Programming For Beginners Using Python (OCN)

Accredited course - interview required.

Course information sheet

Fees: Standard £ 175 Conc £0 Full £505 * Enrol online for standard fee payers only

Day Time Weeks Centre Start End Code Enroll
Thursday 18:00 - 21:00 11 MAC 23/01/2020 02/04/2020 JS2810

What will the course cover?

This course aims to teach everyone the basics of programming computers using Python. We will then move past the basics of procedural programming and explore how we can use Python’s built-in data structures such as lists and dictionaries to perform increasingly complex data analysis. We will learn how one can treat the Internet as a source of data. We will scrape, parse, and read web data as well as access data using web APIs.

Who is the course for?

This course is ideal for anyone who is interested in programming a server-side application in python and accessing and analysing data on the Internet.

What skills, knowledge or experience do I need to start this course?

You should have reasonable experience in using Microsoft Windows or an Apple Macintosh computer, with the ability to perform simple tasks such as using a word processing program and using the internet to view web pages and send emails. Prior knowledge of programming is desirable, but not essential. You should have a good understanding of English and simple maths.

What should I be able to do by the end of the course?

By the end of this course you will have improved your knowledge of the Python programming language, learnt the basic syntax, been able to debug a Python application,. You would have gained an understanding of the data structures available in Python and how to use them to analyse data. In addition, you should be familiar with the JSON data format and be able to use at least one Python Application Programming Interface.

How is the course organised?

Explanations, demonstrations, discussions, tasks and lots of hands on practise.

What extra study or practice is expected outside of the class?

To gain the maximum benefit, you should read recommended books and websites, and practice the topics covered during the class each week – the more you practice, the faster your skills will improve. You should try and spend at least an hour per week of revision and putting the skills learned in the classroom into practice. Computer access is available at Study Support sessions at Macbeth centre, or at your local library.

How will my progress be assessed?

Informal, and continuous classroom assessment by task. Informal feedback but tasks will help you decide what else you need to learn or practise. The tutor will provide homework and specific tasks to assess your progress, which must be completed. There will be regular opportunities to review your progress throughout the course.

What can I expect to go on to after this course?

Continue to develop your Python programming skills on your own or enrol on our Data: Python advanced course. Alternatively, explore Web Design with one of our web courses such as: Bootstrap or jQuery.

Are there any other costs and what do I need to bring?

A pen and notebook, a file folder to store handouts, and a USB memory stick if you want to take your work home with you (your tutor can give you advice on purchasing USB memory sticks). You may benefit from investing in a guide book to supplement your learning. There are some helpful online sites which you could access to supplement your classroom learning or find online tutorials to develop your skills further:

What support is available?

You may wish to get additional help and guidance offered through the free Study Support Sessions at the Macbeth Centre. At these sessions you can access the internet, work on and print homework and assignments for your course, research, access a range of software, improve your typing and practice/review what you have covered in class. You will need to book a place on these sessions – ask your tutor how. Help with literacy or numeracy is available through the basic education programme and the ESOL programme offers help for speakers of other languages. Additional support can be provided for students with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. If you have a disability and feel you need support to get the best from your course you can contact Sean Buckley ( to have a confidential discussion on how best we can support your learning. The Learner Support Fund is a discretionary scheme, funded by the Skills Funding Agency, to assist learners who may be experiencing difficulties in paying for essential equipment/materials, travel costs, childcare, registration fees and other necessary expenses. These funds are only available to learners studying towards an approved qualification and who are on a low household income of under £20,000. Parental income will not be taken into consideration but the income of any spouse or partner will. Proof of low income will be required. Please discuss this with your tutor at interview or enquire at reception for full details of these funds. Details of all available support can be found on our website (, in the Guide and the Student handbook, or from teaching or reception staff.