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Academic Overview

Learning Objectives

On completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • understand basic computer structure and operation and demonstrate use of the associated vocabulary;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of data representation, computer arithmetic and Boolean algebra using appropriate methods of implementation;
  • demonstrate detailed knowledge of Internal bus and memory;
  • describe the internal operation of the CPU and explain how it is used to execute instructions;
  • differentiate between machine language and assembly language;
  • identify factors that affect computer performance;
  • demonstrate an understanding of the basics of operating systems and system software;
  • understand basic networking concepts;
  • discuss communication and networking models such as TCP/IP and OSI;
  • describe the concept of transport layer services and principle of congestion control;
  • describe routing strategies and commonly used LAN topologies, and
  • adopt a problem solving approach, accept the code of professional conduct and practice and act in accordance with best practice, industry standards and professional ethics.

Graduate Attributes

Monash prepares its graduates to be:
  1. responsible and effective global citizens who:
    1. engage in an internationalised world
    2. exhibit cross-cultural competence
    3. demonstrate ethical values
  2. critical and creative scholars who:
    1. produce innovative solutions to problems
    2. apply research skills to a range of challenges
    3. communicate perceptively and effectively

Assessment Summary

Examination (3 hours): 60%; In-semester assessment: 40%

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Four Tutorial Tests and Attendance at Tutorial Sessions. 40% Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11 and at least 10 Tutorial sessions
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach provides facilitated learning, practical exploration and peer learning.


Our feedback to You

Types of feedback you can expect to receive in this unit are:
  • Informal feedback on progress in labs/tutes
  • Graded assignments with comments
  • Test results and feedback
  • Solutions to tutes, labs and assignments

Your feedback to Us

Monash is committed to excellence in education and regularly seeks feedback from students, employers and staff. One of the key formal ways students have to provide feedback is through SETU, Student Evaluation of Teacher and Unit. The University's student evaluation policy requires that every unit is evaluated each year. Students are strongly encouraged to complete the surveys. The feedback is anonymous and provides the Faculty with evidence of aspects that students are satisfied and areas for improvement.

For more information on Monash's educational strategy, and on student evaluations, see:

Previous Student Evaluations of this unit

If you wish to view how previous students rated this unit, please go to

Required Resources

Linda Null and Julia Lobur, Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, Third Edition, Jones and Bartlett Learning, Third Edition (2012), ISBN 978-1-4496-2063-9.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Orientation Week: Follow the Orientation Week program No formal assessment is undertaken in week 0
1 Introduction and Basic Concepts of Computing Systems No Tutorial in Week 1
2 Data Representation and Arithmetic  
3 Data Representation and Arithmetic  
4 Boolean algebra and Digital Logic  
5 Computer Architecture (including Instruction Set Architecture) Tutorial Test 1
6 Memory Components - Organization, Primary Memory, Cache Memory, Virtual Memory  
7 Operating Systems (OS) - Introduction to OS, Types and Activities of OS Tutorial Test 2
8 Networking Concepts  
9 Models of Communications & Networking Tutorial Test 3
10 Transport Layer and TCP  
11 Addressing Mechanism/Routing Strategies and LAN Tutorial Test 4
12 Revision  
  SWOT VAC No formal assessment is undertaken in SWOT VAC
  Examination period LINK to Assessment Policy: http://policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/

*Unit Schedule details will be maintained and communicated to you via your MUSO (Blackboard or Moodle) learning system.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

To pass a unit which includes an examination as part of the assessment a student must obtain:

  • 40% or more in the unit's examination, and
  • 40% or more in the unit's total non-examination assessment, and
  • an overall unit mark of 50% or more.

If a student does not achieve 40% or more in the unit examination or the unit non-examination total assessment, and the total mark for the unit is greater than 50% then a mark of no greater than 49-N will be recorded for the unit

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Four Tutorial Tests and Attendance at Tutorial Sessions.
    • Closed-book tests held during four selected tutorial sessions, 1 hour duration, contribution 9% each test. Attendance taken at each tutorial session, total contribution from attendance 4%. Thus, the total contribution from Assessment task 1 is 40%.
    Criteria for assessment:
    • Tutorial test and attendance hurdle: 40% of 40 marks, that is is 16 out of 40. (Total tutorial test marks 36, marks for attendance 4)

    Note: Marks for attendance will be calculated as follows: minimum [10, number of sessions attended] * 0.4. This means, a student will get full marks of 4 if he/she  attends at least 10 tutorial sessions.

    Due date:
    Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11 and at least 10 Tutorial sessions


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Electronic devices allowed in the exam:

Assignment submission

It is a University requirement (http://www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/conduct/plagiarism-procedures.html) for students to submit an assignment coversheet for each assessment item. Faculty Assignment coversheets can be found at http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/student/forms/. Please check with your Lecturer on the submission method for your assignment coversheet (e.g. attach a file to the online assignment submission, hand-in a hard copy, or use an online quiz).

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

Other Information


Student services

The University provides many different kinds of support services for you. Contact your tutor if you need advice and see the range of services available at www.monash.edu.au/students The Monash University Library provides a range of services and resources that enable you to save time and be more effective in your learning and research. Go to http://www.lib.monash.edu.au or the library tab in my.monash portal for more information. Students who have a disability or medical condition are welcome to contact the Disability Liaison Unit to discuss academic support services. Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) visit all Victorian campuses on a regular basis


Prescribed text(s) and readings

Linda Null and Julia Lobur, Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture, Third Edition, Jones and Bartlett Learning, Third Edition (2012), ISBN 978-1-4496-2063-9.

Recommended text(s) and reading

James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross, Computer Networkings: A Top-Down Approach, Fifth Edition, Pearson (2010), ISBN 0-13-136548-7.

Jerry Fitzgerald and Alan Dennis, Business Data Communications and Networking, Tenth Edition, John Wiley and Sons (2009), ISBN 978-0470-05575-5.  

Note: In lecture notes further references will be listed.

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