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Cyber Systems Architecture and Organisation

Learn to:
  • Explain the relationship between the abstractions used to represent programs and data, and their concrete representation on real machines
  • Understand the relationship between the key architectural components of a modern, multicore processor
  • Evaluate code at the assembly language level to analyse cyber consequences from insecure patterns of code

Why is this important?
In cyber security it is essential not to regard the computer as just a black box that executes programs by magic.
The underlying hardware and software infrastructure upon which applications are constructed is collectively described by the term "computer systems".

Computer systems broadly span the sub-disciplines of operating systems, parallel and distributed systems, communications networks, and computer architecture. These share important common fundamental concepts including computational paradigms, parallelism, cross-layer communications, state and state transition, resource allocation and scheduling, and so on.


This module gives broad coverage to computer systems and will enable you to develop a deeper understanding of the hardware environment upon which all computing is based, as well as the interface it provides to higher software layers.

You'll learn about a computer system’s functional components, their characteristics, performance, and interactions, and, in particular, the challenge of harnessing parallelism to sustain performance improvements now and into the future.

Delivery and assessment

14 half-day sessions will be regularly spaced across Year 1. Within each half day session, there will be a mix of lecture, tutorial and practical activity.

Assessment is 50% coursework and 50% examination for this module.

Essential information

Entry Requirements
A level: AAB (STEM subjects preferred)
IB: 36 points (STEM subjects preferred), with a minimum of 4 in English


Degree of Bachelor of Science (BSc)

3 years full time (30 weeks per academic year)

Tuition fees
Find out more about fees and funding

How to apply Undergraduate admissions