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Software Development Basics

Learn the basics of HTML code, gain expert insights into web development, and decide if the industry is right for you.

3,033 enrolled on this course

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Software Development Basics

3,033 enrolled on this course

  • 4 weeks

  • 3 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Kick-start your career in web-based software development

The web design and development industry is growing exponentially and offers several exciting employment opportunities. Many people perceive this field as too complex, assume they won’t understand the material and therefore don’t consider it as a viable job prospect.

This four-week course, created in collaboration with GitHub, uses simple tools and clear explanations to demystify software development. You’ll understand the technology used to create something you use every day, a web page, and will gain the confidence you need to consider a career in web development.

Master front end development basics

Front end development, or the development of a webpage’s user interface, is simpler to learn than back end development (which involves servers, applications, and databases that users can’t see).

With this in mind, the course focuses on a simple front end language (HTML) to familiarise you with the technology and development process used to create a basic web page. As you create your own web page, you’re able to view it in real-time, in a browser window, making lesson material easy to grasp.

Create web pages you’re proud of

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to create well-built code that displays as attractive, user-friendly web pages. You’ll cover text formatting, page structuring, and the embedding of media and hyperlinks using HTML code.

You’ll also learn how to test and debug web pages and how to style pages using the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) programming language. Once you’ve worked through the course material you’ll have a good idea of whether you’d like to study software development further.

Learn with the best

This CSS and HTML course provides learners with technical and transferable skills and an excellent introduction to the world of front end coding.


  • Week 1

    Getting started with HTML

    • Welcome to the course and Week 1

      Explore the course and Week 1’s objectives, introduce yourself, and get started with software development by understanding the basics of one of the most essential (and common) programming skills: HTML.

    • Setting up and HTML basics

      How and where do you write HTML and other programming languages? You’ll gain an overview of types of programming tools and essential information on key building blocks and HTML structure, and you’ll master two basic elements.

    • Wrap-up

      You’ve built a firm foundation of key concepts in HTML and taken steps toward developing a quality website. Now, it’s time to create your own web page! We’ll also reflect, share, and look ahead to Week 2.

  • Week 2

    Going further with HTML

    • Lists and hypertext

      Hyperlinks are the fundamental feature of HTML and lists have been baked into HTML from its beginning. In this activity, you’ll start writing lists and links into your documents.

    • Text formatting and meaningful markup

      Cultivate a sense of style in HTML by understanding different attributes and practicing common elements to format and enhance your text. You’ll also learn how elements can be classified and what that means for a page’s structure.

    • Wrap-up

      Can you show that you know how to structure pages and format text in a variety of ways? Put your knowledge and skills to the test with one final practical activity for the week. We'll also reflect, share and look ahead to Week 3.

  • Week 3

    Give your HTML some style

    • Cascading style sheets

      How can you control the overall look and behaviour of a web page? In this activity, you’ll learn some basic techniques for using cascading style sheets (CSS) to add some sought-after style to any web page.

    • Multimedia

      Adding media to your page can help provide information for your users and make the web page much more engaging. In this activity, you will learn the basics of adding visuals to web pages.

    • Wrap-up

      Let’s apply what you have learned this week to style your own web page and discuss your experiences with CSS with your fellow learners.

  • Week 4

    Getting ready for the web – and beyond!

    • Working with HTML files

      Now that you are familiar with HTML and CSS as languages, you are ready to take your coding skills to the next level. Learn how to use a code editor and create the basic files you need to create a website.

    • Fixing and enhancing web pages

      There will always be bugs. As with all software development and coding, finding mistakes and correcting them is an important part of the job. Learn how to identify bugs, fix them, and plan improvements to a web page.

    • Wrap-up

      Your website is up, debugged, and you have plans to make it even better! In this final activity, you’ll reflect and celebrate with your fellow learners, but we’ll also explore your next steps to becoming a professional developer.

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

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...

  • Create a simple webpage using the basic components of HTML.
  • Develop enhanced web pages that include hyperlinks, formatted text, and semantic elements.
  • Improve a web page using media and HTML styling elements.
  • Improve a web page through testing and debugging.
  • Create and manage files for a web page.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for people who are learning HTML and CSS, or who are considering careers in software development. By explaining basic website functions, it gives a good idea of what working in this industry is like.

Who will you learn with?

Current: Founder of Coursensu - the learning design platform.

Previous: Director of Product (PebblePad). Director of Learning (FutureLearn). Distance Learning Facilitator & Learning Technologist (UCL)

Who developed the course?


FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform and has been providing high quality online courses for learners around the world over the last ten years.

In collaboration with

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Buy this course

$134/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Subscribe & save

$349.99 for one year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 15 Aug 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

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

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