School of Computer Science

Module 06-21933 (2010)

Fundamentals: Intro to Computer Science

Level 4/M C

Behzad Bordbar Semester 1 10 credits
Co-ordinator: Behzad Bordbar
Reviewer: Hayo Thielecke

The Module Description is a strict subset of this Syllabus Page.


The aims of this module are to:

  • Introduce the main hardware components of a computer and their function.
  • Explain the role of an operating system and system software.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of computer hardware and software architectures
  • Explain basic functions of computer operating systems
  • Describe common computer network architectures
  • Understand and use some simplified assembly languages

Teaching methods

2 hrs lectures/tutorials per week


  • Sessional: 1.5 hour examination (90%), continuous assessment (10%)
  • Supplementary: 1.5 hour examination only (100%)

Detailed Syllabus

  1. A brief history of the development of the Stored-Program Digital Computer. The von Neumann computer.
  2. Computer Hardware Organisation (Central Processing Unit, Primary and Secondary Memory, Input/Output devices).
  3. Instruction sets (CISC, RISC); Instruction execution cycles; Memory addressing modes; Interrupts.
  4. System Software (Compilers, Interpreters, Assemblers, Loaders)
  5. Operating Systems basic functions (Device Management, Process Management, Memory Management)
  6. Scheduling and Synchronization.
  7. Networks (Topology, Security).
  8. Computability, complexity and correctness.