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Computing and IT


The first year module TM111, Introduction to Computing and IT 1, introduces you to programming concepts through ‘OU Build’, which is the Open University’s version of Scratch, the visual programming language developed by MIT. Good preparation before you start the course.


The companion module to TM111, TM112 Introduction to Computing and IT 2, uses the popular Python programming language. While TM112 takes you through the basics, it is well worth playing around with Python before you start the course. It’s also a good language to learn for the future too.

If you prefer learning using a book, then Python By Example by Nichola Lacey adopts a unique approach. Each chapter covers a different theme, giving you just the information you need and several challenges to put this into practice. You quickly learn the basics and get a sense of achievement at the same time. [NB. I bought this book myself following recommendations from fellow students and tutors.]


The University of Helsinki’s free Java Programming course is comprehensive but suitable for beginners. It may be more than you need for M250 Object-Oriented Java Programming but you can get a certification at the end.

Web development

Free Code Camp covers web development, including HTML, CSS and Javascript, on its free, online interactive website. You can earn several certifications by completing its core curriculum.


Whichever of the compulsory Stage 1 maths modules you choose, MU123 Discovering Mathematics or MST124 Essential Mathematics 1, you will find helpful videos on the Khan Academy website covering these topics. Useful for getting up to speed with maths before you start the course and for illuminating difficult topics while you study.