The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is an internationally recognised IT qualification designed to give students the skills to use a computer confidently and effectively. This official ECDL online course can help to improve your understanding and efficient use of computers. The course opens up a variety of opportunities through the broad range of skills it provides.

The ECDL qualification is widely recognised by employers as proof of ability and competence when working with IT. The ECDL is designed for novice and intermediate computer users. The course assumes no prior expertise, and offers a flexible working programme. ECDL programmes have been delivered to over 11 million people in 148 countries and over 2 million people have taken ECDL in the UK since 1997.

The ECDL units are taken from the ITQ (IT User Qualification) framework which encourage learners to choose from a wide range of units at different levels.

Versions of ECDL Tests available with this course:

The ECDL syllabus can be broken down and delivered as the following ECDL tests through suitable testing centres:

ECDL Essentials is a Level 1 ITQ Award and consists of modules 1, 2 & 7. ECDL Essentials is designed as an introduction to IT. ECDL Essentials is accredited on both the QCF (England and Wales) and SCQF (Scotland) framework (QCF Qualification Accreditation Number - 500/6226/8).

ECDL Extra is a Level 2 ITQ Award and consists of modules 3, 4, 6 and 8 (Improving Productivity Using IT). ECDL Extra builds on a students basic knowledge to improve their understanding of word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software packages. ECDL Extra is accredited on both the QCF (England and Wales) and SCQF (Scotland) framework (QCF Qualification Accreditation Number - 500/6242/6).

ECDL (7 Unit) consists of Modules 1 to 7 and excludes the Productivity in IT module. The qualification is widely recognised by employers as proof of ability and competence when working with computers. The ECDL 7 consists of individual units taken from the BCS IT User Skills Qualification (QCF Qualification Accreditation Number - 601/0634/7).

ECDL CourseThe ECDL Online Course is officially approved course material endorsed by The Chartered Institute for IT (BCS) and is accessed through the BCS e-learning website.

The ECDL Online Course includes all of the 8 modules detailed below, so students can follow their preferred ECDL learning option. These modules cannot be sold separately:

  • Module 1 - Security for IT Users
  • Module 2 - IT User Fundamentals
  • Module 3 - Word Processing
  • Module 4 - Spreadsheets
  • Module 5 - Database Software
  • Module 6 - Presentation Software
  • Module 7 - Internet and Email
  • Module 8 - Improving Productivity Using IT

Please Note: The ECDL exam syllabus currently covers the use of Windows 7 so Unit 2 will be specific to this Operating system. Students need to select the version of Microsoft Office they want to study. Please include the version within the order comments box of your online order or alternatively we will email you to confirm when an order is placed without this information.

Elective Choice:

  • Microsoft Office 2007
  • Microsoft Office 2010
  • Microsoft Office 2013

The home study courses consist of the following Units:

  • Unit 1: Security for IT Users

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

  • Unit 2: IT User Fundamentals

This module requires candidates to demonstrate knowledge and competence in using the common functions of a personal computer and its operating system. Among other tasks, candidates will learn to operate effectively within the desktop environment and how to manage and organise files and directories/folders.

  • Unit 3: Word Processing

This module enables candidates to demonstrate the ability to use a word processing application to accomplish everyday tasks associated with creating, formatting and finishing small-sized word processing documents such as letters and other everyday documents.

  • Unit 4: Spreadsheets

This module enables candidates to understand the concept of spreadsheets and to demonstrate the ability to use a spreadsheet application. Candidates will understand and be able to accomplish tasks associated with developing, formatting, modifying and using a spreadsheet, in addition to using standard formulas and functions, and demonstrate competence in creating and formatting graphs or charts.

  • Unit 5: Database Software

This module enables candidates to understand some of the main concepts of databases and demonstrate the ability to use a database application. This includes creating and modifying tables, queries, forms and reports, and preparing outputs ready for distribution, as well as learning to relate tables and to retrieve and manipulate information from a database by using query and sort tools.

  • Unit 6: Presentation Software

This module enables candidates to demonstrate competence in using presentation tools on a computer. Candidates will be able to accomplish tasks such as creating, formatting, modifying and preparing presentations using different slide layouts for display and printed distribution.

  • Unit 7: Internet and Email

The Using Email & the Internet module enables candidates to learn about the Internet and how to use a web browsing application as well as how to understand some of the concepts of electronic mail (email) and know about other communication options.

  • Unit 8: Improving Productivity Using IT

The Improving Productivity module, teaches learners about ways in which you can use Information Technology (IT) skills to improve productivity at work. The module shows how you can work more efficiently by planning the use of IT tools and systems, finding out if the tools or systems you had chosen were appropriate for achieving your goal, and then by finding solutions to work faster when using the same tools.


There are no particular entry requirements although students should be able to comfortably use the Internet. The recommended settings to run this course are: Google Chrome; Flash Player; Popup windows enabled; and Minimum Windows 7 Operating System. It is possible to use other browsers to run this course although we recommend using Google Chrome as it works best with the ECDL Online Course.


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 & 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 QualificationThe 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 - ECDL Testing Centres:

We offer an officially endorsed ECDL Online Course with tutor support. To complete the ECDL tests, students would need to register with and sit their tests at 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. On completion of the course a Certificate of Completion is available for students not wanting to take the ECDL Tests.

BCS advise students to find a testing only centre through their search facility:

Click Here to find your nearest ECDL testing centre.

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 20 closest 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.

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

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