Foundation Degree in Payroll Management

This qualification sets out to ensure an in-depth understanding of payroll, and the complex payroll legislation involved, and also provides management skills including performance, time, project and operational management.

The business management modules within the qualification will provide students with transferable skills such as performance, time, project and operational management.

Once successfully completed you may choose to enrol on the BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management (CIPP).

The Foundation Degree in Payroll Management also helps towards meeting the criteria in order to apply for Individual Chartered Status.

Why should I invest in this qualification?

This qualification will provide increased confidence and knowledge in payroll, and help prevent penalties and fines for non-compliance.

The work based project, and completed assessments, are based on legislation and your own organisation, which will improve knowledge and enhance transferable management skills, benefitting your role through improved efficiencies and effectiveness.

Who is this qualification aimed at?

Individuals wishing to enhance their career opportunities through the achievement of an industry recognised qualification, and apply your new found skills within the workplace.

Business case to help you gain approval:

Foundation Degree in Payroll Management Business Case for Employers


Year one - Practitioner certificate in payroll, focusing on core principals of payroll processing and manual tax calculations.

Objectives of the payroll department

  • Data gathering and payroll production
  • Employment status

Assessment of pay and benefits

  • Introduction to remuneration and employee benefits
  • Contractual payments
  • Performance related pay; e.g. bonuses and commission
  • Types of pension schemes and introduction to pensions provision and auto enrolment
  • PAYE income tax allowances

Working in a team

  • Communication
  • Effective co-ordination
  • Team structure and roles within the team
  • Setting and meeting objectives

Deductions from pay

  • National Insurance
  • Income tax
  • Court orders
  • Student loans
  • Other deductions

Absence processing

  • Statutory and occupational sick, maternity, paternity and adoption pay
  • Annual leave
  • Compassionate leave
  • Unauthorised absences

Year two - Advanced practitioner certificate in payroll looks further into payroll processing and specifically into statutory payments.

Leading the team

  • Monitoring and controlling performance
  • Appraisals
  • Supervisory skills
  • Change management
  • Contracts of employment

Provision of effective and efficient administration

  • Payment methods and distribution arrangements
  • Audit practices and procedures
  • Balancing and accounting for payroll
  • Management information and distribution
  • Quality standards

Contractual aspects of payroll administration

  • Employment law and its impact on payroll
  • Transfers
  • Permanent and temporary changes to contracts
  • Starters and leavers; including retirement and redundancies
  • Equal opportunities

Advanced payroll processing

  • Pay awards
  • Pay spines
  • Teachers’ pay structure
  • Remuneration packages
  • Automatic enrolment
  • Introduction to flexible benefits
  • End of year
  • Directors’ NIC
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Termination payments
  • Overpayments

Define and manage, systems, security and risk

  • System requirements
  • Management information
  • Data storage
  • Data protection
  • Security and confidentiality
  • Fraud
  • Payroll contingencies
  • Disruptions and risks to payroll
  • Employer obligations

Year three: Diploma in payroll management focuses on the more advanced payroll processing and strategic planning.

Work based project

  • Develop a research design and strategy
  • Work independently, self-critically and in an organised way on research tasks
  • Exercise critical judgement on concepts, theories and models appropriate to a work-based issue
  • Apply those concepts, theories and models to a work-based issue while sustaining a coherent and logical argument
  • Articulate and communicate the findings
  • Determine feasible opportunities for organisational development

Improving services and operations

  • Managing operations for services
  • Planning, obtaining and monitoring resources
  • Benchmarking quality issues
  • Planning and delivering projects
  • Customer service
  • Managing change and continuous improvement

Flexible benefits, finance and budgets

  • P11D and P9D requirements
  • Third party benefits
  • Compensatory benefits
  • Class 1A NICs
  • Salary sacrifice
  • Creating and controlling benefits

Understanding customers and clients

  • Marketing skills and techniques
  • Negotiation skills and techniques
  • Verbal communication and body language
  • Managing time
  • Effective presentations
  • Decision making
  • Taking part in and chairing meetings
  • Problem solving
  • Creativity

Personal effectiveness and professional development

  • Career planning/goal setting to fit with the ever changing world of work
  • Recognising and using opportunities for the transfer of own skills, especially work based skills
  • Consideration of evidence for accreditation of prior learning and experience
  • Application of learning which enables personal development leading to enrichment of skills, knowledge and best performance


The Foundation Degree in Payroll Management is delivered through blended learning. Each module consists of one module review day, which is face to face at specified locations throughout the UK, a two hour tutorial which will be provided either face to face or online based on your geographical location and home study through the HOW college student website. For employers with five or more learners, the course can be delivered on your site. For further information please email us.

Recommended study hours per week are 8-10 hours.

How much does it cost?

 £2495 + VAT per year

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL): £995 + VAT

If you wish to enrol on more than 5 people or for more information on the costs, please call 0121 712 1023 or email us here.

What do my fees include?

  • Access to the CIPP’s student website which provides:
  • Discussion forums so that students can support each other and where tutors can respond to any questions
  • Study material, induction and module review day slides, plus other relevant information
  • Allocation of a tutor to provide you with support during your studies based on geographical location to ensure maximum benefit
  • Induction and module review days
  • Exam and assignment fees: please note that there will be additional cost for deferrals and re-sits if required
  • University registration and the Heart of Worcestershire College student membership with specialist online support
  • Trial student membership of the CIPP for the duration of your studies, providing you with access to:
  • Enquiries to the CIPP’s technical Advisory Service helpline
  • Online Professional in Payroll, Pensions and Reward magazine
  • News On Line e-newsletter with the latest news, updates and legislation

Student loans

Student loans

Due to changes in HEFCE funding, students enrolling on the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management, Foundation Degree in Pensions Administration and Management and BA (Hons) in Applied Business and Management for the autumn 2012 intake onwards are eligible for student loans to assist with funding these qualifications. Student loans are available to all self-funding students in England who have not had a student loan previously. They are not based on, nor do they affect, your credit rating. Students living in Scotland, Wales or Ireland are not currently within the student loan process. Students looking for public support to assist with funding these qualifications should apply for a part time student grant from their respective government body.

The benefits of a student loan to an individual would be:

  • No requirement to pay course fees upfront
  • No re-payment unless you reach the gross earnings threshold for student loans being £21,000 – from September 2012
  • Repayments only commence following completion of the qualification
  • You only pay back the equivalent of 9% of your earnings in excess of the gross pay threshold
  • No effect on your credit history
  • No re-payments due should you not be in work
  • No time limit for payment of the full loan
  • Gain an industry recognised University accredited qualification which is supported by a Chartered Institute
  • No credit check takes place and the loan is automatically available on the basis of the qualification being recognised by the Student Loans Company

Students applying for a student loan must do so through the Student Loan Company. Application packs will consist of the part-time Tuition Fee Loan application form (for new students starting their course on or after 1 September 2012), along with notes and guidance to help students with their application, information can also be found here. To download a student loan application form, please the Student Loan Company website. Further information on student loans can be viewed here. If you are applying for a student loan for the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management you will be asked for the name of the institute. Please state Heart of Worcestershire College not the CIPP on your application form.

Please contact the education team on 0121 712 1023 before completing the student loan application to obtain the correct information.


Entry level to the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management can be at year one or two, depending on experience, allowing the qualification to be achieved in two years or three. 

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Recognition of Prior Learning is a method of assessment (leading to the award of credit) that considers whether learners can demonstrate that they can meet the assessment requirements for a unit through knowledge, understanding or skills they already possess and do not need to develop through a course of learning. RPL applies to the following CIPP payroll qualifications:

Foundation Degree in Payroll Management and Foundation Degree in Pensions Administration and Management – allowing students to enrol at year two.

Students wishing to enrol on year two of the Foundation Degree in Payroll Management or the Foundation Degree in Pensions Administration and Management will have to demonstrate that they have at least two years’ experience in the profession.

The RPL process is:

  1. Complete the year two application form and return to the CIPP offices via post
  2. The CIPP will contact you once your application has been received with login details and instructions for the on-line assessment.
  3. Should you successfully complete the RPL assessment, you shall be enrolled to start at the next available start date
  4. Should you be unsuccessful, you will be invited to enrol on year one