The Open UniversitySkip to content

Object-Oriented Programming with Java

Points: 30
     Code: M255      Level: 2

Start End
UK fee * Register
Oct 2006 Jun 2007 £330 register
Registration closes 08/09/06
Feb 2007 Oct 2007 £330 register
Registration closes 15/12/06
Oct 2007 Jun 2008 Not yet available Online registration has not yet opened

*Fee in other areas : residents of Republic of Ireland   Continental Europe  


This course teaches the fundamental ideas behind the object-oriented approach to programming; through the widely-used Java programming language. The course concentrates on those aspects of the Java language that best demonstrate object-oriented principles and good practice. M255 will give you a solid basis for further study of the Java language and object-oriented software development.

Before studying this course, you should be confident of your ability to use a Windows-based PC and have some experience of writing small programs, such as that gained through study of Block 2 of M150. You should also be able to write short explanations of technical ideas in your own words, and be able to communicate with others electronically.

back to top

Course content

In the object-oriented view of software, programs are considered to be collections of objects that interact by sending messages to one another and reacting to the answers to those messages. These ideas are at the forefront of modern software development.

The course takes an ‘objects first’, approach to teaching: you start seeing and interacting with graphical objects right from the very start. This is achieved by working within innovative and engaging micro worlds that allow you to learn some basic object-oriented principles, before having to get to grips with Java syntax or source code.

To facilitate the teaching of Java, the course makes use of BlueJ, an integrated development environment (IDE) specifically developed for teaching and learning object-oriented programming. BlueJ is used worldwide and is designed to be easy to use and places special emphasis on visualisation and interaction techniques to provide a highly interactive environment that encourages experimentation and exploration.

As you study the course, you will be using email, computer conferencing and the World Wide Web for communication with the University, your tutor and other students. You may also have the opportunity of attending face-to-face tutorials with your tutor and other students in your tutor group.

back to top


The course is suitable for students who have taken a Level 1 course involving programming, or who have equivalent programming knowledge. It assumes:

  • knowledge of, and facility with, basic programming concepts such as sequence, selection, iteration and data types

  • a general familiarity with the basic components and working of a computer

  • study skills appropriate to Level 2 study.

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

back to top

Qualifications helper

M255 is a compulsory course in our

M255 is a specified course in our

It can also count towards most of our other degrees at bachelors level, where it is equally appropriate to a BA or a BSc. We advise you to refer to the relevant award descriptions for information on the circumstances in which the course can count towards these qualifications because from time to time the structure and requirements of a qualification may change.

Excluded combinations

If this course is in a similar area to one you have already completed, you can find out if it is an excluded combination.

back to top

If you have additional requirements

Course texts are available in electronic format, and descriptions are available for the diagrams that are used throughout the text.

If you are a new student, or new to courses using a computer or the internet, make sure that you have our booklet Meeting Your Needs. You can obtain a copy by contacting our Student Registration & Enquiry Service. We provide a range of support services but some may take several months to arrange. Please contact us for advice if you have concerns about taking this course, or about the support that could be provided.

back to top

Course materials

What’s included

Course texts, other printed materials, course software, website, computer conferencing.

You will need

A computer as described in our Personal Computing for OU Study section.

back to top

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the course material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. We may also be able to offer group tutorials or day-schools that you are encouraged, but not obliged, to attend. Where your tutorials are held will depend on the distribution of students taking the course. Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with the Open University before you register.


We expect it to be four tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) and an examination until the assessment is approved.

back to top

Course starting dates

The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2007. We expect it to be presented twice a year, in February and October, and the last starting date to be February 2011.

back to top

Students also studied

Students who studied this course have also studied at some time:

If you are studying towards a qualification please read its description to help you decide which route through our courses and which level of study are most appropriate for you.

back to top

Registration Information

The fees include all the course material, study support and assessment. Any additional items that you will need (for example a personal computer) are listed in the 'You will need' section above. Other costs that you may need to plan for could include stationery, perhaps a dictionary, and travel to attend tutorials or residential schools if relevant to your course.

The fees can be paid by instalments and there are various forms of help available in the UK only, for those who would otherwise find it difficult to pay their fees. See Financial support for more information.

Where this course is available for study

This course is available for study in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland and the following European OU study areas:

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

All teaching is in English and your proficiency in the English language should be adequate for the level of study you wish to take.

Most students outside the UK will have to pay a higher fee because the UK fee includes a government subsidy restricted to UK residents and students with British Forces Post Office addresses.

Find out about other courses available in your country.

How to Register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

More information

For more information and advice about registration go to Help with Registration.

Events near you

Why not come and meet us at one of our events where you can talk to Open University staff? At some events there may also be samples of course materials and information and advice about specific subject areas and careers.

Search our prospectus