Academic Year 2012-2013 Module Code

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School of Computer Science and Statistics

ECTS Module Descriptor 2012-13

Academic Year


Module Code


Module Title

Introduction to Computing I





Chief Examiner

Dr Jonathan Dukes

Teaching Staff

Dr Jonathan Dukes


Lecture hours

Lab hours
(per student)

Tutorial hours
(per student)






Comments: Attendance at all lectures, labs and tutorials is compulsory.


This module provides students with an introduction to the basic structure and behaviour of microprocessor systems. By designing, developing and executing simple assembly language programs, the module aims to give students an understanding of how programs execute on a microprocessor system. The module also introduces students to concepts that are fundamental to the study of Computer Science, including binary number systems and the representation of basic information such as integers, floating-point vaues and text.
The module also encourages students to consider the relationship between high-level programming language constructs and their execution as sequences of machine instructions.
Students will also be given opportunities to develop their problem solving, programming and written communication skills by designing solutions to programming problems, implementing those solutions, first in the form of high-level programming constructs and then as assembly language programs, which must be documented and tested.

Learning Outcomes

When students have successfully completed this module they should be able to:

  • Describe the basic characteristics, structure and operation of a microprocessor system;

  • Translate between simple high-level programming language constructs and their assembly language equivalents;

  • Design, construct, document and test small-scale assembly language programs to solve simple problems;

  • Reason about the cost of executing instructions and the efficiency of simple programs;

  • Make use of appropriate documentation and reference material.


Specific topics addressed in this module include:


Assessment is by written examination (70%) and continuous assessment (30%). Continuous assessment consists of a number of substantial assignments (usually two) and smaller lab exercises. Students taking this module together with CS1022 will sit a single examination for both modules.


Recommended text:

  • William Hohl, “ARM Assembly Language: Fundamentals and Techniques”, CRC Press, 2009.

Suggested additional reading:

  • Steve Furber, “ARM System-on-Chip Architecture”, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley Professional, 2000.

  • Andrew Sloss, Dominic Symes and Chris Wright, “ARM System Developer's Guide: Designing and Optimizing System Software”, Morgan Kaufmann, 2004.



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