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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe 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 and operations research 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 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 Students in Programmes with Management or with Management Science who took Introduction to Business (BUST08026) are permitted to enrol in Fundamentals of Programming for Business Applications.

Also, Accounting & Finance Programme students who took Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035) but may have not opted to take The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08036), are permitted to enrol in Fundamentals of Programming for Business Applications.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have at least 1 introductory level Business Studies course at grade B or above for entry to this course. This MUST INCLUDE a course equivalent to Global Challenges for Business (BUST08035) AND The Business of Edinburgh (BUST08035) OR Economics 1 (ECNM08013). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  100
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 70 %, Coursework 30 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Weekly assignments will be given that test the concepts presented in class. This provides a gradual learning curve which prepares you for the final class test. They should be submitted on an individual basis, and focus on smaller problems, e.g. matrix transformation, fitting a linear regression, optimising a business problem. They all should be documents in-code. In order to keep the workload balanced, the assignments have to be submitted weekly. The assignments submitted in Weeks 1-5 (up to non-teaching week) will be averaged and weighted at 10% of the final mark. The assignments submitted in Weeks 7-11 (after non-teaching week) will be averaged and weighted at 20% of the final mark.

Written examination (70%)
There will be 3 different exercises during the computer-based exam. You will have to demonstrate familiarity with all the topics in the course as programming requires a holistic understanding of using a computer language; you will be applying your knowledge to business applications. More extensive or difficult problems from the assignments will be used and all material that you have gathered throughout the year.
Feedback Feedback on the assignments will be provided to let you readjust your learning experience accordingly. Given that there are weekly assignments, you will gain an insight into the progress you are making week by week.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
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.
Additional Class Delivery Information One 1-hour lecture weekly;
One 2-hour computer lab weekly.
KeywordsComputer programming basics,data analysis,business applications
Course organiserDr Pawel Orzechowski
Course secretaryMs Patricia Ward-Scaltsas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3823
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