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Information Technology (Certificate of Higher Education)

In the modern workplace, it can be hard to keep up with rapidly changing information, communication and web technologies. This undergraduate-level professional development course introduces you to the use of IT in a business environment. Its main aim is to enhance your knowledge, technical skills and expertise, so it's ideal if you want to develop your professional IT skills and learn how to apply those skills in both commercial and not-for-profit organisations. 

In Year 1 of our Information Technology Certificate of Higher Education you will be introduced to the use of IT and internet technologies. Year 2 builds on this introduction to provide a more advanced view of the use of IT, database and web technologies, and web programming in a business environment. You'll also have the opportunity to carry out a project tackling a real-life work-related problem, such as creating a small business website or an online e-shop. 

Practical skills-based classes are held in modern computing labs, enabling you to learn through practical engagement. Lectures and group activities stimulate learning, while our online learning environment provides a wide range of digital resources to complement and support your learning. 

We offer a stimulating, supportive environment that is ideal for working learners, students new to the subject, and those returning to study after a break. You can learn and progress at a pace that suits your own needs and career aims. 


  • This flexible certificate offers a number of options for students who are combining evening study with work and other daytime commitments: you can take modules as stand-alone short courses, or graduate with a Certificate of Continuing Education or the full Certificate of Higher Education.
  • The Department of Computer Science and Information Systems at Birkbeck is one of the longest-established computing departments in the UK; we celebrate our 65th anniversary in 2022. We provide a stimulating teaching and research environment for both part-time and full-time students.
  • In the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF), more than 75% of our research outputs in Computer Science were ranked world-leading or internationally excellent.
  • Our academic staff are leading researchers in their fields, drawn from both the academic and professional world
  • The Department has its own dedicated network within the College. We also have four state-of-the-art computing laboratories, with over 100 workstations. They are equipped with a wide range of cutting-edge software and tools. 

Progression to degrees at Birkbeck

If you successfully complete the Certificate of Higher Education, you can go on to our Foundation Degree in Computing/Information Technology/Web Development, which offers a route onto our BSc Computing.

Course structure

You must register on and successfully complete:

  • four individual modules to a total of 60 credits to gain a Certificate of Continuing Education in IT Applications (one to two years)
  • a further four individual modules to a total of 120 credits for the full Certificate of Higher Education in Information Technology (two to four years).

Module groups

You can take these modules as part of this certificate, or as standalone short courses.

  • Entry Requirements

    Entry requirements

    No formal entry requirements. However, good numeracy and literacy skills are required, as well as good keyboard and basic computer skills, such as the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL). Some modules have prerequisites, which you must meet before you can undertake the module. 

    Visa requirements

    If you are not from the UK and you do not already have residency here, you may need to apply for a visa.

    The visa you apply for varies according to the length of your course:

    • Courses of more than six months' duration: Student visa
    • Courses of less than six months' duration: Standard Visitor visa

    International students who require a Student visa should apply for our full-time courses as these qualify for Student visa sponsorship. If you are living in the UK on a Student visa, you will not be eligible to enrol as a student on Birkbeck's part-time courses (with the exception of some modules).

    For full information, read our visa information for international students page.

    Please also visit the international section of our website to find out more about relevant requirements by country.

  • Fees


    Fees are payable per module and vary depending on the course. Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see the fees for each module. The overall cost of the certificate will depend on the modules you choose. 

    Please note: if you intend to study this certificate part-time and fund your studies via a student loan, this may affect your entitlement for future full-time funding. Find out more about funding your studies with a student loan.


  • Teaching and assessment


    Blended learning, including lectures and practical IT skills-based workshops. All learning materials are available online.


    A mixture of tutor-marked assignments, mini-projects and coursework portfolio. There are no examinations on this course. 

  • Careers and employability

    Careers and employability

    Graduates can pursue careers in computer programming, web development, database development and management, IT support services and systems analysis and design.

    We offer a comprehensive Careers Service to help you advance your career, while our in-house, professional recruitment consultancy, Birkbeck Talent, works with London’s top employers to help you gain work experience that fits in with your evening studies. 

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    This is a modular enrolment certificate, so you will need to enrol onto individual modules (rather than onto the entire programme of study). Please view the Course Structure and then click on the title of individual modules to see class dates and times and to enrol.