Microsoft Office Specialist Excel

​​Learn how to analyse, manipulate and present data in Excel. The Microsoft Office Specialist Excel course will give you the skills you need to master the principle features of Excel. Once you have developed your skills, prove it by gaining a globally renowned Microsoft Office Specialist qualification.

Demonstrations and practice exercises use Cardiff Met spreadsheets and scenarios, such as exports from Qualtrics, Moodle data and Business Objects reports. This means staff should be able to easily apply what they have learnt to their role at Cardiff Met and students will get real-world experience of how to use Excel.

Read on for course details, or sign-up below

Sign-up: Full Course

The course consists of an induction, comprehensive e-learning and practice projects and optional Key Concept sessions. It culminates in the MOS Excel exam. Estimated learning time: 23–36 hours.

There are 3 intakes a year - October, January and May to July.

To sign-up for the course, choose one induction option: an induction session or an Anytime Induction that is completed online when you wish. Learn more about an Anytime Induction.

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Sign-up: Key Concept Sessions

Key Concept sessions are optional. They explore some of the course material through worked examples and exercises. They are open to all students & staff regardless of whether you enrol on the full course. See a description of each session.

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Where and how to attend?

Sessions listed as Online (in the Campus column, above) will be held through a Microsoft Teams meeting. A link (URL) to the meeting and joining instructions will be sent after booking on a session. In person sessions will be held in a digital skills training room, see directions to our rooms.

Some sessions will be held in person and online, so ensure you choose your preferred booking type when signing-up. We recommend you attend these in person (if you can) but full support will be provided for those joining online.

Target Audience

Cardiff Met students or staff.


​Some experience with Excel is recommended, but full training and resources will be provided.


The course and exam are free to Cardiff Met students and staff, but places are limited.

I learned so many useful things - I always knew Excel was a powerful tool but being self-taught only knew the basics - I have used much of what I learned in my job

Course Structure

The course begins with an induction - either an induction session or Anytime Induction. The induction explains the nature and structure of the course and the resources available – a comprehensive e-learning course, practice projects, Microsoft textbooks and GMetrix practice software.

The core of the course is the e-learning and practice projects. In complement to those, there are five, optional, Key Concept sessions. These sessions explore some of the more interesting and difficult topics through worked examples and practical exercises.

The course concludes with the Microsoft Office Specialist exam; a 50 minute, computer assessed exam in which you have to complete several tasks on realistic Excel spreadsheets. The exams can be taken in person at Cardiff Met or remotely.

Visit our Microsoft Office Specialist page to find out more about MOS and the benefits of a MOS qualification.

The amount of learning time depends on your current Excel knowledge, but as an estimate:

  • Induction: 1 hour
  • Key Concept teaching: 0 - 10 hours
  • E-learning: 16 -20 hours
  • Practice projects and GMetrix exam practice: 5 - 9 hours
  • Certification exam: 50 minutes.

For a total of between 23 - 36 hours.

Key Concept Session Details

Key Concept Session 1: Functions

This Excel Key Concept session explores a fundamental pillar of Excel: functions. You will learn how to insert and use functions such as SUM, AVERAGE & COUNT. In addition, you will learn about AutoSum and number formatting options.

Key Concept Session 2: Absolute References and Text Functions

How to use absolute references (references that do not change) and text functions such as LEFT, CONCAT and UPPER in Excel formulae.

Key Concept Session 3: Sorting and Filtering

Learn some of the ways data can be sorted and filtered in Excel.

Key Concept Session 4: IF Functions

Focuses primarily on using the IF function that outputs different values depending on whether a test is true or not. 

Key Concept Session 5: Charts

In this Key Concept session we explore how to create and format charts in Excel, and the best practice for doing so.

Upcoming Courses

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Specific Learning Outcomes

The key objectives for the course are listed below.  Click on each objective to find out the exact skills that will be developed:

  • Manage Worksheets and Workbooks
  • Manage Data Cells and Ranges
  • Manage Tables and Table Data
  • Perform Operations by using Formulas and Functions
  • Manage Charts


 View a PDF of the complete MOS Excel 2019 Exam MO-200 Objectives.


Candidates who successfully pass the exam (Excel 2019: Microsoft Excel MO-200) will gain the Microsoft Office Specialist Excel qualification.
You will receive:

  • a physical and digital certificate
  • a digital badge that can be used to share (e.g. on LinkedIn) and verify your achievement

Next steps

MOS Expert and Associate.pngMicrosoft Office Specialist Excel is a self-contained qualification proving you have mastered the principal features of Excel, but there are six other qualifications in the Microsoft Office Specialist family. Cardiff Met offers training and qualifications for the four specialist courses and three expert courses.

If you gain multiple MOS certifications, you can become a MOS Associate or MOS Expert, proving your competence in the whole Office suite. Learn more about MOS Associate and MOS Expert.

Got a question?

See whether the Certification FAQs page answers it, or find out more about MOS on our Microsoft Office Specialist page.  If you still have questions, get in touch with the IT Training team via email.