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Introduction continued ...

What do you need to know?

Good IT practices will enable you to get the most from the systems and resources available at Warwick. Before you attempt sections 1-8 of this online course you MUST have completed the skills exercise on 'good practice' . Access to this, and all the sections of the course can be found via the link in the left margin of this page.

Note: some of you may find that you are already familiar with many of the points noted in the exercise on Good Practice: it is only a short section and MUST still be completed as it includes a downloading exercise that is essential for completing the other sections of the programme.
Those who already have experience working with Excel may wish to 'skip' section 1, however, if you have not used Excel for some time, you may find it useful to confirm your knowledge of the basics before proceeding to the more in-depth sections.

Skills Covered in the Course


  • Section 1: an introduction to the basic functionality of Excel spreadsheets
  • Section 2: Basic formulae in Excel
  • Section 3: Searching and Analysing Data in Excel
  • Section 4: Further Excel Functions useful to research
  • Section 5: Charts & Chart Wizard
  • Section 6: Presentation of Data, charts and images (including work in Word)

Resources for finding data collections to use in your historical research

  • Section 7: Official Publications and Statistics in the Library
  • Section 8: Searching electronic resources

Using Access databases

  • Section 9: Basic analysis and construction of an Access database
  • Section 10: Using the relational capacities of Access
Completing the course

Before you begin it may be useful to print all the exercise questions: these can be found in a downloadable format via the 'exercises and workbooks' link in the left margin of this page.
When you are ready to begin, please select the first section on Good Practice.

The sections can be accessed at any time, and therefore completed all together, or, you may find it more beneficial to break up the course and complete it in sections to fit in with your timetable.

The course is designed to benefit YOU by enhancing your research skills. It is not assessed, and therefore, the exercises included in each section involve an element of self-assessment. A full explanation of the exercises and a demonstration of the correct answers/ procedures are included in each section. However, if you have any difficulties or queries with the material in any section, please contact Lisa Lavender

To get the most out of this course you may choose to set up a blog in which to store your completed exercises and any comments/useful references you may wish to note as you work through the different sections.