Module code: COM1031

Module Overview

To introduce the fundamental principles of digital logic, circuits and systems starting with symbolic logic through to the concept of logic gates to the structure and operation of digital logic circuits and systems. This module provides an understanding of the underlying computer architecture and internal operation of computer systems.


Module provider

Computer Science and Electronic Eng

Module Leader

LAM Joey (CS & EE)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 62

Lecture Hours: 22

Laboratory Hours: 22

Guided Learning: 22

Captured Content: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Combinational Logic

    • Circuit design using logic gates such as multiplexers, decoders

    • Implementing logic functions 

    • Digital building blocks such as adders, comparators

  • Computer arithmetic: number systems; 1’s and 2’s complement; arithmetic operations

  • Synchronous sequential logic

    • Latches

    • Flip Flops

    • Registers

    • Analysis of sequential circuits

  • Low level programming

    • Hardwired implementation, assembly language

    • Interrupts 

    • Interaction with other electronic components such as LEDs, 7-segment display

  • Control Unit

  • Bus system

  • Memory system

  • Computer system performance analysis


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Examination Examination 2-Hour 60

Alternative Assessment

An individual assessment will be set to replace the group coursework.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • Group Coursework (40%). Students demonstrate an understanding of the operation of a basic computer and the skills for problem solving and programming a computer at a low level. This will test LO1, LO3, LO5.

  • Examination 2-hour (60%). It will examine the understanding of the students in logic circuits and computer systems. This will assess LO2-LO4.

Formative assessment and feedback

Each lab session will provide an opportunity to provide feedbacks to students. Feedbacks will also be provided for the coursework. A diagnostic test will be scheduled that will ensure the student has assimilated the material during the course.

Module aims

  • To introduce the fundamental principles of digital logic, circuits and systems starting with symbolic logic through to the concept of logic gates to the structure and operation of digital logic circuits and systems.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
002 Develop familiarity with combinational logic operations and design of combinational logic circuits K
001 Perform conversion between number systems and perform arithmetic operations K
003 Summarise the basic structure of a computer system and explain their functions KC
004 Reason about the operation and performance of memory systems C
005 Develop communication and team working skills to solve practical problems PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Help students understand the distinctive features of various operating systems design decisions.

  • Demonstrate the fundamental applications of OS features in programming higher level user applications.

  • Provide the foundations on which students can build in order to be able to participate in OS development subsequently.

  • Enable students to design higher level applications more efficiently by being aware of the impact the OS has on managing the access to the underlying hardware and other resources.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures using detailed lecture slides and interactive quizzes (e.g., Poll Anywhere) to gauge the students’ understanding.

  • Labs/Tutorials using exercises and their solutions and demonstrations.

Students are expected to spend time outside of the contact hours on self-study to prepare and revise lecture, lab and tutorial material.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: COM1031

Other information

Digital Capabilities
The foundational computer science skills taught in this module provide students digital skills that are fundamental to being a computer scientist. Students will learn with and process data. They will gain practical experience in a group project building an embedded solution to a problem using low-level software and hardware. The group nature of the development process taught in this module builds transferrable skills that are vital to future modules n the program and are highly valued in industry.
This module provides foundational maths, software and hardware development skills that are the first steps to applying these techniques to solve real life problems. Students are equipped with practical problem-solving skills through designing and building an embedded system to solve a complex problem as well as gaining experience working within a team.
Global and Cultural Skills
Computer Science is a global language and the tools and languages used on this module can be used internationally. This module allows students to develop skills that will allow them to reason about and develop applications with global reach and collaborate with their peers around the world. The group nature of the coursework teaches team working skills built on respect of other team members.
Resourcefulness and Resilience
This module involves practical problem-solving skills that teach a student how to reason about and solve new unseen problems through combining the foundation theory taught with practical technologies for systems that are in everyday use. The Boolean logic taught here forms part of the core set of skills that allow computer scientists to reason about problems even at the high level.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Computer Science BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Computer Science MEng 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2023/4 academic year.