European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Online Course (Now ICDL)

Course Format:Online Course
Self-Study Time:Approximately 80 Hours (Self-Study)
Delivery Time:2-4 Working Days via Email
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Is the ECDL Online Course Right for You?

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL Core) is an internationally recognised IT qualification designed to give learners the skills to use a computer confidently and effectively. The aim of this official ECDL online course is to help to improve your understanding and efficient use of computers.

The online ECDL course can also open up a variety of opportunities through the broad range of skills it provides. More information on courses that can expand your IT skills can be found on our Information Technology courses page, or alternatively, take a look at our post on refreshing your IT Skills.

The ECDL qualification is widely recognised by employers as proof of ability and competence when working with IT. This ECDL online course is designed for any novice and intermediate computer users, assumes no prior expertise, and offers a flexible working programme. As the world's leading computer skills certification, more than 14 million people have engaged with the ECDL programme in over 100 countries.

Changes to the ECDL Qualification: The ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) suite of qualifications have recently been rebranded by the British Computer Society to ICDL (International Certification of Digital Literacy). 

The ICDL qualification is taken from the ITQ (IT User Qualification) framework, which encourage learners to choose from a wide range of units at different levels but this course covers the BCS Level 2 Certificate in IT User Skills, or ICDL Core Qualification (Ofqual Qualification No. 601/8240/4) which consists of 7 separate units.

Alternative Course Option: IT Essentials - Level 2 (RQF) Course

Please Note: The ECDL / ICDL Online Course is a theory-based course without assessment. We highly recommend that learners consider the IT Essentials - Level 2 (RQF) Course as an alternative to the ECDL / ICDL Online Course.

The IT Essentials Course is designed for Windows 10 and Office 2019/365 software and covers the exact same subjects covered in the ICDL Core Qualification, but with the additional unit on Productivity in IT also included, so the IT Essentials Course can be used by learners preparing for either the ICDL Core, ICDL Essentials or ICDL Extra exams. It is also assignment based, so it gives learners a practical knowledge of working on files and documents within the software and includes full tutor support by email.

The IT Essentials course can also lead to the NCFE IT User Skills Level 2 Certificate Qualification with 32 credits which can be gained through the submission of coursework, but for learners who only want to cover the content without sitting the exams or paying any additional testing or qualification fees, we also supply a certificate of completion.

ICDL Testing: Any learner wanting to complete their ICDL tests will need to arrange this through a registered testing centre and there is a fee for the BCS registration and each ICDL test that you complete. Each testing centre sets their own prices so we advise researching testing centres and the associated costs prior to enrolling on any distance learning course.

ECDL Course Screenshots
The ECDL Core Online Course includes the following units:

Please Note: The ECDL Online Course currently covers the use of Windows and Microsoft Office 2016. It is possible to complete the course without a version of Microsoft Office as the course does include simulations, although we do recommend having the software available so that you can put into practice what you are learning.

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to the use of devices, file creation and management, networks and data security. 

The following topics are covered:

  • Computers And Devices
  • Desktop, Icons, Settings
  • Tools And Settings
  • Outputs
  • File Management
  • Networks
  • Security And Well Being

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to web browsing, effective information search, online communication and e-mail.

The following topics are covered:

  • Web Browsing Concepts
  • Web Browsing
  • Web-Based Information
  • Communication Concepts
  • Using E-Mail

This unit requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge and competence in System Performance, Security, Information Security, Technology Security, Guidelines and Procedures and Data Security.

The following topics are covered:

  • Security Concepts
  • Malware
  • Network Security
  • Secure Web Use
  • Communications
  • Secure Data Management

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to the ability to use a word processing application to create everyday documents.

The following topics are covered:

  • First Steps With Documents
  • Enhancing Documents
  • Formatting Paragraphs And Pages
  • Creating Tables
  • Working With Graphical Objects
  • Prepare For Printing
  • Mail Merge

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to understanding the concept of spreadsheets and using a spreadsheet to produce accurate work outputs.

The following topics are covered:

  • First Steps With Spreadsheets
  • Working With Cells
  • Formatting Cells
  • Managing Worksheets
  • Formulas And Functions
  • Charts
  • Prepare For Printing

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to understanding the concept of a database and demonstrating competence in using a database application.

The following topics are covered:

  • Understanding Databases
  • Using the Application
  • Creating the Database
  • Modifying Data
  • Retrieving Information
  • Database Outputs
  • Database Operation

This unit sets out essential concepts and skills relating to demonstrating competence in using presentation software.

The following topics are covered:

  • First Steps With Presentations
  • Enhancing Your Presentation
  • Using Text In Your Presentation
  • Charts And Graphics
  • Check And Deliver

There are no particular entry requirements although students should be able to comfortably use the Internet.

Please ensure your system has the following:

  • CPU (2.33GHZ or faster x86-compatible processor)
  • RAM (52MB)
  • 128MB of graphics memory
  • Internet Browser (Internet Explorer 7.0 or later, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox)
  • Flash Player.


The ECDL Syllabus covers the use of Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office and is designed for use on a PC. It will be possible to view the course materials using an Apple Mac although the information within the course will be specific to Windows based software and to cover the practical elements within the course the student would need to have the appropriate software.

Course Duration & Online Support

Students may register at any time and have access to the course materials online for a 1 year period. Email support is available for the full period of your study.

ECDL Qualification

The BCS and ECDL Portfolio of qualifications have been designed to map directly into ITQ so that when you gain a BCS or ECDL certificate you will also be receiving ITQ certification. ITQ is a portfolio of qualifications which replaced the National Vocational Qualifications (NVQ) for IT and computing. It is a nationally-recognised programme which has been designed by employers to meet the needs of today's businesses.

Please Note: To complete the ECDL tests, students would need to register with and sit their tests through an authorised ECDL testing centre. We recommend contacting local testing centres for test availability and pricing prior to starting the course as the arranging and sitting of tests is the students responsibility. You can search for testing centres through the BCS Test Centre Search Facility. When searching for testing only centres you should choose "ECDL/ITQ” and "Testing only” from the options and then click "Go Find” which will bring up a list of your nearest ECDL testing centres registered for external candidates.

The BCS rely on the testing centres to keep their information up to date. They advise that students call a few centres from the list to make sure they do offer testing only, but also to compare prices which will vary at each centre. This search facility is the BCS's own search facility and we cannot guarantee that the list of centres is up to date and accurate. Any queries relating to searching and finding test centres should be made directly to the BCS.

If you are struggling to find a testing centre or need further advice then you can contact the BCS Support Team or you can email them on:

Quick Question

Let us know if you have a question about this course and we will get back to you ASAP.

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Our normal Office Hours are Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. If you would like a call back within our office hours then please detail a day and a time you would like a call.

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European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) Online Course (Now ICDL)
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