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Academic Handbook BSc (Hons) Applied Digital and Technology Solutions (online)

NCHNAL472 Intensive Foundations of Computer Science and Programming I Course Descriptor

Course Title Intensive Foundations of Computer Science and Programming I Faculty EDGE Innovation Unit (London)
Course code NCHNAL472 Teaching Period This course will typically be delivered over a 6-week period.
Credit points 15 Date approved March 2021
FHEQ level 4
Prerequisites None
Co-requisites None 

Course Summary

This course introduces the fundamental ideas of computing and programming principles. The course discusses a systematic approach to word problems, including analytic reading, synthesis, goal setting, planning, plan execution, and testing. It presents several models of computing, beginning with functional program design. Students will explore the Python programming language, its syntax, mathematical functionality and suitability for data analysis applications.

Course Aims

  • Train students in the fundamentals of computing and programming principles.
  • Train students in Python programming.
  • Give students the tools to design and implement basic Python programmes. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course, students will be able to:

Knowledge and Understanding

K1a Understand the underlying basic concepts and principles associated with programming languages.
K2a Understand the basic syntax and structure of a Python programme.
K3a Use Python file input/output functions to work with directories and files.

Subject Specific Skills

S1a Write, test and correct basic programs that others can read, understand and modify.
S2a Break large problems into an appropriate design for implementation.
S3a Select appropriate data types to represent information.

Transferable and Professional Skills

T1a Test, evaluate and identify errors in coding.
T2a Appreciate the impact of data structure and algorithm choice on the running time and storage space needed to run a programme.
T3ai Understand professional and ethical issues and guidelines.
T3aii Consistently display an excellent level of technical proficiency in written English and command of scholarly terminology, so as to be able to deal with complex issues in a sophisticated and systematic way.

Teaching and Learning

This is an e-learning course, taught throughout the year.

This course can be offered as a standalone short course.

Teaching and learning strategies for this course will include: 

  • On-line learning
  • On-line discussion groups
  • On-line assessment

Course information and supplementary materials will be available on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Students are required to attend and participate in all the formal and timetabled sessions for this course. Students are also expected to manage their self-directed learning and independent study in support of the course.

  • Learning and teaching (6 days x 8 hours) = 48 hours 
  • Independent study = 102 hours 

Indicative total learning hours for this course: 150 hours 

Assignments (see below) will be completed as part of private study.



Students will be formatively assessed during the course by means of set assignments. These will not count towards the final degree but will provide students with developmental feedback. 


AE   Assessment Type Weighting Online submission Duration Length
1 Set programming exercises 50% Yes Requiring on average 15-25 hours to complete N/A
2 Written assessment  50% Yes Requiring on average 15-25 hours to complete N/A

The summative assessment will be assessed in accordance with the assessment aims set out in the programme specification.


Students will receive formal feedback in a variety of ways: written (via email or VLE correspondence) and indirectly through online discussion groups. Students will also attend a formal meeting with their Mentor. These reviews will monitor and evaluate the student’s progress.  

Indicative Reading

Note: Comprehensive and current reading lists for courses are produced annually in the Course Syllabus or other documentation provided to students; the indicative reading list provided below is used as part of the approval/modification process only.


Summerfield, M. (2009), Programming in Python 3: A Complete Introduction to the Python Language, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley

Lutz, M. (2011), Programming Python, Beijing; Farnham: O’Reilly

Allen, B. (2015), Think Python: How to Think Like a Computer Scientist. Farnham: O’Reilly


Students are encouraged to read material from relevant journals on Computer Systems and Programming as directed by their Course Leader.

Electronic Resources

Students are encouraged to consult relevant websites on Computer Systems and Programming.

Indicative Topics

  • Basic syntax and semantics of Python
  • Variables and primitive data types
  • Sequential and binary search algorithms
  • Stacks and Queues
Title: NCHNAL472 Intensive Foundations of Computer Science and Programming Course Descriptor

Approved by: Academic Board

Location: Academic Handbook/Programme specifications and Handbooks/ Undergraduate Online Programmes/Applied BSc (Hons) Digital & Technology Solutions/Course Descriptors

Version number Date approved Date published  Owner Proposed next review date Modification (As per AQF4) & category number
3.0 December 2022 December 2022 Dr Yu- Chun Pan June 2026 Category 3: Change to Teaching and Learning Strategy; Change to English Proficiency Learning Outcome

Category 1: Corrections/clarifications to documents which do not change approved content or learning outcomes

2.1 July 2022 August 2022 Scott Wildman June 2026 Category 1: Corrections/clarifications to documents which do not change approved content or learning outcomes
2.0 January 2022 April 2022 Scott Wildman June 2026 Category 3: Changes to Learning Outcomes
1.0 March 2021 Scott Wildman March 2026
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