As a student of this Certificate, you will learn theories and techniques that will equip you with a range of basic skills in computer programming and data analysis that form the basis of evidence-based decision and policy making across a range of public and private businesses. This qualification will provide you with a base across discipline areas and the opportunity to specialise in one or more of these if you pursue further study or employment in computing or data science. Together with developing knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts, techniques and technologies, and issues involved in their application, it will also:
- Enable you to keep ahead in a rapidly changing subject area by helping you to develop as an independent learner
- Develop relevant skills in communication and problem solving
- Provide a foundation for the qualities that come with study at undergraduate level in any subject: specialist knowledge, intellectual self-confidence and independent, analytical ability and the life-long learning skills needed to keep up with fast-changing technologies and techniques
- Enable you to apply your learning in your private, social and professional life
- Develop your capability to work with abstract concepts
- Familiarise you with data analysis, problems arising in the collection of data, sampling techniques and modelling
- Familiarise you with some basic mathematical techniques including matrices, vectors and calculus which are fundamental to applied mathematics and needed for advanced data analysis.
- Provide practical experience in the use of information and communication technologies
- Give you understanding of computer programming
- Give you the ability to model some real world situations and use your knowledge of statistics, mathematics and computing to develop solutions to elementary practical problems.
Knowledge and understanding
When you complete your studies for this qualification, you will have knowledge and understanding of:
- A range of methods for analysing statistical data
- Basics of calculus, matrices and vectors
- The fundamental principles, concepts and techniques underlying computing and IT
- The range of situations in which computing and IT systems are used and the possibilities and limitations of such systems
- The ethical and legal issues associated in data science
On completion of this qualification you will have developed the following cognitive skills:
- Use your judgement in selecting and applying a range of basic mathematical and statistical tools and techniques to solve some elementary real world problems
- Construct appropriate statistical models and draw justifiable inferences using qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills
- Apply computing and IT concepts, techniques and tools appropriately
Practical and/or professional skills
When you complete this qualification you will be able to:
- Be an independent learner, able to acquire further knowledge with minimal guidance or support
- Use appropriate professional tools, including programming languages, to support your work
- Apply basic mathematical, statistical and computational concepts, principles and methods
- Analyse and evaluate problems and plan strategies for their solution
- Analyse, design, evaluate and/or test models and systems, using appropriate simulation and modelling tools as appropriate
- Identify and address the ethical, social and legal issues that may arise during the development and use of computing and IT systems
When you complete this qualification you will be able to:
- Communicate information, arguments, ideas and issues clearly and in appropriate ways, bearing in mind the audience for and the purpose of the communication
- Find, assess and apply information from a variety of sources, using information technology where appropriate
- Select, and use accurately, appropriate numerical and analytical techniques to solve problems
- Prepare mathematical, statistical and computational content for a range of purposes, which may include writing for both specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Recognise and understand a range of technological and practical problems and select suitable techniques for solving them
Teaching, learning and assessment methods
Knowledge and understanding, as well as cognitive skills, are acquired through distance-learning materials that include specially written module texts, guides to study, assignments and specimen examination papers; through a range of multimedia material including computer software and through feedback from tutors on your assignments.
You will work independently with the distance-learning materials, and will be supported by optional tutorials which may be face-to face or online, which you are strongly advised to attend whenever possible.
Written tutor feedback on assignments provides you with individual tuition and guidance. Modules at higher levels build on the foundations developed in modules at lower levels.
Each module has a final examination or end of module assessment. In any mathematics and statistics module that has an unseen examination, you’re permitted either a module handbook or are provided with any non-trivial formulae required in the examination paper. This reduces the need for memorisation and enables you to concentrate on applying concepts and techniques. For each module the final result will be based on a combination of the examination (or end-of-module assessment) score and the score obtained on (or engagement with) the continuous assessment. In some cases there is a threshold on individual components.
For more detailed information, see the Accessibility Statements on individual module descriptions. If you feel you may need additional support, visit our Disability support website to find more about what we offer. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss your individual requirements, so we can put arrangements in place before you start.