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 aim of this official ECDL online course is to help to improve your understanding and efficient use of computers.
Furthermore, an online ECDL course opens 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 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.
The ECDL qualification is taken from the ITQ (IT User Qualification) framework, which encourage learners to choose from a wide range of units at different levels.
The Different ECDL Qualifications:
The ECDL syllabus can be broken down and delivered with different tests to gain the below qualifications:
- IT User Skills – Level 1 Award (ECDL Essentials) is a Level 1 ITQ Award with 9 Credits and consists of modules 1, 2 & 7. ECDL Essentials is designed as an introduction to IT. (Ofqual Qualification No. 500/6226/8).
- IT User Skills – Level 2 Certificate (ECDL Extra) is a Level 2 ITQ Certificate with 16 Credits 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. (Ofqual Qualification No. 500/6242/6).
- IT User Skills – Level 2 Certificate (ECDL Core) is a level 2 Certificate Qualification with 25 Credits. It consists of Modules 1 to 7 and excludes the Productivity in IT module. The qualification opens up a variety of opportunities through the broad range of skills it provides. (Ofqual Qualification No. 601/8240/4).
Alternative Course Option: IT Essentials – Level 2 (RQF) Course
Please Note: The official ECDL Online Course is not currently available as the course relies on Flash Player for simulations which will not be available in browsers from January 2021. As an alternative to the ECDL Online Course, we offer the IT Essentials – Level 2 (RQF) Course which covers Windows 10 and Office 2019/365 or earlier. The IT Essentials Course can lead to an IT User Skills Level 2 Certificate Qualification with 32 credits through the submission of coursework, so there is no requirement to attend test centres.
The IT Essentials Online Course covers the exact same subjects as the ECDL, so it can still be used by students preparing for ECDL tests. The course is also assignment based, so it gives a practical knowledge of working on files and has full tutor support. The course will also lead to a certificate of completion for those not wanting to apply for the nationally recognised qualification.
Please Note: The ECDL Online Course currently covers the use of Windows 7 so Unit 2 will be specific to this Operating system. Students need to select a version of Microsoft Office to study. It is possible to complete the course without a version of Microsoft Office as the course does include simulations, although we do recommend having a version available to you so that you can put into practice what you are learning.
- Unit 1: Security for IT Users
- Unit 2: IT User Fundamentals
- Unit 3: Word Processing
- Unit 4: Spreadsheets
- Unit 5: Database Software
- Unit 6: Presentation Software
- Unit 7: Internet and Email
- Unit 8: Improving Productivity Using IT
There are no particular entry requirements although students should be able to comfortably use the Internet. The recommended settings to run this course are: Internet Explorer; Flash Player; Popup windows enabled; and Minimum Windows 7 Operating System. It is possible to use other browsers to run this course although the BCS recommend using Internet Explorer as elements of the course require Flash and Java which may not be supported in other browsers.
APPLE MAC USERS:
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 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 advice then you can contact the BCS Support Team or you can email them on: firstname.lastname@example.org.