Electronic & Software Engineering BEng/BSc/MEng

Computing Science - 1S Systems COMPSCI1018

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Computing Science
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 1 (SCQF level 7)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

CS1S introduces the fundamentals of computer systems, including representation of information, digital circuits, processor organisation, machine language, and the relation between hardware and software systems.


22 lectures taught at 2 per week, Tuesday and Thursday 12pm, and a two-hour laboratory session weekly (apart from first week), in Semester 2.

Excluded Courses



Either CS1P or CS1CT


Examination 80%, Coursework 20%. 


Two pieces of assessed coursework, each 10% of total assessment: (1) a set of online quizzes, and (2) assembly language programming.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The coursework cannot be redone because feedback provided to the students after the original coursework would give any students redoing the coursework an unfair advantage.

Course Aims

The aim of Computing Science 1S is to give students an understanding of the structure and function of a computer system at a range of levels, including number systems, logic gates and circuits, the organisation of a CPU, machine and assembly language, how high level language constructs are realised in assembly language, and the operating system. The emphasis is on the connections between the levels of abstraction in a computer system.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

1. Demonstrate an understanding of data representation, including bits, words, binary, and two's complement;

2.  Demonstrate understanding of the main subsystems in a processor architecture, including control and data registers, memory, and input/output;

3.  Write a simple program in assembly language and run it using suitable tools;

4.  Demonstrate understanding of the representation of instructions;

5.  Demonstrate an understanding of the execution of machine language programs by the CPU in terms of the fetch-execute cycle;

6.  Design and simulate simple synchronous logic circuits, comprising logic gates and delay flip flops;

7.  Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between the architecture and high-level programming languages.

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, and satisfy requirements on attendance and formative assessment as laid out in course documentation.