Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • A-level Mathematics Grade A.


  • COMP1051 Computational Thinking

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce the theory and practice of problem solving in computing through the development of algorithms, and their associated data structures, for common computer science problems.


  • Machine models.
  • Pseudocode and control flow structures.
  • Basic data structures.
  • Paradigms and techniques.
  • Analysis of algorithms.
  • Basic sorting and searching algorithms.
  • Basic graph theory and graph algorithms.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • a knowledge of common data structures and their relative advantages and disadvantages
  • familiarity with common algorithmic techniques
  • an appreciation and knowledge of asymptotic notation.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to implement and use common data structures
  • an ability to select, apply and analyse algorithms.
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • the acquisition of a wide range of problem-solving skills
  • a facility to apply numeric and systematic reasoning to problem-solving.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures enable the students to learn new material relevant to algorithms and their data structures.
  • Problem classes enable the students to put into practice learning from lectures and strengthen their understanding through application; in particular, thorugh the implementation of algorithms.
  • Students are assessed by formative and summative assessment and examinations.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 44 2 per week 1 hour 44
practical classes 21 1 per week 2 hours 42
preparation and reading 114
total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 66%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 34%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical work 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Example formative exercises are given during the course. Additional revison lectures are given in the module's lecture slots in the 3rd term.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University