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Elements of Data Processing (COMP20008)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2018
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeCOMP20008
Semester 1
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date


Data processing is fundamental to computing and data science. This subject gives an introduction to various aspects of data processing including database management, representation and analysis of data, information retrieval, visualisation and reporting, and cloud computing. This subject introduces students to the area, with an emphasis on both tools and underlying foundations.


The subject's focus is on the data pipeline, and activities known colloquially as 'data wrangling'. Indicative topics covered include:

  • Capturing data (data ingress)
  • Data representation and storage
  • Cleaning, normalization and filling in missing data (imputation)
  • Combing multiple sources of data (data integration)
  • Query languages and processing
  • Scripting to support the data pipeline
  • Distributing a database over multiple nodes (sharding), cloud computing file systems

Visualisation and presentation

Intended learning outcomes


Having completed this subject the student is expected to:

  1. Be familiar with the relationship of the data pipeline to data science
  2. Be able to develop and critically evaluate alternative approaches to components of typical data pipelines
  3. Apply data processing methodologies to preparing data while managing data quality, system scalability, and usability for decision making

Generic skills

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • An ability to apply knowledge of basic science and engineering fundamentals
  • An ability to undertake problem identification, formulation and solution
  • The capacity to solve problems, including the collection and evaluation of information
  • The capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • Profound respect for truth and intellectual integrity, and for the ethics of scholarship

An expectation of the need to undertake lifelong learning, and the capacity to do so.

Eligibility and requirements


One of the following subjects:

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
COMP10001 Foundations of Computing
Semester 1
Semester 2
COMP10003 Media Computation
Semester 1

Students who have completed COMP10002 Foundations of Algorithms but neither COMP10001 Foundations of Computing nor COMP10003 Media Computation and who have knowledge of Python are invited to approach the subject coordinator to discuss their possible enrollment into the subject.



Non-allowed subjects

INFO20002 Foundations of Informatics

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



Project work during semester, applying data processing to datasets, requiring approximately 45-50 hours of work in total, due in approximately week 6 and week 11, (40%). Addresses Intended Learning Outcomes, (ILO) 1, 2 and 3.

One 5-minute workshop presentation, requiring approximately 10-12 hours of work in total, presented during semester, (10%). Addresses ILO 3.

One 2-hour end-of-semester examination,(50%). Addresses ILO 1 and 2.

Hurdle requirement. To pass the subject, students must obtain at least:

  • 20 / 50 in the continuous assessment
  • 20 / 50 in the end-of-semester written examination

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorJames Bailey
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours48 hours, comprising of two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour workshop per week
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period26 February 2018 to 27 May 2018
    Last self-enrol date 9 March 2018
    Census date31 March 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail 4 May 2018
    Assessment period ends22 June 2018

    Semester 1 contact information

    Prof James Bailey

    email: baileyj@unimelb.edu.au

  • Semester 2
    CoordinatorYasmeen George
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period23 July 2018 to 21 October 2018
    Last self-enrol date 3 August 2018
    Census date31 August 2018
    Last date to withdraw without fail21 September 2018
    Assessment period ends16 November 2018

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts


    Recommended texts and other resources


  • Subject notes




  • Breadth options

    This subject is available as breadth in the following courses:

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

Last updated: 3 April 2019