COMP161

COMP161

  • WELCOME

    • Welcome to COMP161. This course is an introduction to computer programming suitable for beginners with little or no prior experience. It introduces the Java programming language, basic object oriented concepts, and simple graphical applications. It is the start of your programming journey!
    • For information about the course topics, assessment structure, contact details for teaching staff, and more, please see the COMP161 Course Outline (pdf) (note that this version of the outline is for S1).
    • COMP161 is offered in Semester 1 (S1), which is the best time to take it, because it is a prerequisite for COMP162 in S2. COMP161 is also offered as a distance taught paper in both Semester 2 and the "non-standard period" N1 (Pre Christmas Summer School). Note that the Guide to Enrolment 2022 does not list these versions of the paper correctly, but the main COMP161web page does.
    • The distance taught versions have a Course Outline which differs slightly from the one above, please please email our Adviser for the relevant Course Outline (or see Blackboard for the course). You should only apply for a distance taught version if you can't take the course in S1, and if you are a self-motivated learner who will take responsibility for engaging with the distance format. Note that these distance versions still require you to come to the campus in Dunedin at least once (for a major assessment), so they are not available to students for whom this is not possible. If you have any questions please email our Adviser.
    • For further enrolment, timetable and fees information, you can go to COMP161 on the main Otago University web site.
  • COMP161 S1 Assessment

    • A sequence of 10 practical mastery tests worth 60%.
      • Each mastery test must be passed in order to be eligible to sit the next one.
      • Mastery tests can be attempted multiple times as required, with no penalty.
    • An intermediate practical test worth 10%.
    • A final practical test worth 30%.
    • There is no final exam for this paper.
    • For more details of assessment in S1 see the Course Outline linked above.
    • For assessment in distance taught versions please see the relevant Course Outline.
  • COMP161 Resources

    • This course has its own Lecture Book and Lab Book, which are available (free pdfs) on Blackboard.
    • It will make use of free online resources, including the following book:
      • Think Java, by Allen B. Downey and Chris Mayfield
    • The above book would be useful if you want to do any preparation before the course begins.
  • The COMP Programming Papers

    • In 2021, COMP160 (in our old curriculum) was offered for the last time in Summer School. Now it has been replaced by COMP161 (S1) and COMP162 (S2). COMP161 is a prerequisite for COMP162, but you can be exempted from the prerequisite in certain circumstances, described below.
    • COMP161 is intended as the starting point for students with little or no prior background in programming. COMP162 is intended as the starting point for students who have a good background already. As you will see in the Guide to Enrolment 2022 (e.g. p69): "Students are exempt from COMP 161 if they have gained entry to COMP 162 by passing COMP 151 with a grade of at least B or via an Advanced Placement Test". (COMP151 is replacing COMP150, passing COMP150 with a grade of at least B also counts.)
  • Advanced Placement Test for COMP162

    • You can get direct entry to COMP162 (exempt from COMP161) if you pass and Advanced Placement Test. The test will consist of writing a number of specified Java programs under supervised conditions in one of our laboratories. It should take about 2 hours. If you want to request the test, please email our Adviser.
    • If you are granted exemption from COMP161, it would be useful to prepare for COMP162 by practicing some basic Java (especially if your background is in another language). Email Adviser to discuss this.
  • Curriculum changes in Computer Science

    • For more notes on the curriculum changes in Computer Science see this page.