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Short courses
Computing & Cybersecurity

Digital Skills for Growth (Advanced Excel)
University Certificate in Professional Development


Course overview

You have a world of possibilities when streamlining data, with functions that you may not realise are there. You learn the basics of spreadsheet design, using simple charts and exporting spreadsheet results to a processing package.

You develop your basic skills as well as learning advanced Excel spreadsheet features such as macros, controls and database features, and collecting data in a user-friendly way.

You learn from two workbooks: Introduction to Spreadsheets and Spreadsheet Applications. You complete sections on a weekly basis with tasks at the end of each section to practice what you have learnt. Your learning forms part of your in-course assessment – you work towards this each week along with a data task and small business report.

Before joining the online class, you must complete four sessions ready for the taught lessons.

Please note that you need a computer or laptop along with Windows 365 software.

To apply for this course, you need to be employed by a company in Durham.


Course details

What you study

You cover the following areas:
• using a spreadsheet package, including functions and producing simple charts
• exporting spreadsheet results to a word document as an embedded table
• using spreadsheets for decision making
• expanding your skills and knowledge of an industry-standard spreadsheet package
• developing your awareness and ability to use some advanced features
• appreciating data structure design in spreadsheet applications.

How you learn

You are taught in a series of exercises based on each new unit of learning materials delivered. You complete exercises designed to demonstrate the fundamental techniques within a spreadsheet package.

You get support and guidance through Blackboard, our virtual learning environment.

And you are provided with workbooks to study and complete tasks in your own time or at one of the drop-in sessions, with formative feedback after each exercise.

How you are assessed

100% in-course assessment (ICA) on a pass or fail basis.
All learning outcomes are assessed through a task-based ICA and a 1,000-word written report relating to the task and how you would use your learning within a business context.

Task 1: Manipulating data using advanced Excel tools. You are provided with data and a number of questions – you must use advanced Excel tools and techniques to answer a mathematical scenario. This contributes to 70% of the overall module mark.

Task 2: Business report. Your business report presents how you have used advanced Excel, such as nested functions, form design, macros and controls within a business context. You report on how you have implemented and designed a business intelligence solution for your chosen dataset.

This assesses your ability to demonstrate advanced Excel techniques, visual design principles and techniques, as well as embedding Excel functions within other Microsoft packages. This contributes 30% to your overall module mark.

Ongoing review meetings provide you with for formative feedback as you develop solutions.

The School operates a standard procedure for providing (at least) a minimum level of feedback in line with the University's Assessment and Feedback Policy.


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

You must work for a company in Durham.



Career opportunities

This is a useful course to support a career change or retraining opportunity.



2021/22 entry

Fee for applicants:

  • Length: Credits: 20, Level 4, Fully funded support * eligibility applies
  • 4.00pm to 7.30pm every Tuesday and Thursday. 6 weeks
  • Start date: Tuesday 20 June

Apply online