But could somebody please point me in the right direction to learn specifically how I can create theme options in the admin panel so a user could change the colours of text and headers for example or having a slider on the home page.
Is there a concise set of tutorials available or do I have to learn everything there is and work it out?
Look at the some theme Credits.
Open source projects
SMOF options framework by Syamil MJ
Font Awesome by Dave Gandy
Metrize icons by Alessio Atzeni
HTML5 Device Mockups by Tomi Hiltunen & Angelos Arnis
Query & Plugins
jQuery by John Resig
jQuery UI jQuery UI Team
jQuery Easing pack by George McGinley Smith
jQuery Isotope by http://isotope.metafizzy.co
jQuery Cycle2 plugin by malsup
jQuery jplayer plugin by Happyworm Ltd
jQuery prettyPhoto plugin by Stephane Caron
I think you need to create must one wordpress website for some money and you will learn lot of Real Job
Thanks and Goodluck!