BA Modern Language and Business & Management (Chinese) / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Computing for Social Scientists

Course unit fact file
Unit code ECON10151
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This unit aims to develop students’ intellectual, practical and transferable computing skills.

At the end of this course unit, it is expected that students will be able to

1.     Use and understand University IT systems, including library systems and associated citation and journal databases;

2.     Use the equation editor, styles and endnote referencing functionality within Microsoft Word and related software;

3.     Manipulate, summarise and visually represent data in Microsoft Excel;

4.     Use Microsoft Excel’s solver functionality to solve constrained dynamic optimization problems;

5.     Integrate Microsoft Excel output within a Microsoft Word report to quantitative reports at a professional standard;

6.     Use Microsoft Excel for financial analysis;


This course is designed for first-year undergraduate students to develop essential skills in using Microsoft Excel for a variety of academic and professional applications. By focusing on practical, hands-on experiences, students will learn to effectively use Excel for data analysis, optimization problems, financial analysis, and integration with Microsoft Word for report generation. This course will also briefly touch upon the general use of University IT systems, including library systems and citation databases. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand and navigate University IT systems, focusing on library systems and citation/journal databases such as to facilitate students’ studies.
  2.  Utilize Microsoft Word's advanced features, including the equation editor, styles, and endnote referencing, in conjunction with Excel data in order to be able to submit well formatted assignments.
  3. Manipulate, summarize, and visually represent data in Microsoft Excel, applying various data analysis techniques in order to use data to support written arguments.
  4. Employ Microsoft Excel’s solver functionality for solving constrained dynamic optimization problems.
  5. Integrate Excel outputs within Microsoft Word to produce quantitative reports of professional standards.
  6. Understand the basics of Macro and VBA Basics in order to automate repetitive tasks.



Core content area of the course:

  1. Excel Fundamentals, e.g. Basic functions and formulas; Data entry, manipulation, and formatting
  2. Data Visualisation and Dashboards, e.g., Creating and customizing charts and graphs; Advanced visualization techniques using PivotTables and PivotCharts
  3. Advanced Data Analysis Techniques in Excel, e.g., Utilizing advanced functions like VLOOKUP, INDEX/MATCH; Data sorting, filtering, and conditional formatting; Introduction to statistical analysis in Excel
  4. Optimization and Problem Solving, e.g., Solver tool in Excel
  5. Automation and Efficiency Tools, e.g., Basics of macros and VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) 

Teaching and learning methods

Synchronous activities (such as Lectures or Review and Q&A sessions, and tutorials), and guided self-study

Employability skills

Students will obtain the practical computing skills identified in the Intended Learning Outcomes.

Assessment methods

35%      Integrated Word/Excel project

35%      Excel solver assignment

30%      Exam

Feedback methods

  • Practice multiple choice test.
  • Feedback in classes.
  • Office hours.
  • Revision sessions.
  • Discussion boards.

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Robert O'Neill Unit coordinator

Additional notes

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