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Quickstart Guide to Informatics 1

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Informatics 1 Core Courses

All of the undergraduate degrees in Informatics share a common core of required courses in Year 1:

Course Semester Credits
Informatics 1 - Computation and Logic Semester 1 10
Informatics 1 - Functional Programming Semester 1 10
Informatics 1 - Data and Analysis Semester 2 10
Informatics 1 - Object-Oriented Programming Semester 2 10

In addition, all Informatics degrees have additional required courses, as specified in the Degree Programme Tables for the School of Informatics. This page gives an overview of what is involved in the four core courses of Informatics 1 listed above.

Course Activities

The course home page for each of these core courses (see this list) will provide you with more detail about what is involved in doing the course, however they all involve a combination of the following activities:

  • lectures,
  • exercises and coursework assignments,
  • tutorials, and
  • labs for practical work.

These are discussed in more detail below.


Lectures will start in Week 1, although the standard pattern of lectures will only start in Week 2. See the Informatics Lecture Timetable for times and locations. There is also a Google calendar. Attendance at lectures is very strongly advised.

If course notes in the form of handouts are given out, these will either be made available at the lectures, or will be available from the Informatics Teaching Office. Large print versions of course materials are available on request.

Weekly Exercises, Tutorials and Coursework Assignments

Most of the courses in Informatics 1 require you to do weekly tutorial exercises; this practical work is a vital component of the course. Exercises should be completed in your own time before the tutorial in question. You should take your solutions to the weekly tutorial, where the exercises will be discussed. You can get help with the exercises at the Informatics 1 drop-in labs.

Each week, you will attend a one-hour tutorial for each of the core courses for semester in question. You will be assigned a tutorial group by the ITO; if you wish to attend a tutorial at a different time, contact the ITO. More details will be available from the home pages of the courses in question, but tutorials usually start in Week 2 or Week 3 and continue for the whole semester. Attendance at tutorials is compulsory. Tutors will keep attendance sheets, and you should inform your tutor if you are unable to attend.

In addition to the weekly exercises, Computation and Logic and Data and Analysis both involve major coursework assignments. These assignments are compulsory. Although the marks that you receive will not contribute to the final mark for the course, doing the assignment thoroughly is essential to understanding the course material, and is likely to be crucial to doing well in the final exam for the course.

Computing Labs and the Informatics Computing Facilities

Computing facilities for Informatics 1 are provided in the Computing Laboratories in Level 4 and 5 of Appleton Tower (AT). The main labs used for Informatics 1 are Computer Lab West (CLW) and Computer Lab North (CLN) on AT Level 5.

During week 1 there will be a series of short talks and lab sessions on the Informatics computing facilities (DICE). Further Information can be found in the Introductory Notes and there is also a Practical Exercise to help you along.

From Week 2 onwards, you are encouraged to use the labs during the drop-in lab times which are reserved for Informatics 1 students. For some of this time, lab demonstrators will be available to give you help with computing-related problems and also advice on how to tackle weekly exercises and coursework assignments. You don't need to register for drop-in labs; simply turn up!

Day Time Demonstrator Location
Monday 3.00-5.00 3.30-4.30 CLW
Tuesday 2.00-5.00 2.00-3.00 CLW
Wednesday 2.00-5.00 2.00-3.00 CLW
Thursday 2.00-5.00 2.00-3.00 CLW
Friday 3.00-5.00 3.30-4.30 CLN



Exam Diets

Each of the Informatics 1 courses has its own exam, for which the pass mark is 40%.

Course Description Month
Computation and Logic 2-hour written exam December
Functional Programming 2-hour open book programming exam December
Data and Analysis 2-hour written exam May
Object-Oriented Programming 3-hour open book programming exam May

Here is a list of past exam papers for all Informatics courses, organised by year. Search through each year to find available Informatics 1 past papers and sample solutions.

The official University Exam Timetable is maintained by Registry.

Open-Book Programming Exams

Prior to the exam you will be allocated a lab in which to take the exam, and informed by email. It is essential that you turn up correctly to your allocated lab.

You are expected to have a DICE account and to know your DICE login and password.

You are expected to know how to use the DICE environment, including how to copy and edit files and how to write and run programs.

As for all University exams, you must bring your student ID card and display it on your desk.

The Informatics 1 programming exams are open-book exams. This means you may bring in textbooks and other notes you usually use when programming. The use of electronic devices (other than the DICE desktop provided) is not permitted.