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CSC5020 Foundations of Programming

Semester 2, 2021 Toowoomba On-campus
Short Description: Foundations of Programming
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Sciences
Student contribution band : Band 2
ASCED code : 020103 - Programming
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Tianning Li


Foundational knowledge and experience in computer programming is essential for IT professionals across a wide range of careers. Given the multitude of technologies available to practitioners, this course develops programming experience and skills that are transferrable to other programming languages and contexts. The course is appropriate as a stand-alone introduction to programming and additionally provides a sound basis for students intending to complete further programming instruction. Elements of teamwork strategies are included to prepare students to work effectively in collaborative environments.


After presenting the history and underlying technologies of programming, the course introduces the concept of problem-solving using pseudocode before introducing different syntaxes and kinds of programming languages. The mechanics of producing and running program code is then introduced to establish a platform in which to learn and apply fundamental programming concepts such as basic data types, expressions, and control structures. The course emphasises the application of programming strategies, such as decomposition, and best practice to create sound solutions to substantial problems.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Apply pseudocode to sketch solutions for problems and demonstrate problem solving through designing, debugging, implementing, documenting, testing and correcting computer programs;
  2. Use, implement, and evaluate fundamental programming concepts and techniques including data types, logic in expressions and control structures, and functions;
  3. Apply a range of programming strategies to create sound solutions to substantial problems;
  4. Employ practice around code documentation and programming styles to professionally and ethically collaborate in reviewing colleagues’ work;
  5. Deliver and evaluate basic technical documents, presentations, and group interactions, using appropriate tools.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to programming languages and environments 10.00
2. Data types and variables 20.00
3. Expressions and logic 20.00
4. Control structures and functions 20.00
5. Programming strategies 20.00
6. Best practice – documentation, ethics, teamwork, and styles 10.00

Text and Materials

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Downey, A 2015, Think Python, 2nd edn, O'Reilly Media, Inc.

Reference Materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Downey, Allen 2017, Modeling and Simulation in Python, Green Tea Press.
(Download from: Permission is granted to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

Student Workload Expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 33.00
Private Study 80.00
Workshops 52.00

Assessment Details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Program Artifact 1 10 10 05 Aug 2021 2 (see note 1)
Program Artifact 2 20 20 16 Sep 2021 1,2,3 (see note 2)
Program Artifact 3 20 20 14 Oct 2021 1,2,3,4,5 (see note 3)
Open Examination - Take Home 50 50 End S2 1,2,3,4 (see note 4)

  1. Programming Concepts
  2. Pseudocode and Problem Solving
  3. Programming Strategies
  4. This will be a take home exam. Students will be provided further instruction regarding the exam by their course examiner via StudyDesk. The examination date will be available via UConnect when the Alternate Assessment Schedule has been released.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. This includes the recorded lectures and tutorials. To maximise their chances of satisfying the objectives of the course, students should actively participate in the course discussion group.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade students must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    A Take Home Examination is one in which candidates may have access to any printed, written, or online material as well as a calculator.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Deferred and Supplementary examinations will be held in accordance with the Assessment Procedure

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment Notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  2. Electronic submission of assignments is required for this course. All submissions must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ study desk for this course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if requested by the Examiner.

  3. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should upload their assignments electronically using the same computer laboratories. Online students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission. Online students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, Online students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  4. Students are expected to open their university provided email account and check it regularly for personal communication. In accordance with the Electronic Communication with Students Policy and Procedure ( information sent to the student's USQ email account will be regarded as being received.

  5. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use the 6th or 7th edition of the APA Style Manual to format their assignments. The APA Style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.

Evaluation and Benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:

  1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement.
  2. forms part of the Master of Information Technology and is benchmarked against the:
• internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review; and
• professional accreditation standards of the Australian Computer Society (ACS).

Date printed 8 November 2021