Operating Systems and Architecture - COMP5270

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module aims to provide students with a more in-depth understanding of the fundamental behaviour and components (hardware and software) of a typical computer system, and how they collaborate to manage resources and provide services. It will consider systems other than the standard PC running Windows, in order to broaden students' outlook. The module has two strands: "Operating Systems" and "Architecture", which each form around 50% of the material.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 24
Private study hours: 126
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

A1 – On line quiz (10%)
A2 – Practical class (10%)
A3 – Assessment, 10 hours (20%)
Two-hour examination (60%)

Indicative reading

Introduction to Operating Systems: Behind the Desktop, John English. Published by Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. ISBN 0-333-99012-9.
Structured Computer Organization (International Edition), 6th edition, Andrew S Tanenbaum and Todd Austin. Published by Pearson, 2012. ISBN 0-273-76924-3.
Applied Operating System Concepts (most variants), Abraham Silberschatz, Peter Galvin and Greg Gagne. Published by John Wiley and Sons Inc. 1999. ISBN 0-471-36508-4

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Have an appreciation of modern computer architecture.
Understand the operation of computer systems, both at the hardware and software level, and understand the relationship between hardware and software within the system as a whole.
Understand the need for operating systems and be aware of their overall structure.
Be able to identify and explain issues relating to performance of systems and user programs.
Understand hardware support for high level languages and be aware of the relationship between compilers, compiled code and the operating system, and its effect on performance.
Be able to understand and modify existing operating systems as necessary. [


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.