CSC8304 : Computing Environments for Bioinformatics

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To identify the appropriate manner with which bioinformatics services may be provided by a variety of different enabling technologies and presented in a cohesive manner to users. The module provides an elementary introduction to some important topics of computer science that are relevant for bioinformaticians. These topics include Computer Architecture, Data Storage, and Systems Administration.

Outline Of Syllabus

Introduction to Computer Architecture,
CPU/Memory/HD/Network bound computation,
Data Storage (including relational other databases),
Data Transfer (XML),
System Administration.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Lectures
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 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.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination901A50Open book exam.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M501 exercise. Max 1,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment has two components: coursework and exam. The coursework assesses the practical skills and is made of components focusing on sets of such skills, allowing separate assessment of these sets of skills. The exam covers the whole course and offers the students a choice from several questions. The exam assesses bookwork material and also the application of the learned knowledge in designing solutions to relevant problems (e.g. databases, programs).

Study abroad students considering this module should contact the School to discuss its availability and assessment.

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%.

Reading Lists