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The University of Southampton

MANG2071 Business Analytics Programming

Module Overview

Programming is a structured way of giving a computer unambiguous instructions to perform specific tasks. Knowledge and experience of programming not only improves your employability but it also teaches you analytical skills such as breaking down a problem into smaller parts and recognising and reusing previously solved problems. The purpose of this module is to equip you with the knowledge and skills for writing structured computer programs. Although these fundamentals can be achieved using any high level programming language, e.g. Java and Python, the module introduces Visual Basic for Application (VBA) as the introductory language. VBA is a very versatile, event-driven programming language. Programmers predominantly use VBA algorithms to build customized applications and solutions for Microsoft office applications such as MS-Excel, MS-Word and MS-Access to enhance the capabilities of those applications. For example, you can build a VBA algorithm to automate the repetitive task of forecasting future demand for a product upon updating current sales data in Excel. Although the module assumes no prior programming experience, its analytics orientation best suits students who are highly interested in problem solving, have strong analytical skills and are highly numerate. MANG1019 or MANG1007 is a pre-requisite for this module, with a mark of at least 65% being achieved.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the software development techniques that constitute good programming practice;
  • object-oriented programming;
  • the importance of correctness, usability and readability in programming.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • design and implement an algorithm to conduct technical calculations, manipulate data and create graphical user interfaces;
  • handle files using a programming language and integration with other packages such as Excel;
  • use techniques for debugging an algorithm.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • self-manage the development of learning and study skills;
  • plan and control effectively for successful completion of a personal workload;
  • use your analytic skills in problem solving;
  • communicate effectively, in both oral and/or written form.


1. Overview of Computer Programming: Purpose and nature; the VBA Environment 2. Key Components of Programs: • Variables, Constants and Data Types; • Formatting and Identifiers; • Commenting; • Arrays • Conditional Structures and Loops • Routines, Procedures and Functions 3. Debugging 4. Manipulating Excel using VBA 5. Object-Oriented Programming

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods and learning methods include: • Lectures • Interactive case studies • Computer labs • Directed reading • Private/guided study Learning activities include: • Introductory lectures • 2 assignments (individual written coursework) • In class debate and discussion • Private study • Use of video and online materials

Practical classes and workshops24
Wider reading or practice32
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Completion of assessment task70
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Beginning Excel VBA Programming: A concise guide to developing Excel VBA Applications and Macros.

Albright, S. C. (2013). VBA for Modelers: Developing Decision Support Systems. 

Knuth, D. E. (1998). The art of computer programming: sorting and searching, Pearson Education. 



In-class activities


MethodPercentage contribution
Project 40%
Project  (2000 words) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project  (2000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Project  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: MANG1019 or MANG1007


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the mandatory/additional reading text as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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