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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run in each academic year. Each module description relates to the year indicated in the module availability box. Please be aware that modules may change from year to year, and may be amended to take account of, for example: changing staff expertise, disciplinary developments, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Department: Computer Science

COMP41815: Introduction to Computer Science

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to G5K709 Business Analytics


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • • Introduction to Management. This module is intended for students whose first degree is not in computer science or related disciplines


  • To introduce students to the key concepts of programming in python
  • To examine how data structures affect the ease of implementation and efficiency of computer programs
  • To give students an in-depth understanding at an advanced level of data structures appropriate to business analytics
  • To provide an in-depth understanding and critical evaluation of specialist techniques in software engineering and their relevance to business analytics


  • This module is intended for students whose first degree is not in computer science or related disciplines
  • All examples will be given with the python programming language. It is assumed that students will already be familiar with python, either from their undergraduate studies or from pre-course reading and preparation.
  • Programming in python
  • Data structures and their impact on execution time
  • Algorithmic complexity
  • Modern software engineering techniques e.g. source-code control, automated testing.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • Understand the core constructs of imperative programming and how they are used in python
  • Have a critical appreciation of the main strengths and weaknesses of a range of programming data structures and how to use them
  • Have a critical appreciation of modern software engineering techniques
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module, students should:
  • Be able to write computer programs in python
  • Be able to select appropriate data structures for modelling business scenarios
  • Be able to evaluate the complexity of an algorithm
  • Be able to use appropriate tools to manage source code
  • Be able to use appropriate tools to test code automatically
Key Skills:
  • • Effective written communication
  • Planning, organising and time-management
  • Problem solving and analysis

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Learning outcomes are met through classroom-based workshops, supported by online resources. The workshops consist of a combination of taught input, groupwork, case studies, discussion and computing labs. Online resources provide preparatory material for the workshops – typically consisting of directed reading and video content.
  • The formative assessment consists of classroom-based exercises involving individual and group tasks on specific computer science topics.
  • The summative assessment is a individual written report on the design, implementation, analysis and testing of a program to solve a specified business problem

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of lectures, laboratories, group work, case studies and discussion 24
Preparation and reading 126
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment based on development of a program 1500 words maximum 100%

Formative Assessment:

Classroom-based exercises involving individual and group analyses and presentations on specific computer science topics relevant to the learning outcomes of the modules. Oral and written feedback will be given on a group and/or individual basis as appropriate.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

    If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department. For programmes in the Business School please see the Learning & Teaching Contact List.

    If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our User Guide. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the User Guide, or a query about the Postgraduate Module Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.