Skip to main content

Computer Organisation and Systems Software


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: Dr Carl Barton
  • Assessment: an online quiz (50%) and two-hour examination (50%)

Module description

In this module you will become familiar with the main parts of a computer, their functions and interconnections. You will also learn the main functions of the operating system and how it interacts with the hardware.

Indicative syllabus

  • Computer architecture (CA) and operating system (OS) overview
  • Processors
  • Processes and threads
  • Concurrency
  • Memory management
  • Input/Output and file systems

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • understand the fundamental components of a computer and how they interact
  • understand how operating systems manage and assign computational resources
  • understand the basic architectural design consideration for designing computer systems and how design influences performance
  • understand the difference between processes and threads and be able to use algorithms for scheduling, synchronisation, communication, allocation
  • be able to write and understand simple machine code.