Work and Leadership in the Age of AI

Get ready to work alongside AI and data systems, and learn to make the critical and informed decisions this new partnership demands.

Key facts

  • Module codeEDUP200
  • Start date TBC
  • Duration10 weeks
  • Time commitment100 hours
  • SCQF level Level 11
  • Credits 10
  • Fees TBC
  • Mode of study part time
  • Delivery online


The rising prominence of AI in the workplace is challenging existing professional roles and skills. Increased reliance on these complex systems and algorithmic-influenced decisions is re-distributing leadership, expertise, judgment, responsibility, and accountability across AI/data-human systems. Knowing how to work and lead critically with increasingly advanced AI/Data Systems is fast becoming an essential capability.

Workers and leaders face new challenges. These include: 

  • negotiating the competing claims around AI to better understand what AI is and does
  • questions about the presence and trustworthiness of AI in workplaces
  • desires for transparency, fairness and accountability – even in the face of messy human-AI partnerships
  • ethical and practical questions about data, complicated by greater reliance on partnerships with third-party providers

In this module, we take a deep dive into these re-distributions of labour and leadership. Drawing on current theories and philosophies, we explore the implications of AI/Data Systems as they become embedded in professional practices.

If you have any questions about this module, or you'd like to register your interest, contact Anna Wilson

Entrance requirements

SCQF level 10 qualification or equivalent, or minimum of two years professional experience


You can apply for a funded place if: 

  1. You have lived in Scotland or the EU (excluding England, Wales and Northern Ireland) for the last three years for reasons other than education
  2. You are living in England, Wales or Northern Ireland and working for a Scottish employer
  3. A member of staff at the University of Stirling


By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  1. articulate current issues relating to AI/Data Systems in professional practices and leadership
  2. demonstrate critical understanding of the principal theories and conceptualizations of AI/Data Systems in professional practices
  3. apply critical analysis, evaluation, and creative responses to current issues and trends relating to AI/Data Systems and digital leadership in work locally and globally
  4. critically examine relevant AI/Data Systems and their complex relationships to specific professional practices to make informed decisions
  5. critically examine relevant AI/data systems and their complex relationships to specific professional practices to make informed decisions
  6. demonstrate creativity and originality in the production of digital artefacts, participation in online collaborative activities, and engagement with academic literature
  7. work with others to engage confidently and in informed ways to present ideas and information and collectively build new understandings and knowledge

Structure and content

This module has three phases:

Phase 1: Attuning to AI

Participants are introduced to contemporary theories and philosophies relating to AI and automated data systems and their impact on professional work and leadership. Current narratives about AI/Data Systems will be mapped and participants will begin to identify AI/Data Systems working in their own professional contexts.

Phase 2: Getting to know your AI-Data co-workers

Participants will explore and critically analyse AI/Data Systems in their professional practice, in particular exploring changes to decision-making, accountability, responsibility, judgement, and professional expertise.

Phase 3: New narratives and critical questions

Attention turns to developing new narratives as participants curate a portfolio of their learning during the module, including creative actions and critical questions for moving debate and practices within their profession and workplaces forward.

Delivery and assessment

The module is delivered via a blend of asynchronous and synchronous online participation along with self-directed readings, work-related enquiry, and critical reflections.

Formative assessment is provided throughout the module through online interactions with tutors and peers.

Summative assessment takes the form of a portfolio consisting of a selection of the participant's contributions during the module, a critical commentary on the impact of AI/Data Systems on professional work and leadership and a reflection on your professional learning.

Module coordinator

Anna Wilson and Terrie Lynn Thompson


Professional leaders and workers are increasingly being required to work alongside AI and other automated data systems. Work practices in many professional fields are increasingly reliant on AI/Data Systems, which are expected to increase efficiencies, streamline work and render decision-making more reliable in the provision of professional and public services.

However, workers are rarely given the opportunity to develop their critical understandings of how these new co-workers might be impacting on professional decision-making, expertise, accountability and responsibilities; or to reflect on the ethical, political, and sociocultural issues associated with data practices and algorithms that inform or automate human decisions.

This module meets this pressing need by introducing participants to contemporary thinking and providing you with opportunities to critically examine AI/Data Systems in your own work contexts and more broadly. This module provides this sought-after understanding that will shape decision-making and leadership going forward. In so doing, you will develop new critical digital fluencies.



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