Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2024-2025


Department: Computer Science


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2024/2025 Module Cap Location Durham


  • COMP1071 Computer Systems


  • COMP1071 Computer Systems, unless taken before.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To extend students' understanding of the principles and practices of programming and using different computer systems.


  • Distributed Systems: Technologies for coordinating a collection of networked systems and resources to work as a single large system, which include system architectures, distributed system programming, data replication, fault tolerance and load distribution.
  • Networks: Technologies in supporting data communications, which include network architectures, protocols, and standards, addressing and routing methodologies, socket programming, and multimedia content transmission.
  • Security: Fundamental principles of secure computing required to minimise the impact of adversaries against software systems and communications.
  • Databases: Advanced design and query of databases across both structured and semi-structured data (XML), in addition to aspects of transaction and concurrency control.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an understanding of the technologies used in setting up, supporting and using various computer networks and systems
  • an understanding of using suitable programming principles and applications in computer networks and systems to solve practical problems
  • an understanding of the core concepts of computer security, common attack vectors and appropriate countermeasures
  • an understanding of the core principles of a good database construction, common concurrency issues and methods to guarantee correctness in concurrent transactions.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate:
  • an ability to implement, work with and reason about different types of computer systems
  • an ability to apply the core principles and use specific software tools related to data representation, security, network communication and distributed programming
Key Skills:
  • On completion of the module, students will be able to demonstrate an ability to communicate technical information in a scientific fashion.

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 computer systems and networks, and the methodologies of the subject area.
  • Practical classes enable the students to put into practice learning from lectures and strengthen their understanding through application.
  • Formative and summative assessments assess the application of methods and techniques, and examinations in addition assess an understanding of core concepts.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
lectures 42 2 per week 1 hour 42
practical classes 18 1 per week 2 hours 36
preparation and reading 122
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Examination 2 hours 100% Yes
Component: Coursework Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Practical work 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Example formative exercises are given during the course.

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