Important announcement: Higher Education Qualifications (HEQ)

As the Chartered Institute for IT, it is our responsibility to ensure our qualifications are continually reviewed and updated to ensure they support the needs and demands of the future workforce.

Read the full announcement

Who is it for?

  • The Certificate in IT is for students looking to build a solid foundation for a career in IT and computing

What are the entry requirements?

  • You need to be a BCS member to sit the exams
  • You must be aged 16 years old and over

While not a requirement, it is recommended that those studying HEQ are working at International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Level 5.5 or above.

Apply for membership

What will I learn?

Three core modules covering fundamental principles in IT:

Our qualification guide provides further information.


Is there any exemption?

  • If you already hold a qualification that covers the HEQ syllabus, you may qualify for exemption from a particular module.

    Check exemption criteria

How do I get this qualification?

Complete training programme (recommended)

Complete your study with a BCS approved training provider - they're located around the world.

How long will it take?

Study typically takes six months.

Where can I study?

We have BCS approved training providers in:

  • Ghana
  • Mauritius
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Zimbabwe

How much does it cost?

Course prices vary depending on your chosen training provider and course format.

Find a training provider

Exam only (study on your own)

Ideal if you’re self-motivated and already have some basic IT knowledge.

How long will it take?

To prepare for your exams, we recommend a minimum of 200 hours of study for each of the three modules - that's 600 hours in total.

There's a two-hour exam at the end of each module.

When can I sit my exams?

Find out more about the annual availability for HEQ exams.

Where do I sit my exams?

We have exam venues across the world, including Colombo and Reduit.

How much does it cost?

Exam price (per module): £45

Register for an exam

What format is the exam?

Written exam covering each module

  • Two hour ‘closed book’
  • Pass mark: 40%

Past papers and exam reports

Need some help?

Read our guidance on exam technique for tips on what to do when you open your exam paper.

New! Certificate in IT study guides

Our new set of guides covers the complete level 4 syllabus:

(£19.99 each)

Head to the BCS Bookshop for your copies.

Better still, become a BCS HEQ Student member and access every level 4 guide for FREE.

"Studying for BCS qualifications was the wisest decision I made - coupled with excellent teaching support, I was able to achieve the highest accolades."

Mohomed Nillar, PGD in IT graduate, Sri Lanka

What's next?

Take your IT skills further by progressing to the BCS Diploma in IT.

Diploma in IT

  • You're eligible to sit the Diploma in IT once you've achieved your Certificate level
  • Select your Diploma modules to suit your chosen career path

Read more about the Diploma in IT