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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: COM1019 Module Title: COMPUTER TECHNOLOGY
Module Provider: Computing Short Name: COM1019
Level: HE1 Module Co-ordinator: CLARK JY Dr (Computing)
Number of credits: 10 Number of ECTS credits: 5
Module Availability
Spring Semester
Assessment Pattern

Assessment Pattern


Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting Towards Module Mark( %)




2 hour examination




Coursework (group)


The learning outcomes to be covered by this coursework are:


  • appreciate how the basic data objects (e.g. integers, floats, characters, pointers) manipulated by a processor (CPU) are handled;


describe how a computer's instruction set describes the operations undertaken












Qualifying Condition(s) 


A weighted aggregate of 40% is required to pass the module.



Module Overview

Module Overview


This module provides an understanding of the underlying computer architecture and internal operation of computer systems, and will enable students to understand system specifications, in particular those of personal computers, and to obtain maximum performance and reliability.



Module Aims


Module Aims


This module introduces many of the aspects of computer hardware and technology that support programs written in high-level programming languages. This is presented in the context of historical, current and future trends.







Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module, a successful student will be able to:



·         appreciate how the basic data objects (e.g. integers, floats, characters, pointers) manipulated by a processor (CPU) are handled;


·         summarise the basic structure of a computer system;


·         describe how a computer's instruction set describes the operations undertaken, and how streams of such instructions define the behaviour of of high-level programming language constructs;


·         reason about the operation and performance of memory caches and simple virtual memory subsystems;


·         understand  how compilation, assembly and linking tools convert high-level language programs into a runnable form



Module Content

Module Content


·         Introduction: computer components, functions and interconnections, the Von Neumann Model



·         I/O Support hardware, peripheral devices



·         Computer arithmetic: integer and floating point representations; arithmetic operations



·         The Structure of a Processor (CPU): the arithmetic unit; data pathways; registers; cache memory



·         Buses and memory addressing, fetch-execute clock cycles, stacks



·         Instruction sets: characteristics; instruction formats and execution; addressing modes; pipelined execution; interrupts



·         Assembly language and translation



·         Operating System Support: virtual memory management; linking & loading; file systems




Methods of Teaching/Learning

Methods of Teaching/Learning


Lectures and lab sessions:


20 hours in 10 weeks in the Spring Semester, consisting of:


·         10 one-hour lectures (1 per week)


·         10 hours of lab classes (1 hour per week)



There will be one compulsory assignment (coursework)


Selected Texts/Journals

Selected Texts/Journals


Recommended Reading :



Blundell, B.G. (2008). Computer Hardware. Thomson Fasttrack Series.


ISBN 978-1-84480-751-2 (paperback)



Other Resources:



Patterson, D. & Hennessy, J.L. (2009). Computer Organization and Design – The Hardware/Software Interface. Elsevier (Morgan Kaufmann),



Murdocca, M. & Heuring, V. (2007). Computer Architecture and Organization – An Integrated Approach. Wiley, .


ISBN 978-0-471-73388-1 (hardback)



Tanenbaum, A.S. (1999). Structured Computer Organization. Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ, .


ISBN 0-13-020435-8 (paperback)


Last Updated

AUG 2010 JG