About artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is a powerful tool that increasingly supports our way of life, at home and in the workplace. From predicting the weather and monitoring our heating, to collating election results, scanning faces on CCTV and analysing vast amounts of customer data, AI is applied by both businesses and consumers to manage complex activities with speed, efficiency and precision.

In such a fast-moving and complex field, the challenge is in understanding the evolving uses of AI and the far-reaching ethical implications. The reality today is that AI is being implemented by teams and organisations who don’t yet comprehend its potential. By the same token, consumers are adopting AI technology without knowing the true impact it could be having on their lives.

What are the benefits of the AI Foundation Pathway?

The BCS AI Foundation Pathway enables you to develop a solid understanding of this cutting-edge technology through efficient bite-size learning. The unique approach lets you select the learning that’s relevant to your own career or user journey, as and when you need it, and without having to sit a full certification.

You may be starting out in your AI career looking to build core knowledge, or you work in one of the many business areas impacted by AI - business analysis, software testing, agile, user experience to name just a few - and you need to grasp a better understanding. Maybe you’re a tech consumer simply interested in this exciting and innovative field. Whichever your perspective, the AI Foundation Pathway offers the ideal route for your AI education.

Bite-size learning is proven as an efficient and highly effective way to develop your knowledge and skills

The AI pathway takes a holistic approach encompassing the different ways of working and thinking in the field

You can develop knowledge in your chosen area of AI, without having to invest the time and money you’d need to sit a full certification

It’s a practical alternative to university study, and a fantastic opportunity to kickstart your AI career

How does the pathway work?

Choose from 12 awards set within four key areas of AI:

  • business innovation
  • data
  • ethics
  • machine learning and other AI techniques

Each of the 12 awards is a qualification in its own right, carrying between 3 and 5 credits.

By taking four awards (20 credits), one in each key area, you’ll gain a Foundation Certificate in AI.

Continuing further along the pathway, by taking eight awards (36 credits) you can achieve a Foundation Diploma in AI.

Here's what the full certification pathway looks like

The AI Foundation Pathway portfolio

Business innovation

Explore different types of organisations and their uses of AI, the challenges and opportunities they might face, and whether AI can offer the right solutions.


Learn how data enables AI to perform, how it’s cleaned, structured and stored - and specifically focusing on machine learning how to use data in the right way, work with security protocols and tackle issues around ethics.


AI’s ability to learn, replicate and predict means it will have a considerable impact on society and our environment if we don’t approach it ethically, sustainably and with clear governance. This set of awards explores the impact of decision-making and is vital learning for any forward-thinking IT professional.

Machine learning and other AI techniques

Big data, patterns, smart products, robotics, automation, knowledge-based systems and more - a firm understanding of these aspects, their role and how they affect business, products and services is crucial. Learn which techniques are required to help businesses make the right decisions, and how they need to be implemented to be successful.