module specification

CT4005 - Computer Hardware and Software Architectures (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Computer Hardware and Software Architectures
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Computing and Digital Media
Total study hours 300
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
210 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
In-Course Test 20%   In-Class Test (unseen)
Practical Examination 30%   Practical unseen examination
Unseen Examination 50%   Unseen examination
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Afternoon
Year (Spring and Summer) North - -

Module summary

The module introduces students to the basics of Information Technology; past, current and future trend in computer systems.   The detailed design of a small scale Computer Systems is presented where students have the opportunity to build, configure and test a computer system for a given application. Students will identify the basic features of the Windows operating system and its elements. Health Safety issues and the safe disposal of equipment is also covered leading to an understanding and appreciation of social, ethical, environmental and economic issues related to computer’s hardware and software element. The module aims to
1. To introduce students to the fundamental concepts of Information Technology and basic networking,
2. To provide a working technical knowledge of modern computer systems and their respective components,
3. To introduce Operating systems by focusing on Windows products, identifying similarities and differences,
4. Identify the correct approach to preventive maintenance and upgrading, and troubleshooting
5. Introducing students to Assembly language and how it interacts with hardware
6. Awareness of social, environmental, commercial and economic aspects of PC technology


Introduction to Information Technology LO1,LO2,LO5
Basic Digital Logic Elements
Microprocessors ; past, current and future
Computer Architecture, elements and their operation in a typical computer system
The relationship and role of hardware and software
Assembly language programming
The design of Computer Hardware architecture, typical examples.  Memory types and IO peripherals,

The detailed design of a small-scale computer system LO1,LO2,LO3
Communications Channel; Serial, USB etc...
Operating system fundamentals;  Windows 9x NT/2000 and XP
Advanced hardware fundamentals, High performance systems
Servers Architectures and applications
Printers and printing

Preventative maintenance and upgrading LO3,LO4,LO5
Troubleshooting hardware and software
Current trends in Computer hardware / software architecture
Ethical, social, environmental, and economical issues related to computer hardware and software, users vs. designers

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The teaching and learning strategy for this module is a combination of lectures and intensive laboratory work. Group or team work is encouraged and reinforced at the laboratory sessions but assessed individually.

Learning outcomes


At the end of this module students should be able to:
LO1. Describe wireless radio technologies, topologies and IEEE 802.11 wireless standards.
LO2. Configure and install wireless access points, bridges, adapters, and antennae.
LO3. Select appropriate design, installation, configuration and monitoring WLAN;
LO4. Identify wireless security threats and vulnerabilities;
LO5. Evaluate emerging wireless technologies.

Assessment strategy

The module has three separate assessment elements.  The first test will be in week 6 of the first semester for the purpose of providing comprehensive feedback to all covering learning outcome LO1, LO2 and LO3.  The second element of the assessment is the practical examination in week 30 covering LO1, LO3, LO4, LO5 and LO6.  The test and the practical examination provide 50% of the assessment mark.  The final formal assessment will be an unseen examination held in week 30 covering LO1, LO2, LO3, LO5 and LO6.

Formative: Students are given formative feedback at a very early stage of the module
Summative: all exams upon completion provide individual feedback to the student.
Students are given individual feedback for the case study.


All course material is available on-line
CISCO Networking Academy Program ,  IT Essentials: PC Hardware and Software, Companion Guide
CompTIA A+ Certification All-in-One Exam Guide, Seventh EditionISBN-10: 9780071701334