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Unit information: Advanced Programming in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Programming
Unit code BIOLM0035
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Matt Williams
Open unit status Not open

Scientific programming, Statistics and R



School/department School of Biological Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This a new unit that will introduce students to the theoretical and practical aspects of programming applied to scientific data. These include reading in data, processing it to answer simple questions and advanced data analysis techniques.

The aim of this unit will be to:

  1. Provide students with a detailed understanding of the concepts behind designing and writing their own programming scripts.
  2. Provide students with an understanding of how information can be extracted from their data.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The Learning Outcomes (LOs) for this unit are:

A: Knowledge and Understanding:

  1. to understand how to gather and read in data into a computer program
  2. to develop knowledge on the theoretical aspects behind the design of a program algorithm
  3. to understand how to analyse data in a repeatable way.

B: Intellectual Skills/Attributes:

  1. to understand which data analysis techniques are appropriate where
  2. to design computer algorithms and critically assess their suitability in different scenarios
  3. to design software which is sustainable and sharable.

C: Other Skills /Attributes (Practical/Professional/Transferable):

  1. to acquire competency with the Python programming language
  2. to acquire competency with different data analysis packages and how that data can be visualised.

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered through a mixture of short lectures followed by individual exercises with computers. Blackboard will be used engage students with the unit content.

Assessment Information

A summative computer assessment will consist of a final computer task integrating all the learning objectives.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. BIOLM0035).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.