Advanced Research Computing


Course Catalogue

This page provides a summary of the research IT training we provide for UCL staff and students as well as some of our recommendations for online courses from other providers.

Follow us on Twitter (@ucl_arc) or sign up to our mailing list for announcements about research IT training opportunities at UCL and elsewhere.


ARC courses

Introduction to the Unix Shell

An introduction to command line interaction with the Unix shell.*

Available on Moodle 

* Software Carpentry Workshops and the HPC Carpentry for UCL Central Cllusters course also teach the basics of using the shell.
An Introduction to Research Programming using Python

This course will introduce fundamental programming concepts and is aimed at researchers who want to use Python to manipulate and analyse data.

Available on Moodle

HPC Carpentry for UCL Central Clusters

This course introduces the essential things you'll need to know in order to access UCL's research computing clusters, use the command line, transfer files, load pre-installed software packages using environment modules, and submit jobs on the cluster using a scheduler.

Next instance: to be confirmed

Further information and registration: UCL HPC Carpentry

Available on Moodle

Software Carpentry Workshop

Software Carpentry aims to help researchers get their work done in less time and with less pain by teaching basic research computing skills. This hands-on workshop will cover concepts and tools, including program design, version control, data management, and task automation. Participants will be encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their own research problems.

Next instance: to be confirmed


Complete our expression of interest form

if you would like to be notified of future classroom-based instances of these courses when they become available (most of the courses are also available as a self-paced option on Moodle). You can also use the form to suggest topics you would like us to consider covering in future.

Electronic Research Notebook (ERN) training

UCL's new ERN service is provided by RSpace, who have some useful online training videos. Links to these can be found on the ERN further information web page.

Digital Skills Development courses

ISD's Digital Skills Development team also runs courses that may be of interest to researchers; forthcoming courses include:

This "in a nutshell" training is an introduction to setting up version control using Git. The command line interface (in contrast to the Graphical User Interface, or GUI) will be used to understand key functions of Git. This is a "hands on" workshop; prior to attending the session, participants are required to set up their computers for command line using Linux. (Further information on what you need to do will be sent to you when you register). Having done this course, participants should continue further training; we recommend the Software Carpentry Workshop (see ARC courses, above).

This course is designed to help you to use R and R-studio to import, manipulate, describe and analyse categorical and continuous data and to produce plots and tables to support analysis. You should have a good understanding of statistical concepts. No prior experience with R is required, but experience of using a spreadsheet application such as Excel would be an advantage.

Please follow the links to find out more and register if interested.


In the 2020-21 academic year, we ran a series of lunchtime webinars for new researchers (and also for those who were just new to our services!) which lasted approximately 45 mins including questions. Recordings of these webinars are available below.

Tips and techniques for developing research software, or how not to be slated by the mediaJonathan Cooper1pm, Wednesday 14th October 2020Recording available on Mediacentral
Storing and sharing your research dataJames Wilson1pm, Wednesday 25th November 2020Recording available on Mediacentral
Efficient and secure use of the UCL compute clustersOwain Kenway1pm, Wednesday 20th January 2021Recording available on Mediacentral
Open Science and the future of research applicationsDonna Swann and Kirsty Wallis1pm, Wednesday 3rd February 2021Recording available on Mediacentral
Information Governance, sensitive data and the Data Safe HavenTrevor Peacock1pm, Wednesday 10th February 2021Recording available on Mediacentral

Recommended online courses

See Tools and Tips for more tools, tips and training resources recommended by members of the ARC team.

Essentials 4 Data SupportResearch Data NetherlandsAn introductory course for those who (want to) support researchers in storing, managing, archiving and sharing their research data.
Research Software Engineering with PythonResearch IT ServicesThese are the course notes from a module we teach as part of the Scientific Computing MSc. Aimed at intermediate level programmers, the course moves beyond programming, to explain how to construct reliable, readable, efficient research software in a collaborative environment.
Machine LearningCourseraExcellent course on the basic but still powerful and relevant methods in machine learning, easy to follow. The course is an intermediate level, and Andrew Ng has a great way of explaining complicated concepts in a simplified and practical way.
Deep LearningCourseraA follow up on the Machine Learning course above, with focus on Deep Learning, presented in the context of the main applications such as Computer Vision and NLP. Highly recommended!
Managing Big Data with R and HadoopFuturelearnAn introduction to the MapReduce paradigm for distributed data processing on a cluster. Some experience with R, statistics and matrix operations is recommended.
Python in High Performance ComputingFuturelearnLearn how to analyse Python programmes and identify performance barriers to help you work more efficiently.
SupercomputingFuturelearnAn introduction to the theory and practice of parallel computing. Provides a good explanation of different computing architectures and the pros and cons of each.
Introduction to HPCARCHERA collection of YouTube videos, slides and exercises from ARCHER's introductory high performance computing course. The course explains the theory and practice of parallel computing with a nice variety of practical examples.

Other research IT training providers


ARCHER2 is a national UK supercomputing service which also provides a range of training courses at sites around the UK which are free for UK academics. See their training page for details.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning provides video tutorials covering a wide range of IT skills including programming, data analytics, web development, data visualisation, continuous deployment and more – all free to UCL staff and currently enrolled students. See ISD Learning & Teaching Services for details.

UK Data Service

As well as providing access to a range of social and economic data, the UK Data Service run regular training events and webinars covering a wide range of tools and methods for working with qualitative and quantitative data. See the UK Data Service YouTube channel for recordings of past webinars.