COMPSCI 101 : Principles of Programming


2022 Summer School (1220) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

An introduction to computers and computer programming in a high-level language. The role of computers and computer professionals in society is also introduced. The course is intended for students who may wish to advance in Computer Science or in Information Systems and Operations Management.

Course Overview

This course introduces computer programming using the Python programming language. The main focus is on learning to understand the detailed requirements of a programming task, and writing programs that are well structured, correct and easy to read. The course covers simple variables, expressions, input and output, control structures, functions, using standard data structures such as lists and dictionaries, and using standard Python modules.

The course is designed for students who do not have any prior programming experience. For students who wish to continue with Computer Science, this course will prepare them for the core Stage I paper COMPSCI 130.

Course Requirements

Restriction: Cannot be taken with or after COMPSCI 105, 107, 130, 210-220, 230-289, 313-399

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Determine the state of a program both during and after execution, given a code listing that may include functions and parameters, loops, conditionals and sequences. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  2. Implement a given algorithm using Python. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  3. Show that a program meets given specifications by writing appropriate tests. (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  4. Provide a useful level of documentation, in the form of program comments, for all programs developed. (Capability 1, 2, 4 and 5)
  5. Decompose a simple problem into several smaller tasks, given a brief textual description of the problem. (Capability 1, 2, 3 and 4)
  6. Compose functions that perform a specified task and add into a program that solves a given problem. (Capability 2, 3 and 4)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Laboratories 9% Individual Coursework
Assignments 12% Individual Coursework
Mid-Semester Coderunner Test 30% Individual Test
Coderunner Timed Exercises 9% Individual Coursework
Final Exam (on Coderunner) 40% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Mid-Semester Coderunner Test
Coderunner Timed Exercises
Final Exam (on Coderunner)

To pass the course, a student must pass the test/exam component of the course (30% test + 40% exam) as well as getting at least 50% of the overall mark.


The School of Computer Science Tuākana programme provides support for this course.  Details of the support can be found here: 

Key Topics

  • Variables, expressions and mathematical operators.
  • Strings, obtaining user input, generating random numbers.
  • Defining functions and code trace.
  • Boolean expressions, if statements, while loops.
  • range() function, for … in loops
  • Lists and list functions.
  • Tuples, I/O
  • Dictionaries
  • tkinter module, nested loops, using the Python interpreter
  • Using the Python interpreter, doctests

Special Requirements

  1. To pass the course a student must pass the test/exam component of the course (30% test + 40% exam) as well as getting at least 50% of the overall mark.
  2. The mid-semester test will be held in the evening (6pm NZ Time) and will be online (i.e. not on campus).

Workload Expectations

This course is a standard 15 point course and students are expected to spend 20 hours per week involved in each 15 point course that they are enrolled in over Summer School.

For this course, for each week you can expect 6 hours of lectures, two 2 hour labs, 4 hours of reading and thinking about the content and 6 hours of work on assignments and/or test preparation.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

A remote version of the course can be made available to students located overseas because of border restrictions or those with an exemption to study remotely.  

 For on-campus students, attendance is required  at  labs.  There are 2 labs each week during Summer School and start in Week 2.

Lectures will be delivered online via Zoom and will be available as recordings. 

The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.

Learning Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

Lecture slides will be available before the lectures, and lecture recordings will be available after each lecture. An online textbook, Think Python, can be used to supplement material covered in lectures and labs. All resources will be available on Canvas.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

If you have any feedback during the course (complaints, suggestions, requests, etc.), please don't hesitate to contact the course coordinator as we value your feedback.  You can find our contact details on our course's Canvas homepage.

Other Information

Please contact the course coordinator if you have any queries or concerns.  You can find the course coordinators's contact details on the course's Canvas homepage.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.

If you have any complaints, requests or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact the course coordinator as we value your feedback.  If you do not feel comfortable approaching the course coordinator, then please contact the class representative so that they can bring your feedback to us.  You can find our contact details on our course's Canvas home page.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course students may be asked to submit coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

Published on 27/10/2022 05:52 p.m.