Subject details

Upon completing this subject you should be able to:

  1. Explain the differences between typical scripting languages and typical system and application programming languages
  2. Apply your knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of scripting languages to select an implementation language
  3. Create software systems using scripting languages, including Perl and Python
  4. Write server-side scripts using Perl and Python’s CGI facilities.
  • Topics
    • Introduction to scripting languages, perl basics
    • Perl: arrays, hashes, POD
    • Perl: file handling, subroutines, special variables
    • Perl: regular expressions, references
    • Perl: data structures, error handling, modules
    • Perl: object-Oriented programming
    • Python basics
    • Python: data structures, functions, exceptions
    • Python: object-oriented programming, modules, testing
    • Python: file handling, web development
    • Python: Python internals, data model
    • Python: standard library, third-party modules, Python 3
  • Study resources
    • Instructional Methods
      • Chat Rooms
      • Disscusion forum/Discussion Board
      • Embedded Multimedia
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Leacture capture
      • Standard Media
      • Streaming Multimedia
      • Web links
    • Online Materials
      • Simulations
      • Audio-Video streaming
      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials

Entry Requirements

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this unit:


Or have significant systems programming experience in either C or Java, before starting this subject.

Special requirements

  • OtherDetails -

    Stable broadband connection required to access online learning materials and live chat sessions / recordings. (note: mobile broadband users may have difficulties participating in live chat sessions)

Scripting languages require very different style of programming than system programming languages such as C or Java. Scripting languages are typically used for "gluing" applications together. Scripting languages are often typeless and usually provide methods for higher level of programming and more rapid development of applications than typical system programming languages. This subject provides an introduction to the script programming paradigm, and introduces and compares a range of scripting languages used for Unix and Web-based applications.

  • Assignment 1 - Invigilated Exam (50%)
  • Assignment 2 - Exercises (10%)
  • Assignment 3 - Assignment 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 4 - Assignment 2 (20%)

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a subject


  • Learning Python
  • Mark Lutz
  • 9781449355739
  • Print
  • Learning Perl
  • Randal L. Schwartz, Brian d Foy & Tom Phoenix
  • 9781449303587
  • Print

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