Adult Skills and Community Learning

Course content

This course will help you to develop your skills using basic applications to create work-related documents. It will also give you a good understanding of cyber security. It covers how this affects individuals and organisations and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

The course is mostly aimed at learners who want to get a job. This could be in admin or another role that uses Microsoft applications. This course is accredited and after a successful assessment you'll achieve a Level 1 Certificate in Vocational Studies (Gateway).

As well as Office 365, you'll also learn about managing files. The course will also cover how to work safely in a work environment.

This course will enable you to:

Build skills to create and edit basic documents in Word and Excel. Gain software specific skills with a focus on work related documents. You'll also build on your study skills. Key areas include:

  • Word. You'll develop the skills to produce a range of documents with a professional look. This will include letters, memos and reports. You'll also learn how to review and adjust content and layout. This will include using settings, tables, images, formats, mail merge, styles, tabs and alignment.
  • Excel. You'll learn how to use formulas and functions (min, max, average and count). You'll also find out how to create charts, links and adjust document settings. You'll develop skills in presenting data in different ways, using numbers, text and graphs.
  • PowerPoint. You'll develop skills in the software but also improve your ability to present to an audience or job interview panel.

The assessment is portfolio based with evidence to show your skills and knowledge. There are four modules in total.  A further two modules are:

  • Cyber security. You'll learn about cyber crime and the risks and effects it has on people and organisations. You'll find out about the methods used to maintain cyber security. 
  • Working safely. You'll develop an understanding of different types of risk and hazard. You'll learn the importance of workplace guidelines and policies to ensure you're working safely. You'll find out how safe working reduces the risk of harm to yourself and others.

You will also develop the following skills for work:

  • Working as part of a team, sharing ideas and motivating peers to complete a task.
  • Having a positive attitude to plan your own work and complete it within a set timeframe.
  • Be a good listener and follow instructions accurately.
  • Be able to adapt the way you work when things change. Be able to switch to other tasks quickly when needed.
  • Be resilient and be able to stick with a task. Even if things don’t go to plan, you should learn from setbacks.
  • Develop your literacy and numeracy skills.

Course delivery

Classroom based delivery with the option of blended learning.

  • 11 weeks with five hours face to face tuition is a classroom setting (two hours Wednesday and three hours Friday). Three hours distance learning each week in addition.

Expectation and support

  • Access to resources to complete work away from the session. We may be able to support you with access to equipment, please speak with your tutor.
  • Peer support to/from other learners in the class using Teams. Teams is an online tool where you will access resources, participate in discussions, and submit work.
  • Tutor support via Teams messaging.

What you need

  • A mobile phone to verify your Office 365 account.
  • Access to a laptop, desktop or similar to complete your work. You don't need Microsoft Office before the start of the course as you'll be given full access to an Office 365 account at the first session. A Chromebook will not support you on this course as it doesn't allow offline access to Office 365.
  • To attend all sessions.

Entry requirements

It is essential that you:

  • Have a commitment to learning and are able to commit to independent work outside of the session.
  • Are getting ready for, looking for or moving on in work.
  • Have time management and communication skills.

You'll have already completed the following with us:

  • Information, advice and guidance session and an initial assessment on the BKSB or Microsoft software. Or
  • Getting Started with Digital Skills course, or
  • Setting Up Microsoft 365 course

The level that you study will be determined by your initial assessment results. 

Course fees

The fee for the Level 1 course is £237.50. This includes all course resources.

Fee remission is available for learners in receipt of means tested benefits or who are on a low income. Please ask us for more details.

How to apply


  • Functional Digital Skills for Work and Life – Entry 3 / Level 1
  • Digital and IT Skills Level 2
  • Confident Communications

What our learners say

  • I have learnt so much on this course so far. Feel much more confident navigating around the computer. I understand the terminology more, Brilliant course.
    Adult learner