Discover the world of computing, learn software design and development while solving puzzles with world renowned lecturer Richard Buckland.

The Team

Richard Buckland       10589 kudos

Richard is the Director of First Year Experience at UNSW and Professor in security engineering and cyber security.  Richard has a love of teaching and a deep fa...

Andrew Bennett       3691 kudos

tl;dr: generally friendly humanoid creature with rainbow hair. has been around forever and will probably continue to do so. I'm not...

Karl Krauth       904 kudos

Hello there. I'm a fourth year student doing a degree in computer science/mathematics/statistics at UNSW. I've also been a tutor for Comp1917, Comp1927, Comp204...

John Cramb       824 kudos

Hey... you! Feel free to stalk my profile here or alternatively contact me via if you have a question you would like answered :) Stay shiny, JC...

John Garland       612 kudos

Hello everyone, I'm a teacher for this course and I can't wait to learn with all of you.

David C       325 kudos

Hello everyone, I'm a teacher for this course and I can't wait to learn with all of you.

Samuel Li       13 kudos

Hello everyone, I'm a teacher for this course and I can't wait to learn with all of you.

pdc PeterCamilleri       1 kudos

Hello everyone, I'm a teacher for this course and I can't wait to learn with all of you.

Sarah Bennett       0 kudos

Hello everyone, I'm a teacher for this course and I can't wait to learn with all of you.

The Community

17810 Students           16448 Comments

More Information

UNSW Computing 1 is a public course presented by OpenLearning with original content derived from UNSW COMPUTING's first year computing course.  Take the course online for free!

This 12 week course will explore the world of software engineering, computing and problem solving. While Computing 1 only takes four to five hours a week (that's nothing!), you'll struggle to tear yourself away as you learn:

  • abstraction, estimation, programming, machine code, C, problem solving
  • top down design, arithmetic expressions, layout, style++
  • types, variables, memory other numeric types
  • while and for loops, stack frames, arrays...

Even better, Computing 1 will give you an understanding of what it's like to be a developer and enable you to appreciate the art of computing.

Whether you're in Sydney, Singapore or Santiago, you'll love Computing 1 on OpenLearning. You won't just take the course, you'll be a part of the course by contributing to the lecture notes and helping other students.

You'll enjoy a mix of short activities, fun software puzzles and projects. You'll learn at your own pace and feel motivated with helpful and immediate feedback on your progress.


The School of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of New South Wales focuses on solving deep technical problems in computing. It is well known in Open Source and Linux groups around the world and many of our graduates have gone on to senior positions with major international tech companies, especially those with a focus on development.

Our aim is to change Australia from being a heavy user of technology to a high producer of technology. We educate students to create technology for the future rather than just training them to use current technology, reducing the need for continual re-training.

Find out more about UNSW Computing »

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the courses work/how is it run?

The course contains 12 modules that are each 1 week long. Each module contains a series of lecture videos, activities (programming challenges, assignments or quizes) and practice questions / examples.

Q: What's the time commitment like?

Plan to spend at least 4 hours per week on Computing 1. The more time you spend on the course, the more you will learn and get out of it. We hope you enjoy it so much that you'll struggle to tear yourself away.

Q: Do I need to know programming or computing to take the course?

No! This is an entry level course that will introduce you to computer science and software development. It is based on content from the first year computing course taught at UNSW. It is suitable for both self taught programmers and those who have never programmed before.

Q: What makes UNSW Computing 1 different to other online courses?

The previous version of UNSW Computing 1 is already one of the most popular online computing courses on YouTube and iTunesU with over two million views.  This version has been substantially expanded and improved and contains no traces of nuts.  It also has an integrated (award winning) PuzzleQuest (which you'll have to find out about yourself.) We gratefully acknowledge Google's support for the development of PuzzleQuest.

For Computing 1 on OpenLearning you get to not only hear the lectures, but you get to do the activities, access all study materials, and  join in the learning community.

Q: What makes OpenLearning different to other online platforms?

OpenLearning helps teachers create courses that are interactive, social and collaborative. When you start the course, you'll be able to track your progress with a friendly progress bar that stay green as long as you're keeping up to date. When you help other students you'll receive karma points, the higher your karma, the more your peers value your contributions.

OpenLearning is highly social and features a familiar comment system and a powerful wiki that fosters creativity and collaboration. There are many more amazing things in OpenLearning - so take the course and find out!

Q: How much interaction is there between lecturer and students, and between students?

You will be able to ask questions, receive assistance and help others on OpenLearning. You'll be able to interact with everyone in the course by making comments on material, sharing your notes and working with other students.

Q: Will I get acknowledgment for completion?

You will not receive any official certificate or accreditation for the course. But you will receive some awesome looking badges that will be displayed on your OpenLearning profile! Or you can enrol in a degree at UNSW Computing and enjoy many more Computer Science courses.

Related Courses

UNSW Computing 1 - The Art of Programming

Status: Self-paced

Students: 17810