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Computer Systems

Short name: CS
SITS code: COIY060H7
Credits: 15
Level: 7
Module leader: Jan Hidders
Lecturer(s): Jan Hidders
Online material:


To learn the basics of computer architecture and organisation, and the role and mechanism of operating systems.


  • Introduction: Computer architecture (CA) and Operating system (OS) overview
  • Processors
  • Processes and threads
  • Concurrency
  • Memory management
  • I/O and file systems
  • Protection and security
  • Distributed and parallel processing




Indicative timetables can be found in the handbooks available on programme pages. Personalised teaching timetables for students are available via My Birkbeck.


Two sets of problems relating to the computer architecture and the oprating systems content of the module.


By 2-hour written examination and coursework exercises, weighting 90% and 10% respectively.

Recommended reading

  • Textbook: W. Stallings, Operating Systems, Internals and Design Principles, Prentice Hall, 5th edition, 2005, or 6th edition, 2008
  • W. Stallings, Computer Organization and Architecture: Designing for Performance, Prentice Hall, 7th edition, 2006
  • A.S. Tanenbaum, Modern Operating Systems, Prentice Hall, 2nd edition 2001, or 3rd edition, 2008