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FIT1031 Computers and networks - Semester 1, 2014

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)

Workload Requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 12 hours per week comprising:

(a.) Contact hours for on-campus students:

  • Two hours of lectures
  • One 2-hour tutorial

(b.) Study schedule for off-campus students:

  • Off-campus students generally do not attend lecture and tutorial sessions, however should plan to spend equivalent time working through the relevant resources.

(c.) Additional requirements (all students):

  • A minimum of 8 hours of personal study per week for completing tutorial questions, private study and revision.

Unit Relationships



Chief Examiner

Campus Lecturer


Sid Ray

Consultation hours: One hour per week

South Africa

Mohan Das



To be announced

South Africa

To be announced

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 the Student Evaluation of Teaching and Units (SETU) survey. 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, see:

www.monash.edu.au/about/monash-directions/ and on student evaluations, see: www.policy.monash.edu/policy-bank/academic/education/quality/student-evaluation-policy.html

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

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) Assessment Task 1: Test 1
6 Memory Components - Organization, Primary Memory, Cache Memory, Virtual Memory  
7 Operating Systems (OS) - Introduction to OS, Types and Activities of OS Assessment Task 2: Test 2
8 Networking Concepts  
9 Models of Communications & Networking Assessment Task 3: Test 3
10 Transport Layer and TCP  
11 Addressing Mechanism & Routing Strategies and LAN Assessment Task 4: Test 4
12 Revision and Discussion on Exam Preparation  
  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.

Teaching Approach

Lecture and tutorials or problem classes
This teaching and learning approach helps students to intially encounter information at lectures, discuss and explore the information during tutorials, and practice in a hands-on lab environment.

Assessment Summary

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

Assessment Task Value Due Date
Test 1: Basic Concepts of Computing Systems 10% Week 5
Test 2: Boolean Algebra, Digital Logic and Computer Architecture 10% Week 7
Test 3: Memory Organization and Operating Systems 10% Week 9
Test 4: Computer Networks - Concepts, Addressing Mechanisms & Routing Strategies and LAN 10% Week 11
Examination 1 60% To be advised

Assessment Requirements

Assessment Policy

Assessment Tasks


  • Students are expected to participate in group discussion during tutorial sessions.
  • Assessment task 1
    Test 1: Basic Concepts of Computing Systems
    Assessment on the topics of:

    • Introduction to computing Systems and
    • Data representation and Computer Arithmetic
    Criteria for assessment:

    Through Test 1 students' problem-solving ability will be tested  on the topics listed. 

    Due date:
    Week 5
  • Assessment task 2
    Test 2: Boolean Algebra, Digital Logic and Computer Architecture
    Assessment on the topics of:

    • Boolean Algebra,
    • Digital Logic, and 
    • Computer Architecture including Instruction Set Architecture
    Criteria for assessment:

    Through Test 2 students' problem-solving ability will be tested  on the topics listed. 

    Due date:
    Week 7
  • Assessment task 3
    Test 3: Memory Organization and Operating Systems
    Assessment on the topics of:

    • Memory Organization,
    • Primary Memory, Cache Memory and Virtual Memory,
    • Operating Systems - Introduction, Types and Activities
    Criteria for assessment:

    Through Test 3 students' problem-solving ability will be tested  on the topics listed. 

    Due date:
    Week 9
  • Assessment task 4
    Test 4: Computer Networks - Concepts, Addressing Mechanisms & Routing Strategies and LAN
    Assessment on the topics of:

    • Networking Concepts,
    • Models of Communications and Networking,
    • Addressing Mechanisms & Routing Strategies, and
    • Local Area Networks
    Criteria for assessment:

    Through Test 4 students' problem-solving ability will be tested  on the topics listed. 

    Due date:
    Week 11


  • Examination 1
    3 hours
    Type (open/closed book):
    Closed book
    Hurdle requirements:
    • In-semester assessment: 40%
    • Exam: 40%
    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 will be 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 (if applicable to the unit)

Faculty of Information Technology Style Guide

Feedback to you

Examination/other end-of-semester assessment feedback may take the form of feedback classes, provision of sample answers or other group feedback after official results have been published. Please check with your lecturer on the feedback provided and take advantage of this prior to requesting individual consultations with staff. If your unit has an examination, you may request to view your examination script booklet, see http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/procedures/request-to-view-exam-scripts.html

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/student-academic-integrity-managing-plagiarism-collusion-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). Please note that it is your responsibility to retain copies of your assessments.

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


Monash has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and to provide advice on how they might uphold them. You can find Monash’s Education Policies at: www.policy.monash.edu.au/policy-bank/academic/education/index.html

Key educational policies include:

Faculty resources and policies

Important student resources including Faculty policies are located at http://intranet.monash.edu.au/infotech/resources/students/

Graduate Attributes Policy

Student Charter

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.

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