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My IT Skills

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Take up the challenge of the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) World Championship 2020.

Are you naturally competitive? With excellent skills in Word, Excel or PowerPoint? You could win the top prize of $7000 at the MOS World Championship.

When you pass exams in Word, Excel OR PowerPoint, not only do you add an IT qualification to your CV, but you can be entered into the MOS Four Nations Championship. The three category winners will be invited to the MOS World Championship in sunny California!

Microsoft Office Specialist 2016 certification

Boost your CV whilst learning new skills that will benefit your studies and working life, with Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) 2016. It’s a globally recognised IT qualification available to current students and staff at Salford University.

This is a self-taught study programme, so all the resources you need to pass your chosen MOS certification/s are available online. This allows you to practice in your own time, at your own pace.

Microsoft Office Specialist

Become certified as a specialist in one, any, or all of these applications.

Microsoft Office Expert

Become certified as an Expert in one or both of these applications

Microsoft Office Master

Become certified as a Master – the highest MOS certification. To become a MOS Master 2016, you must successfully complete four exams in total:

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

MOS is more suited to people who have a good knowledge of an application. The Specialist exams test you on a wide breadth of knowledge of each application and require you to complete tasks that are a random mix of basic and intermediate levels.

Beginners can still join the MOS programme, but the learning curve will be a lot steeper. If you are new to an application, then we recommend you first log into LinkedIn Learning which has MS Office courses for beginners, plus MOS exam preparation courses.

Online training

Download GMetrix - free online training software – to your Windows devices, or use on networked computers on campus. It offers practice tests in training and testing modes which simulate real MOS exams. [Not available for Macs]. Details available on registration.


Microsoft approved workbooks, which map directly to exam objectives, are available on Blackboard.

The pass mark for MOS exams is 70%. When you find that you are achieving 70-80% pass marks in the GMetrix practice tests, you can consider yourself ready for the exam of your chosen application. When you are ready to take an exam, book a place on one of our exam sessions below.

Exam sessions are invigilated and take place on campus twice a month, with additional sessions scheduled nearer summer graduation.

There is no charge for The Library’s Microsoft Office Specialist programme. It is only available to current students and staff at Salford University.

Want to know more?

Visit our Microsoft Office Specialist area on Blackboard, and find our detailed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), guides and workbooks, or contact

Formatting a large structured document like a dissertation or thesis is a demanding task, and many people find it more time consuming and stressful than they anticipated.

Our handbook and accompanying videos focus on key MS Word features and tools, which can save you lots of time, enable you to work more effectively and reduce your anxiety levels.


Formatting your Dissertation/Thesis

This handbook provides detailed guidance to help you as you word process/format your dissertation or thesis. For the best results, if possible, consult it just before you begin writing up, so that you are working smarter with Word’s time-saving tools from the very start.

Advanced Skill


Formatting your dissertation - video guides

Styles: Using the 'Normal' style

Styles are the foundation of a Word document. And it begins with the 'Normal' style. Change its attributes to suit the requirements of dissertation/thesis.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 3.50 minutes


Styles: Using 'Heading' styles

Apply 'Heading' styles to the headings and sub-headings in your document, and save yourself lots of effort. Use them to control the appearance of your headings (the font type, size and colour), to create an automatic Table of Contents, and introduce multilevel numbering to your headings.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 9.55 minutes


Using Multilevel numbering for headings

Want to introduce a numbered hierarchical structure to your document? Then add Multilevel numbering to the ‘Heading’ styles that you have applied to the headings in your document. For example, 1. 1.1, 1.2, 2., 2.1, 2.1.1

Advanced Skill


Duration: 3.54 minutes


Table of Contents

Let Word do the hard work for you. Once you have applied ‘Heading’ styles to your document, you can create an automatic Table of Contents with a few mouse clicks. Update the listing at any time as you continue to edit your work.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 5.28 minutes



Achieve consistent looking numebered labels for your figures and tables by using the Caption tool. You can save huge amounts of time and effort by then creating an automatic listing for them.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 8.53 minutes


Page Breaks

Why use them? Well, do you use the Enter key to make a heading appear at the top of a new page, only to find that as you continue to edit your document the heading moves up or down the page? Not with Page Breaks!

Advanced Skill


Duration: 2.10 minutes


Section Breaks: Changing page numbering

A dissertation/thesis typically has different types of page numbering in its footers. To feature a title page with no page numbering, then a series of pages with small Roman Numerals, followed by your main document displaying standard Arabic page numbering – you need Section Breaks.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 9.59 minutes


Section Breaks: Changing page orientation

You can change the page orientation within your document by using Section Breaks. You can then switch from portrait to landscape to accommodate e.g. a large image, and then switch back to portrait orientation for the remainder of the document.

Advanced Skill


Duration: 5.14 minutes