Courses Catalogue

Information Access And Computer Applications In Research

ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Environmental Science
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: School of Natural and Applied Sciences
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

The course exposes students to the practical application of computer hardware and software in scientific inquiry. It explores the use of various computer applications and programmes in data analysis and inferences to enable learners scientifically execute their research.


The course is designed to familiarize students with computer operating systems and to teach them how to manage databases and how to use common statistical data analysis programs to process research data. Such skills are necessary for classroom instruction as well as the world of work where students are expected to end up.


By the end of this course, the student should be able to:

  • Discuss the components of a computer system
  • Explain the basic computer software and application packages
  • Describe the role of computer application packages in research 
  • Explain the use of the Internet in research
  • Use relevant software and application packages to analyse data
  • Explain how to store and retrieve data from the computer
  • Explain how to ensure safety of data in a computer
  • Explain the safety measures for hard and software


A doctoral student completing the course is expected to:

  • Document their work, write clearly and appropriately in an Information Technology context, respect user’s data, including backup and security, and to think through the ethical consequences of Information Technology decisions.
  • Select appropriate computer applications to store and retrieve data
  • Disseminate given information in basic and advanced PC applications
  • Identify and apply digital/computer fundamentals
  • Research technology problems, provide technology support, and to learn new technology tools.
  • Develop skills in finding, selecting and refining information from a variety of sources
  • Develop skills in using computers and related digital technologies to solve problems
  • Develop skills in communicating ideas and information to different audiences using computers and related digital technologies.