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CS132 - Computer Organisation & Architecture

  • Module code: CS132
  • Module name: Computer Organisation & Architecture
  • Department: Computer Science
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

To provide students with a fundamental understanding of the functional components of a computer system, and how they are organised. The emphasis of the module is on the hardware aspects of a system, and how hardware is used during the execution of software. This is a core component of all computer science related degree courses. Practical skills will also be developed in the use and construction of computer components, and their interfacing to microprocessors.

Principal learning outcomes

"By the end of the module a student should be able to: Understand the operation of electronic logic elements; Understand the organisation of a computer system in terms of its main components; Understand the detailed operation of a simple microprocessor; Understand different processor architectures; Understand input/output mechanisms; Understand the various parts of a system memory hierarchy; Have practical experience of prototyping digital circuits; Be able to interface digital circuits to microprocessor systems."

Timetabled teaching activities

Term 1,2. 20 one-hour lectures and 10 three-hour laboratory sessions.

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: CS132-15)
D (Assessed/examined work) Assessed Course Work 40%
Examination - Main Summer Exam Period (weeks 4-9) 60%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:

  • BSc Computing Systems (G400) - Year 1
  • MEng Computing Systems (G402) - Year 1
  • Undergraduate Computer Systems Engineering (G406) - Year 1
  • Undergraduate Computer Systems Engineering (G408) - Year 1
  • Undergraduate Computer Science (G500) - Year 1
  • Undergraduate Computer Science MEng (G503) - Year 1
  • Undergraduate Computer and Management Sciences (G5N1) - Year 1
Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Computer and Business Studies (GN51) - Year 1