This paper reports the results of the first survey of introductory programming courses (N = 80) taught at UK universities as part of their first year computer science (or similar) degree programmes, conducted in the first half of 2016. Results of this survey are compared with a related survey conducted since 2010 (as well as earlier surveys from 2001 and 2003) in Australia and New Zealand. We report on student numbers, programming paradigm, programming languages and environment/tools used, as well as the reasons for choice of such.

The results in this first UK survey indicate a dominance of Java at a time when universities are still generally teaching students who are new to programming (and computer science), despite the fact that Python is perceived to be both easier to teach as well as to learn. Furthermore, this survey provides a starting point for valuable pedagogic baseline data in the context of substantial computer science curriculum reform in UK schools, as well as increasingly scrutiny of teaching excellence and graduate employability for UK universities.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBath
PublisherUniversity of Bath
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 21 Sept 2016


  • programming


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