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

NCHNAL591 Data Visualisation Course Descriptor

Course Title Data Visualisation Faculty EDGE Innovation Unit London
Course code NCHNAL591 Teaching Period This course will typically be delivered over a 6-week period
Credit points 15 Date approved March 2021
FHEQ level 5
Pre-requisites None
Co-requisites None

Course Summary

This course introduces the use of design, interaction, and visualisation techniques and strategies to support the effective presentation and manipulation of business information. Based on principles from art, design, psychology, and information science. It offers students opportunities to learn how to successfully choose appropriate methods of representing various kinds of business data to support analysis, decision making, and communication to organisational stakeholders. Students will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge of data visualisation using industry-standard cloud-based technology e.g. using ServiceNow training.

Course Aims

  • Train students to quickly summarise, compare, understand and interpret data using visualisation methods.
  • For students to explore data visualisation methods and how graphics can be created using bespoke algorithms and standard software packages.
  • Train students to balance data analysis with design skills in order to create visuals that stimulate viewer attention and engagement.

Learning Outcomes

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

Knowledge and Understanding

K1b Have the knowledge and critical understanding of the pros and cons of visualisation methods such as graphs, heat maps, Gantt charts, scatter graphs, dashboards, networks and radial trees etc.
K2b Have a critical understanding of data presentation strategies and how to balance data analysis with visual storytelling.

Subject Specific Skills

S1b Effectively use data visualisation algorithms and software, such as Excel, Tableau and Python (Matplotlib).
S2b Select and apply appropriate visual design practice for effective communication with specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Transferable and Professional Skills

T1bi Develop logical analysis and conceptual thinking.
T1bii Demonstrate a sound technical proficiency in written English and skill in selecting vocabulary so as to communicate effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
T2b Critically evaluate the appropriateness of different strategies to problem solving within this field of study.
T3b Effectively communicate arguments, analyses and conclusions.

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: 

  • Online learning
  • Online discussion groups
  • Online 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.

The course learning and teaching hours will be structured as follows:

  • 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 Exercise 70% Yes Requiring on average 25-35 hours to complete
2 Written Assignment  30% Yes Requiring on average 10-15 hours to complete 1,500 words +/- 10%,   excluding data tables

All summative assessments 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.


Tufte, E., (2001), The Visual display of quantitative information, Cheshire, Conn.: Graphics Press

Few, S., (2012), Show me the numbers: Designing tables and graphs to enlighten, Burlingame, Calif.: Analytics


Students are encouraged to consult relevant journals on data visualisation. 

Electronic Resources

Students are encouraged to consult relevant electronic resources on data visualisation. 

Indicative Topics

  • Evaluation of data visualisation methods for effective communication to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Practical use of data visualisation methods
  • Building bespoke algorithms for data analyses and visualisation
Title: NCHNAL591 Data Visualisation

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 August 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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