module specification

CS5001 - Networks and Operating Systems (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Networks and Operating Systems
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
139 hours Guided independent study
71 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   CW1 - a case study and a technical report (2000 words + artefacts) - online submission
Coursework 30%   CW2 - the UNIX command line used record and Shell program - online submission
Unseen Examination 40%   2 hours unseen exam
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Friday Morning

Module summary

This module is aimed at providing students with fundamental concepts of modern operating systems and computer networks. It develops students’ knowledge and transferable skills for future employability. By taking this module the students will gain an understanding of key issues in relation to networking and operating system structures, fundamental issues, and services. This module also aims to provide students with an in-depth knowledge of the operation, function and inter-relation of the major software components of an operating system and the understanding of the hardware-software interface and its control by the operating system, and the insight knowledge of user-system interface.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of level 4 or equivalent


• communication fundamentals: frequency, amplitude, bandwidth, modulation, transmission media, etc. LO1,LO2
• network fundamentals: topologies, protocols, standards, OSI model and TCP/IP protocols, switching, security, compression, encryption, etc. LO1,LO2,LO3
• local area networks and wide area networks,
mobile communications and wireless technology, communications systems and services,
multimedia communications, LO1,LO2,LO3
internet technologies and security, etc.
• main functions of operating systems: process management: process primitives and how they are used by the shell, and  implementation of UNIX processes; memory management: basic memory management and virtual memory; input and output control: principles of I/O software and layers, network interface, etc. LO4,LO5,LO6
• main features of UNIX shells, such as, file management: types of the files, creation, removing and manipulation of files; Shell pipelines and redirection, manipulation of processes,  etc. LO5,LO6
• protection and security in operating systems LO4,LO5
• introduction to network operating systems and distributed systems LO1,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will develop theoretical understanding and practically investigative skills based on weekly lectures, tutorials and supervised workshops.  The workshops, in particular, are designed to support students in gaining practical experience in computer networks and operating systems.

Appropriate blended learning approaches and technologies, such as, the University’s VLE, network design/simulation tools and UNIX shell programming, will be used to facilitate and support student learning, in particular, to:
• deliver content;
• encourage active learning;
• provide formative and summative assessments, and prompt feedback; 
• enhance student engagement and learning experience.

Students will be expected and encouraged to produce reflective commentaries on the learning activities and tasks that they carry out to complete their work.

Learning outcomes

On completion the  module, students should be able to:

LO1. appreciate the basic concepts of computer networks and distributed systems
LO2. demonstrate an understanding of organisational features of network systems
LO3. describe and critically evaluate existing electronic-based services
LO4. understand main processes behind the control of computers, computer systems resources, and interactions
LO5. demonstrate the insight understanding of basic commands of a popular operating system
LO6. implement some functions or control computer system resources by use shell scripts in UNIX environment.

Assessment strategy

There are two pieces of coursework, all individual work.
Coursework 1 is designed to enhance learning either by offering a case study in relation to the network design/implementation supported by a network simulator, or research/investigation on network architecture/models. It requires a technical report (2000 words + artefacts) if based on the case study, or a research report, related to technique issues with computer networks. It’s aimed at developing students’ knowledge, confidence and problem solving strategies [LO1-3].

Coursework 2 is designed for students to master UNIX commands and solve particular problems and control computer system resources by writing a small UNIX script (Shell program). Students will produce a recorded document to show their understanding and the ability to use effectively the command lines for the construction and documentation of computer applications, with particular emphasis on understanding the whole process involved in the effective application of computers to solve practical problems [LO5] [LO6].

In the end of year, exam will be used to assess students’ deeper understanding of the concepts mainly related to [LO1-LO5]. 

Consistent with University policy, formative and summative feedback will be provided at various points throughout the teaching year.


Where possible, the most current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.

Core Text:

• Stallings, W., 2013; Data and Computer Communications, 10th editions; Pearson Education Limited
• Tanenbaum, A. and Bos, H., 2016, A.S.; Modern Operating Systems. 4th edition; Pearson Education Limited

Other Texts:

• Palmer, M (2008); Guide to UNIX Using Linux, 4th edition; Course Technology, CENGAGE Learning; ISBN-10: 0-8400-3101-7
• McHoes A and Flynn I M (2014); Understanding Operating Systems, 7th edition; Course Technology, CENGAGE Learning; ISBN-10: 0-538-47004-6
• Silberschatz, A., Galvin, P., and Gagne, G., 2013, Operating System Concepts, 9th edition, Wiley, ISBN: 9781118063330

• Tutorials on OS:
• Networking tutorials:
• Safari Books Online

Electronic Databases:
• ACM Digital Library
• IEEE Xplore/IET Digital Library
• Wiley Online Library

Social Media Sources