Microsoft and Adobe training and certification

IT certifications are more relevant now than ever before in an increasingly competitive job market. As more and more people are using technology on a daily basis it’s no longer good enough to turn up to an interview and persuade the panel that you are completely confident at mail merge and of course you can create perfect pivots to efficiently analyse your data in a matter of seconds. You need to show what you know – provide evidence of your skills and of course, certifications are a great way to do just that.

Microsoft Office Specialist Certification is a globally recognised certification which will equip you with the business IT skills you need to stand out in a competitive market place.

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) certification allows you to demonstrate proficiency in the Adobe suite of applications. Becoming a Certified Associate will help you stand apart from your peers, boost your confidence, and expand your career opportunities.

Microsoft Office Specialist

MOS certifications are currently free to students and staff at UCLan (they cost in the region of £80 - £100 per individual certification outside UCLan).  You can choose to do as many or as few as you like - for each exam you pass you'll receive a Microsoft Office Specialist Certification in that product.  

You can choose from the following self-paced study packages in Microsoft Office 2016 products:

MS Word 2016 Core - objectives

MS Excel 2016 Core - objectives

MS PowerPoint 2016 Core - objectives

MS Access 2016 Core - objectives

MOS Outlook 2016 Core - objectives

MS Word 2016 Expert - objectives

MS Excel 2016 Expert - objectives

Become a Microsoft Office Specialist Master

Master is 'the highest MOS certification; it puts you on an elite level'.  Achieve MOS Master status by successfully completing four exams:

Required:  Word 2016 Expert
Required:  Excel 2016 Expert
Required:  PowerPoint 2016
Elective: Access 2016 or Outlook 2016

Check the Certiport pages for further information.

How to prepare for MOS

Microsoft estimate that each MOS exam requires approximately 40 hours of preparation.  Even if you're already a confident user of your chosen product, you will still need to do some prep.  We have self-study packages available in Blackboard for each exam which comprise workbooks, exercise files, practice exams and supplementary online courses.  
At the start of your prep, try a practice exam - this will give you a good indication of where your skills are in relation to the exam.  In our MOS pilot, we asked people to try a Word Core practice test before they had done any preparation.  Most were surprised at their scores - 87% of people scored less than 50% (the pass mark is 70%)  If you feel the same, don't worry. The majority of people will need to do at least some preparation to pass the exams, and after all, if they were easy to pass what would be the value?  
Once you're consistently achieving a score of 800 in 'testing' mode of the practice tests, you should be ready to book your exam.
Please note - we have a limited number of MOS exam places.  If you fail your first exam attempt we will require evidence of your practice test scores before you can resit the exam. 

What does the self-study pack include?

The self-study materials in Blackboard provide you with everything you need to prepare and pass your chosen MOS exam(s):

  • Microsoft approved workbook which maps directly to the exam objectives
  • Unlimited practice exams with testing and training mode providing step-by-step help on each question. You can progress at your own pace, returning to saved tests and skipped questions.
  • Supplementary training courses
  • Frequently asked questions along with information and tips on how to make the most of the MOS resources.

Where to find the MOS self-study packs

Everything you need is freely available in our Blackboard area:

  1. Open the Firefox browser if available
  2. Go to your Student Portal (If you are off campus, go to, choose 'student' and login to the Portal)
  3. In the Home section and Course Information, look for the Organisation Catalogue
  4. Choose Library and IT Training
  5. Hover your mouse over the Microsoft Office Specialist Certification and select the grey arrow
  6. Select Enrol
  7. Microsoft Office Specialist Certification will then appear under 'My Organisations'.

Booking your exam place

You can book your place via Eventbrite.

  • Each exam slot is one hour. You can only sit one exam on each slot - if you want to sit multiple exams, you will need to book more than one slot.
  • You do not need to tell us in advance which exam you would like to do.
  • You do not need to bring your Eventbrite ticket
  • You do need to bring your UCLan card
  • Please be prompt - late arrivals will not be admitted.
  • You will need to register with Certiport at before you arrive for your first exam. If you have not registered in advance, you might not be able to sit your exam.
Cancelling your place

MOS exam slots are limited and in high demand. If you are unable to attend please cancel your place so that another student can take advantage.

Cancelling your place is easy - just log in to Eventbrite, Go to the Tickets page, and locate your order. Click your order to view order details, and then select "Cancel Order" to cancel your registration.

Adobe Certified Associate

The Adobe Certified Associate (ACA) credential certifies individuals have the skills required to plan, design, build, and maintain effective communications using different forms of digital media. We offer complete self paced learning packages and certification alone in Adobe products for those wishing to validate existing skills.

Self paced learning packages

We offer self paced learning packages in the following products:

  • Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
  • Adobe Flash CS6

What does the self-study pack include?

Each package consists of officially endorsed ACA Courses books, accompanying CD Rom’s containing exercise files and online practice exam software, along with an exam vouchers and free retake.

Certification alone

If you are already a confident user of the following Adobe products and wish to validate your skills, we can offer certification at a competitive price:

Adobe Flash® Professional
Adobe Dreamweaver®
Adobe Photoshop®
Adobe Premiere® Pro
Adobe Illustrator®
Adobe InDesign®

What next?

You can buy self-study packages or certifications directly from our supplier Prodigy Learning.  You'll also find supplementary online training courses on (you will need to login to view all content).  Once you are ready to sit your exam, email to arrange a date and time.