module specification

CS5051 - An Introduction to Networks and Operating Systems (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title An Introduction to Networks and Operating Systems
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
69 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   CW a case study and a technical report 2000 words + artefacts online submission
In-Course Test 40%   1.5 hour Class test
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

.The aim of this module is to provide students with an overview of operating systems and computer networks, and provide a foundation for developing web-enabled business such as E-business and E-commence in a business setting. Students will gain a basic understanding of key issues in relation to networking structures, systems, and services. This module is also aimed to provide students with a general understanding of the operation, function and inter-relation of major software components of an operating system, an understanding of the hardware-software interface and its control by the operating system, and the knowledge of user-system interface.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion level 4 or equivalent


• networking fundamentals, standards and models LO1, LO2
• network topologies and architectures LO2,LO3
• OSI 7 layer and TCP/IP protocols LO2 ,LO3
• network media and devices LO3,LO4
• network servers, services, security, etc. LO3,LO4
• functions of operating systems, such as UNIX LO5,LO6
• systems resource management: file, process, memory, and input/output LO5,LO6

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 this module, students should be able to:

LO1. appreciate the basic concepts of computer networks
LO2. demonstrate a general understanding of computer networks
LO3. understand main features of network systems
LO4. describe existing electronic-based services
LO5. demonstrate an understanding of the control of computers, computer systems resources, and interactions
LO6. demonstrate the insight understanding of basic commands of a popular operating system

Assessment strategy

Module assessment includes one piece of coursework and an exam.
Coursework 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 (1000 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- LO3].

In the end of the semester, exam will be used to assess students’ deeper understanding of the concepts mainly in relation to [LO1 - LO6]. 

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


Identify core and additional reading
Liaise with Library Services to confirm availability of on-line licenses in academic 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


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

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

Social Media Sources