Computer Architecture and Network Systems COMPSCI2027

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces students to low level systems, particularly focusing on computer architecture and network communication levels. Their understanding of low-level systems should be used to bridge the gap between hardware operations and running code, which will strengthen their understanding of how computers work in general.



Requirements of Entry

Entry to Level 2 is guaranteed to students who achieve a GPA of D3 or better in their level 1 courses at the first sitting.

Excluded Courses



Data Storage and Retrieval

User Interaction


Written examination 60%, 2 X Coursework (20%), In-Class Quizzes (10%), and Lab/Tutorial Assessment (10%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

This course aims to develop the student's understanding of low-level systems and communications with the understanding that a deeper, richer understanding of these elements of computing will strengthen their understanding of the high level day-to-day systems that they are likely to encounter.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course, students will be able to: 

1. Define the structure and functionality in a computer system at range of levels. 

2. Describe how high-level language constructs run in assembly language and computer operating systems. 

3. Define the basic principles of network systems, the concepts of a protocol, and the importance of layering in the design in a network. 

4. Discuss how systems are connected together to form a network, how networks form an internet and how data is reliably delivered across the internet. 

5. Define common web protocols and how they run on the internet.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.