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CS126 Design of Information Structures

CS126-15 Design of Information Structures

Academic year
Computer Science
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Charilaos Efthymiou
Credit value
Module duration
10 weeks
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

CS126 is all about data structures and how to program them.

We are interested in: what common data structures exist; how we can program those data structures; how we can represent them efficiently; how we can reason about them (in a formal manner).
We are also interested in common algorithms that use data structures, including: searching for data; sorting data.

Module aims

The module aims for students to:

  • gain familiarity with the specification, implementation and use of some standard abstract data types (ADTs) such as linked-lists, stacks, queues, graphs etc.
  • learn some standard algorithms for common tasks (such as searching and sorting) and some elementary methods of measuring the complexity, and of showing the correctness, of algorithms;
  • learn how to program with non-standard ADTs using an
    object-oriented language.
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

  • Types and their properties: simple types in programming languages; relationship between familiar mathematical and program objects of given type. Using predicate logic to state properties of types and their operations in terms of pre- and post-conditions.
  • Abstract data types: specification of familiar abstract objects (eg complex numbers, sets, sequences, matrices) and their operations, comparison with their implementation using a typical programming language. Specification and implementation of some important standard types (eg strings, stacks and queues).
  • Algorithms: relationship between data structures and algorithms; some standard algorithms for searching, sorting and pattern matching. Elementary analysis of complexity. Reasoning about the correctness of the implementation of simple algorithms.
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • After completing CS126 Design of Information Structures, a student should be familiar with a range of standard ADTs and how they can be used to accomplish common programming tasks.
  • After completing CS126 Design of Information Structures, a student should be able to assess the complexity and correctness of simple algorithms, and choose appropriate algorithms for simple tasks.
  • After completing CS126 Design of Information Structures, a student should have practical experience of designing user-defined ADTs, and associated algorithms, for a non-standard application.
Indicative reading list

Please see Talis Aspire link for most up to date list.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Subject specific skills
  • Specifying abstract data types and implementing them in an object-oriented programming language
  • Estimating the asymptotic running time of simple algorithms
  • Using basic data structures to implement efficient algorithms
Transferable skills
  • Creative problem solving

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 30 sessions of 1 hour (20%)
Practical classes 8 sessions of 2 hours (11%)
Private study 104 hours (69%)
Total 150 hours
Private study description
  • Background reading.
  • Creative problem solving, either individually or in groups.
  • Programming for the lab assignments and coursework.
  • Revision.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.

Assessment group C3
Weighting Study time
Lab sessions 10%

Marked Laboratory sessions.

Programming assignment 40%

Programming Assignment.. This assignment is worth more than 3 CATS and is not, therefore, eligible for self-certification.

In-person Examination 50%


  • Answerbook Green (8 page)
Assessment group R1
Weighting Study time
In-person Examination - Resit 100%

Resit Examination

~Platforms - AEP

  • Answerbook Pink (12 page)
Feedback on assessment

Mark and written feedback for coursework returned via Tabula.

Past exam papers for CS126


Students must have studied the material in CS118 or MA117


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of UCSA-G500 Undergraduate Computer Science
  • Year 1 of UCSA-G503 Undergraduate Computer Science MEng
  • Year 1 of UCSA-I1N1 Undergraduate Computer Science with Business Studies
  • Year 1 of UCSA-G406 Undergraduate Computer Systems Engineering
  • Year 1 of UCSA-G408 Undergraduate Computer Systems Engineering
  • Year 1 of UCSA-GN51 Undergraduate Computer and Business Studies
  • Year 1 of USTA-G302 Undergraduate Data Science
  • Year 1 of USTA-G304 Undergraduate Data Science (MSci)
  • Year 1 of UCSA-G4G1 Undergraduate Discrete Mathematics
  • Year 1 of UCSA-G4G3 Undergraduate Discrete Mathematics

This module is Optional for:

  • Year 1 of USTA-G1G3 Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc MMathStat)
  • Year 1 of USTA-GG14 Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics (BSc)

This module is Option list B for:

  • Year 1 of UMAA-GV18 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy with Intercalated Year

Further Information

Term 2

15 CATS (7.5 ECTS)

Online Material

Additional Information