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CSC2035 : Software Systems Design and Implementation

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Rouaa Yassin Kassab
  • Lecturer: 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: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0
European Credit Transfer System


To introduce the design and implementation of software systems.

There are factors that we must take into account when designing and implementing software systems that either do not arise in application development or are less critical in application development. These include the longevity of systems compared to applications, agreement on shared abstractions that are often codified in interfaces and standards, and the conservation of resources to maximise their availability to applications. This module gives students an appreciation of such factors and their implications for good design and software development in general.

Operating systems and their extension to networks of systems are used as exemplars. The lessons drawn from their design and implementation are applicable not only to other systems but also to good applications design. The appreciation of their general applicability and the trade-offs involved will inform any future software development students undertake.

The module is directly related to and builds on the Stage 1 module CSC1032 on Computer Systems Design and Architectures.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module is organised into three strands: operating systems, networks of systems and practical systems development work that complements and exemplifies the other two strands.

In operating systems, the focus will be on processes and memory management, scheduling and the need for, and mechanisms to achieve, inter-process communication and concurrency control. In networks we cover the fundamental abstractions presented by the Internet, with a particular focus on achieving reliable communication over an unreliable network of networks.

Specific topics covered in the theoretical strands include:
- the process model and process lifecycle
- process address space and isolation and virtual memory
- process implementation
- scheduling requirements and algorithms
- concurrent execution and mechanisms for data sharing
- the mutual exclusion problem and the implementation of solutions
- network topologies
- network protocols
- network layers and their realisation in TCP/IP
- internetworking and reliable communication

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Coursework 1
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture331:0033:00Present in Person (PiP) lectures preferably in lecture theatre or scheduled online seminar.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion361:0036:00Revision for exam
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Non-synchronous online lectures and related material.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion12:002:00Exam
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Coursework 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical112:0022:00PiP supervised practical labs, in flat floor labs.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading441:0044:00Lecture preparation and follow-up
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical111:0011:00PiP supervised practical labs, in flat floor labs.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops111:0011:00PiP practical demonstration/exemplification of lecture material, in flat floor lab.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study501:0050:00Background reading, technical investigation and programming practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Techniques and theory are presented in lectures and related material and cover core concepts. Additional reading and technical background facilitates systems programming and development. Practical activities and workshops provide students with application experience of the techniques and theories taught, assessed through systems implementation in their project work.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination1201A70N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report1M15Software implementation
Practical/lab report1M15Software 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
Lab exercise1MExercises and quizzes to support learning and summative assessments
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Coursework will assess systems programming and the application of good systems design principles. Formative assessment exercises and quizzes will support learning. Examination will assess understanding of theoretical concepts. Present-in-Person assessment.

Reading Lists