Module title: Computer Systems

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CSN07105
Module leader: Sean McKeown
School School of Computing
Subject area group: Cyber Security and Networking

There are no pre-requisites for this module to be added

2019/0, Trimester 1, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Sean McKeown
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Two hours per week are given to a lecture programme that aims to introduce and develop the core principles of computer systems (LO1), computer networks (LO2), Operating Systems (LO3) and basic security (LO3). A further two hours is used to develop hands-on practical, information-gathering and writing skills. This is achieved using supervised tutorial exercises. In general, lectures are used to introduce underlying principles and the practical and tutorial work is used to broaden and develop a deeper understanding of the subject area (LO1,2,3).
The teaching material is supported using a combination of tutorials, quizzes and other computer-based resources. Student progress is monitored through tutorials, practical exercises and optional quizzes. In doing so the students will provide evidence that they are understanding the core concepts.
Moodle is used as the central repository for all courseware and is used to encourage discussion forums on current module issues as well as related topics and wider resources.
Students are also expected to undertake private study to work through the learning material and consult the additional resources/quizzes available via the Moodle. This private study is very important for the coursework, though the fundamental concepts will be developed in practical sessions prior to releasing the coursework specification.

Formative Assessment:
Formative assessment largely takes place during the timetabled tutorial sessions where students are expected to present evidence of both their written and practical work.
Feedback is provided to students on a one-to-one basis through discussion with the class tutor, allowing individual strengths and weaknesses to be highlighted in a timely fashion. Students may also attempt optional Moodle quizzes with automated feedback to ensure they are correctly understanding the material

Summative Assessment:
Summative assessment is implemented through a combination of coursework and a class test. The material for the coursework (covering LO1) will be completely delivered by the half-way mark of the module, with the assignment being made available several weeks before the due date (see below).
The class test will take place during the regular practical slot in the lab during the week indicated below. The class test is closed-book, with a duration of 90 minutes. The test primarily covers LO2 and LO3, but touches on elements of LO1 which were not assessed in the coursework. All students will receive general feedback on each test question. Questions with lower average scores across the whole class will be covered again in the lecture so that students may learn from their mistakes. Where appropriate, students will also receive personalised feedback for questions where it is clear that a misunderstanding of the material has occurred.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 24
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 24
Independent Learning Guided independent study 152
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Practical Skills Assessment 40 1 10 HOURS= 30, WORDS= 0
Class Test 60 1,2,3 13 HOURS= 1.5, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The primary aim of the module is to familiarise students with the basic operating principles of modern computer systems. This includes understanding the basic components of a computer, how data is represented and operated on, and how programs are executed at a low level. As modern computers gain much of their utility from networked resources, it is important to also provide students with a basic understanding of how computers communicate with each other. Finally, the module covers basic Operating Systems concepts which allow computing resources to be utilised effectively, with some discussion on the role of security in modern computing.

Learning Outcomes for module:

LO1:Outline the architectural structure and operating principles of a computer

LO2: Outline the operating principles of modern networked systems

LO3: Describe the roles of the Operating System and security in modern computing environments

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

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