ECDL Essentials Award in IT User Skills 2016 SCQF Level 4

Providing you with an in-depth introduction to using key computing software.


Why take this course?

This BCS course introduces you to core IT user skills and applications used in many businesses around the world. Please note that ECDL has been split into two separate levels, ECDL Essentials and ECDL Core, to make it more achievable. 

The qualification is designed to give you a beginners overview of using computers, including internet and email. The course is useful if:

  • You want to develop a basic understanding of using IT systems;
  • You are considering further learning in IT or a subject where basic IT skills are required;
  • You are employed and want to prove to your employer that you can use IT systems safely and efficiently;
  • You are employed and want to develop your existing skills for career progression;
  • You are unemployed and would like to develop your IT user skills to help improve your prospects of getting a job;
  • You are looking for formal recognition of your IT skills and knowledge;
  • You want to prove your competence with a certificate from a leading professional body for IT.

What you will experience

You will complete three units from the ITQ framework for this qualification:

  1. Using Email and Using the Internet
  2. IT Security for Users
  3. IT User Fundamentals

Topics covered include:

  • How to use a computer safely and securely;
  • Understanding the importance of data security, and identifying common data/privacy protection, retention and control principles;
  • Understanding network concepts and connection options and be able to connect to a network;
  • Understanding key concepts of file management, be able to efficiently organise files and folders, and use utility software to compress and extract large files;
  • How to search effectively for online information and critically evaluate web content.

To achieve the qualification you must pass 3 tests, which can be taken in any order. These are administered throughout Europe by accredited Test Centres, and each test takes 45 minutes. North East Scotland College has been approved by the BCS as an Accredited Test Centre. The course fees cover the cost of one attempt at each of the assessments, which must be taken at the College's Assessment Centre.

The modules offer invaluable and transferable skills for individuals seeking employment, or advancement in posts where office IT skills are required. ECDLis recognised and valued in workplaces all over the world. Employers regard it as the international benchmark in IT user competence and meets the growing requirements for evidence of digital literacy from employers. 

Student at a computer

Key facts

What you will need

All students are assigned a login to Microsoft Office 365 which includes online access to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint 2016 at no extra cost.  Microsoft Access is available at the College Libraries and IT Centres.

What you need to know

Additional costs

We can register candidates in the following ways:

  • Full 7 module ECDL – at a cost of £30 or
  • ECDL Essentials (modules 1, 2 and 7) – at a cost of £30 or
  • ECDL Extra (modules 3, 4, 5 and 6) – at a cost of £45

If you know you intend to complete the full ECDL qualification with all 7 modules, it makes financial sense to pay for the full registration at the start at a cost of only £30. You must then pass all 7 modules to gain the full award.

Registration for the ECDL Essentials (modules 1, 2 and 7) costs £30 and you will receive an ECDL Essentials certificate upon completion.

Registration for the ECDL Extra qualification costs £45.  This is appropriate if you intend to solely undertake modules 3, 4, 5 and 6.  Upon completion you will receive a certificate for the ECDL Extra qualification. 

If, following completion of the Extra and Essentials qualifications, you would like the full ECDL qualification, then you must register and pay a further £30.

Payment can be made by cash, cheque or card at:

Assessment Centre Office
Room LG10, Tower Block,
Aberdeen City Campus
Aberdeen, AB25 1BN

Debit/credit card payments can be made by telephoning 01224 612237.

Please note this is not covered by the College Fee Waiver.

Next steps




Please note that timetabling changes can often occur after the Part-time Course Guide is published, and as a result the printed version of the guide may not hold the most up-to-date information.

We therefore advise you that all start dates and times listed on the website are at all times accurate, and should be used as your main point of reference before booking your course.

Aberdeen City Campus

Starts Duration Day(s) Time Fees Code
17 March 2020 12 Weeks Tuesday 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm £155.00
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Ellon Learning Centre

Starts Duration Day(s) Time Fees Code
26 March 2020 12 Weeks Thursday 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm £155.00
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Fraserburgh Campus

Starts Duration Day(s) Time Fees Code
10 March 2020 10 Weeks Tuesday 6:00pm - 9:00pm £155.00
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Inverurie Learning Centre

Starts Duration Day(s) Time Fees Code
24 March 2020 12 Weeks Tuesday 9:30 am - 12:00 pm £155.00
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Online bookings

If you would like to book your place online, please complete the relevant form by selecting the ‘Book Online’ button. This will then be passed to our Admissions team who will process your application.

Paper bookings

If you would prefer to submit a paper booking form, please return it to us completed and signed.

Completed forms should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.