Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap
Tied to


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • Embedded systems are increasingly used in networked and/or distributed applications. This imposes additional real-time and performance constraints, which have to be traded off against concurrency and reliability opportunities. The module addresses both basic principles and advanced applications.


  • Motivation and scope of embedded systems: overview; architectures; predictability
  • Embedded system specification: tasks and deadlines; environment models
  • Embedded system design: concurrency; communication
  • Embedded system implementation: networking for embedded systems; real-time operating systems (RTOS); worst case response time analysis
  • Testing, verification, and certification of embedded systems

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • specialist knowledge: motivation and scope of embedded systems; embedded system specification; embedded system implementation; testing, verification and certification of embedded systems
  • practical design skills: embedded system design
  • design integration: embedded system design which requires integration of networking and distributed technologies
  • engineering of software systems: embedded system specification; embedded system design; embedded system implementation testing, verification and certification of embedded systems
  • professional skills: testing, verification and certification of embedded systems
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • The module comprises 1 week's intensive directed reading and laboratory exercises; 5 days of lectures, tutorials, and reading, and two weeks undertaking a major laboratory assignment. The overall workload conforms to the standard SLAT requirement of 150 hours equivalent to 15 credits.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 10 2 per day in week 2 1 hour 10
      Tutorials 4 weekly 1 hour 4
      Practicals 5 daily in week 1 6 hours 30
      Laboratory 10 daily in weeks 3 and 4 6 hous 60
      Preparation and Reading 46
      Total 150

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Laboratory report Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      Laboratory report 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Staged written feedback of laboratory and practical work by staff/demonstrators.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University