Advanced Spreadsheets and Decision Support Systems - BUSN9210

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Yang Zhang checkmark-circle


Excel is the industry standard software for data processing and modelling, so if you want to hit the ground running in your career, mastery of Excel is crucial. You'll learn the techniques of Excel and spreadsheet modelling through realistic problems and extensive exercises, giving you real hands-on experience to make rapid progress. The skills you develop for Excel and its built-in programming language VBA will help you kick-start your career and impress employers.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 36
Private study hours: 114
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Assignment - Group Spreadsheet Modelling (2000 words) (40%)
Assignment – Developing VBA Support System (40%)
VLE VBA Test (20%).

Reassessment method:
100% coursework

Indicative reading

Albright, S.C. (2015) VBA for Modellers: Developing Decision Support Systems Using Microsoft Excel. 5th Edn. Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.

Hillier, F.S. (2013) Introduction to Management Science: A Modelling and Case Studies Approach with Spreadsheets. 5th Edn. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Savage, S.L. (2002) Decision Making with Insight. Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.

Winston, W.L. (2003) Operations Research: Applications and Algorithms, 4th Edn. Pacific Grove, CA: Duxbury Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Appreciate the nature of modelling and how real-world systems may be represented in mathematical form and realised on a computer.
- Determine when a realistic problem is in non-standard form and represent it quantitatively using a computer.
- Use the quantitative and statistical facilities of industry-standard spreadsheet software.
- Build spreadsheet models for the analysis of real-world problems using the approaches and methodology of Operational Research.
- Undertake analyses of practical problems using the VBA programming language.
- Build decision support systems for efficient decision making in complex situations.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
- Communicate technical results effectively to both technical experts and non-specialist managers.
- Work effectively in groups in order to analyse a complex problem, share work efficiently and produce well-coordinated presentational material.
- Write a project report based on the use of computer tools to solve a realistic management problem, incorporating suitable presentational and graphical devices.
- Use computer tools to solve practical problems of direct relevance to management.
- Use creativity and independent thinking in building models to analyse complex situations.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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