Foundation Certificate

Kick start your career in advertising with this award-winning, internationally recognised qualification.

Kick start your career in advertising with this award-winning, internationally recognised qualification.

Foundation Certificate

This award-winning, internationally recognised qualification was written for the industry, by the industry, using live webinars, online forums, expert videos and podcasts. It's the definitive programme for newcomers who are ambitious to move to the next level and a super-concentrated opportunity to gain an overview of the whole industry with just 30 hours of flexible online learning.

IPA members can access the learning for free without an exam booking by selecting 'Free Learning for IPA Members'. However, in order to achieve this qualification, you must book onto and pass the exam.

Who is this qualification for?

For individuals based in the UK with less than a year's experience in an advertising, marketing or communications role. From recent graduates in their first year to young professionals just starting out or people entering the industry from another profession. 

What are the benefits?

  • Instead of taking years to gain an essential overview of all areas of advertising – this course will take you on a journey through the entire brand communication process in just 30 hours.
  • Gain an appreciation of the creative process, from fostering creativity in your everyday environment to understanding the invaluable role of media.
  • Discover the importance of effectiveness to the industry and the development of theories such as those from Les Binet and Peter Field.
  • Build on your knowledge of the client and agency roles and the marketing tools available to today’s marketers and agencies while understanding how to perform your role with confidence and expertise
  • Join the 12,000 people who have taken the qualification since 2003
View the full Foundation Certificate syllabus.


How is the learning delivered and assessed?

  • This qualification is delivered via 30 hours of online learning, split across 7 modules which can be accessed and downloaded when it suits you on any device or via the IPA Learning app.
  • Gwyn March is the dedicated tutor for this qualification, available to answer candidate’s queries right up until their exam date.
  • A formal 2-hour exam is held in February of each year in examination centres across the UK. Candidates will need to answer five short-form essay questions.
  • The passing grade for the final exam is 50%. Candidates who pass will be awarded a digital certificate of completion and 2 MIPA stars towards personal accreditation.


  • Members: £250 + VAT
  • Non-members: £500 + VAT

Exam Details

Date: Monday 24 February 2020

Location: Examination centres across the UK. Please note, a location will need to have at least 10 candidates for us to proceed with the exam at that location.

For more information, or if you're unsure whether we run an exam in your city, please email - we're here to help you as much as we can.

View IPA Foundation Certificate Policies

Please note: if you are taking one of our courses or qualifications through your employer or educational establishment, we may need to share your information - including your course or qualification results - with them. For further details about how we treat your personal data, please see our privacy policy.