What are ECDL courses?
Safeera Sarjoo

What are ECDL courses?

Everything you need to know about the internationally recognised qualification

First published date November 19 2013 Amended date October 05 2015

Whether it’s for daily use at work, buying shopping online or just browsing the internet, the vast majority of us use computers on a frequent basis. However, despite over three quarters of the UK’s working population regularly using computers, most have never had formal IT training.

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) is an internationally recognised qualification that enables people to certify their computer skills to an internationally recognised standard. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, a leading professional body for IT is the only organisation allowed to offer these qualifications in the UK. ECDL is highly regarded around the world and is seen by employers as a benchmark in IT user competence.

Never heard of it? Unsure what it’s all about? Our handy ECDL FAQs guide will reveal all you needed to know about the computer courses....


How many people have their ECDL licence?
To date more than 14 million people have engaged with the ECDL programme, in over 150 countries, through our network of over 24,000 ECDL Accredited Test Centres 


Are there any entry requirements to study it?
Most centres that offer the ECDL programme don’t require any specific qualifications, although obviously some understanding of computers before you start is definitely an advantage. Many secondary schools offer the programme as something extra to those studying for their GCSEs, although the majority of ECDL candidates tend to be older. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re 15, 55 or 95, it’s not too late or too early to enrol on a course.


Can I study part time?
Yes you can, as virtually all ECDL courses take place part time, while others give you the option of studying online from home.


Is the ECDL all one qualification?
ECDL is a suite of qualifications for learners of all abilities from Level 1 through to Level 3


How are the modules classified?
From Level 1 through to Level 3 there are qualifications designed for people who are looking to gain a basic understanding and capabilities in the use of IT applications and provides the skills and knowledge needed to progress to the next level of learning in IT user skills or any subject where basic IT skills are required, such as administration


How much does the course cost?
This varies hugely depending on where you decide to enrol on an ECDL course. Some centres allow you to pay per individual module, which can vary anything between £40 and in excess of £100. Others charge per each hour of training given while some allow you to pay in one lump sum. So, it’s best to research a few different ECDL course providers to get the best deal for you (and also check for any hidden costs).


What is the qualification worth?
The ECDL is accredited by the Chartered Institute of IT (BCS) as an ITQ, which is the term given to a flexible IT qualification. For those who complete the level two standard profile, they will receive a qualification worth the equivalent of a GCSE A*-C, while those who progress to complete the advanced qualification will have gained a qualification worth the same as an A Level.


What can I do with an ECDL qualification?
As a recognised qualification worldwide, having the ECDL qualification can give you a huge boost when it comes to looking for employment anywhere in the world, as it shows you have up-to-date and relevant computer skills. The specialist modules you took in the standard profile will also provide you with an added CV boost, as you will be able to demonstrate some unique computer skills to your current or future employers.


Find an ECDL course near you on Hotcourses now.
For more information on the ECDL qualification, please visit www.bcs.org/ecdl

Safeera Sarjoo

Safeera is Editor of Whatuni and a journalist from Kingston University. Always the inquisitive, her writing spans across a number of areas such as sustainability, fashion, lifestyle and now education. Her belief that you never stop learning and passionate nature has taken her to New York City as part of her degree and across the airwaves on national radio talking about the issues that matter to her.