Course Outline

CSC200 Computer Organisation and Operating Systems

Course Coordinator:Erica Mealy ( School:School of Science, Technology and Engineering

2024Semester 1

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


The principles of computer organisation and operating systems (OS) are the building blocks of modern computing. You will be introduced to fundamental concepts of OS and digital logic, with an emphasis on data representation, memory technology, and Input/Output (I/O) systems. You will examine how a computer operates at the machine level, i.e., OS and hardware cooperation, and explore hierarchy and organisation of memories, addressing techniques, internal processor structure and operation through symbolic assembly language examples.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – Pre-recorded concept videos and associated activity for Asynchronous learning. 2hrs Week 1 13 times
Laboratory 1 – On-campus Practical Computer Workshop 2hrs Week 1 13 times

Course Topics

  • Overview of operating systems, functionalities and charateristics of OS.
  • Hardware concepts related to OS, CPU states, I/O channels, memory hierarchy, microprogramming
  • Information theory and digital representations of data
  • Instruction set architecture (ISA) -- Instruction types, registers, addressing modes, and load/store architectures
  • Structure of assembly language programs
  • From high-level to machine language -- Roles of compilers, assemblers, linkers and loaders
  • Techniques for improving computer performance -- Pipelining and interleaving and concurrency management (including critical regions, semaphores, deadlock, mutual exclusion and synchronisation)
  • The concept of a process, operations on processes, process states, concurrent processes, process control block, process context, interrupts, dispatcher, signals, forks and pipes.
  • Job and processor scheduling, scheduling algorithms, process hierarchies.
  • Virtualizing and sharing computers -- Memory management (paging, addressing, blocks, fragments, buffering, virtual memory). Time-sharing and process management (Interprocess communication (IPC))
  • Multi-core and parallel processing

What level is this course?

200 Level (Developing)

Building on and expanding the scope of introductory knowledge and skills, developing breadth or depth and applying knowledge and skills in a new context. May require pre-requisites where discipline specific introductory knowledge or skills is necessary. Normally, undertaken in the second or third full-time year of an undergraduate programs.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 1. Demonstrate knowledge of computer architectures and operating systems theory and practice. Knowledgeable
2 Select, adapt, and design solutions to computer architecture problems reaching substantiated conclusions using fundamental principles of computer organisation and operating systems. Creative and critical thinker
3 Research, compare and analyse computer architectures and operating systems for a real world context. Creative and critical thinker
4 Develop and deliver a professional quality presentation on a Computer Science topic. Empowered

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


ENG103 and ICT120


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

Weekly tutorial activities will provide students with formative feedback weekly from weeks 1 – 10. Additionally, the practical assessment in Task 1 provide early summative feedback to students.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Artefact - Technical and Scientific Individual 25%
45 mins
Week 5 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Oral and Written Piece Group 35%
Professional Product
Presentation and visual material (slides) based on research into two competing architectures for a contemporary case study. Example case studies will be available in Task 2 Assessment folder
Week 11 In Class
All 3 Examination - Centrally Scheduled Individual 40%
2 hours
Exam Period Online Submission
All - Assessment Task 1:Skills demonstration
To demonstrate knowledge of core computer architecture and operating system components.
Product: Artefact - Technical and Scientific
5 questions each worth 5% of final grade
All content from weeks 1 – 4 of learning materials and workshops.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated knowledge of fundamental computer architectures and operating systems theory and practice.
Degree of innovation evident in problem solving
Selection, adaption and design of solutions using principles of computer organisation and OS
All - Assessment Task 2:Systems Consultant Pitch
To explore two competing contemporary software architectures/operating systems
Product: Oral and Written Piece
10 minutes
5 – 10 Slides
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Understanding of context for case study
Analysis, evaluation and recommendation of best platform for selected scenario
2 3
Selection of and research into candidate platforms
2 4
Effectiveness of oral communication
Quality of slides/visual materials
All - Assessment Task 3:Final Examination
The final exam will develop your ability to independently apply your skills and knowledge to solve familiar problem-based questions with confidence within a set time limit and without access to additional resources.
Product: Examination - Centrally Scheduled
Open-book examination
Short answer problems based on tutorial activities, assignment questions and lecture materials.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Demonstrated knowledge of fundamental computer architectures and operating systems theory and practice
Degree of innovation evident in problem solving
Selection, adaption and design of solutions using principles of computer organisation and OS

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required Abraham Silberschatz,Peter B. Galvin,Greg Gagne 2018 Operating System Concepts 10 Wiley

Specific requirements

Not applicable

How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Eligibility for Supplementary Assessment

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


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Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

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Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Conduct
  • Students with a Disability

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