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Unit Overview


At the core of most computer applications is the storage and retrieval of information. The way that the stored data is structured has a strong impact on what can be retrieved, how quickly it can be retrieved and how much space it occupies. The use of generic structures, or abstract data types (ADTs), to encapsulate the data also facilitates software engineering principles of independent modification, extension and re-use. This unit studies the specification, implementation and time-and-space performance of a range of commonly used ADTs and corresponding algorithms in an object-oriented setting.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Computer Science; International Cybersecurity; Computing and Data Science; Artificial Intelligence; Automation and Robotics Engineering; Biomedical Engineering; Software Engineering; Quantum Computing major sequences
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) undertake problem identification via abstraction; (2) describe common and important data structures and algorithms in the computing discipline; (3) implement a range of data structures and information literacy algorithms in a high-level programming language; (4) apply existing data structures and algorithms from pre-built software libraries; (5) design data structures and algorithms; and (6) critically assess the performance of different data structures and algorithms.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester test; (2) laboratories and project; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Amitava Datta
Unit rules
CITS1401 Computational Thinking with Python
or CITX1401 Computational Thinking with Python
Mathematics Methods ATAR
or MATH1721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods or equivalent
or MATX0721 Mathematics Foundations: Methods
Advisable prior study
An additional programming-based unit
Contact hours
61 (lectures: 26 hours
practical classes: 11 hours
labs: 24 hours)

M. Goodrich, R. Tamassia and M. Goldwasser, "Data Structure and Algorithms in Python", 1st Edition, 2013.

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.