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Introduction to Computer Systems


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 4
  • Module convenor and tutor: Keith Mannock
  • Assessment: problem-solving worksheets (100%)

Module description

This is a first introduction to the principles and structures that underlie computing.

Indicative module content

  • History of computing
  • Structure of a computer
  • Algorithms
  • Databases
  • Data storage
  • Data manipulation
  • Data abstractions
  • Operating systems
  • Networking and the internet
  • Software engineering
  • Theory of computation
  • Number representations
  • Boolean algebra
  • File management

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate a preliminary understanding of the basic structure of a computer
  • understand and use basic binary representations of data
  • understand and use the basic control systems in computer programs
  • convert between decimal, binary and floating-point representations
  • understand and use simple error-correcting codes
  • construct simple logical circuits
  • program in a simplified machine language
  • recognise simple deadlock and race condition situations
  • perform simple data modelling and simple queries in a relational database
  • understand the concept of an algorithm and their properties
  • explain the idea behind encryption and perform related calculations
  • describe basic elements from software engineering methods.