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ES2C4 Computer Architecture and Systems

  • Module code: ES2C4
  • Module name: Computer Architecture and Systems
  • Department: School of Engineering
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To provide practical knowledge of how digital computing systems are designed, how they function, and how to program them.

Principal learning outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to: • Represent different types of data in binary and perform arithmetic operations on them. • Explain how low-level instructions correspond to the operation of a processor microarchitecture and how complex programs can be decomposed into such instructions. • Explain the functionality of the basic components in a processor architecture. • Explain how external peripherals and memory are interfaced with a processor through a variety of interfaces. • Write microcontroller programs in C that go beyond a single iteration loop, taking advantage of interrupts and timers, and communicating with external peripherals.

Timetabled teaching activities

Lectures (20 x 1hr) Laboratories (6 x 2hrs) Revision Classes (2 x 1hr) Total 34 hours

Departmental link

Other essential notes

Advice and feedback hours for answering questions on the lecture material (theory and examples) and past examination questions. Guided reading and online tutorial material to be accessed in advance of module commencement. Laboratories support the design assignments.

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: ES2C4-15)
D (Assessed/examined work) Design Assignment 1 (6 pages) 20%
  Design Assignment 2 (6 pages) 20%
  2 hour examination (Summer) 60%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • Undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering (H605) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering MEng (H606) - Year 2
  • BEng Electronic Engineering (H63W) - Year 2
  • MEng Electronic Engineering (H63X) - Year 2
Optional Core


  • BSc Engineering (H112) - Year 2
  • BEng Engineering (H113) - Year 2
  • MEng Engineering (H114) - Year 2
  • BEng Biomedical Systems Engineering (H161) - Year 2
  • MEng Biomedical Systems Engineering (H163) - Year 2
  • BEng Civil Engineering (H216) - Year 2
  • MEng Civil Engineering (H217) - Year 2
  • MEng Systems Engineering (HH31) - Year 2
  • BEng Systems Engineering (HH35) - Year 2
  • BSc Engineering and Business Studies (HN11) - Year 2