Automation: Implementation in Business online certificate course

Course starts 10 February 2021

Course information

Registration Closes:
2 February 2021
Course Starts:
10 February 2021
6 weeks, excluding orientation
8–10 hours per week, self-paced learning online
GBP £2,100
Payment Options
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)


The LSE Automation: Implementation in Business online certificate course explores the capabilities and applications of emerging service automation technologies and how to effectively and ethically deploy these technologies within your organisation for optimal business value.

Over the course of six weeks, you’ll examine Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cognitive Automation (CA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), and how these technologies are changing the way businesses are seeking to increase productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

You’ll also explore the ethical implications employers face as they prepare for the future of work, and consider how intelligent automation technologies can be applied for social good.

Automation technology is a growing priority for businesses. According to Gartner, RPA is the fastest-growing segment of the global enterprise software market.1

1 Gartner (Jun, 2019).

Note: This course is designed for professionals across a wide range of industries who are interested in the strategic management of service automation technologies. While you’ll gain insight into the technologies underpinning RPA, CA or AI, this course focuses on the management aspects of automation and is nontechnical in nature.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • The skills to manage service automation technologies and make informed business decisions based on your knowledge

  • An understanding of what these technologies involve, how they are developing, and how they can be strategically employed in your organisation

  • The ability to implement and sustain RPA within your business, and an understanding of the application potential of other automation technologies such as CA and AI

  • The skills to prepare for automation and ethically navigate its deployment with an understanding of its impact on people and the workplace

Is this course for you?

This course has been designed for business executives and senior managers who are leading or exploring innovation, market competitiveness, automation and digitalisation, and who need a comprehensive understanding of the business potential of automation. It’s relevant to professionals who are already implementing, or wanting to deploy, automation technologies in their organisation. More specifically, managers who are exploring robotic processes will benefit from learning how to implement and sustain RPA in their organisation. Professionals who work in industries that are likely to experience automation will gain comprehensive knowledge of the automation process, as well as practical insight into the opportunities and risks involved.

CPD certification service logo This Automation: Implementation in Business online certificate course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies.
The course has an estimated 60 hours of learning.

Note: should you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.


Course curriculum

Prepare your business for automation as you follow your learning path through the weekly modules of this online certificate course.

  • Orientation Module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 The service automation landscape
  • Module 2 Managing RPA: Becoming strategic
  • Module 3 RPA for business: Maintaining momentum
  • Module 4 Managing Cognitive Automation: Technologies and challenges
  • Module 5 Taking action on the promise of AI
  • Module 6 Service automation and the future of work

Enhance your business value through automation

This LSE online certificate course is delivered in collaboration with GetSmarter. Learn from expert LSE faculty as you develop your understanding of service automation technologies, explore the future of work, and consider the ethical implications of automation.

Course Convenor

The design of this online course is guided by LSE faculty and industry experts who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the course.

Professor Leslie Willcocks

Professor Leslie Willcocks

Professor of Work, Technology and Globalisation in the Department of Management at LSE

Leslie has a worldwide reputation for his research and advisory work on automation, digital business, the future of work, IT and business process outsourcing, organisational change, management, and global strategy. He has developed executive education programmes for organisations including: Standard Chartered Bank, Stater, ABN Amro Bank, Royal Sun Alliance, Singtel, Commonwealth Bank, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Trizma, Accenture, IBM, Rotterdam Port Harbour Authority, and several government institutions in the UK, USA and Australia. He has served as an expert witness on congressional committees and senate inquiries on outsourcing in Australia and the USA and provided evidence to a number of UK government reports on major public sector IT projects. For the last 28 years he has been editor-in-chief of the Journal of Information Technology and is the co-author of 65 books. His recent publications, which cover over 450 automation deployments, include Service Automation, Robots and The Future of Work (2016), Robotic Process Automation and Risk Mitigation: The Definitive Guide (2017), Robotic and Cognitive Automation: The Next Phase (2018), and Becoming Strategic With Robotic Process Automation (2019).

Course Contributors

Wayne Butterfield

Wayne Butterfield

Senior Director and Practice Lead, Intelligent Automation

Michael Mainelli

Michael Mainelli

Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group

John Hindle

John Hindle

Managing Partner, Knowledge Capital Partners

Dr Will Venters

Dr Will Venters

Assistant Professor in Digital Innovation and Information Systems

Ian Barkin

Ian Barkin

Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer: Sykes Enterprise, Incorporate

Igor Alexsandar

Igor Alexsandar

Professor Emeritus in Neural Systems Engineering, Imperial College London

Jon Theuerkauf

Jon Theuerkauf

Chief Customer Officer at Blue Prism

Earn a certificate from LSE

Get recognised for your knowledge when you earn an official certificate of competence from the London School of Economics and Political Science – a world-leading social science university – and use it to validate your newfound skills and techniques in the ethical and effective implementation of service automation technologies.

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and couriered to you, at no additional cost, upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.


When do I start?

Our next available short course starts 10 February 2021.

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Enter your information below to view the course prospectus from GetSmarter.

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Still have a question? These may help


    You can either pay your tuition fees in full before the course starts, or you may opt for a two-part payment plan for courses nine weeks and shorter. For courses ten weeks or longer, there is a three-part payment plan available. To find out more on payment options please visit our Payment and Financing page.

    If you want to find out more about any of these options or you want to know which you qualify for please get in contact with an Enrolment Advisor here.


    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.