F28PL Programming Languages

Dr Jamie GabbayDr James McKinnaKayvan KarimAbdullah Almasri

Course co-ordinator(s): Dr Jamie Gabbay (Edinburgh), Dr James McKinna (Edinburgh), Kayvan Karim (Dubai), Abdullah Almasri (Malaysia).


  • To gain understanding of different language paradigms
  • To gain understanding of defining concepts of programming languages
  • To develop skills in programming in languages from key paradigms

Detailed Information

Course Description: Link to Official Course Descriptor.

Pre-requisite course(s): F27SB Software Development 2 & F27CS Introduction to Computer Systems .

Location: ALP, Dubai, Edinburgh, Malaysia.

Semester: 1.


  • Overviews of language history, definition (lexicon, syntax, semantics), implementation (compiler, interpreter, virtual machine)
  • Overviews of language paradigms: e.g. imperative (high-level, system, low-level), declarative (functional, logic), concurrency/parallelism
  • Overviews of programming language concepts: variable, lvalue & rvalue, assignment (sharing/copying), data abstraction (sequential, structured, recursive, shared/distributed), type mechanisms (weak/strong, static/dynamic, ad-hoc/parametric polymorphism), declaration (scope, extent), control abstraction (sequence, choice, repetition, block, procedure, labels/jumps, exceptions, processes), expression abstraction       (functions), parameter mechanisms (value, reference) , evaluation mechanisms (strict/lazy, ordered/unordered, concurrent)
  • An introduction to programming in languages from key paradigms e.g.
    • scripting: e.g. Python
    • declarative/functional: e.g. SML
    • declarative/logic: e.g. Prolog

Learning Outcomes: Subject Mastery

Understanding, Knowledge and Cognitive Skills Scholarship, Enquiry and Research (Research-Informed Learning)

  • understanding of distinguishing characteristics of language paradigms
  • understanding of relationships between languages
  • understanding of generic language concepts
  • ability to program in languages from key paradigms
  • ability to use tool sets for these languages

Learning Outcomes: Personal Abilities

Industrial, Commercial & Professional Practice Autonomy, Accountability & Working with Others Communication, Numeracy & ICT

  • understanding of how to choose an appropriate language for different problem domains

Assessment Methods: Due to covid, assessment methods for Academic Year 2021/22 may vary from those noted on the official course descriptor. Please see:
- Maths (F1) Course Weightings 2021/22
- Computer Science (F2) Course Weightings 2021/22
- AMS (F7) Course Weightings 2021/22

SCQF Level: 8.

Credits: 15.