CSCU9A1 - Introduction to Computing Science

Lecturers: Dr Savi Maharaj (Coordinator), Room 4B68, Email:

Prerequisites: None

SCQF Level: 08

Credit Value: 20

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students will acquire:

  • problem-solving skills that can be adapted and used in many other situations where structured analytical thought is required;
  • an understanding of computer structure and functioning;
  • skills in abstract, language-independent computational thinking;
  • an understanding of fundamental imperative programming constructs and their use;
  • the ability to program simple algorithms in a high-level programming language;
  • an appreciation of the relevance of computers and computing in society.

Students will be required to demonstrate the ability to apply theory and techniques to unseen problems without reference to notes, and to work independently and under a time constraint.


  • Computational Thinking (via Programming)
    • How to solve problems with computers
    • Algorithm design
  • Systems
    • Basic computer architecture
    • Operating systems
    • Distributed and networked computing
  • Programming
    • An introduction to programming using Java
    • State, variables, and data types
    • Control structures: sequencing, conditionals, iteration
    • Construction and use of methods and control flow
    • Scope
    • Collections or sequences of data (arrays)
  • Advanced Topics or Guest Lectures
    • These may vary. Typical topics include Computational Intelligence, Information Security, and Limits of Computation.
  • Social and Professional Issues
    • Internet Issues: Policing, Commercial Aspects, Social Networking and Privacy
    • Usability and Accessibility of Computer Systems
    • Legislation:Data Protection Act, Freedom of Information Act, Computer Misuse Act


  • Practical checkpoints (40%)
  • Social and Professional Issues presentation and wiki (20%)
  • Examination (40%)

In order to obtain a pass grade for the module you must:

  • Submit all items of assessed coursework
  • Attend the examination

There is a sub-minimum rule applied to practical checkpoints: if a student does not achieve at least 30% in the checkpoints, then the overall module mark will be capped at 39%.

Non-submission of the wiki assignment will result in the award of no grade for the module as a whole. This rule may be relaxed for students who can show good cause for failure to submit. Good cause may include illness (for which a medical certificate or other evidence will be required).

If a student is unable to attend the exam, he/she must apply to Student Programmes for a deferred exam. There are established procedures for this: further information is available from the Student Programmes Office.


  • Computer Science Illuminated (5th Revised Edition, 2012), Nell B Dale, Jones and Bartlett Publishers Inc, ISBN: 978-1449672843 (highly recommended)
  • Java for Everyone: Late Objects (2nd Edition, 2012), Cay Horstmann, John Wiley and Sons Inc., ISBN 978-1-1180-6331-6 (highly recommended)

Further information and teaching materials for this module.

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