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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Fundamentals of Programming for Business Applications (BUST08039)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary***COURSE NOT RUNNING IN 2018/2019***

The course will provide you with the basics of programming for business applications which will render you capable of solid algorithmic thinking, building your own programs, and of understanding and critically reflecting on the technical aspects of quantitative business problems. It requires no background knowledge and is specifically tailored to the novice's needs. Anyone with an interest in technology will greatly benefit from following this course.
Course description This course aims at introducing business students to the topic of software engineering and it is the building block of many quantitative courses. Indeed, being able to collect and transform data, perform analyses on them, and do this in an efficient way, is the basic setup of many topics in statistics, financial modelling, operational research, and so on. By providing a thorough background in the building blocks of programming and its applications, this course aims to provide non-technical profiles with the necessary basics to be mature in a quantitative environment. A direct connection with major quantitative business problems will be made through case studies and exercises.

Outline Content
The course will cover the following topics:
- An introduction to programming concepts: differences between programming languages, computer compiling, data types, programming styles, and programming building blocks
- Programming constructs: data structures, programming control flow, basic algorithms
- Business applications: a study on a range of business problems from statistics (regression fitting) and operations research (travelling salesman problem) to illustrate the concepts

Teaching will take the form of class lectures, and lab sessions. Since software engineering is a real learning-by-doing topic, the concepts and methods discussed during the lectures will be illustrated and transformed into exercises on Python which will help you to develop your skillset gradually. Assignments will introduce various topics one at a time, but will gradually become more difficult as they start combining different concepts. Nevertheless, they provide iterative feedback on a 2-weekly basis and engage students to keep up with the course. The final exam takes the form of a computer exam in which various topics are combined in three different business problems for which a solution needs to be provided or extended.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035) AND The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08036) OR Economics 1 (ECNM08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesGlobal Challenges for Business (BUST08035) AND The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08036) OR Economics 1 (ECNM08013) equivalents
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop an awareness and understanding of the concepts prevalent in systems engineering and adapt a problem-solving attitude that employs algorithmic thinking.
  2. Critically reflect on the level of difficulty of programming a range of problems in various business settings
  3. To employ the programming language Python in a practical and effective manner.
  4. To autonomously list the requirements in terms of procedures and data needed for tackling a precise, quantitative business-oriented problem and be able to communicate them to the relevant stakeholders.
Reading List
Learning Python (2013), Mark Lutz
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Knowledge and understanding:
- Obtain a thorough insight into programming concepts and their relation to business problems.
- Awareness of the complexities that exist when building programs.

Applied knowledge, skills and understanding: To adapt general programming solutions to more specific problems.

Generic cognitive skills: Undertake a critical analysis of a business problem in terms of data requirements and the subsequent analysis of this data.

Communication, ICT and numeracy skills: Use Python to implement programming problems.

Autonomy, accountability and working with others: Learn to find solutions from various sources to cater for the vastness of programming intricacies that are inherent to building a tailored program.
KeywordsComputer programming basics,data analysis,business applications
Course organiserDr Johannes De Smedt
Tel: (0131 6)51 1046
Course secretaryMs Patricia Ward-Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3823
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