Information Services

Python - online courses

Self-taught online courses for both beginner and intermediate users of Python.

Introduction to Python

This self-taught online course introduces programming with the simple yet powerful Python programming language. This is a short course that will provide you with a quick taste of the capabilities of Python. Please work through this course at your own pace. Python is best learned by using it, so please copy out and play with the examples provided, and also have a go at the exercises. Lecture recordings are also available of the tutor explaining the concepts and demonstrating solutions to the exercises.

Note that the aim of this course is to introduce you to programming in general. Python is used due to its ease of use and availability. The course is aimed at complete beginners with no prior experience in this field.

Python for Data Science

This self-taught online course is aimed at individuals who want to use the Python programming language for data science and research purposes. Please note that the course assumes high-school level mathematical background and some experience in Python. This online version of the course is entirely self-paced and encapsulated within an online programming environment. The course also includes lecture recording videos.

Enrolling on the courses

These are online self-paced courses, open to staff and students at the University of Edinburgh. To enrol, please follow these steps:

  1. Log-in to Learn at or through MyEd.
  2. Select Course Catalogue in the top right corner.
  3. The Search Catalogue options will load. Type the name of the course you wish to enrol on in the search catalogue section and select Go.
  4. Expand the Options menu next to the correct Course ID (you’ll need to hover over it to see the menu). The course ID for Introduction to python is zu_intro_python_digital_skills_course. The course ID for Python for data science is zu_python_data_science_2018_19. Select Enrol from the Options menu. 
  5. The self-enrol overlay will load, providing further course information. Select Submit. An enrolment success screen will load, select OK to access the course.
  6. The next time you log-in to Learn the course will appear in your Current Courses list. Click on the course name to access it.

On the courses' Learn pages, you will find instructions for setting up Noteable, which is the online service we use for the courses. The instructions also explain how to retrieve the course files.

If you experience any access issues, please contact the IS Helpline.

Python Courses as Open Educational Resources

Although the online courses in Learn are only available to staff and students at the University of Edinburgh, the course videos and slides are Open Educational Resources and can be found on Open.Ed: