KF4005 - Operating Systems Fundamentals

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What will I learn on this module?

This module introduces you to the fundamentals of operating systems: processes/threads, communication, memory management, file systems, I/O, security, scripting languages and tools. You will study:
* processes and threads: concepts, use and implementation, creation and destruction, context switching, scheduling;
* communication (IPC): shared memory, message passing, pipes;
* memory management: memory allocation schemes, paging, virtual memory;
* persistent storage and file systems: file concept, file system structure and implementation, directories, free space allocation;
* I/O: input and output devices, device handlers, the I/O API;
* security: access control, user authentication;
* scripting languages and tools: use of languages and tools (e.g. the command shell, Python) for monitoring, investigating and administering an operating system and its resources, employ a relational database (including the design and execution of simple SQL queries).

How will I learn on this module?

Your taught sessions will be delivered in a well-equipped computing laboratory, where you will have full access to a modern operating system for investigation and experimentation. Fundamental concepts and theory will be introduced in short presentations, followed by ample opportunity for practical exercises to reinforce and extend your understanding. Guided learning activities will provide you with further opportunities to develop your understanding and practical ability. You will also be encouraged to develop independent learning skills.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be given advice and feedback on your work and progress during scheduled taught sessions. You will have opportunities to discuss your work with academic staff and with your colleagues. In addition, the eLP (electronic learning portal) will be used to provide access to extensive support materials.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the fundamentals of an operating system, including its architecture and the implementation of its services.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Apply scripting languages and tools to the monitoring, investigation and administration of an operating system and its resources.
3. Design and utilise simple SQL queries

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Communicate the results of work / study accurately and reliably

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment comprises a variety of theoretical and practical exercises, with opportunities for discussion with tutors and colleagues.

Summative assessment comprises a single coursework assignment. You will be required to undertake a number of theoretical and practical, lab-based exercises, leading to the completion of a set of questions about the work that you have done.

Feedback on formative assessment will be given during the workshop sessions. Formal written feedback will be provided on summative assessment. The assignment will assess all of the MLOs.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

An operating system is the software that allows your applications to make use of the hardware resources of your computing devices. Whether it’s a video streaming application on your laptop, a messaging app on your smartphone or a web server in a huge data centre, they all rely on the services of an operating system to work. This module will help you to understand what an operating system is, how it works and how to manage it. You will be taught in well-equipped computing laboratories with modern operating systems that you can investigate and experiment with. Your understanding of operating systems concepts and your practical skills in working with operating systems will be assessed in lab-based coursework exercises. This module will help you to develop a sound understanding of a key component in any computing system and will inform your thinking at every stage of your computing career.

Course info

UCAS Code G3F4

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2019 or September 2020

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