Contact FutureLearn for Support Learn to Code for Data Analysis - Free online course Skip main navigation
We use cookies to give you a better experience, if that’s ok you can close this message and carry on browsing. For more info read our cookies policy.
We use cookies to give you a better experience. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or read our cookies policy for more information.
Free online course

Learn to Code for Data Analysis

Software and data make the world go round. Learn programming, to analyse and visualise open data, with this free online course.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, starting from when you join
  • No access to course tests
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn
  • Access to course tests
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Learn to Code for Data Analysis

Why join the course?

This hands-on course will teach you how to write your own computer programs, one line of code at a time. You’ll learn how to access open data, clean it and analyse it and to produce visualisations. You will also learn how to write up and share your analyses, privately or publicly.

You will install free software (see Requirements below) to learn to code in Python, a widely used programming language across all disciplines, due to its support for scientific and engineering libraries and visualisation tools, and wide range of development tools.

You will write up analyses and do coding exercises using the popular Jupyter Notebooks platform, which allows you to see immediately the result of running your code and helps you identify – and fix – any errors more easily.

You will look at real data from the World Health Organisation, the World Bank and other organisations. You’ll be encouraged to discuss the data and your analyses with your fellow learners, and to build a community of researchers around these and other datasets.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic programming concepts.
  • Develop an awareness of open data sources as a public resource.
  • Using a programming environment to develop programs.
  • Produce and write simple programs to analyse large bodies of data and produce useful results.

Who is the course for?

The course does not assume prior experience in programming or data analysis. Basic familiarity with a spreadsheet application will be an advantage.

The course does not require any knowledge of statistics, but you need to have basic numeracy skills, like writing arithmetic expressions, using percentages and understanding scientific notation. If you wish to brush up on your numeracy skills, we recommend the FutureLearn course Basic Science: Understanding Numbers from The Open University.

To study this course you will use specialist software. You can use the software online, via a free account on a website, or offline, by downloading and installing a free software package. You will receive instructions about both options via email before the course starts. The online solution requires a good internet connection and has some limitations.

The offline software has no limitations and is the recommended option. However, you will need access to a desktop or laptop computer on which you can install software. The software is free and there are versions available for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms. You will need about 3 GB of free disk space to download and install the software, and to store datasets that will be provided in the course.

Whether you choose the online or offline software option, you will need to be proficient in basic computer tasks, like creating folders, downloading files and copying them to specific folders, etc. In terms of accessibility, you will be asked to use your web browser and to type code.

Who will you learn with?

Michel Wermelinger

Michel does research on software maintenance. He likes producing OERs (www.open.edu/openlearn/profiles/mw4687), looking at data visualisations and playing German-style board games.

Rob Griffiths

My research is on designing integrated programming / learning environments for students new to programming.

Tony Hirst

Open University academic and open data geek, with interests in data visualisation, data journalism and open education. Regular blogger at blog.ouseful.info

Who developed the course?

Buy a personalised, digital and printed certificate and transcript

You can buy a Certificate of Achievement for this course — a personalised certificate and transcript in both digital and printed formats, to prove what you’ve learnt. A Statement of Participation is also available for this course.

Certificate of Achievement + transcript £49.00

Statement of Participation £34.00

Estimate prices in preferred currency

Charges to your account will be made in GBP. Prices in local currency are provided as a convenience and are only an estimate based on current exchange rates.