School of Computer Science

Module 06-21933 (2013)

Fundamentals: Intro to Computer Science

Level 4/M C

Steven Vickers Semester 1 10 credits
Co-ordinator: Steven Vickers
Reviewer: John Barnden

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


The module will explore some of the fundamentals of computer science. Topics will include: introduction to number systems, the relationship between software and hardware, program structure, algorithms, data structures and their analysis.


The aims of this module are to:

Introduce the fundamentals of stored program computing Introduce the reasoning principles for object-oriented computing

Learning Outcomes

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

1 Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of computer hardware and software architectures
2 Explain the relation between high level and low level code
3 Explain and apply basic principles for reasoning about high level code
4 Explain the main principles of object-oriented programming

Taught with

  • 06-21978 - ICY Introduction to Computer Science

Teaching methods

2 hrs lectures/tutorials per week

Contact Hours: 24


Sessional: 1.5 hour examination (80%), continuous assessment (20%)

Supplementary (where allowed): 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.

Programmes containing this module