Systems Architecture - CO883

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn 7 15 (7.5) DR R Grigore checkmark-circle


This module covers the hardware and software components that computational devices and systems are built from. It addresses their relationship with each other and also the services that they provide to application software and users.


This module appears in the following module collections.

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 25
Private study hours: 125
Total study hours: 150

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods
Practical assessment (10 hours) (12.5%)
In course test (1 hour) (12.5%)
2 hour unseen examination (75%)

13.2 Reassessment methods
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Indicative reading

Baer, J. (2010). Microprocessor architecture: from simple pipelines to chip multiprocessors. Cambridge University Press.
English, J. (2004). Introduction to Operating Systems. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kaufman, M. (2013). Computer Organisation and Design, Fifth Edition. Patterson and Hennessy.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

8. The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
8.1 Have a systematic understanding of modern computer systems architecture including hardware and operating system components, the interrelations and interactions between them.
8.2 Have a critical awareness of the influence of hardware and operating system design on each other, the resulting trade-offs and current problems.
8.3 Be able to use a modern server-strength operating system and select appropriate tools for common tasks.

9. The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Be able to analyse complex systems systematically.
9.2 Be able to evaluate such systems, and allow for possible trade-offs.
9.3 Be able to apply the relevant mathematical techniques.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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