Computing Skills for Modern Data Analysis - CHEM3910

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2021 to 2022
Spring Term 4 15 (7.5) Timothy Kinnear checkmark-circle


As scientific methods and instruments advance, computers become ever more important in data analysis and acquisition. This module introduces to the concept of programming languages and their uses, and presents a practically minded course on using simple programming to solve problems relevant to chemistry, and to automate the analysis and presentation of data.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 40
Private study hours: 110
Total study hours: 150


This is not available as a wild module.

Method of assessment

Coding Assignment 1 10%
Coding Assignment 2 10%
Coding Assignment 3 20%
Coding Assignment 4 20%
Coding Assignment 5 20%
Coding Assignment 6 20%

Indicative reading

? The Python language reference manual: For Python version 3.2; Guido Van Rossum (2011), ISBN: 9781906966140. Copy in library and content available online.
? The Python language reference; Python Software Foundation (2019);
? Learn Python 3 the Hard Way: A Very Simple Introduction to the Terrifyingly Beautiful World of Computers and Code; Zed Shaw (2014); ISBN: 0134692888

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate a systematic understanding of how computers work according to human instruction.
Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of computing languages and principles, and their use for diverse applications.
Demonstrate an ability to solve problems in mathematics and chemistry using appropriate mathematical tools. This includes the ability to use computational methods for the practical application of theory and to use information technology and data-processing skills to search for, assess and interpret chemical information and data.
Demonstrate an ability to use mathematical techniques and analysis to model physical behaviour using computer programming.
Demonstrate competent use of appropriate C&IT packages/systems for the analysis of data and the retrieval of appropriate information.
Demonstrate an ability to present and interpret information graphically using a computer.
Demonstrate an ability to make use of appropriate texts, research-based materials or other learning resources as part of managing their own learning, and develop simple algorithms.
Demonstrate an ability to recognise and analyse problems and plan strategies for their solution by the evaluation, interpretation and synthesis of scientific information and data. Ability to adapt and apply methodology above to solve advanced and unfamiliar problems found in computer programming.
Demonstrate programming skills - in the context of both problems with well-defined solutions and open-ended problems. Numeracy is subsumed within this area.
Demonstrate analytical skills – associated with the need to pay attention to detail and to develop an ability to manipulate precise and intricate ideas, to construct logical arguments and to use technical language correctly.
Demonstrate personal and interpersonal skills – the ability to work independently, to use initiative, to organise oneself to meet deadlines and to interact constructively with other people within a professional environment. Including the ability to communicate and interact with professionals from other disciplines.
Demonstrate problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information, extending to situations where evaluations have to be made on the basis of limited information, including the demonstration of self-direction and originality.
Demonstrate information-retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, including information retrieval through on-line computer searches.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  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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