BUS9520 Business Systems A , Unit Information Guide (Semester 1, 2006)

Chief Examiner Sue Bedingfield
Clayton : Sue Bedingfield
Gippsland : Shane Moore

This unit provides an introduction to the principles and practice of computer systems for
business applications. Topics include overview of programming, HTML and web page
creation, database management and the use of microcomputer application software for
business data processing including an introduction to programming. Tools used for
demonstrating these computer concepts are:
• Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) as the main programming language and
• Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access as the application tools.


The objective of this unit is to provide students with the fundamentals of spreadsheets, programming, relational database management systems and web page creation.

On completion, students should be able to:

  • Discuss general principles of computing including topics on computer programming anddatabase management;
  • Write simple applications in Visual Basic for Applications (VBA);
  • Perform data manipulation using Access and Excel;
  • Create a web page using basic HTML tags including frames and forms.
Prerequisites Entry to the Master of Business Systems or equivalent Masters program

Unit relationships BUS9520 is a core unit in the Master of Business Systems. It is a prerequisite for many of the other units in the degree. To attempt this unit you must have been granted entry to the Master of Business Systems or equivalent Masters program. You may not study this unit if you have studied or intend to study any of the following units in your degree: BUS4520, BUS5520, GCO9801, BUS9001, BUS9002, BUS9003, BUS9004, CSE9000, GCO8019.
Texts and software

Required text(s)

Zak, D., Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, Thomson/Course Technology, 2001, ISBN 0-619-00020-1

Text books are available from the Monash University Book Shops. Availability from other suppliers cannot be assured. The Bookshop orders texts in specifically for this unit. You are advised to purchase your text book early.

Software requirements:

Microsoft Office

Software may be:

  • purchased at academic price at good software retailers

Hardware requirements:

Students studying off-campus are required to have the minimum system configuration specified by the faculty as a condition of accepting admission, and regular Internet access. On-campus students, and those studying at supported study locations may use the facilities available in the computing labs. Information about computer use for students is available from the ITS Student Resource Guide in the Monash University Handbook. You will need to allocate up to 10 hours per week for use of a computer, which for off-campus students will include time for online discussion.

Recommended reading

Library access You may need to access the Monash library either personally to be able to satisfactorily complete the subject.  Be sure to obtain a copy of the Library Guide, and if necessary, the instructions for remote access from the library website.
Study resources

Study resources for BUS9520 are:

This Unit Information outlining the administrative information for the unit.

The BUS9520 web site on MUSO, where weekly materials, tutorial exercises, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.

Off-campus students receive a printed Unit Book containing 11 study guides which covers the course content, and a separate Reader containing extracts from other textbooks which are intended to cover the subject matters not covered by the prescribed textbook. This is required reading.

Structure and organisation



Study Guide

1 Spreadsheets
2 Introduction to Databases
3 Database Queries and Reports
4 Normalization
5 Introduction to Visual Basic for Applications
6 Variables and Data Types
7 Date Types and the ADO Object Model
8 Decision Control-Structures
9 Repetition Control-Structures; String Manipulation
10 Custom and Built-in Dialog Boxes
11 Making Web Pages using HTML

The timetable for on-campus classes for this unit can be viewed in Allocate+


Assessment for the unit consists of assignments with a weighting of 40% and an examination with a weighting of 60%. Read this section VERY carefully.

Assessment Policy

To pass this unit you must:

  • attempt all assignments and the examination
  • score at least 50% of the possible marks for the unit
  • achieve no less than 50% for the examination


Your score for the unit will be calculated by:

The assignment component of assessment has a weighting of 60% and the unsupervised component has a weighting of 40%. However, if your exam mark is less than 50% of the available exam marks, your final mark will be equal to your exam mark.

Assessment Requirements


Due Date


Gippsland Students: Assignment 1 Friday 31st March 15 %
Gippsland Students: Assignment 2 Monday 15th May 15 %
Gippsland Students: Assignment 3 Wednesday 31st May 10 %
Clayton Students: Assignment 1 TBA 20 %
Clayton Students: Assignment 2 TBA 20 %
Examination 2 hour(s), closed book Exam period starts 5th June. 60 %

Assignment specifications will be made available on the MUSO web site for this unit. Information about assignments will be published on the Unit's Notices Newsgroup.

Assignment Submission Methods

Assignments will be submitted by electronic submission as explained in the assignment specifications.

Extensions and late submissions

Late submission of assignments

Late assignment submission incurs a penalty and must be discussed with the lecturer.

Assignments received later than one week after the due date will not normally be accepted.

This policy is strict because comments or guidance will be given on assignments as they are returned, and sample solutions may also be published and distributed, after assignment marking or with the returned assignment. 


It is your responsibility to structure your study program around assignment deadlines, family, work and other commitments. Factors such as normal work pressures, vacations, etc. are seldom regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. 

Requests for extensions must be made by email to the unit lecturer at least two days before the due date. You will be asked to forward original medical certificates in cases of illness, and may be asked to provide other forms of documentation where necessary.

Grading of assessment

Assignments, and the unit, will be marked and allocated a grade according to the following scale:

HD High Distinction - very high levels of achievement, demonstrated knowledge and understanding, skills in application and high standards of work encompassing all aspects of the tasks.
In the 80+% range of marks for the assignment.
D Distinction - high levels of achievement, but not of the same standards. May have a weakness in one particular aspect, or overall standards may not be quite as high.
In the 70-79% range.
C Credit - sound pass displaying good knowledge or application skills, but some weaknesses in the quality, range or demonstration of understanding.
In the 60-69% range.
P Pass - acceptable standard, showing an adequate basic knowledge, understanding or skills, but with definite limitations on the extent of such understanding or application. Some parts may be incomplete.
In the 50-59% range.
N Not satisfactory -  failure to meet the basic requirements of the assessment.
Below 50%.

We will aim to have assignment results made available to you within two weeks after assignment receipt.

Feedback Feedback to you

You will receive feedback on your work and progress in this unit. This feedback may be provided through your participation in tutorials and class discussions, as well as through your assignment submissions. It may come in the form of individual advice, marks and comments, or it may be provided as comment or reflection targeted at the group. It may be provided through personal interactions, such as interviews and on-line forums, or through other mechanisms such as on-line self-tests and publication of grade distributions.

Feedback from you

You will be asked to provide feedback to the Faculty through a Unit Evaluation survey at the end of the semester. You may also be asked to complete surveys to help teaching staff improve the unit and unit delivery. Your input to such surveys is very important to the faculty and the teaching staff in maintaining relevant and high quality learning experiences for our students.

And if you are having problems

It is essential that you take action immediately if you realise that you have a problem with your study. The semester is short, so we can help you best if you let us know as soon as problems arise. Regardless of whether the problem is related directly to your progress in the unit, if it is likely to interfere with your progress you should discuss it with your lecturer or a Community Service counsellor as soon as possible.

Plagiarism and cheating

Plagiarism and cheating are regarded as very serious offences. In cases where cheating  has been confirmed, students have been severely penalised, from losing all marks for an assignment, to facing disciplinary action at the Faculty level. While we would wish that all our students adhere to sound ethical conduct and honesty, I will ask you to acquaint yourself with Student Rights and Responsibilities and the Faculty regulations that apply to students detected cheating as these will be applied in all detected cases.

In this University, cheating means seeking to obtain an unfair advantage in any examination or any other written or practical work to be submitted or completed by a student for assessment. It includes the use, or attempted use, of any means to gain an unfair advantage for any assessable work in the unit, where the means is contrary to the instructions for such work. 

When you submit an individual assessment item, such as a program, a report, an essay, assignment or other piece of work, under your name you are understood to be stating that this is your own work. If a submission is identical with, or similar to, someone else's work, an assumption of cheating may arise. If you are planning on working with another student, it is acceptable to undertake research together, and discuss problems, but it is not acceptable to jointly develop or share solutions unless this is specified by your lecturer. 

Intentionally providing students with your solutions to assignments is classified as "assisting to cheat" and students who do this may be subject to disciplinary action. You should take reasonable care that your solution is not accidentally or deliberately obtained by other students. For example, do not leave copies of your work in progress on the hard drives of shared computers, and do not show your work to other students. If you believe this may have happened, please be sure to contact your lecturer as soon as possible.

Cheating also includes taking into an examination any material contrary to the regulations, including any bilingual dictionary, whether or not with the intention of using it to obtain an advantage.

Plagiarism involves the false representation of another person's ideas, or findings, as your own by either copying material or paraphrasing without citing sources. It is both professional and ethical to reference clearly the ideas and information that you have used from another writer. If the source is not identified, then you have plagiarised work of the other author. Plagiarism is a form of dishonesty that is insulting to the reader and grossly unfair to your student colleagues.


On-campus students may communicate with the teaching staff in person, or via email.

Off-campus students are encouraged to use the online Discussion Group facility to communicate with others who are studying the unit. The lecturer in charge of off-campus students will be checking twice a week and responding to queries.


Notices related to the unit during the semester will be placed on the Notices section of the MUSO Website. Check this regularly. Failure to read these Notices is not regarded as grounds for special consideration.

Consultation Times

If direct communication with your unit adviser/lecturer or tutor outside of consultation periods is needed you may contact the lecturer and/or tutors at:

Mrs Sue Bedingfield
Phone +61 3 990 55807
Fax 61 3 990 55159

Mr Shane Moore
Phone +61 3 990 26716

All email communication to you from your lecturer will occur through your Monash student email address. Please ensure that you read it regularly, or forward your email to your main address. Also check that your contact information registered with the University is up to date in My.Monash.

Last updated: Feb 27, 2006