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Creative Programming for Digital Media & Mobile Apps

For anyone who would like to apply their technical skills to creative work ranging from video games to art installations to interactive music, and also for artists who would like to use programming in their artistic practice.


Course at a Glance

About the Course

This course will teach you how to develop and apply programming skills to creative work. This is an important skill within the development of creative mobile applications, digital music and video games. It will teach technical skills needed to write software that make use of images, audio and graphics, and will concentrate on the application of these skills to creative projects.  Additional resources will be provided for students with no programming background.

Course Syllabus

Week 1: Introduction: sonic painter
Week 2: Interactive D/VJ app
Week 3: Music player and sensor controlled visualiser
Week 4: Game with physical modelling and synthesis
Week 5: APIs accessing and processing social media data
Week 6: Music machine

Recommended Background

Most students are expected to have some background in programming and/or computer science, and some experience of (possibly extra curricular) creative work. The course is also suitable for students new to computer programming but with a strong arts background, and a desire to develop skills in creative applications development.

Suggested Readings

There is no required reading.

If you would like a book, this book is an excellent introduction to Processing, the programming environment we are using.

Course Format

The course will consist of 2 elements: the development of technical skills for software design using a range of media, and the development of creative work that applies these skills. Each week will consist of:

● A lecture on a technical topic (e.g. writing image or audio processing software)
● A lecture on creative skills related to the technical topic (e.g. how to create better images through photography / editing or how to create more effective audio) as well as suggestions on project development.
● A set of exercises to practice the technical and creative skills covered in the lecture
● Week by week guidance for working on your creative projects
● An additional lecture for students with no programming background


  • What is Creative Computing?
    Creative Computing is the creative use of computing technology, particularly the application of programming skills to creative areas such as music, visual arts and games.
  • What programming language will be used?
    Processing, which is a dialect of Java that is one of the most popular programming languages among creative programmers.
  • I don't have much Programming experience, but want to learn how to make Creative Software. Is this course for me?
    Yes. The course is designed with additional materials for creatives with limited or no programming skills but who want to develop their skills in creative software development.
  • Where can I find out about more information regarding this subject and the University of London programmes?
    The content of this course is drawn from the extensive world renowned portfolio of flexible study programmes offered through the University of London International Programmes. These programmes result from a collaboration between the University of London International Academy and 12 Colleges of the University of London. Established in 1858, the International  programmes is the world’s oldest provider of flexible learning.  Today there are 52,000 students in 180 countries studying through the University of London International Programmes, for more than 100 qualifications at degree, higher education diploma and certificate level. The University also works with a network of independent teaching centres worldwide, all of which provide teaching, tutoring and pastoral care. For more information please visit