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Computer Systems

Short name: CS
SITS code: COIY060H7
Credits: 15
Level: 7
Module leader: Szabolcs Mikulas


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




All dates and timetables are listed in programme handbooks, found in the downloads section of individual programme pages.

Enrolled students can find their personal teaching timetable and location of classes on their My Birkbeck profile.


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