Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Operating Systems in the Cyber Context

Learn to:
  • Explain the key principles behind the organisation and operation of a typical general-purpose operating system
  • Explain how process, memory and file management algorithms and data structures work
  • Select and apply appropriate security and protection mechanisms

Why is this important?

An operating system performs two main tasks. Firstly, it provides a simplified, logical view of a computer where the quirks of particular hardware devices and the intricacies of their use are hidden behind consistent software interfaces.

Secondly, it manages the resources offered by a computer, making sure that, if there are several active users, they get their fair share of the CPU, memory, storage and peripherals. Even if there is only one user, they may be running several programs at once and the operating system will manage the competing demands from each program.

The operating system also provides several powerful, simplifying views of aspects of the computer such as files, folders and processes, none of which actually exists.

This module will outline the principles of how an operating system is constructed, how it works, and its critical role in cyber security. It will provide you with a solid understanding of how a modern operating system satisfies its requirements in the cyber context.

Module content will cover:
  • Overview of operating systems
  • Operating system principles
  • Concurrency and synchronisation
  • Scheduling and dispatch
  • Memory management
  • Security and protection
  • File systems
  • Interaction and network communication

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