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FIT1031 Computers and networks - Semester 1, 2013

This unit introduces students to fundamentals of computer systems and networks. It provides basic knowledge of computer organisation and architecture, operating systems, and networking architecture, technology and operation.

Mode of Delivery

  • Caulfield (Day)
  • South Africa (Day)

Contact Hours

2 hr lectures/wk, 2 hr tutorial/wk

Workload requirements

Students will be expected to spend a total of 12 hours per week during semester on this unit as follows:

Lectures: 2 hours per week and Tutorial Sessions: 2 hours per week per tutorial (starting in week 2) and an additional 8 hours per week for completing tutorial questions, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Dr Sid Ray

Consultation hours: TBA

South Africa

Dr Mohan Das

Consultation hours: TBA

Academic Overview

Learning Outcomes

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.

Unit Schedule

Week Activities Assessment
0 Orientation Week: Follow the Orientation Week program No formal assessment or activities are 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 learning system.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Four Tutorial Tests and Participation in Tutorial Sessions 40% Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11
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.

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Faculty Policy - Unit Assessment Hurdles (http://www.infotech.monash.edu.au/resources/staff/edgov/policies/assessment-examinations/unit-assessment-hurdles.html)

Academic Integrity - Please see the Demystifying Citing and Referencing tutorial at http://lib.monash.edu/tutorials/citing/

Assessment Tasks


  • Assessment task 1
    Four Tutorial Tests and Participation in Tutorial Sessions
    Closed-book tests,  held during four tutorial sessions will contribute 32% of the total assessment.  Contribution from participation component is 8%, thus making total contribution of 40% from Assessment task 1.
    Criteria for assessment:

    Through the tutorial tests students' problem-solving ability will be tested and learning will be reinforced. 

    Due date:
    Tutorial Tests in weeks 5, 7, 9 and 11


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

Learning resources

Reading list

  • Electronic resources including book chapters, questions and their solutions, and links to other relevant resources are made available on the unit Moodle site.
  • A list of recommended text books is included under the item "Recommended text(s)". 

Monash Library Unit Reading List

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

Extensions and penalties

Returning assignments

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).

Online submission

If Electronic Submission has been approved for your unit, please submit your work via the learning system for this unit, which you can access via links in the my.monash portal.

Recommended text(s)

Linda Null and Julia Lobur. (2012). Essentials of Computer Organization and Architecture. (3rd Edition) Jones and Bartlett Learning (ISBN: 978-1-4496-2063-9).

James F. Kurose and Keith W. Ross. (2010). Computer Networkings: A Top-Down Approach. (5th Edition) Pearson (ISBN: 0-13-136548-7).

Jerry Fitzgerald and Alan Dennis. (2009). Business Data Communications and Networking. (10th Edition) John Wiley and Sons (ISBN: 978-0470-05575-5).

Other Information


Graduate Attributes Policy

Student services

Monash University Library

Disability Liaison Unit

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.

Your feedback to Us

Previous Student Evaluations of this Unit

Based on previous student feedback this unit is considered to be appropriately structured and no changes have been made for this semester.

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

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