Computer Programming

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
11 September 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BSC N325 Actuarial Science (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G403 Computer Science (Including Foundation Year),
BENGGH46 Computers with Electronics (Including Foundation Year),
BENGH61P Electronic Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G104 Mathematics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC 9K18 Statistics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC G1G8 Mathematics with Computing (Including Foundation Year),
BA C807 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C812 Psychology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC C813 Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience (Including Foundation Year),
BENGHP41 Communications Engineering (Including Foundation Year),
BSC I1GF Data Science and Analytics (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (including foundation Year)

Module description

This module provides an introduction to the principles of procedural computer programming. Basic programming concepts, structures, and methods are introduced, demonstrated, and practised through learning Python 3; a high-level computer programming language.

Module aims

To familiarise students with the principles of procedural computer programming.

To introduce students to basic programming concepts, structures, and methodologies.

To familiarise students with good program design, correct coding, and practice debugging (error correcting) techniques.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module a student will be expected to be able to:

1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and concepts of procedural computer programming.

2. Describe the correct usage of some high-level programming constructs: simple commands, repetition/iterative statements, conditional/selective statements.

3. Analyse a computing based task or problem; research and design a solution; then implement and develop a program using tools and features available in the Python programming language.

4. Examine, test, and evaluate the operation of simple computer programs.

5. Demonstrate functional computer programming techniques using the Python programming language.

Module information


1. Executing simple programs
2. Variables and Data Types
3. Simple Input and Output
4. Processing strings
5. Type casting
6. Repetition - For loops and While loops
7. Selection - If Else statements
8. Data structures - Lists and Tuples
9. Functions
10. Scope of variables
11. Other data structures - Sets, and Dictionaries
12. File I/O
13. Error and Exception Handling
14. Systems development lifecycle

Formative assessment
In addition to various class exercises throughout the term there will be:
A practise progress test in Week 7
A mini practise project in Weeks 17-19

Summative assessment
Coursework is comprised of:
One progress test (20%)
Two programming based assignments (30% and 40%)
Participation mark 10%)

3:00 hour exam during Summer Examination period.

Reassessment strategy
Failed Exam:
Resit the exam which is re-aggregated with existing coursework mark to create a new module aggregate.

Failed Coursework:
Resubmit a piece of coursework (2,000 words) which is re-aggregated with existing exam mark to create a new module aggregate. The reassessment task will replace the coursework component and will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.

Failed Exam and Coursework:
Resit the exam and resubmit one piece of coursework (2,000 words) to be aggregated to create a new module aggregate

Learning and teaching methods

This module is delivered by 4 hours of lectures and laboratory sessions per week, split as 1 hour lecture and 3-hour laboratory. Lectures are delivered with the assistance of computerised presentation slides and example programs to demonstrate the topics each week. Laboratory sessions will consist of programming exercises and some problem solving task closely related to the lecture topics each week. Students can access all of the module material using the University online Moodle site.


  • The Python Tutorial - Python 3.6 Documentation, https://docs.python.org/3.6/tutorial/index.html

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   IA160 Progress Test     20% 
Coursework   Participation    10% 
Coursework   IA160 Project 1  14/01/2020  30% 
Coursework   IA160 Project 2   17/03/2020  40% 
Exam  180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ian Mothersole, email: imothe@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ian Mothersole
Kate Smith: catsmith@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 493 hours, 25 (5.1%) hours available to students:
468 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Essex Pathways

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