IT in Business:
Spreadsheets SCQF Level 7

A study of fundamental principles for the effective use of spreadsheets.


Why take this course?

Along with word processing packages, the most widely used software application is the spreadsheet. This is a mandatory Unit within the HNC/HND Administration & Information Technology course, but is also included within other HN Group Awards and can be taken as a stand-alone Unit. It is designed to allow candidates to develop an understanding of spreadsheet design and how to use spreadsheet features and functions for practical and effective use. It is also relevant to those hoping to develop their knowledge of spreadsheets as a tool to help provide solutions to common business problems. On successful completion, candidates should be able to:

  • Create a spreadsheet design to provide solutions for a business scenario
  • Present spreadsheet data in graphical form and interpret the results
  • Provide solutions to a business scenario using spreadsheet statistical functions

What you will experience

This Unit will introduce different uses of spreadsheets, ranging from creating financial reports to handling lists of data and preparing charts to provide solutions to common business problems. It will develop your critical thinking skills, meaning you will be able to judge the appropriate spreadsheet formulas and functions for the presentation and summary of data. There are three outcomes.

Outcome 1 concentrates on spreadsheet design and creation. You will create relevant single or multiple spreadsheet files and consolidate the data within related worksheets to provide summary information for a business problem.

Outcome 2 develops skills for the graphical representation of data. You will use charting and enhancement features to identify and describe patterns, direction of tendency and exceptions as you draw conclusions based on a common business problem.

Outcome 3 develops the use of spreadsheet statistical functions for the numerical summary of data to aid decision-making. You should use frequency distribution tables and statistical functions to summarise information and then draw conclusions based on a common business problem.

Evidence for this Unit is generated through 3 assessments undertaken using open book controlled conditions. Your Tutor will mark your all your certified assessments. Any re-submissions, known as remediation, will also be directed and remarked by your tutor. Your work will then be cross-marked by an in college subject expert, a process called moderation. It is only then that a result can be sent to the Awarding Body for certification. A pass is not final until all cross-checking procedures have been successfully completed. Your pass will be notified to the SQA for certification. Assessments are booked through the BCD team.

Student writing

Key facts

Mode of study
Distance Learning
Method of study

This course requires you to manage your workload independently, and will involve attendance at a campus or centre - often for assessment purposes only.

Entry requirements

It would be beneficial if you have numeracy skills and previous experience in using a computer/spreadsheet software. A relevant qualification or work experience would also be beneficial.

What you will need

All students are assigned a login to Microsoft Office 365 which includes online access to Microsoft Excel 2016 at no extra cost.

What you need to know

Additional costs

This course involves an additional SQA fee. Please see our Courses Explained page for further information on costs.

Anything else?

Please note that fee waivers may apply. Find out more about funding for part-time courses.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

On successful completion of this course, you can progress to the following course at North East Scotland College: 



This course requires some attendance at College, often for assessment purposes only. Please enquire about expectations for your specific course when booking.

Attendance is usually at the Aberdeen City Campus or Fraserburgh Campus.

Pre-entry guidance is required prior to booking a place on this course. Please contact Brenda Bryce, Distance Learning Co-ordinator by email or on 01346 506014 in the first instance for more information. When submitting your distance learning application form, please ensure you attach the additional information sheet listing qualifications and previous knowledge with your application. You may be required to attend College for assessment. Please check if this is a requirement for your course.

Duration Fees* Code
40 Hours over 6 Months £125.00
Paper applications only

Paper applications

You must submit a paper application form and additional information form for this course and return them to us completed and signed.

Completed forms should be returned to the following freepost address:

The Student Information & Admissions Manager
North East Scotland College
Aberdeen City Campus

Should you have any problems with your application, please contact the Student Advice Centre:

Telephone: 01224 612330

If you take up a place on a College course, at the start of the course you will be asked to sign an enrolment form. In signing the form and/or taking up a place on a College course, you will enter into a contract with the College and be bound by the North East Scotland College Standard Terms and Conditions of Study. Copies of the Terms and Conditions are available for inspection on notice boards and at various locations throughout the College, at the College Reception, on the College website:, or can be obtained on request from the Student Funding and Admissions Manager, North East Scotland College, Aberdeen City Campus, Gallowgate, Aberdeen AB25 1BN. Please note that courses are offered subject to (a) there being sufficient numbers of enrolments and (b) the availability of resources. The College reserves its right (i) not to run courses where the number of students is considered insufficient or where resources are unavailable and (ii) in certain circumstances, to refuse admission to an individual applicant.