Course Description

Combining technical knowledge with design skills, the nationally recognised Certificate IV in Programming will provide you with strong foundational skills from which to start your career as a programmer or software developer.

With a strong focus on mastering the fundamentals, this course will make you proficient in:

  • Java and C-sharp, the most in-demand programming languages in the industry
  • User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI)Creating intuitive user interfaces and experiences
  • Creating your first mobile app for IOS or Android
  • Diagnosing and debugging site and app flaws and errors
  • Testing and evolving programs and applications
  • Comprehending and applying the principals of object-oriented programming

Showcase what you can do

You’ll finish this computer programming course with your own portfolio: at the end of the course you’ll have built your own app and increased your chance to demonstrate your programming skills to potential employers.

Awarded by TAFE NSW North Coast, this qualification will equip you with the most in-demand tech skills, under the guidance of industry experts who will provide you with direct coaching on your work.

Potential career outcomes

  • Assistant Programmer
  • Junior Support Programmer
Course number E1161
Qualification name ICT40515 Certificate IV in Programming
Course duration Maximum 24 months
Delivery Method Online
Recognition Nationally Recognised Nationally Recognised Training
Assessments Knowledge tests, Multiple choice questions, Portfolio, Projects, Short-answer questions
Awarded by
  • TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010)


There are no formal education entry requirements for this course.

Minimum age

You will need to be at least 18 years old.


This course involves reading and undertaking a range of written assessments, as well as engaging in online forums and discussions. Furthermore, the delivery mode relies on the extensive use of written communication. As such, entry to the course requires the successful completion of English to Year 10 level.

If you haven't successfully completed English at Year 10 level, you can demonstrate equivalency through one of the following:

  • Successful completion of a Nationally Recognised Training qualification at Certificate II level or higher; or
  • 2 years relevant industry experience in a role that requires the use of written documentation and communication

Open Colleges recognises that not all people are able to read, write and perform calculations to the same standard. See the Language, Literacy and Numeracy Considerations section for more information on tools, resources and support services provided to by Open Colleges.


All users:

  • Microsoft Office 2010 or equivalent
  • Broadband internet connection
  • CD-ROM or DVD drive
  • Printer and associated software
  • Scanner and associated software
  • Digital imaging software
  • File compression software
  • 2GHz or faster processor
  • 2 GB RAM as a minimum, 4 GB would be ideal
  • 20 GB of available hard disk space
  • 5400 RPM hard disk drive
  • DirectX 9-capable video card that runs at 1024 x 768 or higher display resolution
  • Java Development Kit (JDK) (installed and configured) to develop Java application
  • An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for example, Eclipse
  • SQL Server 2014 Express for database units
  • Visual Studio Community, for C# developments
  • Xamarin for Visual Studio for mobile app development

Windows users:

  • Microsoft Windows 7 or higher (Windows 8 recommended)
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher

Mac OS users:

  • Mac OSX v10.5 or higher (Mac OSX v10.6 recommended)
  • Adobe Flash Player 10 or higher

The learning materials for this course have been developed for a Microsoft Windows environment, hence having Microsoft Windows operating system would be ideal.

Mac users can have a Microsoft Windows operating system setup by using Boot Camp. The user would be able to choose between Microsoft Windows and Mac to boot into. More information can be found here.

The learner would have to source a copy of Windows 8 or above.

Digital equipment

You will need access to:

  • A digital video recording device and/or a digital camera and associated software to save and upload video, image and audio files to OpenSpace. Many mobile phones and smart phones include this technology.
  • Software to view online videos and images. Software such as Adobe Reader, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer etc. are available as a free download from the internet.


To successfully complete this course, you will require basic computing skills. This includes:

  • Creating, saving and editing Microsoft Office documents
  • Accessing and searching the internet
  • Downloading and saving documents from websites
  • Uploading documents through websites
  • Participating in online discussions
  • Compressing image files
  • Recording, compressing and uploading videos.

Language, Literacy and Numeracy

Our free online assessment tool can help give you an idea of the language, literacy and numeracy skills needed to study a VET course. This tool can also help you determine your learning level and help you plan your future studies. You can access the Language, Literacy and Numeracy tool here.

Open Colleges may make changes to the course from time to time to reflect changes introduced to the relevant Training Package or other regulatory requirements. Please download the course guide for current information about the course and its status.


Note: Courses offered by Open Colleges on behalf of TAFE NSW North Region may include Units of Competency that are graded by TAFE NSW. Students studying through Open Colleges are not subject to TAFE NSW grading criteria, receiving an ungraded outcome for Units of Competency and Qualifications successfully completed.

Hello World

Course introduction

Introduction - let’s get coding with JAVA

  • Apply basic language syntax and layout
  • Code using data structures
  • Code using standard algorithms
  • Debug code
  • Document activities
  • Test code

Adding a back-end to hold data sent by your applications

  • Analyse the requirements for the database
  • Use data modelling to design the database to suit requirements
  • Create a database on a web or database server
  • Test the database and debug
  • Determine the requirements of developing queries
  • Write queries to retrieve and sort values
  • Write queries to selectively retrieve values
  • Perform a calculation in queries
  • Identify entities and relationships
  • Develop normalisation
  • Validate model

Designing a solution to the problem

  • Gather and confirm client requirements
  • Analyse the functional and related non-functional requirements
  • Analyse the feasibility of a project
  • Develop high-level system solutions
  • Prepare and publish the software-requirements documentation
  • Identify and analyse documentation requirements and client needs
  • Design documentation
  • Develop documentation
  • Evaluate and edit documentation
  • Prepare documentation for publication

Programming with C#

  • Apply basic language syntax and layout
  • Apply basic object-oriented principles in the target language
  • Debug the code
  • Document the activities
  • Test the code
  • Create an application
  • Derive high-level design from specification
  • Refine design
  • Document design
  • Identify potential re-use units
  • Evaluate re-use components for suitability in parent project
  • Incorporate the re-use components

Develop a UI for users to interact with your database and app

  • Select data-access layer (DAL)
  • Establish connection with data source
  • Execute commands and return results from data source
  • Modify data in data source
  • Manage disconnected data
  • Document data-access layer
  • Prepare design for interface
  • Design and document user interface
  • Build a prototype user interface (UI)
  • Design the UI
  • Build the UI
  • Test the UI
  • Document the UI and obtain client sign-off

Using UI and C# to create applications for mobile devices

  • Represent the structured data with XML
  • Access and manipulate the XML document
  • Create a service-oriented application using XML
  • Define a platform
  • Design the user interface for a mobile application
  • Permit the personalisation of parameters
  • Build a user interface for a mobile application
  • Connect to the data sources
  • Test and debug a mobile device application
  • Deploy a mobile device application

Create scripts to automatically test your applications

  • Develop algorithms to represent a solution to a given problem
  • Describe the structures of the algorithms
  • Design and write the script or code
  • Verify and review the script or code
  • Document the script or code
  • Determine testing need in development
  • Prepare test plan document
  • Write and execute test procedures
  • Review test results

Work on an open-source project and apply copyright, ethics and privacy

  • Investigate the open-source paradigm
  • Familiarise with target project
  • Prepare for maintenance activities
  • Maintain the code
  • Maintain the documentation
  • Participate in community

Apply copyright, ethics and privacy

  • Protect intellectual property
  • Contribute to copyright policy
  • Protect rights of stakeholders
  • Contribute to privacy policy
  • Maintain privacy policy
  • Contribute to creation of ethics code
  • Maintain ethics code



What are my payment options?

Pay in full

If you pay your course fees up-front in full, you’ll benefit from a discount. When you pay in full, we don’t have to spend extra money on administration for tasks such as payment plan processing. Instead, we get to pass this saving onto you in the form of a discount.

Payment Plan

Pay for you course in weekly or fortnightly instalments. By paying in instalments, you can schedule your payments around your regular outgoings and get ahead without breaking the bank. Open Colleges payment plans are interest-free.

ZipMoney Payment Plan

If you need a little more flexibility in your finances, and want to pay off your course fees over a longer period of time, you can switch to a zipMoney payment plan. Essentially, zipMoney pays your course fees for you, and you pay this loan back over 24, 36 or 48 months. As long as you are eligible, you can switch to a zipMoney plan at any time.

Find out more

Damian Kasper

Damian has worked in the IT industry for over eight years in many different roles. Starting from desktop support, he progressed to network and systems engineering, software development and IT project management. He has worked for international organisations in both Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea, while learning to fluently speak Tetun. His most recent position was IT Manager for a large multinational corporation. Damian’s qualifications include the Bachelor of Computer Science and Technology (Networks & Systems), TAE40110 Certificate IV Training and Assessment and Certificate II in Information Technology.

Maria Tentzeraki

Maria is an IT professional with experience in web applications programming and database design, IT training and online course development. She has worked for major organisations such as Oracle Corporation and the NSW Department of Education and Training, and has participated in projects for major clients including the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. She also provides IT consultancy to small businesses.

Maria holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, a Bachelor in Information Technology and a Master of Information Systems. Her current interests are the latest web development trends, social media marketing and open source applications communities and contribution.

Open Colleges offers this qualification in association with TAFE NSW North Region (Provider number: 90010). The testamur will be issued by TAFE NSW North Region.

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Click Enrol Now and choose a payment plan or call an Education Advisor on 1300 161 345 for more details.