University of Reading Free Online Course to Begin Programming

Start Programming: Build Your First Mobile Game’ is a free online course by the University of Reading available on This course teaches the basics of programming and you don’t require any knowledge of coding to take part.

At the end of the course, you’ll have a complete game that can be played on an Android phone or tablet, or even your computer. The course will begin on September 4, 2017.

Course At Glance

Length:  5 weeks
Effort: 4 hours/week
Subject: Begin Programming
Institution: University of Reading and Future learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Course starts on September 4, 2017

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Providers’ Details

The University of Reading has a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and enterprise. The University targets to deliver a world-class experience to all of its learners. Teaching is research-led, so learners can benefit from the expertise and hands-on knowledge of teaching staff.

About This Course

The course will combine video introductions, on-screen examples, downloadable guides, articles and discussions to help you understand the principles behind computer programs and the building blocks that are used to create them. Multiple choice quizzes will assist you to check your understanding, while exercises each week will show you how to use your new skills to improve your game. Expert guidance from staff at the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading, UK, will assist to support you as you learn more about the exciting world of programming.

Why Take This Course?

At the end of the course you’ll get a complete game that can be played on an Android phone or tablet, or even your computer. You can share it with your friends and family, use your new knowledge to improve the game further, or even create new games of your own!

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, you’ll be able to…

  • Compile and run a java application on a mobile phone or emulator
  • Modify java code
  • Identify and use different data types and Java programming constructs
  • Develop a simple program in Java to run on a mobile phone


This course teaches the basics of programming and you don’t need any knowledge of coding to take part. You may find it challenging at moments, but we hope it will be fun too. However, the course does need you to be comfortable downloading, unzipping and installing software to your computer. If you think that you may find this difficult, you may like to have someone with a good knowledge of IT on hand to help you — particularly in week 1.


Richard Mitchell

He is Professor of Cybernetics in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Reading. My interests include Education, Computing, Control, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Gaia Theory.

Timothy Threadgold

Teaching Fellow and Doctoral candidate at the University of Reading. Currently writing my thesis on novel materials for multilayer infrared filters for space based applications.

Karsten Lundqvist

A few years ago he had the idea to create the “Begin Programming” course. It was one of my better ideas.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course websitelink
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof of learning on the course topic(s)).

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