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

Lecturer(s) / Leader(s):


Ms Oshadi Alahakoon


Welcome to FIT9004 - Computer programming for business. This 6 point unit is core for the Master of Business Information Systems. At the completion of this unit students will be able to create an automated Excel business application using the programming language visual basic for applications. The ability to be able to do this is an invaluable asset for a business IT professional.

Unit synopsis

This unit provides an introduction to the principles and practice of programming for business applications. This includes an overview of spreadsheet modelling and a detailed introduction to programming with Excel including general programming concepts, the syntax and semantics of a current business programming language, design and development of graphical user interfaces.

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this unit, students will have:
  1. a knowledge of the fundamentals of spreadsheets which will provide them with an understanding of spreadsheet modelling presentation and analysis using Excel;
  2. learnt the fundamentals of OO concepts;
  3. gained an understanding of the Excel object model;
  4. learnt how to create Excel macros;
  5. learnt the basics of programming including variables, data types, control structures, subroutines and functions;
  6. learnt to create custom dialog boxes and custom forms using VBA;
  7. the ability to create non-trivial applications using Visual Basic for Applications;
  8. have an understanding of the Internet and XHTML.

At the completion of this unit, students will have had the opportunity to work co-operatively with a team of IT peers on the development of computer programs.

Contact hours

4 x contact hrs/week

Unit relationships


BUS4520, BUS5520, BUS9004, BUS9520, CSE9000, GCO4801, GCO8019, GCO9801


FIT9004 is a core unit in the Master of Business Systems degree and the Master of Information Management and Systems degree.

You may not study this unit and

BUS4520, BUS5520, GCO9801, BUS9001, BUS9002, BUS9003, BUS9004, CSE9000, GCO4801, GCO8019, BUS9520

in your degree.


Teaching and learning method

Timetable information

For information on timetabling for on-campus classes please refer to MUTTS, http://mutts.monash.edu.au/MUTTS/

Tutorial allocation

On-campus students should register for tutorials/laboratories using the Allocate+ system: http://allocate.cc.monash.edu.au/

Unit Schedule

Week Topic References/Readings Key dates
1 Objectives, outline etc. Microsoft Excel 2007, New Perspectives Series, Tutorials 1-5, Lecture notes.  
2 More Excel: range names, working with Record Macro, data validation, if() function, protecting cells. ActiveX controls - using the Controls Toolbox Toolbar Microsoft Excel 2007, New Perspectives Series, Lecture notes. Tutorials. Zak, Tutorial 1 (Concepts, Excel)  
3 Object and string variables in Excel Tutorial 2,3,4 Zak , Chap 1,2 and 3 Mansfield  
4 Debugging tools. Tutorial 5,6 from Zak, Chap 4, 5 and 6 Mansfield, Excel  
5 Control structures: Tutorial 7,8 from Zak, Chap 6 and 9 Mansfield, Excel  
6 Control structures Tutorial 9 and 10 Zak, Chap 11 and 13 Mansfield, Excel.  
7 Test weeks 1-6 Class room test on 1-6 weeks material
8 Custom GUIs Tutorial 12 and 13 Zak, Chap 9 and 12 Mansfield, Excel  
9 Built In GUIs Tutorial 11 Zak, Chap 14 Mansfield  
10 Access, introduction to database concepts, rules for database design, creating a simple database, relationships. Simple queries, reports, forms. Redundancy. Referential integrity ? cascade updates, cascade deletes. The query design grid. Indexes. Compacting and repairing a database. Calculated queries. Access Object Model. Access macros, VBE in Access Lecture notes, Microsoft Access 2007 New Perspective text  
Mid semester break
11 Access maintenance: More advanced queries, action queries, reports, forms. Referential integrity. Lecture notes Assignment due 2 October 2009 16:00hrs
12 Access - SQL Lecture material  
13 Revision Lecture material.  

Unit Resources

Prescribed text(s) and readings

Mastering VBA for Microsoft Office 2007, Richard Mansfield

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.

Recommended text(s) and readings

Zak, Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications, 0-619-00020-1

For Excel: Microsoft Excel 2007, New Perspectives Series, Parsons, Oja, Ageloff & Carey

For Access: Microsoft Access 2007, New Perspectives Series, Adamski and Finnegan

Required software and/or hardware

someMicrosoft OfficeXP 2007

Software may be:

  • purchased at academic price at some software retailers

Equipment and consumables required or provided

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 n hours per week for use of a computer, including time for newsgroups/discussion groups.

Study resources

Study resources we will provide for your study are:

For DE students: the FIT9004 web site on MUSO, where lecture slides, weekly tutorial requirements, assignment specifications, sample solutions and supplementary material will be posted.



Practical Assignments: 40%; Examination (2.5 hours): 60%.

Faculty assessment policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 44% then a mark of no greater than 44-N will be recorded for the unit.

The unit is assessed with one assignment, one test and a three hour closed book examination.
To pass the unit you must:

*attempt the assignment, test and the examination

and obtain:

*40% or more in the unit's examination

* no less that 40% overall in the non-examination assessment

* achieve no less than 50% overall from all assessments for the unit

Assignment tasks

Assignment coversheets

Assignment coversheets are available via "Student Forms" on the Faculty website: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/
You MUST submit a completed coversheet with all assignments, ensuring that the plagiarism declaration section is signed.

Assignment submission and return procedures, and assessment criteria will be specified with each assignment.

  • Assignment task 1
    Tutorial task - to be completed each week during class
    A maximum of 10% is awarded for all the 12 weekly tutorials.
    Due date:
  • Assignment task 2
    This is an individual assignment involving development of a system using the concepts and features of the unit content.
    Due date:
  • Assignment task 3
    A test based on the materials covered in Weeks 1-6 will be conducted in Week 7.
    Due date:


  • Weighting: 60%
    Length: 2.5 hours
    Type (open/closed book): Closed book

See Appendix for End of semester special consideration / deferred exams process.

Due dates and extensions

Please make every effort to submit work by the due dates. 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 not regarded as appropriate reasons for granting extensions. Students are advised to NOT assume that granting of an extension is a matter of course.

Students requesting an extension for any assessment during semester (eg. Assignments, tests or presentations) are required to submit a Special Consideration application form (in-semester exam/assessment task), along with original copies of supporting documentation, directly to their lecturer within two working days before the assessment submission deadline. Lecturers will provide specific outcomes directly to students via email within 2 working days. The lecturer reserves the right to refuse late applications.

A copy of the email or other written communication of an extension must be attached to the assignment submission.

Refer to the Faculty Special consideration webpage or further details and to access application forms: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/equity/special-consideration.html

Late assignment

If you believe that your assignment will be delayed because of circumstances beyond your control such as illness you should apply for an extension before the due date. Medical certificates or certification supporting your application may be required. Assignments submitted after the due date may incur a penalty for lateness. An assignment submitted more than seven days after the due date may be given a score of zero. If you anticipate being late then discuss the situation with your unit lecturer as early as possible; your unit lecturer will decide how many marks you will be penalised for each day your assignment is late, and whether or not any extension is warranted.

Assignments received after the due date will normally be subject to a penaltyof 5% per day, including weekends. Assignments received later than oneweek (seven days) after the due date will not normally be accepted. Insome cases, this period may be shorter if there is a need to release sample solutions.

Return dates

Students can expect assignments to be returned within two weeks of the submission date or after receipt, whichever is later.


Please visit the following URL: http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/units/appendix.html for further information about:

  • Continuous improvement
  • Unit evaluations
  • Communication, participation and feedback
  • Library access
  • Monash University Studies Online (MUSO)
  • Plagiarism, cheating and collusion
  • Register of counselling about plagiarism
  • Non-discriminatory language
  • Students with disability
  • End of semester special consideration / deferred exams
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