How Mr Freeze, Catwoman & Poison Ivy are the key to a distinction in your exam

I have a confession to make.  I am not a massive Marvel or DC fan.  I don’t understand all of the relationships, I have barely watched an avengers film, but I do have a soft spot for the Joker.  One thing that I do love, however, is planning my loved one’s birthdays.  I like to find special places to take them, the more theatrical the better.

In August it was my partner’s birthday and I took him to Park Row – a DC-themed restaurant in London.  I had booked for us to go to the Monarch’s Theatre within the restaurant, this was an interactive 12-course experience with matching drinks.  Each course was themed with a DC character, starting with the villains such as the Riddler and the joker, and ending with the heroes with Batman and Superman.  It was housed in an all-white room with projections on the walls to match the DC character.

However, the courses I found most interesting were those in the middle.  The host explained that these three DC characters were the grey areas, neither truly good nor bad.  He argued that actually they were at heart good, but did some questionable things that hurt people.  This applied to Mr Freeze, Catwoman and Poison Ivy.  He asked us to evaluate their characters and see that actually they were not really villains, just misunderstood.

You’ll know by now that I love to apply what I am experiencing to CIPS, and in particular the exams, so this got me thinking.  Finding the grey area is exactly what you should be doing in your constructive response exams across levels 4 – 6.  In your CIPS Diploma, Advanced Diploma & Professional Diploma you will be asked to evaluate a topic for certain questions.  In this, you should do exactly what our host in the Monarch Theatre was doing.  Mention the black and the white, and then argue the grey.  Come off the fence, give your own personal opinion and justify why you think this.  Without this, you will struggle to achieve a distinction grade.

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Level 3 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M3
6
15th Jan, 29th Jan, 5th Feb, 19th Feb, 26th Feb, 4th Mar
May 2024
M4
3
15th Apr, 22nd Apr, 29th Apr
July 2024
M5
3
3rd June, 10th June, 24th June
Nov 2024
M1
3
7th Oct, 21st Oct, 4th November
Mar 2025
M2&M3
6
13th Jan, 20th Jan, 27th Jan, 10th Feb, 24th Feb, 3rd March
May 2025
M4
3
7th Apr, 14th Apr, 28th Apr
July 2025
M5
3
2nd June, 16th June, 30th June

Level 6 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M2 & M5
5
25th Jan, 1st Feb, 8th Feb, 22nd Feb, 29th Feb
May 2024
M4 & M7
4
18th April, 25th April, 2nd May, 9th May
July 2024
M3 & M8
5
30th May, 20th June, 27th June, 4th July, 11th July
November 2024
M1
3
10th Oct, 24th Oct, 7th Nov
Mar 2025
M2 & M5
5
30th Jan, 6th Feb, 13th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th Mar
May 2025
M4 & M7
4
3rd April, 10th April, 1st May, 8th May
July 2025
M3 & M8
5
5th June, 12th June, 19th June, 26th June, 3rd July

Level 5 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M5, M15 & M9
4
31st Jan, 7th Feb, 21st Feb, 28th Feb, 6th March
May 2024
M3 & M8
4
10th April, 17th April, 24th April, 1st May
July 2024
M4
3
5th June, 11th June, 26th June
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
9th Oct, 16th Oct, 23rd Oct, 30th Oct, 6th Nov
Mar 2025
M15, M5, M9
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M3 & M8
4
9th April, 16th April, 30th April, 7th June
July 2025
M4
3
4th June, 18th June, 2nd July

Level 4 Diamond Timetable

Exam Series Module No. of sessions Dates
March 2024
M3, M5, M7
6
23rd Jan, 30th Jan, 6th Feb, 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 5th March
May 2024
M4 & M6
4
9th April, 16th April, 23rd April, 30th April
July 2024
M8
3
4th June, 18th June, 3rd July
November 2024
M1 & M2
5
8th Oct, 15th Oct, 22nd Oct, 29th Oct, 5th Nov
March 2025
M3, M5, M7
5
29th Jan, 5th Feb, 12th Feb, 26th Feb, 5th March
May 2025
M4 & M6
4
8th April, 15th April, 29th April, 6th June
July 2025
M8
3
10th June, 24th June, 8th July