An Introduction to Python

Monday 23 April 2018
10:00 - 16:30 BST
Jura Teaching Lab, Level 4 Annexe, University of Glasgow Library, Hillhead Street, Glasgow G12 8QE

An Introduction to Python will provide an opportunity for hands-on experience with Python as a programming language and to learn how it can be effectively used for data processing including big data.


Richard Skeggs, Senior Research Data Manager, Business and Local Government Data Research Centre (BLGDRC)


1 day (Monday 23rd April 2018, 10:00am – 4:30pm)


Jura teaching lab, Level 4 Annexe, Glasgow University Library


Social scientists, students, practitioners


  • £35 - For UK registered students
  • £60 - For staff at UK academic institutions, Research Council UK funded researchers, UK public sector staff and staff at UK registered charity organisations
  • £100 - For all other participants

Pre-requisite knowledge

This is an introductory level course aimed at anyone who has an interest in using Python. Some basic programming background (enough to understand logic of programming) would however be helpful but is not required. Please contact Keith Maynard for any clarification prior to booking.

Course summary

Python is an interpreted high-level programming language for general-purpose programming. Python has a design philosophy that emphasizes code readability, and a syntax that allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code, notably using significant whitespace. It provides constructs that enable clear programming on both small and large scales.

This course will introduce you to Python. The course will cover the basic structure and overview of the programming language and the data types that you will be able to use within the language.

Course Outcomes

In this one day course delegates will learn about programming possibilities using Python. Starting with a one hour seminar the day will continue with two hands-on exercise sessions enabling you to apply the tools and techniques. The day will end with a 15-30 minute brainstorming session and discussion to help you think about applying what you have learnt to your own work.


9:45 - 10:00: Arrival and registration

10:00 - 10:30: Seminar: What is Python?

  • What is it?
  • How it can be used?
  • Similarities to other technologies

10:30 - 11:30: Introduction to Python

  • Language syntax
  • Control structures
  • Data types

11:30 - 11:45: Break

11:45 - 12:30: Introduction to Python continued

  • Exercise One
  • Group discussion

12:30 - 13:15: Lunch and break

13:15 - 14:15: Python and Data

  • Data persistence (reading & writing from files)
  • Big file manipulation
  • Data retrieving and querying

14:15 - 15:00:

  • Exercise Two
  • Group discussion

15:00 - 15:15: Break

15:15 - 16:30: Python and Data (continued)

  • Numpy
  • Run command Line
  • Exercise Three
  • Group discussion

16.30: Close

Payment and registration

Registration is available via Eventbrite.

For any queries regarding registration, please contact Keith Maynard.

Tutor's bio

Richard Skeggs ( joined the Centre in 2003 and focuses on document management, report archiving and big data. Richard is responsible for the collection and curation of data with a focus on business. He also provides data users with information and support.

Richard has provided training to a variety of audiences on topics such as Python, R, mahout and machine learning. He has a technical background having worked within systems administration, database programming and web based application development since 1996. Previously as a technical consultant he has been responsible for designing, developing and delivering highly scalable customer solutions.

Richard has a particular interest in:

Oracle development and administration, Java, Perl, Unix and Linux system administration, Technical and Information Architecture, Solution Delivery, Change management, Hadoop infrastructure and Proposed Schedule.