Unit 1: Fundamentals of the Java Programming Language

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Unit 1: Fundamentals of the Java Programming Language

This unit forms part of the Course in MCAST Award in Developing Applications of the Java Platform. Once a learner complete all the units in this course satisfactorily; that is has obtained a pass mark in the assessment and respected the 80% attendance s/he will achieve an award pegged at MQF Level 4, 6 ECVET Credits

This course is intended for people who would like to be introduced to the Java Programming Language and its technologies for both console and Web Applications.  Throughout the course the students will learn how to Design and Implement Applications using the Object Oriented paradigm and the use of Databases.

The first unit will focus on the Java basic syntax and constructs. During this course the students will be made aware of different classes bundled in the JDK libraries. Students will get acquainted with classes such as String, Scanner, and various Exception classes. The students will be able to use these classes in small applications. By completing this unit, students are expected to learn the fundamentals of basic Java programming and be able to take advantage of using an IDE to create small console applications.


This is a 25 hr guided learning course.  Students need to invest further hours in the course, which will include private study and home assignments.


Lessons are held as indicated on the prospectus and website.


Learning Outcome 1: Outline the basics of the java language

Unit Content

  • Origins of Java
  • JDK and the JRE
  • Hello World program in a Console Application environment
  • Calling methods within classes and passing arguments to them
  • Input and Output in a Console Application
  • Declaring and initializing variables. This includes identifier rules, data types, and the assignment statement
  • Using the IDE

Learning Outcome 2: Develop simple console application programs using a selection, iteration and sequence control structure

Unit Content

• The need of decisions within a program
• Conditional statements

i. The if statement

? Comparison operators, logical operators
? Simple and Complex conditions

ii. The switch statement

? Limitations of the switch statement
? The case and break keywords

• The need of iterative statement within a program
• Loops
i. do.. while loop
ii. while loop
iii. for loop
iv. differences between the above loops

Learning Outcome 3: Use common Java Runtime Environment packages and classes

Unit Content

  • Variables versus Arrays
  • Declaration and initialization of Arrays
  • Array traversal - the enhanced for loop
  • Classes and Methods – method parameters and return values
  • Importing classes and packages
  • Exception Handling


The following are the suggested pre-requisites and/or entry requirements needed:


  • Basic computer knowledge (ECDL-level, even though ECDL is not a requirement)
  • Functional skills in the English Language
  • Functional skills in Basic Mathematics

Entry Requirements:

  • Completed compulsory education

Course participants may be awarded either an MCAST Certificate of Attendance or an MCAST Certificate of Achievement.


MCAST Certificate of Attendance

  • An MCAST Certificate of Attendance will be awarded to those candidates who attend at least 80% of the lessons.


MCAST Certificate of Achievement

  • An MCAST Certificate of Achievement will be awarded to those candidates who satisfy the 80% attendance criteria and also choose to sit and pass the course assessment/s.


  • Students who opt not to sit for the assessment or fail (the assessment/s) will however be awarded the MCAST Certificate of Attendance provided that they fulfill the minimum attendance criteria as stated above.


If the student intends to obtain a Certificate of Achievement, she/he is required to sit for an assessment/s.  Assessment/s may take various forms such as a home assignment, class assignment, practical test and time constrained test.  However, the assessment/s is not compulsory and an applicant may choose not to sit for it.

There are no additional costs or special materials/equipment to bring.

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