Programming for Business

Module description

We use computers in almost all aspects of our daily lives and throughout science, so it is easy to take them for granted. However, in order that we can use computers to solve new problems and create new things, we have to be able to program them. This module introduces you to programming and problem solving with a computer.  You will learn how to formulate an algorithm to solve a problem, and you will acquire the skills to write, test and debug a program. Software development in teams is common in industry and, by taking this module, you will also get the chance to practice team problem solving and programming.
This module is not available for students who have taken, or are taking, ECM1408.

Full module specification

Module title:Programming for Business
Module code:ECM1409
Module level:1
Academic year:2014/5
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Richard Everson - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:


Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

This module is an introductory course in computer programming and will introduce you to the fundamental concepts of computer algorithms and programming with a strong emphasis on practical implementation. It will also teach you to apply analytical and problem-solving skills to the design and implementation of small applications.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. design an algorithm using sequence, iteration and selection;
  • 2. write, compile, test, and debug a computer program;
  • 3. explain how a program written in a procedural language is translated into a form that allows it to be executed on a computer;
  • 4. systematically test programs developed;
  • 5. document software to accepted standards;
  • 6. interpret a design specification and write a program that conforms to it;
  • 7. work in teams to develop software.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 8. systematically break down a problem into its components;
  • 9. understand and choose appropriate programming techniques.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. analyse a problem and synthesize a solution;
  • 11. use technical manuals and books to interpret specifications and technical errors.
  • 12. present a team design and implementation to a technical audience.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities 22Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities20Workshops/tutorials
Guided independent study66Private study
Guided independent study42Lecture and assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Not applicable

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written exam - Closed book301.5 hoursAll except 7 and 9Verbal on request
Coursework – Practical programming assignments7042 hoursAllWritten

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
All aboveWritten exam (70%)AllAugust Ref/Def period
All aboveCoursework (30%)AllCompleted over summer with a deadline in August

Re-assessment notes

If a module is normally assessed entirely by coursework, all referred/deferred assessments will normally be by assignment.
If a module is normally assessed by examination or examination plus coursework, referred and deferred assessment will normally be by examination. For referrals, only the examination will count, a mark of 40% being awarded if the examination is passed. For deferrals, candidates will be awarded the higher of the deferred examination mark or the deferred examination mark combined with the original coursework mark.

Syllabus plan

- problem solving and programming overview;
- Python as a language;
- statements, comments and simple arithmetic operations;
- variables, scope and data types;
- control flows, conditionals, loops and iterations;
- algorithms and pseudo-codes;
- functions and encapsulation;
- debugging and testing;
- strings, lists and mutability;
- tuples and dictionaries;
- input and output, files reading and writing;
- introduction to development of software in a business context;
- team project.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


  1. Downey, Allen, Think Python, O’Reilly Media, 2012, 978-1449330729
  2. Python for software design: How to think like a computer scientist,Downey, Allen,,Cambridge University Press,2009,005.133 DOW,978-0521725965
  3. Python Programming: an introduction to computer Science,Zelle John,2nd Edition,Franklin, Beedle & Associates,2010,,978-1590282410
  4. Programming in Python3,Summerfield Mark,2nd Edition,Addison Wesley,2010,,978-0321680563
  5. Learning Python,Lutz, Mark,4th revised,O'Reilly media,2009,005.133 LUT,978-0596158064

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