Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham


  • At least two level 2 Computer Science modules including Programming Paradigms (COMP2221)


Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Contemporary Computer Science III (40 credits)


  • To introduce students to advanced topics in Computer Science that are finding application in modern technology.
  • To introduce students to novel topics in Computer Science that have significant potential to impact upon future applications of Computer Science.
  • To study two topics on contemporary aspects of Computer Science.


  • Topics will be selected that are currently provoking widespread interest as regards applications (current and potential) or research and development. Such topics include:
  • GPU computing.
  • Quantum computation.
  • Algorithmic issues of the World Wide Web.
  • Bioinformatics.
  • Data mining.
  • Multi-agent systems.
  • Computer Aided Geometric Design.
  • Photorealistic and physically accurate computer graphics.
  • Visualising complexity and uncertainty.
  • Empirical experiment design for computing.
  • Novel high performance computing architectures and systems.
  • Security
  • Network analysis

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an understanding of how Computer Science impacts on emerging areas in Science and Technology
  • an in-depth knowledge of different paradigms and techniques from two areas of contemporary Computer Science
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • that significant self-study has been undertaken and research reviewed in each of the two topic areas
  • an ability to independently evaluate research issues related to the two topic areas including current practices, recent developments and further areas of possible exploration
  • an ability to implement key algorithms within the topic areas
Key Skills:

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

    • Lectures enable the students to learn new material relevant to novel directions in and applications of Computer Science.
    • Students are assessed by formative and summative assessment and examinations.

    Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

    Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
    lectures 44 2 per week 1 hour 44
    problem classes 4 2 each in terms 1 and 2 2 hours 8
    preparation and reading 148
    Total 200

    Summative Assessment

    Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Examination 1.5 hours 100%
    Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 50%
    Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
    Practical work 100% No

    Formative Assessment:

    Example formative exercises are given during the course. Additional revison lectures may be arranged in the module's lecture slots in the 3rd term.

    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