Module Catalogue 2023/24

CSC8010 : Computer Environments (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Dan Nesbitt
  • Lecturer: Dr Ellis Solaiman
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to introduce students to the concepts underpinning a modern distributed computing environment and the wide range of systems software and other software-based computing tools that together provide a computing environment.

The students will be introduced to the practicalities of using some of the system/tool software available within a computing system, developing their computer literacy skills (in a wide range of areas) and understanding the fundamental actions typically carried out by computer professionals, thus making them adaptable to different computing environments.

The content will be informed by the latest research by the lecturers and research publications in relevant literature.

Outline Of Syllabus

* Introduction to historical perspectives on the evolution of computer systems and systems software.
* Hardware: brief overview of the mechanisms provided by hardware and the interaction that may occur between hardware and software
* Operating systems: basic services that are provided concentrating on modern pre-emptive style operating systems
* Networks: an overview of the types of software (including HTML) and associated protocols used in the deployment of distributed services, including a study of internetworking protocols and services.
* Databases: an understanding of the purpose and advantages of database management systems from the user's perspective.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The ability to describe how a number of different services may be combined to present higher level mechanisms suitable for satisfying quite specific user requirements via interface and protocol.
The ability to describe the four levels of abstraction associated with modern system deployment and associate enabling technologies with each level: hardware, operating system, middleware, application.
The ability to describe the differences between, and provide examples of, event driven and poll based software and realize when each approach is appropriate to satisfying user requirements.
The ability to describe the currently available tools for developing software architectures.

Intended Skill Outcomes

The ability to reason about computer environments and to be able to choose from a variety of potential solutions to address the problem in hand.
The ability to demonstrate how networking technologies may be utilized in a manner that makes possible service provision via a heterogeneous distributed computing environment (e.g., DNS).
The ability to use a number of systems software and computing tools (e.g., scripting in UNIX operating systems).
The ability to use a number of popular software packages to satisfy quite specific user requirements (mathematical analysis tools, databases, office style applications).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion260:3013:00Revision for end of semester exam & exam duration
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion221:0022:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00Practicals
Guided Independent StudyProject work111:0011:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study211:0021:00Background reading
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be used to introduce the learning material and for demonstrating the key concepts by example. Students are expected to follow-up lectures within a few days by re-reading and annotating lecture notes to aid deep learning.

This is a very practical subject, and it is important that the learning materials are supported by hands-on opportunities provided by practical classes. Students are expected to spend time on coursework outside timetabled practical classes.

Students aiming for 1st class marks are expected to widen their knowledge beyond the content of lecture notes through background reading.

Students should set aside sufficient time to revise for the end of semester exam.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A75N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M25Approx 2 pieces of coursework of equal weight (11 hours each)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

A combination of an unseen exam and practical exercises aiming to test students’ understanding of theory and provide them with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply it.

Study abroad students may request to take their exam before the semester 1 exam period, in which case the length of the exam may differ from that show in the MOF.

N.B. This module has both “Exam Assessment” and “Other Assessment” (e.g. coursework). If the total mark for either assessment falls below 40%, the maximum mark returned for the module will normally be 40%.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 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 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.