Microsoft Office Specialist Certification

The opportunity to gain a recognised qualification in Microsoft Office is available to all staff and students at the University through our certification programme. Information provided here on our MOS programme is solely for staff and students. External candidates wanting to sit MOS exams through our testing centre should contact for further details.

For the next session, we are also offering the opportunity to sit Adobe certification exams; for further details, see our dedicated web page, Adobe Certified Professional (ACP) Certification.

MOS exam delivery: The standard delivery method for MOS exams has returned to on-campus, in-person exams, as was the case before COVID restrictions were imposed. Candidates will be expected to sit their MOS Exam at our MOS exam venue. Live-delivered exams provide a much better exam experience with a faster and more reliable interface.

MOS Exam Session Dates

On-campus Exam Sessions during 2022-23
The times listed are the start-times for a 2-hour exam session, during which up to 2 exams may be sat per session. Exams are delivered throughout the year; dates are posted several months ahead, later session dates will be posted as they become available.
Feb: 8 (14:00), 22 (12:00)
Mar: 15 (9:00)
Apr: 12 (13:00), 26 (11:00)
May: 10 (15:00), 24(10:00)

Exam Booking:  Request a place on one of the advertised exam dates using the online MOS Booking form (the form link is given in the Certification Pack sent to registered participants).

Remote Exam Dates: There are no scheduled remote delivery exams. Email to discuss your requirement for a remote exam.

Find out more about MOS
Next briefing session:
Book a place on 6 Feb, 13:00-14:00,(in-town) or 15 Feb (Eden Campus); the briefing will fully explain how MOS is delivered, exams available and how to join, with time for questions (in-person sessions).  Can't make the  briefing? Come to a drop-in session to have your questions answered or see this link to view a previous briefing delivery.
Next drop-in session:
13 Feb 2023, 13:00-14:00 (Teams), pop in using the embedded link anytime during the session. with questions about the programme or your preparation or to see resources demonstrated.
World class: Read about our star performers who made it to the MOS World Championships on our MOS Roll of Honour page.

Passport Programme credit: MOS Certification passes will count towards fulfilling your IT component for the PSC Awards and the Passport to Administrative Excellence.

What is Microsoft Office Specialist Certification (MOS)?

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certifications are a recognised industry standard qualification designed to benchmark and validate skills in Microsoft Office. The University of St Andrews is a Certification Authorised Testing Centre and delivers invigilated, task-based exams, approved by Microsoft.

The exams are based on Microsoft 2019/365 versions of Office for Windows (certification exams and all training resources are for Windows versions of Office only; see the note below regarding Mac users wanting to do MOS).

There is a separate exam for each application in the Office suite (Word, Excel, etc) and at graduated levels of Associate and Expert. There are also higher aggregate certifications you can be awarded for a specified series of passes to denote fluency across a range of applications. For information on the aggregate certification requirements see this link: Microsoft 2019/365 Certification

The list below are the MOS 2019/O365 exams available through our testing centre.

Associate level

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Outlook

Expert level*

  • Excel Expert
  • Word Expert
  • Access Expert

* Expert level exams may be sat without having passed the core exams, but it is recommended you do both levels to certify the full range of competencies.


MOS exams and MacOS: Exams are based on Microsoft Office for Windows and are not available for Mac Office. Exam preparation using the GMetrix practise test software must be carried out on a Windows platform and cannot be run on a Mac (unless you are running Windows on your Mac through a VM or Bootcamp partition). However the GMetrix practise test software is available in all the PC classrooms across the University and can be effectively used for exam preparation.

Information from Microsoft about the certifications, including the specific skills examined in each certification is available on Microsoft's Certification webpage.

Who is eligible to register for MOS exams?

The MOS exam program is open to all University of St Andrews staff and students. The exams are provided free of charge (the RRP for a MOS exam is £65) and are administered by CEED. This represents very good value as most other institutions offering this qualification charge a fee up to £125 (dependent on the bundled training materials).

External candidates may register to sit MOS exams at our testing centre with the purchase of a voucher issued by our MOS program. Contact for more information about sitting exams as an external candidate.

What is the process?

There is no formal training associated with this programme but offers self-directed and self-led learning resources so that you have maximum flexibility to prepare as and when you have time. The certification route is generally a 3-stage process:

Skills Analysis

When you join the MOS programme, skills evaluation software is made available that delivers practise tests similar to the actual MOS exams. These tests are used to evaluate your skill level and determine your training requirements.

Exam Preparation

Once you determine your weak skill areas, the required training can be undertaken through self-led learning using provided online resources, including Microsoft online e-learning courses. The skills evaluation software GMetrix is itself also a training tool as it includes an assisted training mode where detailed instructions are given for required tasks.

MOS training resources: We have a subscription to the Microsoft Imagine Academy offering MOS-targeted self-led learning courses for each of the MOS exams. See the exam resources page for more information.

Certification through Examination

When confident, you then book onto an advertised exam date to sit a task-based exam in an invigilated session, which typically lasts 50 minutes. Exam results are displayed on screen immediately on completing the exam. All MOS exam results are stored in the candidate's exam account and may be accessed through your candidate portal. Authorised transcripts may be requested from the exam authority, Certiport, to be sent directly to specified addresses (eg employers) and certificates can be printed on demand. A MOS exam transcript is entirely separate from and has no bearing upon your offical University transcript.

Please see more information on each stage of the MOS Certification process.