Introduction to Python

Date: 24 February 2020
Time: 9.45am–5pm
Instructor: Peter Smyth
Level: Introductory
Fee: £120

CMI offers up to five subsidised places at a reduced rate of £60 per course day to research staff and students within Humanities at The University of Manchester. These places are awarded in order of application. 

Humanities PGR students at The University of Manchester can apply for a methods@manchester bursary to help cover their costs. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and applicants will be required to provide a supporting statement from their supervisor.

Please click here to make a booking. If you are applying for a subsidised place, select the £60 University of Manchester option on the booking form. For queries about methods@manchester bursaries, contact (please note, you must have a confirmed place on the course before requesting a bursary application form). For any other queries about short courses, please contact

Please note: this is not guaranteed and is considered on a case by case basis. Please contact us for more information.


Part of Social Data Science Week, a collaboration between the Cathie Marsh Institute and methods@manchester. These courses have been designed for postgraduate researchers, giving you the tools to make use of free and open-source software, and techniques from the cutting-edge new discipline of social data science.

This one-day introduction to Python workshop is for any researcher who has or expects to have data they want to analyse using the Python programming language. No prior computational experience is required. This hands-on workshop provides an introduction to the Python programming language using the Jupyter Python Environment.  There will be an introduction to the popular Python packages of Pandas and Matplotlib to demonstrate basic data analysis and plotting tasks within Python.

Course objectives

On completion of this workshop, the participants will be able to;

  • Install Python and the Jupyter environment on their own machine
  • Be familiar with the Jupyter Notebook environment
  • Understand Python variables, data types, objects and simple programming constructs
  • Understand how to get help and make use of 3rd party Python libraries like pandas
  • Read CSV based files into pandas dataframes
  • Read JSON based files and extract fields into dataframes (tables)
  • Manipulate data within  pandas dataframes
  • Perform simple visualisations of data

After completion of this workshop, the participant will be in a position to create their own Python environment and have confidence in using it to produce small effective Python programs for a variety of data cleaning, analysis and visualisation tasks required by their research.



About the instructor

Peter Smyth is a Research Associate at the University of Manchester, based in the Cathie Marsh Institute. He has spent 35 years working in IT at various large and small commercial organisations before taking an MSc in Big Data Analytics at Sheffield Hallam University and moving into academia. In his previous roles, he used any convenient programming environment to hand to solve problems. Now he teaches a variety of programming languages to help others to do the same.

He is a qualified Data and Software Carpentry instructor.