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CSC1032 : Computer Systems Design and Architectures

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Miss Laura Heels
  • Lecturer: Dr Nick Cook, Dr Sadegh Soudjani
  • Owning School: Computing
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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 how networks interact with operating systems and applications to provide services and share resources among individual systems.

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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion241:0024:00Lecture follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture242:0048:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion24:008:00Preparation for Formative assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion21:002:00Formative assessments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion440:3022:00Revision for exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical242:0048:00Computer classroom
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study461:0046:00Background 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, and on the related Programming Portfolio modules.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A100N/A
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
PC Examination1MMCQ 1 hour Mock Exam
PC Examination2MMCQ 1 hour Mock Exam
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Formative practical exercises are set during lab practical classes. Practical assessment is carried out in project modules in a synoptic manner across the stage.

Written examination assesses students’ formal understanding of subject.

Reading Lists