• University of Michigan logo

Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)

Master the basics of Python programming, and learn how to use programming tools and variables with the University of Michigan.

66,410 enrolled on this course

  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours

Learn Python from scratch and prepare yourself for a future in programming

On this programming course, you’ll go from a complete beginner with no prior programming experience to having a solid understanding of the Python programming language.

You’ll begin by completing basic exercises that focus on the core concepts of programming. As you progress, you’ll learn how to use variables to store, retrieve and calculate information. You’ll optionally install Python, then write your first program, and get to grips with utilize core programming tools like functions and loops.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll have the computer programming skills to further your learning alone.


  • Week 1

    Welcome to The Class

    • Welcome

      Welcome to Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)!

    • Materials

      This activity will introduce you course-wide material so you can come back and reference it as you need to throughout the class.

    • Writing Python Programs

      Getting ready for python programming.

    • Bonus Materials

      Bonus videos with Dr. Chuck.

  • Week 2

    Chapter One: Why We Program?

    • Introduction: Chapter 1

      Welcome to Chapter 1.

    • Lecture Materials

      Getting started with the basics.

    • Review: Chapter 1

      Take the test and evaluate your learning for Chapter 1.

    • Assignment: Chapter 1

      Our first program: Hello world!

    • Autograder: Check Your Status

      Check your status on Autograder activities throughout the duration of the course.

    • Python Playground

      Use the "Python Playground" to experiment with writing your own Python applications using only your browser.

    • Bonus: Chapter 1

      Our bonus interviews for this week.

  • Week 3

    Chapter Two: Variables and Expressions

    • Introduction: Chapter 2

      Welcome to Chapter 2.

    • Lecture Materials


    • Review: Chapter 2

      Take the test and evaluate your learning for Chapter 2.

    • Assignment: Chapter 2

      Apply what you have learned.

    • Bonus: Chapter 2

      Our bonus interview for this week.

  • Week 4

    Chapter Three: Conditional Code

    • Introduction: Chapter 3

      Welcome to Chapter 3.

    • Lecture Materials

      Conditional Statements

    • Review: Chapter 3

      Take the test and evaluate your learning for Chapter 3.

    • Assignment: Chapter 3

      Apply what you have learned.

    • Bonus: Chapter 3

      Our bonus interview for this week.

  • Week 5

    Chapter Four: Functions

    • Introduction: Chapter 4

      Welcome to Chapter 4.

    • Lecture Materials

      Using and building functions.

    • Review: Chapter 4

      Take the test and evaluate your learning for Chapter 4.

    • Assignment: Chapter 4

      Apply what you have learned.

    • Bonus: Chapter 4

      Our bonus interview for this week.

  • Week 6

    Chapter Five: Loops and Iteration

    • Introduction: Chapter 5

      Welcome to Chapter 5.

    • Lecture Materials

      Learning about loops and iteration.

    • Review: Chapter 5

      Take the test and evaluate your learning for Chapter 5.

    • Assignment: Chapter 5

      Apply what you have learned.

    • Bonus: Chapter 5

      Our bonus for this week.

    • Wrap Up

      Explore what is next with Dr. Chuck

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Describe the basics of the Python programming language
  • Use variables to store, retrieve and calculate information
  • Install Python and write your first program
  • Utilize core programming tools such as functions and loops

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone who wants to learn the basics of programming computers using Python.

It’s suitable for those who are considering a future career in programming or software development but have limited or no computer science experience, as well as those interested in exploring different programming languages at a beginner level.

What software or tools do you need?

Please note that JavaScript is required for full access to course content.

Who will you learn with?

Charles is a Clinical Professor and teaches in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. He is the Chair of the Sakai Project Management Committee (PMC).

Who developed the course?

University of Michigan

As the #1 public research university in the United States, U-M has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years, with 102 Grad programs in the top 10 — U.S. News & World Report (2019).

  • Established

  • Location

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • World ranking

    Top 30Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...

You can use the hashtag #Python to talk about this course on social media.