UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute


Introduction to Quantum Computing

Separate fact from fiction and understand the real potential of quantum computing.

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Key information

Course type

  • Online (self-paced plus live workshops)

Start date(s)

  • On-demand (start any time) with regular tutor facilitation windows

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  • 2 weeks

Weekly study

  • 5 hours per week

Course Fees

  • £120

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    Quantum Computing has the potential to transform sectors ranging from healthcare and pharmaceuticals to energy and transport. Get up to speed with the fundamentals of quantum computing, the current state of development and explore the future of its potential.

    Facilitated by world-leading experts from UCL’s Quantum Science and Technology institute, you’ll be guided through the fundamentals of quantum theory without the need for any in-depth mathematical knowledge.

    You’ll be introduced to the definitions and properties of qubits, before comparing the characteristics of classical bits and quantum bits. You’ll also get to take part in a live workshop, allowing you to have your questions answered in real-time by experts in the field.

    Who is the course for?

    This course is designed for industry professionals working in science, technology, engineering and adjacent fields such as public policy and finance, who want to further their knowledge of quantum computing and its applications. It’s also suitable for those with a general interest in new and emerging technologies.

    Course benefits

    • Available on demand with regular tutor facilitation*.
    • Designed with the same rigorous approach we take when developing our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
    • Active learning provides you with the opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge you are being taught.
    • A reflective discussion-based approach that provides you with many opportunities to collaborate with learners from other organisations and sectors.
    • 2 hours of live virtual workshops with academic experts.
    • 8 hours of self-paced online study.
    • Get your questions answered by subject experts.
    • Start the course at any time with workshops at scheduled intervals.

    * Lead Educators will be present on the course during tutor-facilitation windows (roughly once per month).

    Course syllabus

    Week 1 - Classical vs Quantum

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    Week 1
    Welcome to the course

    • Science in the 20th century was dominated by the space race, a bid by research, government, and industry, to achieve dizzying new heights. How is the race for a quantum computer its 21st-century equivalent?

    Classical vs quantum physics

    • What is quantum physics and how does it differ from classical physics?

    Qubits, superposition, and measurement

    • Quantum computers have the potential to be exponentially more powerful than classical computers. Discover how qubits, the building blocks of quantum computers, can unleash that power.


    • An assignment providing you with the opportunity to apply the knowledge you have learnt so far.


    • A reflection on Week 1 of the course, the discussions you have participated in and the implications of quantum for the world of computing.


      Week 2 - Algorithms, applications and platforms

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      Week 2

      • Quantum computers are uniquely suited to solving algorithms that prove very challenging and time-consuming for classical computers.


      • A discussion around the potential applications of quantum computers.


      • There is no one method of success with this emergent technology, and many companies have developed unique products. Let's examine these technologies and consider which may be leading the race.

      The future of quantum computers

      • Quantum computing has progressed rapidly since the 1990s, but what can we expect in the future? Moreover, with any new technology, there are choices to be made. What key questions do we need to ask about responsible innovation?


      • Here we challenge you to draw together everything you've learnt in the course and provide feedback to your fellow learners.


      • A summary of the key themes we have looked at in Week 2.

      Live workshop

      • This week features a live virtual workshop over video conferencing platform Zoom. The workshop provides an opportunity to apply some of the knowledge and skills you have learnt, as well as ask the tutors any questions you have.


        Try it now

        Taster materials

        Professor Dan Browne explains the famous travelling salesman problem:

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        What will you achieve?

        Learning outcomes

        After completing the course, learners should be able to:

        • Explain the key differences in non-mathematical terms between classical and quantum computers
        • Identify quantum computing hardware platforms by the technology they are based on
        • Outline the most promising applications of quantum computers and their limitations


        Accreditation and Certification

        UCL Certificate

        CPD Accreditation Logo
        • The course is certified by The CPD Certification Service for 10 training hours.
        • You will gain a certificate of achievement featuring the CPD Certification Service logo and the UCL logo if you complete all of the required learning activities. This will include a transcript of the knowledge and skills you have covered.


        Who will you learn with?


        Professor Dan Browne - University College London
        Dan is Professor of Physics and a specialist in Quantum algorithms, architectures, and complex systems.



        Professor John Morton - University College London
        John Morton is a Professor of Nanoelectronics & Nanophotonics at University College London. He is the Director of the UCL Quantum Science and Technology Institute.


        Essential info

        Fees & Entry requirements

        • Standard course fee: £120
        • There are no entry requirements for this course and no previous knowledge of mathematics is required.  
        • Please contact us directly for group bookings.


        Deliver maximum impact

        Tailor this course for your organisation

        Deliver maximum impact and change. We offer bespoke private versions of this course to get your team up to speed as a cohort. This may include designing new learning activities and case studies based on the needs of your organisation and tailored to your sector, as well as additional workshops and in-person consultancy. Contact ucleo@ucl.ac.uk with your requirements and we would be happy to discuss further.


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