The Application Essentials module covers the main concepts and skills needed to start using common office productivity applications — documents, spreadsheets, and presentations — effectively.

The term ‘digital native’ falsely suggests that young people intuitively know how to use digital technologies. By using digital technologies, young people acquire the so-called ‘lifestyle skills’ such as the use of social media, videos, games, however without appropriate training students fail to acquire the digital skills required in the learning and labour market.

This module is suitable for schools wishing to provide their students with the skills to use documents, spreadsheet and presentation applications effectively. These skills are essential not only to carry out specific tasks but also as a starting point for developing more in-depth competences in using these important office productivity applications, which are now ubiquitous in workplaces globally.

Module overview

CategorySkill set
Office productivity applications
  • Overview
  • Common tasks
Word processing
  • Getting started
  • Formatting and alignment
  • Objects
  • Outputs
  • Getting started
  • Formatting
  • Managing worksheets
  • Formulas
  • Charts
  • Outputs
  • Getting started
  • Text and formatting
  • Objects and effects
  • Outputs

Main learning outcomes

Successful students will be able to use computer applications effectively. After passing this module, candidates will feel confident using important office productivity applications, to perform everyday workplace tasks. They will be able to:

  • understand the purpose of different common office productivity applications and carry out common tasks
  • work with text in a document, insert and edit objects and tables, and prepare and print outputs
  • work with numbers and text in a spreadsheet, manipulate spreadsheet data, use formulas, insert charts, and prepare and print outputs
  • build a presentation, insert and format text in slides, insert and edit objects and effects, and create outputs including a slideshow.
  • ICDL is the global leader in digital literacy learning and certification
  • ICDL modules are designed and updated by global subject matter experts, providing a standardised certification of skills and knowledge
  • ICDL is used by thousands of schools around the world
  • ICDL has rigorous Quality Assurance Standards (QAS) and regular quality audits are conducted internally and externally


The detailed syllabus for the Application Essentials module is publicly available, so that there is complete clarity about what is covered.

The syllabus document, which sets out the specific skills and knowledge that you will learn and against which you will be certified, can be downloaded here.

Offer ICDL in your school

ICDL is a global digital skills certification. With a wide range of courses to choose from, ICDL offers the real world digital skills your students need to excel and become more productive learners, employees, entrepreneurs and citizens.

For more information about offering ICDL at your school click here or contact us to discuss your school’s needs.

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