I've recently bought my dream car, vw 1972 beetle 1303 and it's started juddering when 1st starts up/runs. and till it's warmed up it sounds like it's going to stall when pull up. 

I've been told it's running on 3 cylinders. Is this something i can check myself have no experience with cars (not really knowing what a cylinder is) or do i need the garage to look at it? 

I've been told the cylinders are
Front of car
    3 ~ 1
    4 ~ 2
Rear of car
Firing order 1 ~ 4 ~3 ~ 2

 I'm not thick and a good, willing learner, but am i starting to high?
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Hi and welcome to the forum. 
No you are not starting too high, may i suggest you get yourself a Haynes manual for the 1303 and digest that, that's how i started.  Also look up some videos of the internal combustion engine on howstuff works.  That will get you familiar with the basics.

Did this episode of running roughly start after any work had been carried out on the car? If so what had been done?

First of all check all five of your HT leads are ok, unplug one, look for corroded or broken terminals or signs of arcing or charring of the insulation. Plug that one back in and then do the same with the next until you have checked all four.
The HT leads are the ones that go from the red plastic cap to the spark plugs and one from the red cap to the coil. 

You could do worse than join a local group too.  I am in the Midlands Aircooled Collective on facebook and there's always helpful people on hand to advise or even have a look if you are stuck.

Hope that gets you started on fixing it, let us know how you get on.



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