Short courses


Introduction to Quantum Computing

  • 10 hours
  • 2 weeks


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Quantum computing is a rapidly advancing technology with the potential to transform industry and society. On this short course, explore the fundamentals of quantum computing and discover its real-world applications with world-leading experts from UCL's Quantum Science and Technology Institute (UCLQ).

Through a mixture of self-paced online learning and a live virtual workshop, you will be guided through the fundamentals of quantum theory without the need for any in-depth mathematical knowledge.
In week one, you will investigate the limits of classical computing and identify how quantum computing can push physics and quantum theory in new and innovative directions.

In week two, you will put your learning into context, discovering real-life applications of quantum computing and the problems it can address. Plus, in this week you will have a live virtual workshop with your expert tutors. Here you will have the opportunity to ask them any questions you have, as well as the chance to learn the basics of programming a real-life quantum computer!


You'll learn about: 

  • Classical vs quantum computers 
  • Quantum physics
  • Qubits, superposition, and measurement 
  • Quantum algorithms and applications
  • Platforms
  • The future of quantum computers

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Course structure

The course is taught fully online. It consists of roughly eight hours of self-paced study, plus a two-hour live virtual workshop with a UCL academic expert.

The course is available in two modes of study: on-demand and facilitated. If you wish to start immediately, you can take the course on-demand. This means you will work through the self-paced activities on your own and there will be limited interaction and feedback from the course tutors. If however you are keen to interact with the course tutors and receive feedback on your learning, we recommend you wait for an upcoming facilitation window. These take place roughly once every two months, details of upcoming dates available upon enrolment. Roughly once every two months there is a live virtual workshop. We expect you attend this regardless of whether you took the course as on-demand or facilitated.

The course is hosted on our technology partner, Futurelearn's platform. There is no requirement to know about any particular software to take part in this FutureLearn Premium Course.

Who the course is for

This course is 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 is also suitable for those with a general interest in new and emerging technologies.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course, you 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. 


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

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.

Course team

Professor Dan Browne

Professor Dan Browne

Dan is Professor of Physics and a specialist in Quantum algorithms, architectures, and complex systems.

Professor John Morton

Professor John Morton

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

Course information last modified: 22 Aug 2023, 16:29