    The Digital Marketing Management covers content related to Search Engine Marketing and the Foundation of Digital Marketing. It equips the learners with the foundational knowledge required to understand digital marketing with aspects of social media marketing. The Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing demonstrates similarity to the Digital Marketing Management in that it covers topics on:
  • Web Analytics.
  • Web Design.
  • Business Communication.
  • Social Media Marketing tools.

    Difference:
    The qualification does differ through the offering of two electives modules:
  • Foundations of Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Strategies to Build Trust and Stand Out on Google
  • Foundations of Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Management: Tactics and Strategy to Drive Growth

    Country: New Zealand
    Institution: New Zealand Institute of Education
    Qualification Title: Diploma in Digital Marketing
    Duration: one year full time.
    Purpose:
    The qualification is committed to growing the capability of New Zealand businesses. The institution identifies digital marketing as one of the most powerful tools to drive that growth. Its goal is to develop capable digital marketers who can help any business harness the digital advantage. The qualification will equip learners with the social media skills and confidence to help business grow. Learners will be able to design, implement, and execute a digital marketing strategy on a range of platforms including Google, Facebook, Instagram, and the Adobe Creative Suite.

    Qualification structure:
    The qualification comprises of the following modules.
  • Digital Marketing Principles and Practice
  • Content Marketing and Media
  • Digital Design Principles
  • Websites and e-commerce
  • Mobile Marketing
  • Social Media Marketing and Email
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Data Analysis and Reporting

    Similarities:
    The Diploma in Digital Marketing is a one-year qualification with a focus on similar areas of content such as Digital Marketing Principles, Mobile Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Marketing in comparison to the proposed Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing. Similarity may also be noted between Data Analysis and Web Analytics.

    Difference:
    The Diploma in Digital Marketing does differ in the level of qualification and articulate content areas at a more advanced level.

    Conclusion:
    Through the utilisation of international comparisons, the Higher Certificate in Digital Marketing is designed to reflect international educational developments in the Digital Marketing field. This comparison allows the Institution to appropriately benchmark and research the appropriateness of the qualification offering and its content areas. The proposed qualification seeks to align itself with international trends whilst taking into account the unique needs of the South African digital marketing environment. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    This qualification allows possibilities for both horizontal and vertical articulation.
    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Higher Certificate in Marketing, NQF Level 5
  • Higher Certificate in Social Media and Communication, NQF Level 5

    Vertical Articulation:
  • Diploma in Marketing, NQF Level 6
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management, NQF Level 7 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    N/A 

    LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.