Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2022-2023 (archived)


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Not available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • COMP1071 Computer Systems


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide understanding of the relationship between hardware and software, and the design, implementation and verification of hardware and software in these situations.
  • To provide understanding of how performance and security of computer systems are affected by their architecture.


  • Computer Architecture including current processor characteristics and designs
  • instruction set design
  • memory systems: cache design and performance
  • processor architecture and security

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • The relationship between Computer Instruction Sets and High Level Programming Languages;
  • Complex performance issues of current computers, and the selection of processors for specific applications;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • An awareness of current technology, design analysis, and commercial practice and the ability to bring these together to provide innovative solutions for digital systems.
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • Capacity for self-learning in familiar and unfamiliar situations;
  • General problem solving 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 modern computer architecture and its implications
  • Examinations in assess an understanding of core concepts and applications.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 22 2 per week 1 hour 22
preparation and reading 78
total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% No

Formative Assessment:

Example exercises set and reviewed in lectures

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