Module Catalogue 2024/25

CSC1032 : Computer Systems Design and Architectures

CSC1032 : Computer Systems Design and Architectures

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tomasz Szydlo
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Abolfazl Lavaei
  • Lecturer: Dr Dev Jha, Dr Fareed Arif
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Code Title
CSC1034Programming Portfolio 1
CSC1035Programming Portfolio 2
Co Requisite Comment



On completion of this module students will, from a high level perspective, be able to:

• describe the purpose of, and the interaction between, the functional hardware and software components of a
variety of computer systems.
• identify the principal hardware components and software services which provide infrastructure for the Internet
from the global scale down to the desktop.
• describe the components of operating systems and how they are combined with applications to provide services
and share resources.

Outline Of Syllabus

• An overview of current computer systems architecture.
• Introduction to Operating Systems: what they are and what they do, management of resources.
• Processes, scheduling. Interprocess communication (IPC).
• Memory, virtual memory and memory management. Files, file systems.
• An introduction to Linux and system administration and systems programming.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module students will be able to:
• explain and discuss computer architectures and their abstractions, from operating systems to distributed
systems, and from hardware to the interface with operating systems
• relate various forms of systems architecture and their interactions
• review the concepts and mechanisms for the management, ownership and protection of computer resources
• identify the machine representation of key data forms and describe their machine level processing

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of this module students will be able to analyse and design computer systems at a high level, relating the topics covered in this module in a variety of appropriate scenarios. Further practical skills related to this material will be developed in the co-requisite modules Portfolio 1 and Portfolio 2. Students will be able to:
• Incorporate software and hardware elements of a system design
• Represent key data forms in terms of design and application
• Design memory management and file management systems
• Identify issues of deadlock in multiple processing systems

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:302:30Mock examination
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion441:0044:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion41:004:00Formative exercises
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion121:0012:00Revision for examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical121:0012:00Practical activities in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical122:0024:00Practical activities in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical104:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:3025:30Background reading and independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures which are recorded in advance. Practical sessions provide experience of designing and building database applications and can be carried out online.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes, and on the related Programming Portfolio modules.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination901A50N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M50Software implementation
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Digital Examination1MMock Test prior to exam to consolidate student knowledge ahead of the summative exam.
Lab exercise2MExercises and quizzes to support learning and summative assessments
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Semester 1 will be assessed with a digital examination allowing the students to apply the theory taught in lectures. A mock test will take place in Semester 1 to enable the students to prepare for the examination.

The digital examination will assess the fundamental knowledge and understanding of taught material.

Semester 2 is assessed through practical lab report on software implementation and test learning outcomes.

Formative assessment allows students to gauge progress in preparation for the summative assessments.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.