Catalogue of Modules, University of Nottingham

G51CSA Computer Systems Architecture
(Last Updated:03 May 2017)

Year  13/14

Total Credits: 10

Level: Level 1

Target Students:  Qualifying year undergraduate students in the School of Computer Science. Also available to students from other Schools with the agreement of the module convenor. This module is part of the Operating Systems and Architecture theme in the School of Computer Science and is linked to the Programming theme.  Available to JYA/Erasmus students.
  This Module has been identified as being particularly suitable for first year students, including those from other Schools.

Taught Semesters:

Autumn Assessed by end of Autumn Semester 

Prerequisites: None.


G51PRG Introduction to Programming 

Summary of Content:  Introducing you to the basic architecture of a computer, this module uses simple C programs to introduce assembly language and binary representations of basic data types, such as integers and floating point numbers. You’ll also cover the principles of the lower level implementation of I/O using polling and interrupts, and the use of exceptions. You’ll spend around five hours per week in tutorials, lectures and computer classes for this module. Module Web Links:
  • Reading List
  • Method and Frequency of Class:

    ActivityNumber Of WeeksNumber of sessionsDuration of a session
    Lecture 11 weeks2 per week1 hour
    Computing 11 weeks2 per week1 hour

    Activities may take place every teaching week of the Semester or only in specified weeks. It is usually specified above if an activity only takes place in some weeks of a Semester

    Method of Assessment: 

    Assessment TypeWeightRequirements
    Exam 1 50 1 hr written examination 
    Coursework 1 50 Programming exercise 

    Dr S Bagley

    Education Aims:  To give a broad understanding of the internal operation and structure of a modern PC or workstation. To show how a computer is built up from a relatively simple digital circuit by successive elaboration to form a number of logical layers of functionality; to show that hardware and software are often equivalent in this context. To allow the student to appreciate the typical facilities and mechanisms which underlie the operation of various high-level programming operations and facilities. To allow the student to appreciate the key conceptual steps which underlie the evolution or realisation of a conventional stored-program digital computer.

    Learning Outcomes:  Knowledge and Understanding: To be able to understand simple assembly language programs. To understand the major components (especially hardware) which make up a computer system. Professional Skills To be able to program in assembly language.

    Offering School:  Computer Science

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