Module Catalogues

Computer Architecture and Operating Systems

Module Title Computer Architecture and Operating Systems
Module Level Level 1
Module Credits 5.00

Aims and Fit of Module

The module aims to introduce how computers function at the instruction operation level, and the relationships between the instruction operation level and both the higher (software) and lower (hardware) levels.
It introduces students to the structure and functionality of modern operating systems, and explains how the principal components of computer-based systems perform their functions and how they interact with each other.

Learning outcomes

A	Describe the structure and operation of computer hardware at the register transfer level.
B Implement simple algorithms at the level of machine code.
C Describe the overall structure and functionality of a modern operating system and its interactions with computer hardware and user processes.
D Construct programs that involve the management of concurrent processes.

Method of teaching and learning

The teaching philosophy of the module follows very much the philosophy of Syntegrative Education. This has meant that the teaching delivery pattern, which follows more intensive block teaching, allows more meaningful contribution from industry partners. This philosophy is carried through also in terms of assessment, with reduction on the use of exams and increase in coursework, especially problem-based assessments that are project focused. The delivery pattern provides space in the semester for students to concentrate on completing the assessments.
This module will be delivered by a combination of lectures, seminars and labs. Lecture - Students will be expected to attend formal lectures in a typical week. Formal lectures will be used to introduce students to the concepts and methods covered by the module, reinforced by practical illustrations and exercises using systems available to the students (Linux, Windows, Java).
 Practicals - Students will be expected to attend supervised computer lab practicals in a typical week. Computer lab practicals are intended to allow students to undertake practical exercises with the possibility of immediate feedback.
 Private study - In a typical week, students will be expected to devote approximately 6 hours of unsupervised time to private study; private study will provide time for reflection and consideration of lecture material and background reading and completion of the assessment tasks.
 Assessment - Continuous assessment will be used to test to what extent practical skills have been learnt. A final examination at the end of the module will assess the academic achievement of students.